Okay, so IV food culture is perhaps one of the most interesting I’ve ever experienced. There is nowhere else on the planet, outside of maybe New York, where you can get a pastrami and mozzarella stick sandwich at 3AM. IV food ranges from surprisingly healthy to downright hangover cures and we honestly recommend you sample a little bit from everywhere.
To the luck of our thin wallets, many of the IV restaurants have deals, whether that be weekly or biweekly, to incentivize people to try them out. Woodstocks is chief amongst deals, they have everything from Pint Night to, on occasion, pizza size upgrades.
It’s not too difficult to figure out these deals, as most restaurants in IV want you to try them out and they’re pretty keen to tell you why. Our personal recommendation is 1) don’t rush yourself, you’ll have time to try everything and 2) Head on into these places because they’re gonna need the business and if they don't get it, we’re gonna be so, so sad when they have to permanently close up shop.
Additionally, we also would like to point out that there are several grocery spots in IV and Goleta for all those who are inclined to cook. Albertsons, Costco, and Target are all located on either side of Storke Rd and Hollister Ave in Goleta.
Additionally, IV Deli, IV Market, andIV Co-op (support local!) are located within IV and they definitely have the items you need if you need them right away. Be aware, though, that sometimes these places will be a bit more picked over than other stores given the sheer volume of bodies in IV.
IVO's Top Restaurants (in no order):
Bagel Cafe- The Super Emma on an herb cheese bagel. Try it.
Freebirds- Despite ten years of experiencing the disappointing cost of the burrito always increasing, the good ol veggie burrito packed with guac may be the best we've ever had. Also, big shoutout to the quesadilla, because they load those up like nothing you’ve seen before. Definitely recommend a plate and fork with this.
Naan Stop- Rock solid Indian food. Spicy Coconut Chicken Curry and Saag Paneer. (Try Apna Indian Kitchen in downtown Santa Barbara too)
Hummus Republic- If you are looking for something on the fresher side, Hummus Republic's warm kale and couscous bowls hit the spot, especially when you can add Chicken shwarma, tzatziki, or falafels in there.
The Habit- We're not one to generally support large chains, but the cost for quantity on a fast, juicy burger and fries is pretty solid.
Zocalo's- A fairly new restaurant that is a great spot for some simple, authentic street tacos and Mexican breakfast items like Chilaquiles.
IV Deli Mart- They have some wicked burgers and sandwiches and they’re open late. Enough said.