Photographic-style wallpaper depicting shelves packed with books and a chalkboard scrawled with the day's menu are just some of the playful touches inside Book Ends Cafe. Despite its lighthearted decor, though, the eatery is serious about food: everything on the menu is made by hand using organic ingredients from local farmers' markets. Signature sandwiches include those featuring a brisket banh mi, pickled beets, or lemon-marinated chickpea salad. To complement the cuisine, the cafe also serves local products such as Green Star coffee and Pop Culture sodas.
As a significant stop on the Urban Wine Trail, Margerum and Au Bon Climat curate an experienced team of vintners who bring the best of their vineyard-grown gems to downtown Santa Barbara. Glass tippers can traverse the neighboring spaces of the Au Bon Climat and Margerum tasting rooms in whatever order they wish, guiding palates through a tasting tour that includes one full flight of wine from each winery. Flatbread and cheese plates from the nearby Wine Cask Restaurant provide ideal escorts for lonely glasses of handmade vino. In each room, guests savor the complex tastes of a flight of a rare or limited-edition vintage, from classic Burgundian-style beverages to estate-grown nebbiolo, teroldego, and petit verdot.
The brewing baristas at Santa Barbara Roasting Company freshly prepare more than 40 different blends and single origin coffees, which warmly woo palates from a café menu of espressos, blends, and teas. Standard espressos ($1.90–$2.65) eschew pomp and frills for straightforward bean-roasted flavors, whereas a caramel latte ($3.50–$4.50) intermingles saccharine delights like prom at a gingerbread high school. Steaming café staples including yerba matte ($2.15–$3.15) and roco cocoa ($2.85–$3.45) offer both warm and iced versions to match any weather. Mocha ice blended drinks ($4.05–$4.95) deliver cold bursts of energy, perfect for warm weather sipping or sharing with a pet snowman.
Coffee Cat and Cafe Zoma satisfy caffeine cravings with a wide selection of freshly roasted fair-trade coffee drinks, and silence grumbling tummies with homemade baked goods, sandwiches, and crêpes. Perk up after an exhausting night of sleepskating with a foamy cappuccino ($3.50) or classic house brew ($1.90). Taste buds can nestle up to one of Coffee Cat’s specialty espresso drinks, such as the chocolate-raspberry mocha ($4.55) or honey-hazelnut latte ($4.20), served hot or iced, or the tantalizing selection of premium loose-leaf teas. Break up sipping, slurping, and gargling regimens with a morning-glory muffin—a freshly baked confection of coconut, carrot, cranberries, and walnuts—a slice of vegan zucchini bread, or a cherry-lemon scone. Homemade fluffy crêpes at the Coffee Cat location serve as a snuggly sleeping bag for sweet and savory concoctions, such as smoked ham, egg, and cheese ($6.95) or banana and Nutella ($6.75).