Cristal's Blog


July 13, 2023

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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and in Santa Barbara, you'll find a plethora of delightful options to start your morning off right. From fluffy omelets and spicy breakfast burritos to stacks of mouthwatering pancakes, this coastal city offers a diverse range of breakfast spots that cater to every taste bud. Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as I share my favorite spots where you can start your day with the best breakfast in Santa Barbara.

Best Breakfast Spots in Santa Barbara

Colorful array of healthy breakfast items including avocado toast, and a platter of fresh fruit displayed on a wood table

#1 Finch & Fork Restaurant
Nestled inside the Kimpton Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara, Finch & Fork provides a sophisticated breakfast experience in a chic and inviting atmosphere. This restaurant offers multiple dining areas, providing both a comfortable ambiance for intimate gatherings and ample space for larger parties. Start your day with flavorsome vegetarian
gluten-free starter, the delicious Farmer's Market Fruit Plate. Or the Smashed Avocado Toast with cucumber, radish, tomato confit, rustic sourdough, chipotle flakes. They also offer several delicious egg dishes. Personally, I can’t get enough of their Seasonal Breakfast Bread served with Vermont cultured butter. Whatever you choose, Finch & Fork guarantees a memorable breakfast experience.

A large plate of delectable-looking French toast, with powdered sugar and fruit

#2 Jeannine's American Bakery & Restaurant
With two Santa Barbara locations, as well as in Goleta and Montecito, Jeannine's American Bakery & Restaurant is a favorite breakfast spot among locals for serving gourmet food in a casual and welcoming environment. While you wait for a table to open up, grab a cup of strong Peet's Coffee or indulge in a cappuccino. Jeannine's boasts a diverse menu featuring French toast with brandy-glazed apples, proper Irish oatmeal, and stacked pancakes. For those with smaller appetites, the daily changing display cases offer an array of treats such as fresh-baked lemon scones and blueberry streusel muffins.

Colorful array of fresh fruit and grains on a large plate and yellow tablecloth

#3 Scarlett Begonia Restaurant
Scarlett Begonia is a restaurant that prides itself on thoughtfully executed dishes made with local, organic ingredients. With a weekly shifting menu, this establishment offers breakfast, brunch, and lunch options that are both creative and delicious. Try their delicious Coconut Parfait, made with house made organic granola, organic cultured coconut yogurt, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, organic strawberries, blueberries, honey drizzle, and mint. I also recommend the Quinoa Oatmeal made with organic quinoa, dried mission figs, seasonal fruit, pistachios, almonds, maple, ricotta, and steamed milk. The brunch tasting menu is a highlight, featuring unique dishes such as a kiwi-laced ceviche or a tortilla soup with purple cornmeal, fried egg, and spiced shrimp. Scarlett Begonia delivers a culinary experience worth savoring.

Eggs Benedict with green Hollandaise sauce and a side of hashbrown potatoes and glass of orange juice

#4 Mesa Café Restaurant
Mesa Café is a popular local favorite known for its bustling atmosphere and delicious breakfast options. Whether you're craving a traditional American breakfast served with cottage fries, hash browns, or fresh fruit and your choice of toast, blueberry muffin, corn bread, or biscuits; or a smoked salmon scramble, this family-style restaurant has you covered. The extensive menu also offers Mexican delights like the chile verde three-egg omelet. While the restaurant can get busy, the service is usually good and pleasant, ensuring a satisfying breakfast experience for patrons.

Display trays of fresh baked goods, including croissants and bread

#5 D'Angelo Bakery
D'Angelo is a unique bakery-turned-restaurant that boasts an impressive selection of freshly baked bread and pastries. Featuring more than 15 bread varieties available each morning, D'Angelo’s menu and inviting atmosphere is the perfect spot for all breakfast enthusiasts. Sample their sandwiches, salads, soups, wraps, and grilled quesadillas, or opt for their signature dishes like the smoked salmon Benedict or poached eggs with artichoke paste on kalamata olive bread. Pair your breakfast with a delicious coffee drink, and you'll have the perfect start to your day.

Another excellent bakery is Bree’osh Bakery Café Montecito, which has become the ultimate destination for locals seeking the finest artisanal offerings, including sourdough breads, pastries, omelettes, and tartines, all accompanied by a delightful cup of coffee. The undeniable evidence of our popularity is the perpetual line stretching out the door, filled with eager customers. Bree'Osh Bakery specializes in crafting sourdough brioche bread and viennoiseries using traditional French artisanal techniques as well as a variety of savory options such as egg sandwiches, omelettes, quiches, and savory croissants and delicious made-to-order dishes, including tartines. Their selection of sweet pastries are to die for, including a delightful assortment of chocolate/almond croissants, cinnamon rolls, morning buns, bostock, and Kouign Amann. Their secret? Prioritizing the use of organic ingredients to ensure the highest quality and taste in every bite.

As you can see, Santa Barbara is a culinary paradise for breakfast lovers, offering a wide range of dining experiences that cater to diverse palates and preferences. Whether you're in the mood for a hearty Southern-inspired breakfast, a sophisticated brunch, or a casual bakery-style meal, the city has it all. From Cajun Kitchen Café’s comforting classics to Finch & Fork's refined dishes, Jeannine's American Bakery & Restaurant's gourmet offerings to Scarlett Begonia's thoughtfully executed creations, or Mesa Café's family-style fare to D'Angelo's bakery delights, Santa Barbara guarantees an unforgettable breakfast experience for residents and visitors alike.

As British journalist, critic, and author A.A. Gill once said, "Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day." If your new day means searching for your new dream home in Santa Barbara or any of the surrounding upscale communities, give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@Montecito-Estate. I’ll happily help you find the perfect place to lay down roots, sunny side up!

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch