About Benchmark Eatery
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.
American, Comfort Food, Burgers
Hours of Operation:
Happy Hour Daily 4p - 6p
W Anapamu St
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Takeout
Benchmark Eatery Ratings and Reviews
This location, beloved for many years as ...
This location, beloved for many years as the eponymous locals' hangout State&A, has a hard act to follow. It doesn't yet quite succeed. Best feature may be the bar, with its excellent layout and skilled service. Food was edible but, we all four agreed, scarcely memorable. Service was attentive, but it was a quiet Monday. The dining room with its concrete floor and plain tables lacks warmth and ambience. Still, with its reasonable prices and some hope that they will tweak things, we will go again.
The family and I enjoy having a meal her ...
The family and I enjoy having a meal here once a month or so. Prices are reasonable for the area and the food is good. As a local tour driver I often recommend this location to people looking for a good place for lunch or dinner.
Good restaurant for proximity to the Gra ...
Good restaurant for proximity to the Granada Theater which has some great shows. Food is average with little imagination or taste. But it is a casual neighborhood restaurant to meet before and after a show. Service was above average and helps to make an enjoyable meal. Would return but keep the earl simple eg hamburgers are the best option.
We went here with a group of 7 for a bir ...
We went here with a group of 7 for a birthday dinner. I wanted to try a new place in town and heard wonderful things about Benchmark. It lived up to the hype. The food was wonderful and well priced for what you receive. Our server was wonderful and attentive. The decor and ambiance is very modern and fits the restaurant well. There was a large party that rented out the patio, which made the inside a bit crowded and loud, however it was still very enjoyable. I will definitely be returning and hope to sit out on their patio next time. One feature I truly loved, especially since we were with a group was how they "split" the check. It still comes on one receipt, however it is broken down by what people ordered and includes the tax for each person. There is no waste of time passing the bill around to figure out what you owe and then figuring out the tax - fantastic!
I highly recommend this place!
I was really pleasantly surprised becaus ...
I was really pleasantly surprised because it was super busy, but the service was EXCELLENT. Our waitress said she had worked at Brophy's for years and had just recently started there. She was super on it and friendly. Food was great.
I've always loved that location and remember it from way back. They have finally got something good going there.
This is a hard one to review... Firstly ...
This is a hard one to review... Firstly we as tourists would never have found the restaurant on our own because it is further up from the old town area, however we found it because of the open table app. We arrived at our hotel later than expected to moved our booking to 8.45pm on the app. There were later slots up to 9.30pm, however on arrival, the waitresses greeted us with "the kitchen closes at 9"... Then when we explained our booking was made on open table... Another waitress called across to say the same thing. We asked why the app would give the the booking times for tables up to 9.30pm and her reply was "well we don't really like open table because it doesn't work for us. We then were rushed to order eat and pay the bill promptly. However the food was excellent... Some of the best we have eaten on our trip from Orange County to San Francisco.
Dinner was good and the server was reall ...
Dinner was good and the server was really friendly, though she hadn't eaten a lot of the items on the menu so she wasn't able to answer some questions.....
The fried pickles and the Brussel sprouts were fantastic. The posole was interesting.
Great restaurant - the hostess and serve ...
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!
Enjoyed a fun dinner on the patio this p ...
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.
Kids' meals were disappointing: burgers ...
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.
Hip spot with no flavor
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.
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.
We went here the other night before a pe ...
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.
This was a surprise
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!
Feeling hopeful about this newest incarnation...
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.
Good Lunch Spot
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.
Very Good Food and Service
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.
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!
Something for everyone
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.
Seemed to be a Local Favorite
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.
Great outdoor dining!
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!
patio was perfect
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!
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