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Diners' Choice: American restaurants in California Central Coast

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best overall American cuisine in California Central Coast? You’re in the right place. Each month OpenTable analyses more than 400,000 new diner reviews. We sort the results by category to help you discover new favourites. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Brothers Restaurant at Red Barn restaurant
4.9
4.9 (1314)
$31 to $50
American
Santa Ynez Valley
About the restaurant
The Nichols brothers, Matt & Jeff, grew up in Ames, Iowa where their love of cooking, good food and a sense of family and community was nurtured.

The 2013 opening of their second Santa Barbara Wine Country restaurant, Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn in Santa Ynez, allows them to offer visitors and locals alike great food, wine and hospitality. The brothers strive to have legendary service, innovative cuisine, and a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere that causes you to return time and again.

As chefs, the brothers continue to experiment with new dishes and cuisine, but always with that “from scratch”, homemade element. Fresh ingredients from local producers, a wine list that showcases the region’s award-winning wines and a comfortable and historically interesting atmosphere that takes you back to the romance of the old west. They want you to feel at home, and experience all the best of Santa Barbara’s Wine Country.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
The food was really good. We went for our anniversary and my husband had the filet with scalloped potatoes with caramelized onions. Both were very tasty. I had the scallops with brown rice & vegetables. The rice had lots of chopped veggies which I loved and the sauce was creamy and flavorful. The bread was really delicious, especially the garlic herb focaccia. The restaurant gave us a dessert on the house since it was our anniversary and we had the chocolate truffle cake with raspberry ice cream. So good! The inside dining room was pretty loud, but other than that, I would highly recommend this place.
A photo of Mattei's Tavern restaurant
4.8
4.8 (326)
$50 and over
American
Los Olivos
About the restaurant
Recently opened on November 16, 2022, The Tavern continues her legacy as Santa Ynez Valley's beloved social hub. This California ranch-inspired restaurant highlights flavorful dishes and honest ingredients, many of which are harvested from Mattei’s on-site garden and surrounding local farms. Paying homage to its century old roots, the menu is elevated yet unfussy, offering grilled dishes and vegetables alongside seasonal specialties. The exceptional wine program is a singular and definitive draw of The Tavern. The comprehensive list features a California focused glass list which is complimented by an extensive cellar of Old World favorites.


For informal fare join us at The Bar, Mattei’s Tavern’s most authentic hangout. With a roaring fireplace and fixtures dating back to its 1886 origins, the historic bar and lounge space offers local craft beer and wine, amber hued cocktails and a snacks menu that ranges from bite sized to burger dinners.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
My husband and I had dinner here on a Tuesday evening while on vacation and it was exquisite. We had bread, tuna tartare, the petite filet, the pork chops, the blueberry cake and an affogato as well as drinks. Everything was fantastic. The dishes were cooked perfectly and the portions were on point. We were able to finish every bite, but not left hungry. The service was phenomenal. Staff were knowledgeable without being pretentious, remaining very approachable. Just a divine experience overall, which I expect at that price point.
A photo of Alvarado On Main - Salinas restaurant
4.7
4.7 (75)
$31 to $50
American
Monterey
About the restaurant
Alvarado on Main is an art deco styled restaurant will revitalize the elegant feel of the 1930s in the center of beautiful Oldtown Salinas. Within its walls, a modern sense of craft beer will be combined with a concentration on fresh and local cuisine that speaks to the Salinas Valley.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 13, 2024
Beautiful facility! Good food...great beer & drinks.
A photo of Rosine's Restaurant restaurant
4.7
4.7 (492)
$30 and under
American
Monterey
About the restaurant
Rosine's Restaurant turns traditional American comfort food into an art form. This local family-owned and operated casual dining restaurant has been open for 43+ years. The Culcasi family, owners of Rosine's, have received a bit of national fame as it has appeared on Guy Fieri's show "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives". Rosine's offers indoor and outdoor (pet friendly) dining serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, beer wine and signature craft cocktails. Breakfast offers include Eggs Benedicts, Omelets and a variety of other breakfast specialities. As for lunch and dinner, there is a mix of American and Italian dishes. Some of the most popular dishes on the menu include their Beef Minestrone soup, Chicken Parmesan and Lasagna. Scrumptious sandwiches, fresh salads and burgers are also elevated. They are known world wide for their award-winning house made desserts. A consistent winner with the locals for Best Comfort Food, Best Family Restaurant, Best Desserts + more.
Top review
garycvip
Dined 2 days ago
Overall it was very good, it took a bit for service after seated but once we got going the servers did a great job. We went with Guy Fieri recommendations of minestrone and lasagna, both were excellent and a good value, way more than we could eat. Will go again!
A photo of Norman at the Skyview Los Alamos restaurant
4.5
4.5 (499)
$30 and under
American
Santa Ynez Valley
About the restaurant
We believe in good conversation, comforting food, and a drink list that highlights some of the best winemakers and local ingredients around. Whether you're enjoying an overnight stay at Skyview or just moseying through town, Norman offers a unique and satisfying menu every day of the week.

