While Santa Barbara is known for its world-class restaurants, the city also has its fair share of top-rated bars and bartenders. If you are wondering where to find the best Santa Barbara cocktails, we’ve got you covered. We have combed through the area bars, lounges, clubs, and pubs and hand-selected only the finest to recommend to you. Make sure to stop by a few of them the next time you are in the area. These cocktails taste just as good as they look!
Once you’ve sampled some of the best Santa Barbara cocktails, we invite you to join us for Social Hour at Cheshire Cat Inn. We happily serve our guests complimentary wine paired with a delicious array of hors-d’oeuvres each evening. There’s no better way to relax and unwind after an exciting day in the city!
The Best Cocktail Bars in Santa Barbara
From popular taverns to the best-kept-secrets, these Santa Barbara clubs and pubs are serving up some of the best cocktails you will ever taste. Here are a few of our top recommendations:
1. The Good Lion in Santa Barbara
If you have never been to The Good Lion, you are in for a very special treat. This swanky speakeasy offers a delicious selection of tapas and a cocktail menu featuring the Central Coast’s finest fruits, herbs, and spices. While it’s a classic choice, their Bourbon and Brandy Old Fashioned is always a hit. If you prefer something sweeter, their Rosemary Clooney will not disappoint. The drink is perfectly mixed with rosemary-infused vodka, lemon, dry curacao, honey, and absinthe. They also offer a weekly rotating cocktail menu with a number of inventive and tasty drinks.
2. The Imperial in Santa Barbara
Tucked away in the small neighboring town of Goleta, this hidden gem is one stop you won’t want to miss. Situated in a parking lot, the Imperial may not look like much from the outside – but don’t let appearances fool you. As soon as you cross the threshold, you will feel like you have time-traveled to a previous era. The bar and lounge feature several cozy seating areas, elegant decor, and an inviting ambiance. Each of their vintage-inspired drinks is thoughtfully crafted and perfectly poured. If gin is your beverage of choice, then we highly recommend their signature drink, “The Imperial.” With a mix of Aviation gin, dry vermouth, and Luxardo liqueur, it’s is the perfect blend of sophisticated and savory.
3. Test Pilot in Santa Barbara
Located in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, a visit to the Test Pilot is a must. From exotic cocktails to spiked slushies, this tiki inspired craft cocktail bar has it all! The bright turquoise walls are filled with Polynesian art and nautical details. Their drink menu features a wide range of tropical Santa Barbara cocktails, as well as a few wine and beer options. Their “Montenegro for Two” is even served out of a pineapple! Just one sip will transport you to complete paradise.
4. Bar 29 in Santa Barbara
Both a restaurant and a bar, Bar 29 is another one of our favorites. The sophisticated yet friendly setting makes this cocktail bar the ideal choice for any occasion. They offer all the classics, including Mint Juleps, Manhattan’s, Margaritas, and Daiquiris. If you would like to try something new, you’re in luck! Their menu features a wide range of specialty drinks as well. They also offer a great selection of wine and rotating beers and ciders on tap.
5. The Red Piano in Santa Barbara
As well as being the only piano bar in the area, The Red Piano serves up some pretty fantastic cocktails. This high-energy bar is a favorite for visitors and locals alike. Offering live music seven nights a week, this is a great choice if you are looking for an upbeat atmosphere. Grab a few drinks with your friends, sing along to some great tunes, and get ready to dance the night away. It’s the perfect way to spend a fun night out on the town!
Join Us for Social Hour at Cheshire Cat Inn
Now that you know where to get the best Santa Barbara cocktails, it’s time to start planning your next trip! Four blocks from the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, Cheshire Cat Inn is near all of the best restaurants, theatres, parks, and beaches. All of these cocktail bars are just minutes away, and many of them are within walking distance to the inn. Each of our thoughtfully appointed guest rooms and cottages features top-notch amenities and all the modern conveniences.
You can expect to start off each morning with a delicious breakfast buffet to send you on your way. Then, come join us for an afternoon Social Hour with local wine and hors-d’oeuvres in the garden. Check our availability and book your stay today. We can’t wait to welcome you to our beautiful city!