"Buy fresh, buy local" - the locavore mantra - is going (and growing) strong here. Locals have long practiced this healthy way of life, and now it's easier than ever for visitors to get in on the delicious act. Restaurants ranging from burger stands to high-end emporiums of fine dining make it a point to use fresh Santa Barbara County ingredients - even the local ice cream shops use fresh fruits from the area for their dreamy ice creams, gelati and sorbets. The farm-to-table movement extends the concept by strengthening the bonds between farmers and diners - some local farms even host dinners where the ingredients have traveled just a few feet.
Are you ready to live like a local? (Hope you're hungry.) Start by digging into Santa Barbara's traditions: Celebrate our Latin heritage by sampling homemade sopes or creamy flan at casual family restaurants. Zip up to northern Santa Barbara County for world-famous Santa Maria style barbecue - marinated beef tri-tip slow roasted over native red oak. Stop off in Solvang for an authentic, irresistible Danish pastry - don't miss the aebleskivers (pancake balls with raspberry jam, dusted with powdered sugar ... mmm). Back in Santa Barbara, slurp up some freshly caught local seafood at the harbor and pair it with a Santa Ynez Valley wine ... now you're getting the hang of it.