About The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara

1134 Chapala St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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Proudly Serving Santa Barbara since 2007!



The Hungry Cat Santa Barbara retains the same focus as the Hollywood and Santa Monica Canyon locations: fresh, high quality fish paired with fresh, locally sourced ingredients from nearby farmer's markets.



Our rotating raw bar showcases Pacific and Atlantic oysters, clams, Santa Barbara sea urchin, raw and marinated fish dishes, crab and lobster.



The Bar at the Hungry Cat specializes in seasonal, market driven cocktails, craft brews and an eclectic wine list made for seafood.



We are open daily serving dinner, with brunch on the weekends.



Happy Hour is available Monday - Friday, from 4pm to 6pm.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Seafood

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11am-3pm
Happy Hour: Tuesday - Friday: 3pm-6pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday 5pm - 10pm
Friday 5pm - 11pm
Saturday 5pm - 11pm
Sunday 5pm - 10pm

Brunch Saturday & Sunday - 11am - 3pm

Our famous raw bar is served throughout the day

Cross Street:
Anapamu

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(805) 884-4701

Website:
http://www.thehungrycat.com/home-1162.php?loc=sb

Parking Details:
Street Parking is available and we are located 1/2 a block from 2 SB Public Lots. Enter off Chapala Street.

Executive Chef:
David Lentz

Private Party Facilities:
Our recently added Dining Room can be reserved for parties from 6 to 12 people. The perfect size for a small celebration, wine tasting or business lunch.

We are also available for larger parties with advance notice. This may require a complete restaurant buyout.

Private Party Contact:
Bob Van der Veer: 8058844701x

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Promotions

NEW BRUNCH MENU

Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Details
Check out our weekend brunch menu! Beignets, Jessica's scramble, buttermilk-fried chicken & waffles, house-made biscuits and gravy, shrimp & grits, steak & eggs and burger w/ bacon-onion jam. Sea urchin & raw bar available. Bottomless Mimosas $18. Excludes Tax and Tip. Cocktail specials along with favorites like Luke's lemonade,Pimlico & Disco Nap. Special valid Jan 20, 2016 - May 20, 2016 on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
WEEKEND BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS

Sundays and Saturdays from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Details
Join us for brunch every Saturday and Sunday and indulge in 'Bottomless Mimosas', only $18.00. Excludes Tax and Tip. Special valid Mar 13, 2016 - Jul 10, 2016 on Sundays and Saturdays from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

The Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

3.9

ambience

3.7

noise

Moderate

71% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Seafood
California Central Coast
Best Restaurants in Santa Barbara ›

fit for foodies (18)
neighborhood gem (10)
special occasion (5)
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vibrant bar scene (5)
hot spot (5)
romantic (3)
great for brunch (3)
great for lunch (3)
notable wine list (2)
late-night find (2)
good for groups (2)
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271 reviews
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food3
ambience4
service4

This was overall a fine experience. The ...

Dined 3 days ago

This was overall a fine experience. The oyster shooter came way late and the artichokes dish was partly burnt (so they didn't charge for it), but the crab leg was delicious and the clam chowder was excellent.

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

The Best Meal in Santa Barbara!

Dined on April 24, 2016

An amazing meal with great wine and service from the bartender. Get the clams and chorizo!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food1
ambience2
service3
value2

Very disappointing.

Dined on April 17, 2016

A seafood restaurant should be able to do seafood well. Not Hungry Cat. If I were said feline, I'd choose to eat elsewhere too. Muddy flavors, overcooked octopus, ridiculously saffron-y sauce, brussels sprouts that taste only of old oil. Eew.

food3
ambience4
service3
value3

Usually love but this time, really disappointed.

vip
Dined on April 10, 2016

One of our favorites for consistently great and innovative cooking. This time however, a few things really fell flat. Pre dinner oysters still had not arrived When salads were put before us. The waiter acted like he'd done this on purpose but it was clear he'd forgotten. Roasted Brussels sprouts were incredible, chorizo and clams always Devine. However, two orders of local halibut were very dry and tasteless. We were not in the habit of sending things back, but should have here since the dish was quite pricey and had been touted as a special. We will return but were not happy.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5

Fantastic experience! Highly recommend. ...

vip
Dined on April 1, 2016

Fantastic experience! Highly recommend. Seafood platter was amazing and fresh. Clam chowder was a cut above any chowder I've had before with flecks of paprika and a drizzle of olive oil with a kick of spice. Our waiter was top notch.

food1
ambience1
service1
value1

Great for People with Low Expectations

Dined on March 21, 2016

If you like a grim, dingy ambience, terrible food and mediocre service, this is your place. We ordered three different entrees and it was hard to tell which one was the worst. The waiter spoke in a whisper and we had to ask him to repeat himself several times. I had out-of-town guests with me and was completely embarrassed by this place. NEVER again. I am shocked that this place is highly rated on the web. There was absolutely nothing to recommend it.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fantastic!

