Italian Restaurants in Downtown

Select Local Merchants

The chefs at Gino’s Sicilian Express pile house-made crusts with fresh tomato sauce and all-natural mozzarella cheese to animate a menu of more than 20 New York–style pizzas, as well as calzones and a selection of beer and wine. Pies range from classics, such as the margarita ($12–$16) and pepperoni ($13–$17), to specialty creations ($16–$20) such as the Polpette, festooned with basil, garlic, and sicilian meatballs. The Spinaccia pizza, strewn with fresh spinach and feta cheese, is also amenable to the New York fold-and-bite or the Antarctica freeze-and-lick technique. Diners taste test crust-free creations with a handful of hot wings ($4–$7) or sandwiches such as the chicken parmesan ($5). Chefs also present an evolving selection of desserts; ask Gino’s staff about the day’s saccharine selection or their opinions on mixing corduroy and plaid.

12 West Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara,
CA
US

A link to Santa Barbara's past, Aldo's Italian Ristorante resides on the grounds of the Janssens-Orella adobe house, which was built in 1857 and holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1986, Aldo's has done its part to write its own chapter into the historic site's story, serving homemade Italian specialties for lunch and dinner every day of the week. During visits, diners may enjoy freshly prepared dishes inside amid ornate pillars and elegant artwork, or outside in the heated courtyard.

1031 State St
Santa Barbara,
CA
US

The cozy, Old-World spirit of an Italian trattoria has endured at Chase Bar & Grill since 1979. Familiar Italian dishes appear throughout the menu, including creamy, ricotta-stuffed eggplant rolletini and veal piccata sauteed in a tangy combination of lemon, white wine, and caper sauce. Homemade ravioli and fresh mozzarella di bufala further reinforce the restaurant's commitment to its Mediterranean roots. At the same time, the chefs also indulge diners with classic surf-and-turf items, such as grilled Pacific Northwest salmon and cuts of locally sourced filet mignon, ribeye, and new york strip steak that have dry-aged for 21 days. The wine list also takes a mildly international approach, highlighting both Californian and Italian producers, while the handmade cocktails feature unique twists on old classics, such as The Moscow Mule and The Al Capone.

The decor in Chase Bar & Grill's dining room fosters a casual spirit that complements the eatery's inviting ambiance. Vines intertwined with strands of lights run along the walls and the ceiling, creating a lush yet somewhat intimate setting. Additionally, the space features a handful of Old World-inspired accent pieces, including vintage photographs and ornately framed mirrors hanging from the Tuscan yellow walls and a stout wooden barrel filled with magma from Mount Vesuvius.

1012 State St
Santa Barbara,
CA
US

The made-from-scratch meals and familial hospitality at California Pasta may confuse you into thinking you never left home. It's a formula that's been working for the eatery since it opened nearly a decade ago, and one that has only grown stronger since they recently began offering catering services. Whether dining inside the newly renovated confines or at a catered event inside your bedroom, it's hard not to?revel in the home-cooked flavors of pastas such as spinach-mushroom fusilli and Cajun chicken linguine.

811 State StSte B
Santa Barbara,
CA
US

When creating a pie, cooks at Paesano's Pizzeria adhere to the tradition of NYC's pizza chefs from start to finish. They begin with fresh ingredients, kneading pizza dough from scratch. Next, they hand-toss the pies into circles ready for toppings. After slathering on freshly made sauce and toppings such as italian sausage or fresh mushrooms, they stone-bake the pizzas. You can buy it by the slice or by the pie, or opt for another Italian staple such as a hot sub or lasagna.

1429 San Andres Street
Santa Barbara,
CA
US

As the plus sign in its name suggests, Blush Restaurant + Lounge is an equation: it adds the indulgence of fine dining to the splendor of nightlife in Santa Barbara to create one lavish experience. Executive chef Brandon Worrell relies on seasonal Californian cuisine to craft his menu, which features small bites such as bacon and brie flatbread and lobster mac and cheese. The menu also boasts exquisite entrees, including roasted Chilean sea bass with saffron beurre blanc. Guests can enjoy inventive signature cocktails beside a fire on the patio, or they can relax inside, where dozens of lights strung from the ceiling create a mesmerizing starry effect.

630 State St.
Santa Barbara,
CA
US