Benchmark Eatery

4.2
117 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Happy Hour
  • Special Occasion
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
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Cuisines
American, Comfort Food, Burgers
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Hours of operation
Daily 11:30a–10p
Happy Hour Daily 4p - 6p
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Phone number
(805) 845-2600
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
W Anapamu St
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Takeout
What 117 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on June 12, 2018

Met before the Bowl for dinner. The Brussels sprouts were awesome and I loved the chopped salad.

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4.0Dined on May 24, 2018

Good casual food!

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5.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Great food. Wonderful service! A little noisy but we sat inside and it was much better.

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3.0Dined on May 5, 2018

I would give it an overall Meh...I would rather spend my dining money someplace not so loud, and while we had reservations, they stuffed us inside between 2 parties with kids (there were plenty of tables outside with just couples like us, and all adults.) The garlic clam appetizer was pretty good. The Cioppino was pretty basic, nothing to write home about, and the seafood was cooked perfectly, not overdone. Partner had the eggplant parmesan, and it wan't over the top (and we had to ask for bread to go with it...not sure what was up with that.) Waiter didn't come around too frequently, so he lost out on additional drink/beer orders.

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3.0Dined on April 29, 2018

Enjoyed a very nice casual brunch last Sunday. Liked the patio dining and veggie benedict was tasty

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5.0Dined on April 25, 2018

Very good food and service. Very noisy. Excellent value.

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2.0Dined on April 22, 2018

Came here for a birthday and even mentioned it when I reserved my table and nothing was even brought up or mentioned about it. The food was great and drinks were flavorful but mixed drinks over priced for the little alcohol content. Waiter was not attentive and every time we ordered more drinks it was from someone else asking if we wanted another but wasn’t our waiter; maybe it was the manager? AND for a Saturday night it was slow so not sure if the waiter just didn’t like us? He was more attentive to a table of 5 ordering water and two appetizers than he was us who was spending over $100 bucks for two people. Server made me feel like I was inconveniencing him and rushed us. We were there for two hours, ordered 6 drinks, two appetizers and two full entrees and he acted like we were wasting his time. I didn’t feel appreciated as a customer. Overall service is lacking but food was great. Not sure if I’d come again based on service.

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4.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Great service

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Baby back ribs are extremely meaty and tender. Burgers are very good too.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

great food, great service, good prices, good drinks.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Overall great place, going again later this week!

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4.0Dined on March 12, 2018

My Brother and sister-in-law were in town we took them here for dinner, drinks were very good (old school) was great, service was great food was good burgers are awesome Half rack of ribs was a little salty for my taste but was good. the soft tacos were very messy but tasted great all in all 3 1/2 stars

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

The manager, Nora is outstanding. She runs a great operation. The other manager, Pete is hilarious and makes you really feel right at home!

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4.0Dined on February 21, 2018

We go here when going to a show at the Granada Theater across the street. The food is good, the service is spotty. It's a busy place on show nights, and not enough staff for the extra Influx,would be my guess. We just plan for the extra time at this point.

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2018

I had the Pork Banh Mi and it was incredible!!!! Cozy outdoor seating with heaters and a beautiful view of state street. Very reasonably priced delicious food.

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5.0Dined on January 26, 2018

Excellent place to dine inside or in the outside patio. Great ambiance, friendly bartenders. We sat at the Bar and ordered appetizers and cocktails. It was so relaxing and beautiful. All the staff was courteous and answered our questions regarding appetizers. Restrooms were super clean!

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1.0Dined on December 2, 2017

Too much loud noise from noisy groups sitting near us

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4.0Dined on November 24, 2017

Visited recently for a family dinner. Family of 5 includes picky eaters and foodies and Benchmark Eatery fit the bill perfectly. Everyone was very pleased with their selection. Fish tacos in particular were rated as "excellent" - and they're quite large. Other items selected include pulled pork sandwich on fresh brioche bun - "delicious." Carnitas tacos and seafood pasta were both devoured. All food was fresh and servings were ample. Although we ate inside, they have a beautiful, large patio area that looks like it would be a great place for drinks and people-watching. If you're looking for a solid, reliable, restaurant with a well-rounded menu, Benchmark Eatery hits the mark. You will not be disappointed.

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4.0Dined on November 22, 2017

Big portions

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5.0Dined on October 21, 2017

My husband and I love to go here when we are in Santa Barbara. We love the roasted chickpeas that they serve. I love the variety of salads that they offer. I got the spinach salad and added a piece of salmon on top. It was excellent.

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5.0Dined on August 29, 2017

Great food for adults and kids. Friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere. Will definitely go back when in town!!

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4.0Dined on July 15, 2017

Great burgers!

