Founded by some of Santa Barbara’s top restaurateurs, La Paloma Cafe has already received plenty of attention. If you are looking for the best restaurant in Santa Barbara that offers casual outdoor dining, amazing food, and no-nonsense cocktails, then you’ve found the right place. Don’t take our word for it- see what others are saying:
The New York Times: 36 Hours in Santa Barbara

Eat on the flower-draped patio of La Paloma Cafe, built on the figurative ruins of not one but two of Santa Barbara’s most beloved restaurants: a mid-century institution and the neon-lit Paradise Café, which closed, to the lament of many locals, in late 2020. La Paloma takes this lineage seriously, keeping the neon and restoring the building’s murals. The restaurant’s unmissable dish also nods to heritage: A Wagyu tri-tip with salsa, horseradish and pinquito beans ($35.95) is a gussied-up version of Santa Barbara’s regional barbecue known as Santa Maria style. View full article

Cosmopolitan: Your Next Trip *Should* Be to Santa Barbara

This thoughtfully crafted California BBQ spot has the feel of your favorite neighborhood hangout mixed with unique, made-from-scratch meals. View full article

Afar: California’s Best Wine Regions – Where to Stay and What to Drink

La Paloma Cafe is well-known for its Baja inspired food and mezcal margaritas, but it’s the wine list—featuring the likes of Casa Madero’s zippy rose and Marcio Lopes Pequenos Rebento’s juicy and acidic pét-nat—that round out an afternoon on their patio for brunch. View full article The Dynamic, Californian Idyll of Santa Barbara

La Paloma Cafe, a ranchero-style, historic spot with lots of natural light and a patio, is also worthwhile for lunch. Try the burnt end bowl and tepache soda. View full article

Travel Awaits: 8 Fabulous Things To Do In Beautiful Santa Barbara

For a taste of historic Santa Barbara head to La Paloma Café, just a few blocks off State Street in the Presidio. The original stucco building opened in 1915 as an Italian bakery. In 1940 it opened as La Paloma Café and was an instant success. View full article

Cool Material: It’s Time To Give Santa Maria Style Barbecue the Respect It Deserves

La Paloma Cafe, opened in 2020, has already become one of the city’s buzziest restaurants. The small menu reinterprets the culinary traditions of Old California, adding a gourmet flair to the dishes of Califoreños and cowboys of bygone eras. View full article

LA Eater: 15 Destination – Worthy Restaurants in Santa Barbara

The team behind the Lark and Loquita returned La Paloma to its 1940s-era glory, turning up the breezy, artsy vibes and expanding the ample patio. Stop by for the newly launched lunch or margaritas or in the setting sun, but don’t forget a carnitas plate wagyu tri-tip dinner, either. View full article

Thrillist: Best Things to Do in Santa Barbara

Acme Hospitality’s fine dining stalwart the Lark, casual Cali-Mexican La Paloma Cafe, and Spanish spot Loquita are always top-notch dining options. View full article

805 Living: Historical Heat – Local twists on the Hot Toddy are a welcome winter warm-up

The Champurrado from Jorge Báez, bartender at La Paloma Café, is a spiked version of a traditional Mexican hot beverage that is thickened with corn flour and flavored with chocolate. View full article

D Magazine: A Refreshing Escape to Santa Barbara, California

Our day was capped with a sunset dinner on the patio at La Paloma Cafe, a laid back ranchero-style restaurant, where my wife and I started with Smoked Bigeye Tuna Tostada, the Summer Watermelon Salad, and a bowl of tender beef tips, which are made by request only. View full article

Suitcase: In the Zone

While still sparkling with the same starry glamour it’s always had, California’s Santa Barbara has a fresh buzz, thanks to the emergence of the Funk Zone – an artsy neighbourhood hub drawing in creatives of all stripes. View full article

805 Living: Trends in Cocktail Land

At La Paloma in Santa Barbara, the Alta California cocktail riffs on the area’s indigenous roots with dragon fruit, a plant native to the Americas. The fruit is soaked in Vermouth Oso d’Oro from T.W. Hollister (a heritage California brand), frozen into ice cubes, and placed in a stemless glass with Cutler’s Gin.  View full article

LA Eater: 14 Destination-Worthy Restaurants for Dining in Santa Barbara

The Acme Hospitality team has returned La Paloma to its 1940s-era glory, turning up the breezy, artsy vibes and expanding the ample patio. Stop by for margaritas in the setting sun, but don’t forget a carnitas plate wagyu tri-tip dinner, either. View full article

Seattle Times: Eating and Drinking Around Santa Barbara

My other favorite dining spots, The Lark, Loquita, and La Paloma Café, feature menus certified as “Ocean-Friendly” by the Surfrider Foundation, which works with businesses to protect the earth’s oceans and beaches through such conservation efforts as eliminating single-use plastic. View full article