This is a space to gather with your favorite people for lunch, cozy into a dimly lit corner booth for dinner, or order your favorite dish poolside as the weather is always looking up here in Los Alamos.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jul 9, 2024
We went early and had the restaurant to ourselves. Great service, amazing food that not only tasted so so good but plated beautifully. I highly recommend this spot for a special birthday dinner that's not in SLO county!
A photo of Finch & Fork restaurant
4.4
4.4 (1728)
$31 to $50
American
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
Here at Finch & Fork, we are inspired by the bounty of Santa Barbara's lush farms and rugged coastline. Our attitude is relentlessly local, influenced by the diverse culinary techniques of our neighbors, the subdued, natural colors of our fog-swept cliffs, and the glow of afternoon sunlight on our grapevines. Begin your day with a nourishing brunch or savor an evening of eclectic wines, ingredient-driven cooking, and good company.

Finch & Fork is conveniently located on the corner of Carrillo and Chapala streets in the heart of Santa Barbara’s vibrant downtown. Complimentary valet parking for diners upon availability.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Came all the way from montana to eat here. So glad that I did.
A photo of Tarpy's Roadhouse restaurant
4.5
4.5 (3506)
$30 and under
American
Monterey
About the restaurant
Relax in this 1917 Roadhouse and enjoy creative, Five Star American Country Cuisine. The wood-burning grill provides wonderful flavors for the freshest seafood and prime steaks. Set on five landscaped acres, the patios and extensive gardens provide a refreshing backdrop for hearty sandwiches, vegetarian entrees and tempting salads. Reservations are recommended.We are limited to outdoor seating. Please wear warm clothes for dinner. Not all tables have heat. All tables of 4 we allow 1 hour 30 minutes. Parties of 6 or more 2 hours. If you need more time please let us know. We require credit cards for parties over 6. All guests must wear a mask while entering the restaurant. You may take it off once seated. If your late for your reservation, please call we allow 15 minute grace period.
Tarpy's also offers affordable off-site catering drop offs

Top review
LisaL
Dined 3 days ago
Excellent as always. Our server was very sweet and even wished us happy anniversary.
A photo of Louie's California Bistro restaurant
4.4
4.4 (715)
$31 to $50
American
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
Intimate and exclusive due to it's limited seating, Louie’s California Bistro has long been touted as one of Santa Barbara's favorite local secrets. Unconcerned with flashy food trends, the focus at Louie's has always been to take local ingredients and make them shine, often through classic style cooking and recipes. Add in Central Coast wines and a table on the historic wrap around veranda and you have the makings for a truly enjoyable dining experience. Louie's resides within a local landmark: The Upham Hotel. The Upham, built in 1871, is California's longest continuously operating hotel and is one of Santa Barbara's oldest buildings, having survived the earthquake of 1925.
Top review
Brucedvip
Dined on Jul 7, 2024
A great dining experience! Outstanding food, service and ambiance. Will be on our list of favorites.
A photo of Pacific's Edge restaurant
4.5
4.5 (3262)
$50 and over
American
Carmel
About the restaurant
Nestled on the craggy bluffs of Carmel Highlands and offering spectacular views of the California coastline, Pacific’s Edge lives up to a well-earned reputation as a destination restaurant. Using ingredients inspired by the local bounty from land and sea, a creative culinary team curates seasonal menus complemented by a storied wine list. Where California casual meets refined dining in a one-of-a-kind location, Pacific’s Edge will surely delight all the senses.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 6 days ago
Great food, friendly service, and a view that can’t be beat!
A photo of The Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara restaurant
4.4
4.4 (524)
$50 and over
American
Santa Barbara
About the restaurant
Named “Top 100 Best Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America” by OpenTable, The Bistro offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere to dine and enjoy sweeping views of the coastline. Local produce and sustainable seafood highlight an acclaimed menu of traditional bistro favorites, including brick oven flatbreads, seasonal salads and the signature Santa Barbara burger.

Recent upgrades to The Bistro’s patio include the addition of a cozy wood-burning fireplace, direct access to an oceanfront pool bar, and enhanced outdoor heating to enjoy breathtaking ocean vistas all year long.

Locals can enjoy a 10% discount.

Please note that holiday reservations are only available for in-house guests - room confirmation number is required to officially confirm your dining reservation during these times.


For parties with 6 guests or more a 26% service charge fee will be added to your final bill. For all guests there will be an 8.75% California State tax added to the final bill.

Top review
PS01vip
Dined on Jun 4, 2024
Fantastic service and awesome food! However as a regular to Bacara, the prices are keep on going up and up!!!
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