About Benchmark Eatery

1201 State St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
View Larger Map

Located in the heart of Santa Barbara; BENCHMARK eatery is focused on delivering value driven dishes and generous cocktails, all in a comfortable environment. Individuals, couples, families, locals and/or tourists will all find Santa Barbara’s BENCHMARK eatery to be a solid representation of the surrounding community.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American, Comfort Food, Burgers

Hours of Operation:
Daily 11:30a–10p
Happy Hour Daily 4p - 6p

Cross Street:
W Anapamu St

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(805) 845-2600

Website:
http://benchmarkeatery.com/

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout

Benchmark Eatery Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

4.4

ambience

4.2

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Outdoor Dining (13)
Good for Groups (9)
Great for Lunch (9)
See All
Kid-friendly (8)
Special Occasion (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Fit for Foodies (5)
Neighborhood Gem (5)
Great for Brunch (2)
Scenic View (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Sort By:
Newest
53 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

Second meal at this location, enjoyed th ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Second meal at this location, enjoyed the food on both visits. The whole family was happy.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

This is our favorite place in town. Good ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

This is our favorite place in town. Good service and good food.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great restaurant - the hostess and serve ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

Great restaurant - the hostess and servers were very welcoming and we had a fab night on the terrace - we all had a lovely night and enjoyed the food and atmosphere. Wish we had a Benchmark Eatery near us at home!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Really good dinner. Great space. Fried c ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

Really good dinner. Great space. Fried chicken was excellent. Thought it was an excellent value.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Recommended by a local and well worth th ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

Recommended by a local and well worth the visit. Great food, reasonable prices and friendly service. Highly recommend it.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value4

Enjoyed a fun dinner on the patio this p ...

vip
 (Toronto)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

Enjoyed a fun dinner on the patio this past Thursday evening. The restaurant has live music on Thursdays, so it added some fun to the evening. Servers are great, very friendly and attentive. My husband and I shared some guacamole and chips to start, and each ordered tacos for dinner. All were tasty. A nice relaxing evening, nothing fancy, but enjoyable.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

LOVED Benchmark Eatry

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on May 30, 2016

Amazing food. Great atmosphere. Super friendly staff. Fantastic cocktails! Get the burrata.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Kids' meals were disappointing: burgers ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on May 9, 2016

Kids' meals were disappointing: burgers and chicken were dry and bland. Had to ask for BBQ sauce for chicken. My kids are not picky eaters, so it was hard to encourage them to eat their dinner. It is a kid-friendly environment but kid selections were not impressive.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value4

Hip spot with no flavor

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

We were first attracted to this restaurant because of its website and mission statement. The servers and hostess were very good, and the ambiance is pretty hip. But the food was less than mediocre. We got the recommended fried pickles that were over done. We tried the baked clams that were mostly just crumbs, and one of which had gone bad. My husband got the "fried chicken" and it was dry, the panko crumbs were barely cooked, and there was no seasoning to speak of. The one item that was fairly good was the fish taco; the flavor was nice but it was also under seasoned and under sauced, leaving us wanting something saucy to pour over it. Overall, we were quite disappointed and left wondering if the chefs or cooks actually taste their food. We would not recommend this restaurant to our friends.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value2

Wonderful patio and lively environment f ...

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on March 27, 2016

Wonderful patio and lively environment for groups of four or more. Food is very good and prices very reasonable.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

Good

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on March 24, 2016

Benchmark wasn't the fancy dinner I was aiming for with its casual feel. The food was excellent, the vibe was relaxed and service fast and friendly. The ribs were excellent and the rosè was decent. The brusselsprout appetizer was fabulous. The child steak and fries was just enough food for our 12 year old. Overall good for a last minute week day dinner, like we needed.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value2

I came here with a big group on a Friday ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on March 12, 2016

I came here with a big group on a Friday night and was surprised the ambiance seemed like we were there are 4pm on a Thursday. Food was average, prices were great.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4

We went here the other night before a pe ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on January 31, 2016

We went here the other night before a performance at the Granada Theatre, which is right across the street. We had read from the reviews that it was noisy, in part due to the cement floors, but we were seated inside and didn't think it was too bad. Outside would have been more loud. My husband had a tuna melt sandwich which he said was good. I had the Bolognese Papardelle which was excellent. The pasta was perfectly cooked and there was a perfect ratio of sauce to pasta. The portions on both entrees was just about right which meant we didn't have any leftovers. We would definitely go there again, especially on a night when we had a theatre performance downtown. Our service was Katy B. and she was very knowledgeable and friendly. The service was prompt without making us feel rushed.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Loud, hard room, which was cold and draf ...