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4.0Dined on July 6, 2017

The kitchen forgot to make our dessert but our waitress was incredibly nice. Not the best benchmark experience but they are great 99% of the time so I can't complain much.

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5.0Dined on July 3, 2017

Coming from LA, my daughter and I were pleased with the ambiance and the waitress was attentive and cheerful. We were able to split the half fried chicken, abd the salad dressing was to die for! Excellent food at a great value.
They should sell the salad dressing!

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3.0Dined on July 2, 2017

Nice open layout. KFC flavored chickpeas was a nice welcome treat. Was turned off by dirty spoon for the clam chowder. Bottom of spoon still had a gross piece of yuck stuck in it. Lemon drop martini was great. Salmon size was a tad small. Braised short rib was so-so. Generous portion of bland green veggies and a good size mashed potatoes. It was just ok. Nothing too memorable to warrant a return . We want to rate it a 4 but the dirty spoon was just GROSS.

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5.0Dined on July 1, 2017

My fiancée and I had the most wonderful dinner at Benchmark Eatery! We ate on their outdoor patio. The ambience is romantic, yet casual. The food and drinks are very affordable and of the highest quality. We will definitely be going back there again soon, and I highly recommend this restaurant!

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4.0Dined on June 17, 2017

Getting seated took longer than expected but it was an overall great experience.

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5.0Dined on May 21, 2017

Benchmark never falls short! We are happy every time we dine here. It is our favorite Special Occasion restaurant. Great food, amaxing wine list and a relaxed fun vibe. Check out the NY Steak Skewers and Fried Chicken Sandwich...but whatever you do, DO NOT leave without trying the chocolate cookie dessert...and don't fool yourself, go for the Large!

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5.0Dined on May 14, 2017

We ate here for Mother's day lunch...came from LA. It was lovely. Great food, service and ambiance. We will definitely return.

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2.0Dined on May 13, 2017

The service was horrible. Our waitress was MIA the whole time.

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4.0Dined on May 6, 2017

My husband and I met my dad and his girlfriend for dinner and everyone loved what they ordered. There were plenty of vegetarian options (my husband and I are both vegetarian) and the pozole appetizer was outstanding!

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3.0Dined on April 29, 2017

I order steamed mussels frequently and these were not up to standard. I'm from SF Bay Area and these mussels were not up to par. Too large and very chewy to eat. I ate 1/4 of my meal. My friend experienced the same.

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2.0Dined on April 28, 2017

The service was slow ... the food was as pedestrian as the menu. With all the other better choices in SB., we would not return to this restaurant at all
It was much better as Maggie's

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2017

Nice atmosphere and great service. Food was delicious

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2.0Dined on April 22, 2017

We were underwhelmed with the food (sopes & Arlington burger - ordered medium rare, arrived well done) but the service was good. Enjoy your chickpeas!

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4.0Dined on April 19, 2017

Great atmosphere. Indoor - outdoor. Big portions on food.

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2017

My girlfriend and I decided to take a road trip to Santa Barbara on Easter Sunday. We stumbled upon this place from using OpenTable. We arrived in the late afternoon and were both hungry after driving about an hour and a half. We ordered fried calamari as an appetizer but after we placed our order the server brought out a complimentary serving of deep-fried chickpeas. My only knock would be that the chickpeas came out after we were there long enough to order the appetizer. It was a lovely day and our server was nice. I ordered the fried chicken sandwich and my girlfriend ordered an opened faced tuna melt and a drink called a La Paloma. We were both thoroughly satisfied with our meals. Although it's not oceanside dining, the food and location are still good enough to sit and people watch. The food, service, and prices are a great overall value and I suggest anyone that visits Santa Barbara to stop by.

You can't go wrong selecting this place for a nice meal.

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5.0Dined on April 11, 2017

Fun in-town eatery. We went because we heard that the people who started Brophy's opened Benchmark. The food Was really good and even served those great garlic baked clams you can only get at Brophy's.
Our server was friendly and knew the menu well.
Definitely worth a stop if you're in Santa Barbara.

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3.0Dined on April 9, 2017

Service was friendly but sporadic. The girl kept disappearing for ages. But when she was there was very friendly and helpful. The food is more like what you want while drinking (a lot) but not really what you want for a nice, quality meal. Tons of fried bar snacks, weird chicken wings that were basically half a chicken and made me stop eat meat again (that is an upside though). Convenient location across from Granada, good for patio dining or large parties but again, more to have snacks while drinking rather than a place to eat.

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3.0Dined on March 24, 2017

This restaurant was so noisy we could hardly hear each other- if you go there request NOT to sit outside- that's where it was so noisy.

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