About Benchmark Eatery

1201 State St
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
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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, Outdoor dining, Takeout

Benchmark Eatery Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

value

4.5

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (8)
Bar Seating (6)
Casual (6)
See All
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Happy Hour (5)
Quick Bite (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Good for Groups (4)
Fun (4)
Good for a Date (4)
Good for Birthdays (4)
Comfort Food (4)
Great Beer (4)
Business Meals (4)
Family Style (4)
Neighborhood Gem (4)
Special Occasion (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Outstanding Value (3)
Creative Cuisine (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Modern Decor (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Authentic (1)
Seasonal (1)
Healthy (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Spicy (1)
Cozy (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Scenic View (1)
People Watching (1)
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72 reviews
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The food was great, not too loud, servic ...

 
 (New England)·Dined 6 days ago

The food was great, not too loud, service was timely and the waitress was friendly. Not a huge fan of the modern look of the interior, but overall it was a very enjoyable dining experience.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Always a great staple for a date night, ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined 6 days ago

Always a great staple for a date night, dinner/drinks with friends or a quick bite. The menu and drink selections will satisfy everyone. The food is quality, tasty and a good value.

Tags: Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Scenic View, Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Quick Bite, Great Beer, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Late-night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Groups, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is an excellent pre-theater place f ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on February 7, 2017

This is an excellent pre-theater place for dinner as it is right in the Santa Barbara theater district. The food is good and the atmosphere is Pleasant

Tags: Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Family Style, Sunday Lunch, Quick Bite, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

My friend and I were planning to attend ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on February 4, 2017

My friend and I were planning to attend the SBIFF Outstanding Performers Award ceremony, featuring award winners Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, so we wanted to enjoy a meal beforehand. Benchmark Eatery, which is only about one and half blocks from the Arlington, turned out to be a great place with delicious food. Since we arrived during the happy hour, I was able to order from the happy hour menu. I enjoyed the tacos and Brussel sprouts, cooked in a most delicious way. I want that recipe! My friend enjoyed a meal from the dinner menu. We spent an hour eating and talking about the SBIFF. My husband and I attended another SBIFF event at the Arlington the night before, featuring winner of the Maltin Modern Master Award, Denzel Washington. We ate elsewhere last night, but for anyone wanting to enjoy some good food with some good friends, a date, or all alone, try the Benchmark Eatery. Not only is the food good and reasonably priced, the staff is also attentive and friendly. Thanks, Benchmark. See you again!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Gluten Free Options, Casual, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

I've been here many times and really lik ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on January 19, 2017

I've been here many times and really like this restaurant. Their shrimp tacos are delicious. I tried the pimms cocktail for the first time and can't wait to get again

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Casual, Fun, Great for Lunch, Modern Decor, Hot Spot, , Business Meals, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Had tickets for the Granada for my husba ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on January 11, 2017

Had tickets for the Granada for my husband's birthday and wanted to give Benchmark Eatery a try. We were amazed at how great the experience was: food, service, ambience... the restaurant is a winner. Will definitely go back!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Spicy, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Late-night Find, Great Beer, Quick Bite, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Family Style, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Friendly and fast service; tasty food in ...

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Friendly and fast service; tasty food ina cool but casual setting. Glad they were open for New Years Eve and did not have a high-priced set menu! Our family loved it!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Family Style, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Very casual, somewhat cavernous space. ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Very casual, somewhat cavernous space. Solid cocktails and food. Convenient to the Granada Theater.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience2
service3
value4

Best Mai Tais around and the half fried ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 24, 2016

Best Mai Tais around and the half fried chicken is bomb diggidy. Great service, great atmosphere. A must go to.

Tags: Hot Spot, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Seasonal, , Authentic, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Family Style, Great for Lunch, Disabled Access, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Healthy, Great for Brunch, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Casual, Comfort Food, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our first visit - we enjoyed it. Had my ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 17, 2016

Our first visit - we enjoyed it. Had my parents in from out of town and they liked it, too. Menu has something for everyone and staff was friendly and fun. We'll be back!

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Great Beer, Great for Outdoor Dining, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

Hamburger is always to dry...2nd time it ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 16, 2016

Hamburger is always to dry...2nd time its happened...they just can't make a good cheeseburger.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

This location, beloved for many years as ...

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 11, 2016

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.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

The family and I enjoy having a meal her ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 10, 2016

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.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Kid-friendly, People Watching, Good for a Date, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Food was ok. Not crazy about fried pick ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 9, 2016

Food was ok. Not crazy about fried pickles and posole had too much stuff in it that didn't belong in it.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food2
ambience2
service2
value3

Good restaurant for proximity to the Gra ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 3, 2016

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.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Casual
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

We went here with a group of 7 for a bir ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on September 17, 2016

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!

Tags: Fun, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Modern Decor, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Good for Groups, , Great Beer, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

I was really pleasantly surprised becaus ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on September 11, 2016

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.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

This is a hard one to review... Firstly ...

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on September 5, 2016

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.

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food5
ambience4
service1

Dinner was good and the server was reall ...

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on August 29, 2016

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.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

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
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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
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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!

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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

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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
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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
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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
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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.

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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!!

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food1
ambience1
service1

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