Joe’s Cafe is an acclaimed American steakhouse and upbeat bar that’s been the centerpiece of Santa Barbara’s dining, drinking, and socializing since 1928. Our commitment to offering great meals, stiff cocktails, and a friendly ambiance has made Joe’s Cafe a downtown destination for generations of locals and visitors alike.
Renowned for serving up a great evening out, Joe’s Cafe transforms seamlessly from a neighborhood restaurant to a lively bar as the evening progresses. Many visitors start and end their night at Joe’s Cafe.
Joe Ferrario, an Italian immigrant, and his wife Adelina bought the Channel Bar in 1928 -- and Joe’s Cafe was born. The advent of the Great Depression the next year did little to squelch Joe’s enthusiasm for owning his dream restaurant. His hard work and magnanimous personality quickly established Joe’s as a favorite.
The repeal of the 18th Amendment in 1933 ended 14 years of Prohibition. Seizing the moment, Joe became a distributor of Acme Beer, brought from San Francisco by boat and unloaded at Stearn’s Wharf under tight security. The good times – and draft beer – were here again.
Joe’s Cafe flourished during World War II with the opening of two sub-assembly defense plants in Santa Barbara. The transplanted servicemen and workers enjoyed the friendly environment of the restaurant and the potent beverages at the bar.
Our menu is hand crafted, modern American favorites in generous portions. Diners can find everything from prime steaks and chops, savory lamb shank, market fresh seafood and vegetables, classic sandwiches, pastas, daily soups, burgers, vegetarian entrees, and salads.
On weekends, Joe’s Cafe buzzes as people flock to our extensive breakfast menu that offers something for everyone. Remember - pancakes absorb alcohol!
Joe’s Cafe is tended by a welcoming and accommodating staff – some of whom have worked for us for 40 years. The experience we’ve gleaned as the oldest restaurant in Santa Barbara ensures you receive our trademark excellence.
For decades, Joe’s Cafe has been lauded for our award-winning cocktails – sweeping the “stiffest drinks” category year after year. The restaurant boasts a robust wine selection, favorite beers, and top shelf martinis and specialty cocktails.
Over the years, we’ve maintained the nostalgic charm and unassuming elegance that have become the hallmark of Joe’s Cafe. Our seductive speakeasy atmosphere features comfortable leather booths, red checkered tablecloths, pressed tin paneled ceiling, and a prominent wooden bar flanked by classic photographs.
Open every day, Joe’s Cafe is filled with the hearty handshakes and warm smiles from our gregarious staff and familiar guests. We’re always awash with a sea of conversation and laughter.