Best of Santa Barbara® Readers’ Poll 2019

by Leslie Dinaberg | Published October 17, 2019

Photos by Paul Wellman | Illustrations by Ben Ciccati

Like most of my favorite people, Santa Barbara Independent readers are an opinionated, insightful, entertaining, and loyal crew. When it comes to voting on the best of the Best of Santa Barbara®, the carefully considered favorites are an eclectic mix of nods to our historic, frequently family-owned businesses, as well as kudos to some bright and shiny newcomers. Half the fun of writing this story was seeing how summarily stoked the people that got the 2019 Best of Santa Barbara® awards were to hear from us ​— ​even if they were getting the award for the zillionth time! In a world that can feel overwhelmingly full of bad news, it’s awesome to be the bearer of some good news for a change. There’s a lot to celebrate about life in Santa Barbara.

With more than 200 categories of “bests” to choose from, there are loads of great people and places to discover or revisit. The wave of crowdsourcing is here to stay, and I can’t imagine a better crowd than our readers to give advice about the best of our burg. Check out their picks in the categories of Sporting Life, Looking Good, Eating, Drinking, Out & About, Romance, Little Creatures, Living Well, Housing, Driving and Media. And ​— ​not that you need an invitation ​— ​don’t forget to let us know what you think!

The time has come to celebrate those who have been crowned the Best of Santa Barbara®! Come to the Indy’s Best Fest tonight, Thursday, October 17, 5:30-9 p.m., at the Carriage and Western Art Museum of S.B. (129 Castillo St.). Enjoy sips and bites from many of the winning restaurants, wineries, and breweries.

Get your tickets at!