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on January 28, 2016

Loud, hard room, which was cold and drafty, plus indifferent service, made the decent food less appealing.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience2
service3

This was a surprise

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on January 20, 2016

Arriving in town for one of those "0" birthdays, I wanted a special place to meet my long time friend for lunch. I picked something out of the tourist sites, but she is a local who recommended this place. Was she ever right! From the deep-fried garbanzo bean treat served to all guests (Yumm!) to my ahi-tuna and white bean dish (in some amazing sauce) this place was non-stop wonderful. The outdoor dining made it even more special. The staff was friendly and the service great. This IS the Bench mark for Santa Barbara. Aptly named!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Good location. Solid food. Great kids me ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on December 12, 2015

Good location. Solid food. Great kids meals. Good prices

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

Best Casual Place in Town

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on December 6, 2015

I have dined many times at Benchmark and every time it has been a very pleasant experience. Go there!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Feeling hopeful about this newest incarnation...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on November 13, 2015

After 20+ years of watching this particular location at "State & A" struggle with poor food, inept or uncaring service, or outrageously overpriced fare, I thought I'd give Benchmark a try. I was pleasantly surprised, and will definitely be back to try more. I had the chicken Bahn Mi sandwich, and while it wasn't perfectly *authentic* it was delicious on its own right, and definitely something I'd order again. The fries were good, but nothing special. My companion's burger looked great. The fried chick peas that you start with are really good and tasty. I'll be back.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5

Good Lunch Spot

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on November 10, 2015

I had the seafood pasta, which was delicious. 6 large shrimp, 6 mussels, and 4 large clams over a small bed of lemon fettuccine, which was just enough pasta to not overwhelm the dish. The mussels were especially good. When you are seated, your server brings a small bowl of hot, buttermilk-fried chickpeas to the table. My husband and I were a bit dubious at first, but after one taste, we were sold - they are really good, and a nice 'pre-appetizer' while you wait for your meal.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4

Great salads and prompt service. Will be ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on November 8, 2015

Great salads and prompt service. Will be back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5

They took them cancelled my reservation. ...

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on October 17, 2015

They took them cancelled my reservation. Not happy!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1

Very Good Food and Service

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on October 7, 2015

Four of us ate here before a concert at the Granada Theater across the street. The waitress was very good about getting us our food, drinks and bill on time. We all said that our meals were very good. My husband especially enjoyed the ribs. There is indoor and outdoor seating. Very casual Santa Barbara crowd of all ages.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

First time here - Will definitely come b ...

vip
 (Orange County)
·Dined on October 2, 2015

First time here - Will definitely come back. Great place for lunch eating outdoors total shade and cool beach breezes.

Our waiter MG was friendly and entertaining

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Business Dinner

 
 (Orange County)
·Dined on September 16, 2015

This was my second visit to Benchmark and I was not that impressed with the food as I was last time! I had the Ahi and it did not taste fresh, one of my clients had the Salmon and said it did not have a lot of flavor! The service, atmosphere, and outside was good are table was ready upon arrival and staff was very accommodating. I will return, but wish they had a little more of the Brophy menu and a larger selection of appetizers!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4

Wow, excellent food. We had a large grou ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 7, 2015

Wow, excellent food. We had a large group and everyone was very pleased with the meal, kids included. I want to go back so I can try all the other awesome looking dishes on the menu.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4

Something for everyone

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 6, 2015

Party of six different palates. A foodie, a vegetarian, a pescatarian, & kids...all left very content. I thought the place might not be suitable for the kids, but it's actually super kid friendly. We ordered pizzas, benchmark burger, fried chicken, tuna, and gelatos. Everything was pretty good.

Definitely will be back.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3

The poblano pizza was delicious. It was ...

