Blog – Paradise Cafe A Santa Barbara Classic Since 1983 Fri, 10 Nov 2017 05:49:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 72607785 It Was a Sign Sun, 01 Oct 2017 19:38:44 +0000 Continued]]> While age and experience don’t always indicate intellectual improvement, three things become apparent:

  1. The Earth’s rotation has shortened slightly, making the years go by faster.
  2. Gravity’s influence has increased, making one’s journey back upright from tying shoes more challenging.
  3. The classics only get better with age.

The Paradise Cafe is now in its fourth decade of existence with 35 years of serving oak-grilled excellence. Generations of Santa Barbarans have grown up here and the children of some of our original crew are waiting on you today. The building is over 100 years old and has a lot of stories to tell…this is one of them.

The La Paloma Cafe operated from 1938 to 1981 and entertained the likes of the Marines based in Goleta, the UCSB Gauchos of the Riviera Campus and movie star Leo Carrillo. The iconic neon signs and murals were created in 1940.

When we took over in 1981, the name change to “Paradise Cafe” was a natural for two reasons. First, “La Paloma” and “Paradise” are the same number of letters, and second, that spacing allowed us to retain the original “Cafe” part of the sign, saving a few of the rare dollars we had. The use of neon was frowned upon per the City’s sign ordinance, and so ensued a major hearing in front of Council. At the end of deliberations, Council Member Lyle Reynolds told a short but poignant story about his days at the News Press during WW11, and how the city would be subject to blackouts from time to time. Truly an intimidating time in Santa Barbara, given that Elwood had already been bombed. He said that when the blackout ended the first lights he saw were the warm neon signs of the La Paloma, which let him know that everything was going to be alright.

That story tipped the balance and the Paradise Cafe sign lets you know you’re going to be alright today. So, break free from oppressive gravity and come re-visit a local classic.

Paradise Cafe Pick Up and Go Catering Menu Announcement Tue, 09 May 2017 06:19:08 +0000 Continued]]>

Paradise Cafe just improved your life!  Organize a group lunch for the office and expose your true genius to your boss, a catered feast for your book club, or delicious nourishment for you and your fellow knot-heads to watch the playoff game.

A selection of our most popular sandwiches and entrée salads are now available for larger groups, priced and packaged for your convenience.  All necessary serving utensils and condiments are included with your order.


We request 24 hours in advance for the order, and allow cancellations up to 3 hours in advance.

To place an order, call 962-4416 or email

We look forward to catering your next office meeting or social gathering!

April 3, 2017 Tue, 04 Apr 2017 05:40:29 +0000 Continued]]>

The Paradise Cafe has long been known as “The Quintessential Santa Barbara Restaurant”.  Located one block of the main hub of State Street, the cafe is in a century-plus aged building adjacent to a trellis covered garden patio. All grilled items are prepared over the City’s first live oak grill, and speak as tribute to our regional tradition of flavorful meats and seafood, accompanied by amazing local wines.  Santa Barbara is a world renown architectural and aesthetic setting, but any local resident would tell you that no visit is complete without a stop at the Paradise.  The building dates back to 1915, making it one of the few structures downtown to survive the 1925 earthquake, and has elements that depict the art deco era of the early 20th century.  The upstairs dining rooms serve as a gallery for the originals of some of our local artists such as Hank Pitcher, Michael Drury, Ray Strong and selected others.

Some have quipped that “if the world ended tomorrow, Santa Barbara wouldn’t even know it for 10 years…”  Here at Paradise, we don’t actually dwell in the past, but savor a very pleasant present.  Come join us to experience a little of Santa Barbara’s true flavor, and find out what generations of Santa Barbarans have known for four decades…