AFAR: What’s New in Santa Barbara

La Paloma, which opened in November 2020, honors the restaurant of the same name that ran in the same place for 37 years. At the spacious outdoor patio, spoon up homey pozole verde and a Santa Maria Wagyu tri-tip that’s criminally good: sliced thin with a mouth-watering char on the outside and paired with a ranchero salsa. View full article

Hemispheres: Three Perfect Days in Santa Barbara

La Paloma Café is the one closest to my heart. It first opened as a Mexican restaurant in 1940—witness the Aztec-themed mural above the bar—and later became the Paradise Café. I loved the Paradise and was devastated when it closed last year, but I was heartened when Acme Hospitality, the owners of my other favorite restaurant in town, The Lark, brought it back under its original name. View full article

LA Eater: 14 Essential Cocktail Spots in Santa Barbara

For those desiring a chill neighborhood cafe with refreshing margaritas, there’s La Paloma Cafe on the corner of Anacapa and Ortega streets in downtown Santa Barbara. The original La Paloma Cafe, which occupied the space from 1940 to 1983, was a traditional Mexican restaurant. This one, updated by the Acme Hospitality group, focuses on Mexican as well as Indigenous and Spanish dishes and agave spirits for its cocktails. View full article Acme Hospitality’s certified “ocean friendly restaurants” celebrate national seafood month

Acme Hospitality has announced that their three local dining restaurants, The Lark, Loquita, and La Paloma Café, have been certified by the Surfrider Foundation as Ocean-Friendly Restaurants. As certified as OFR, they practice a commitment to sustainability at each location, utilizing local catch on their menus in celebration of National Seafood Month in October. View full article

Malibu Coast: Exploring Santa Barbara, The American Riviera

We zigzagged our way over to La Paloma Café, a bustling restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating that celebrates the early California settlers who used Spanish and Mexican influences with indigenous ingredients cooked over fire. We shared oak grilled Crispy Brussels Sprouts quick fried with syrah-porcini mushroom reduction, Santa Maria Tri-Tip, Pork Shoulder Carnitas and a spicy Mexican salted chocolate tart. View full article

USA Today: 10 of the best southern California restaurant openings you may have missed

In November 2020, Acme Hospitality relaunched the iconic La Paloma Café at the corner of Anacapa and Ortega streets, bringing back to life a space that had been a Santa Barbara dining favorite for 117 years – 80 as the original La Paloma and another 37 as the Paradise Cafe. View full article

Conde Nast Traveler: The Best Weekend Getaways in California

With palm trees, beaches, and blue skies overhead: Santa Barbara’s appeal is obvious…venture around the corner to La Paloma Café. La Paloma has a history stretching back to the 1940s and recently reopened with a menu that links the culinary legacies of California and Mexico. View full article

7×7: Santa Barbara Rx, Glam New Hotels, Restaurants for Wine Lovers, and More Ways to Unwind

La Paloma is just one block away from Venus in Furs and this former burger joint has been transformed back in time in tribute to its original roots as La Paloma Café, which closed nearly 40 years ago after 43 years in business. The menu features dishes that pay homage to Californios, early California settlers that incorporated traditional Mexican and Spanish influences into their food, often cooked over fire. View full article

LA Times: 7 Santa Barbara-area hotels for a post-reopening getaway

La Paloma Cafe opened in October in the historic State Street building where it had thrived from 1940 to 1983 as Santa Barbara’s premier Mexican restaurant. Guests dine outside or in on specialties that honor the area’s ranchero history: Santa Barbara Mission chicken is scented with lemon peel and rosemary and served with apple-pink peppercorn sauce; red-oak-grilled nopales come with red onion, cotija cheese, corn, jicama and avocado-lemon dressing. View full article

805 Living: Cocktail Week Features

We celebrate the Californios, early California settlers who incorporated Spanish and Mexican influences into indigenous ingredients. The Golden Hour is a peach and ginger margarita featuring local summer peaches, apricot liqueur, tequila, lime, and house-made ginger simple syrup. Golden Hour evokes the best time to gather with friends for a cocktail on one of La Paloma’s garden patios. View full article

Napa Valley Register: Santa Barbara: The American Riviera?