Dined on March 13, 2016

Our meal was absolutely incredible! Shrimp and Grits were the BEST I've ever tasted and the Eggs Benedict was amazing with Kale and Crab Cakes! The bottomless mimosas were made with Cava and fresh squeezed, in front of your eyes, orange juice. I would go back in a heartbeat! Wait staff was excellent!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious!

Dined on March 6, 2016

It was our first visit to Hungry Cat and we were definitely impressed with the food AND the service! The fried brussels sprouts were out of this world and the chocolate bread pudding was worth every calorie! It was a bit pricey for our budget , so we see it as a special occasion place. I look forward to trying brunch on the weekend.

Tags: special occasion, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

Every single time we've visited the Hung ...

vip
Dined on March 5, 2016

Every single time we've visited the Hungry Cat, in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara (which has been infrequent since we don't live near them), we walk away completely satisfied by their excellent cuisine and service. The wine list is small but varied in sensible selection at all price ranges. I will definitely recommend them to anyone as destination restaurants.

food5
ambience3
service5
value3

Excellent Seafood

vip
Dined on March 5, 2016

Really fresh & delicious seafood. Highlights included fresh uni, local mussels, scrumptious branzino from Italy, Pacific lobster, and clams & chorizo. All dishes were beautifully prepared with excellent sauces & seasonings. A terrific place for seafood lovers with friendly, knowledgeable, and professional service.

Tags: fit for foodies
food4
ambience4
service4

So many wonderful items on the menu, BUT ...

Dined on February 27, 2016

So many wonderful items on the menu, BUT clams with chorizo, OMG! Such a wonderful blend of flavors. Nice wine list and the oysters wee excellent.

food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Exceptional food but insist on a good table

Dined on February 21, 2016

The food is sensational and will keep us coming back. However, there is a 2nd seating section with terrible lighting where the service isn't as good. Either newer servers are assigned to this section because it's smaller or the section just isn't as top of mind. You have to LOVE your food in order to like your experience if you are in this section. Fortunately we did. Solution: don't let them seat you in this side section. Request the main room when you make your reservation.

Tags: fit for foodies
food3
ambience3
service3
value2

ODD VALENTINE'S DAY TASTING MENU

Dined on February 15, 2016

I'm certain that the everyday menu is good, with fresh seafood and balasnced offerings. Unfortunately, the Valentine's Day tasting menu left a lot to be desired. The salmon with beets has very little salmon. The Peruvian scallops were nice but dull. The Branzino for two was the best Branzino I have ever had. And then there were the deseerts: a lonly very ordinary flowerless chocolate cake and a desconstucted lemon pie where the lemon filling was on the bottom in a glob with clumped balls of merang and slices of crust at pretty angles. No matter how you ordered on the menu, the meal could not be balanced with anything green to give the meal balance. If you offer a tasting menu then there should be a few surprises that are not on the menu -that are served - an amuse bouche - a green something. We visit Santa Barbara often and were hopeful about this meal because of the reputation of the restaurant - and we may come back some time - but not soon. Wine list is short but fine

food2
ambience2
service3
value2

oyster heaven

Dined on February 15, 2016

This is the place if you want oysters. There is an extensive bar menu. I would recommend this restaurant to those who like noisy, crowded places with small meal portions and high prices.

Tags: fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience4
service4

Food was very good. Service was very goo ...

Dined on February 15, 2016

Food was very good. Service was very good. The restaurant is a little pricier than other restaurants of some more quality. That being said, it was an overall good experience.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Yum

Dined on January 31, 2016

Had an enjoyable meal. Service was great, loved the food. Restaurant feels too cramped though.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service4

Amazing & freshest seafood. Not a touris ...

