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, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout
Benchmark Eatery Ratings and Reviews
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!
The food was good (Tuna Melt, Carnitas T ...
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...
Good food and good location
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.
Great Evening at Benchmark
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.
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.
Lots of Choices
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.
Benchmark with 6 year old
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.
Love the Benchmark
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!!!
The food was a mixed bag, with most of the dishes just okay. The salad was tasty, but heavier than we'd hoped. The chicken bahn mi was pretty meh, with unexpected stringbeans in attendance. The burrata was yummy, but could have used more mozzarella. The gratis fried chickpeas were very good. The mussels were mediocre.
Incredibly loud. Will not be back
Concrete floor, sheer white flat walls and little to know wood/cloth/cushions equal a cacophany of noise that made it almost impossible to hear or even think.
Lots of people at tables around us were yelling and leaning in to try and hear eachother. Acoustic tile attempt on ceilings did nothing noticeable to relieve this problem. We saw guests just sitting and checking their phones after giving up on trying to have a conversation.
Nothing to write home about
We had been meaning to try Benchmark for some time and are big fans of Brophy Brothers as well as On the Alley. While I like the "industrial" decor it does make for a "cold" environment. In addition, there are not ample heaters on patio for a cold evening. The service started out okay but went down as the evening went on. Food was okay. Fish and chips were very good but veggie sandwich as well as fried chicken sandwich just okay. Prices were fair but most likely won't be a place I will go back.
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