While dining options abound, one restaurant worth making a detour off 101 to try is La Paloma. Thirty-seven years ago, there was a La Paloma Cafe on the site, in the historic Presidio area of Anacapa Street. Chef Jeremy Tummel, a third-generation Santa Barbara native, who is part Chumash Indian, decided to revive the restaurant paying tribute to California’s ranchero era, celebrating the cuisine of Californios, bringing in influences of barbecue as well as Baja. View full article

Ranch and Coast: Santa Barbara Beckons

Also recommended, barbecue at La Paloma Cafe, which celebrates the cuisine of the Californios, early settlers who were influenced by the flavors of Spain and Mexico. View full article

San Diego Reader: How to spend a weekend in Santa Barbara

You can’t miss La Paloma Café’s iconic neon sign. The restaurant represents the cuisine of Baja, Mexico and their barbecue reflects the ranchero history of the region. Start light with roasted brussels sprouts, garlic bread, and the Caesar salad. Then, order the pozole, tri-tip steak, or Mission chicken. Savor homemade cocktails and save the cactus-themed stir sticks as a souvenir. View full article

805 Living: A conversation among four 805-area culinary proprietors about the unprecedented challenges that their industry continues to face

805 Living connects four restaurateurs who have kept their businesses afloat and the rest of us well fed during the pandemic. Read on for their 20 questions and 20 answers. View full article

Santa Barbara Life and Style: A Reinvented Classic

The pink flair of neon once again glows down on Anacapa Street. The renowned Paradise Cafe has be reborn under Acme Hospitality’s leadership as La Paloma Cafe, combining traditions of the old and new. The menu embodies cuisine of the early California settllers, fusing flavors of Spanish and Mexican influence with a twist. View full article

Montecito Journal: Viva La Paloma

The wonderfully reconfigured eat-ery, a tiara’s toss from the Santa Barbara News-Press HQ on Anacapa Street, is the latest culinary outpost of Acme Hospitality owner Sherry Villanueva, owner of The Lark and Loquita in the Funk Zone. It is her eighth eatery in our Eden by the beach. The original La Paloma Café ran from 1940 until 1983 when it was founded by Jennie Luera and run by her daughters and grandchildren, and the new menu pays tribute to the cui-sine of the Californios, early California settlers who incorporated Spanish and Mexican influences into indigenous ingredients cooked over fire. Leading the talented culinary team is executive chef Jeremy Tummel. View full article

BizHawk: Storied La Paloma Cafe Marks Start of New Chapter in Downtown Santa Barbara

What’s old is new again in downtown Santa Barbara. The storied La Paloma Cafe has returned, just in time for the holiday season. Most Santa Barbara residents and tourists are familiar with the building at 702 Anacapa St., on the corner with Ortega Street, when it was known as the Paradise Cafe, under the ownership of former Santa Barbara City Councilman Randy Rowse. Rowse and his business partners, in fact, changed the name from La Paloma to Paradise when they purchased La Paloma Cafe 38 years ago. Now, under the ownership of Acme Hospitality, the building and restaurant are going back to their roots. View full article La Paloma Café opens downtown

La Paloma Café opens Tuesday at 702 Anacapa Street, the former home of the Paradise Café and, well, La Paloma Café. The original La Paloma was a traditional Mexican restaurant that was operated by the property owners from 1940-1983 at which time the space was leased to the Paradise Café which carried the torch for the next 37 years. Acme Hospitality, owners of many popular area eateries including Helena Avenue Bakery, The Lark, Loquita, and Lucky Penny, bought the business late last year and originally planned to continue the Paradise Café brand but the closures caused by COVID-19 created an opportunity to do something new while resurrecting a storied local business name.  View full article

Santa Barbara News Press: La Paloma Café officially Opens – Former site of Paradise Café returns to its roots

The grand opening of La Paloma Café on the corner of Anacapa and Ortega streets officially took place on Tuesday. After the closure of Paradise Café, a classic American restaurant that sat in that spot for 37 years, Acme Hospitality brought it back in hopes of returning to Santa Barbara’s culinary history. The legendary neon sign will again glow, reading “La Paloma Café,” and the institution will be a tribute to the cuisine of the Californios, early California settlers who incorporated Spanish and Mexican influences into indigenous ingredients cooked over fire.   View full article

Santa Barbara Independent: Resurrecting La Paloma Café – Acme Hospitality Turns Back Paradise Café’s Clocks to Honor Location’s Original Restaurant

For all its historic charm and neon nostalgia, the Paradise Café — which closed in September after 37 years in business — was not the first restaurant to loom over the bustling corner of Anacapa and Ortega streets in downtown Santa Barbara, nor was it the establishment with the longest tenure there. That distinction goes to La Paloma Café, which Jennie Luera founded as a traditional Mexican restaurant in 1940 and ran with her daughters and grandchildren until 1983. This coming week, after rejuvenating the restaurant’s structures, style, and spirit, Acme Hospitality returns La Paloma to its perch as a neighborhood café.  View full article