Dined on December 24, 2015

Amazing & freshest seafood. Not a tourist trap...this is our go-to for seafood going forward whenever we are in Santa Barbara!

food1
ambience4
service5

huge disappointment

Dined on November 29, 2015

went there and the place's practially empty! service was nice. menu is what's really disappointing, we went there with great expectation but there's nothing we want to order on the menu or the specials written on their board. we left without ordering anything. they must improve the menu, it's not attractive at all.

food3
ambience3
service3

Thanksgiving dinner

Dined on November 27, 2015

We were there for thanksgiving and the food was very basic and not very tasty and it was too expensive for the quality.

food3
ambience1
service1
value1

Treated poorly

Dined on November 26, 2015

Overdue review. We went for Thanksgiving, in between family gatherings, as it was my daughter's 21st bday and I wanted her to have a little celebration (and her first 'drink') outside of the holiday. I chose the place, as I thought it would be a cool, hip, local spot. Expensive, no not some place she would go with friends. I gave CC# and booked on-line with note about bday. Then called to confirm - The person confirmed Reservation, asked me to come in earlier... I thought the place must be booked, but, it wasn't - only a few tables occupied. When we arrived, no proper greeting, seating next to door. Started apps and drink with one waitress, then when my mom arrived, had to ask a server to get her a drink (10+ min. after arrival). Then, we had a different server - no introduction or explanation. My mom doesn't eat shellfish, so we ordered her the Thanksgiving dinner ($75), there wasn't any fish dinner plates available. My daughter and I ordered crab, mussels, oysters, veggie apps, etc. etc etc.. We mentioned among ourselves that we would just share, family style. The waiter heard and said that sharing the Thanksgiving dinner wasn't allowed, but, that was a lot of food! We had to ask that finished dishes be taken away, wait for drink orders. And worst of all, they treated us like an inconvenience (I think they were preparing for the bigger, later dinner crowd) and said not even a 'Happy Birthday' to my daughter. Such a disappointment all the way around and expensive!!! And the shellfish wasn't anything special. For a foodie local, big bummer!!!

food5
ambience3
service4

Fantastic food!

Dined on November 26, 2015

Wonderful food, 100% of the time. Suggest upgrading the decor a bit ~ perhaps change out the chairs and tables???

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5

We ordered one dozen oysters and sparkli ...

Dined on November 21, 2015

We ordered one dozen oysters and sparkling wine. Everything was wonderful and we plan on coming back.

food5
ambience4
service5

Under appreciated treasure

Dined on October 30, 2015

The Hungry Cat consistently serves the freshest locally caught seafood items - especially the Santa Barbara sea urchin. The menu is innovative. The caviar service is the best to be found in the area. Just one block from State Street many visitors miss this place - but locals know this is a real treasure!!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

One of SB's best in upscale-casual

Dined on October 25, 2015

I make a point of coming here at least once a month for a nice, lingering dinner and cocktails. Service is stellar, and Bob the manager is gregarious, professional, and welcoming.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5

Amazing seafood.

Dined on October 24, 2015

We had the "Hungry Cat" sea food tower to which we added a fresh sea urchin and it was amazing. The service was great, even with a new server involved.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5

Great find in Santa Barbara

Dined on October 23, 2015

We went on a Wednesday evening, the staff was friendly and helpful with the menu. The caesar salad was outstanding.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
food2
ambience2
service3

Overpriced for moderately good food.

vip
Dined on October 16, 2015

Food was okay, and both food & wine were overpriced. Had to pay for bread for the table, and least expensive (small pour) glass of wine was $17.

food5
ambience3
service4

Scrumptious !

Dined on October 5, 2015

Went on a Sunday night was almost empty on arrival by the time we left place was very busy. First time here . So glad we went ! Shared 3 items on menu size of portions were on the smaller end so it was plenty for two . Lobster roll perfect toasted bun and lobster prepared just right. Grilled octopus also perfectly grilled very fresh. Pasta with braised short ribs was my favorite !