 
 (Nashville)
·Dined on August 1, 2015

The poblano pizza was delicious. It was one of the best pizzas I have had. The sangria was also great.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Seemed to be a Local Favorite

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 30, 2015

Loved this restaurant. The food was great and it seemed to be very popular with the locals. I had the pozole with carnitas. It was a small bowl but extremely filling. It was packed with meat. Next time, I think I would order the carnitas on the side so I could taste more of the soup. Very filling for a hungry girl. It came with a side salad with lemon citrus dressing. I loved the dressing so much, I asked and was given the ingredients to make at home. My friend had the fried chicken. It was fabulous. It was a full half chicken, de-boned, breaded and fried. I will return to this restaurant the next time I'm in Santa Barbara.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4

Good food, good experience. Will be back ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on July 9, 2015

Good food, good experience. Will be back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

Great outdoor dining!

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on July 5, 2015

Loved sitting on the outdoor patio. Great view for people watching. We had the kids with is and they had a great kids menu and wikki stix to keep them entertained. Loved the pulled pork sandwich and excellent service. Food came out quick too!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

patio was perfect

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on June 21, 2015

We were passing through Santa Barbara and found Benchmark Eatery on OpenTable. It was exactly what we were looking for. We sat on the patio, enjoyed some Sangria and split a few items. The charcuterie plate was great to share. We loved the location, as we were on a busy corner and got to enjoy the people watching on a sunny afternoon. This would be a great spot for a group setting!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

The food was good (Tuna Melt, Carnitas T ...

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on June 21, 2015

The food was good (Tuna Melt, Carnitas Tacos and Benchmark Burger) and the service friendly! We will definitely be back to try other stuff on the menu. Tasty non-alcoholic cocktails, yummy strawberry crisp for dessert! Minimalistic decor seemed a little cold but everything was clean and they have a great patio, perfect for people watching! When the place is full the atmosphere is probably hopping...

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

Local Gem

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 19, 2015

The food, atmosphere, people and service were wonderful.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Good food and good location

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on June 14, 2015

It's right in downtown Santa Barbara, parking was no problem if you park in a nearby lot for $5 (3 hr limit) and use the extra time to explore the neighborhood. We reserved a table for 8 at lunch time

Seated with no problem, service was helpful and friendly, and our order was served promptly. One small mix up serving a side of fries instead of salad, but it was quickly and apologetically remedied. Recommend the onion rings and/or fried pickle appetizers.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5

Great Evening at Benchmark

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on May 9, 2015

We dined here on Friday with our two young children. The service was awesome! They made sure to bring the kids food out first and with two plates without being asked.

As a diner I love a restaurant that brings table snacks. The fried chick peas were delightful. The cocktails were really tasty. The food was delicious and the portions were generous. I'll be going back.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

Supper friendly

 
 (Orange County)
·Dined on May 9, 2015

They called prior to see if we wanted to sit inside or outside.

It had been a little chillie so we picked inside. All servers were

Very friendly and the food was good. We had the fish and chips and

Took advantage of their happy hour that they have every day.

We were in Santa Barbara for a playoff game between Santa Barbara and the

Fullerton Hornets. Great time.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Lots of Choices

vip
 (Virginia)
·Dined on May 6, 2015

I had the fried chicken sandwich with a huge side salad. I liked that the chicken wasn't heavily breaded and was very tender. Husband had the beef short ribs with mashed potatoes and broccolini. He said it was very tender; the meat fell right off the bone. He had the chocolate pot de creme, which he said was one of the best he'd ever had.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5

Benchmark with 6 year old

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on May 6, 2015

Benchmark was child friendly and had a decent kids menu however we didn't realize the kids chicken dinner was chicken pesto. This makes a big difference to a six year old. The staff was friendly. This restraunt has a big patio for groups so it does get loud. The interior looks like a steakhouse with a lot of wood.

Tags: Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4

Very relaxed great covered outdoor patio

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on April 4, 2015

Fabulous service, great variety of foods to choose from. Fish, chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian, vegan options. Fried pickles are super.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5

Love the Benchmark

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on March 22, 2015

The Benchmark is now one of our Santa Barbara favorites! We love the patio and watching the world go by as we enjoy fabulous cocktails and a wide range of great food with something for everyone. The staff is always super friendly and helpful. We have a wonderful time every time... you won't be disappointed!!!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.