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Delicious as usual

vip
Dined on October 5, 2015

Hungry Cat never lets us down. The service is attentive but not hovering, the food and drinks are always great. The seafood is fresh, the burgers good and the brussel sprouts are a must.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience4
service4

A Delicious Find!

vip
Dined on October 4, 2015

The restaurant manager welcomed us and gave us a table by the window. Our server was sweet and gave us awesome recommendations. My three favorite dishes of the evening had to be the Fresh Uni, Charbroiled Seabream and Brussels Sprouts (the latter two recommended by her). The only dish we didn't care for were the Peruvian scallops - it lacked flavor and salt. Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I would certainly dine here again when in Santa Barbara. There are apparently also two locations in L.A. for the Angelenos!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience4
service4

Fresh flavorful seafood at a fair price

Dined on October 3, 2015

Fresh flavorful seafood at a fair price

food5
ambience4
service5

I love the two tier entree, seafood is a ...

vip
Dined on September 23, 2015

I love the two tier entree, seafood is always fresh and delicious. Service was excellent and the cocktails were great too.

food5
ambience5
service5

Some of the best food I've had in years.

Dined on September 6, 2015

Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and corn soup were surprising and excellent, along with superb grilled fish and seasoned lobster roll. Very much better than might have guessed, or hoped - tried to return for the lunch the next day, but schedule got tough, so ordered takeout! Will be back soon.

Tags: fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food3
ambience5
service5

Pricy. Stick to the wine.

Dined on September 3, 2015

The tab sure jumped up quick here. I loved the service and the wine selection. The cheese pairings weren't great in my opinion and the cocktails were too fancy. Stick with the Spanish wines and clams.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
food3
ambience3
service3

Everything about Hungry Cat is good. Fo ...

Dined on August 31, 2015

Everything about Hungry Cat is good. Food, service, etc. But for $200 for 2, not including tip, it should be more memorable.

food5
ambience5
service5

We come here every year for my birthday

Dined on August 9, 2015

We look forward to it all year. It would not be the same if we didn't come here. We usually sit in the front but we had the back section. That is really nice and quiet. I think I like it better back there. You can see into he main area and look outside. cool!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

super satisfied cat

Dined on August 2, 2015

I came in hungry, and left the restaurant extremely satisfied. Was in Santa Barbara for the weekend, looking to eat some of that amazing Santa Barbara sea urchin. We weren't having much luck til we got to Hungry Cat. Got some great sea urchin here, along with an amazing combo (Tier 1) of seafood. Everything on that tier was delicious (shrimp, lobster, clams, oysters, and the wonderful sauces). We also ordered a pappardelle, which was also super tasty. Nothing disappointed. Everything was superb. We came right at 5pm, when dinner starts, and no one was there. I was surprised, as I believe many people are missing out. I think they have the best seafood in SB! Must come here again!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food2
ambience2
service3

Need better quality assurance

vip
Dined on July 16, 2015

I was disappointed in my special of grilled sea bream (dorade). I've had this fish grilled in European restaurants and elsewhere in the US, so I know its proper preparation. This version was charred black on both sides to the point that the skin was burnt into the dry flesh. It was inedible. The kitchen should never have let this dish into the dining room. It should be obvious to a trained chef when a piece of fish is cooked well past correct doneness. The restaurant should not leave it to the customer to have to raise his voice in complaint. It means that I was having to perform their job, yet I am supposed to pay for my meal. I was offered a substitute dish, which put me out of synch with my dining partner. Hungry Cat should have comped me the substitute dish just for the insult. Many restaurants will comp a dish when they force a diner to wait for a replacement. My other concern is just the waste of life when a chef cannot correctly cook a fish. That fish deserved more respect.

food4
ambience4
service4

Perfect fit

Dined on July 15, 2015

We were looking for someplace to get some nice fish. We were recommended Hungry Cat by a place we had wine the night before. The fish selection wasn't what we expected. They have a large offering of shell fish, but are light on just fish. But our lunch being what it is... it was TACO TUESDAY! Great fish tacos on freshly made corn tortillas. Yum! Oh.... and two words... brussel sprouts!!! Omg! Theses things are sent down from above! They are so good. they have a nice selection of beers, wine and cocktails, but that is kind of a given for this neighborhood I'd guess. We had a great time at The Hungry Cat and would recommend it to a friend.

Tags: fit for foodies
food4
ambience5
service5

Food was great

Dined on July 1, 2015

The Snapper ceviche and grilled octopus were top-notch! They were full of great flavors and were wonderfully prepared. Their tiered seafood presentation was beautiful and fresh. The service was attentive and professional. It was a great experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, hot spot

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