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Cold Spring Tavern, Santa Barbara

4.6
#1 of 7 in Nature in Santa Barbara
Mountain · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Cold Spring Tavern was established as a stagecoach stop in 1865. Originally known as the "Cold Spring Relay Station", it was a horse changeover and meals break station. The tavern is located 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara, California, in Cold Spring Canyon, which is about a mile off Highway 154 along Stagecoach Road (in the San Marcos Pass area).

The tavern serves steak, lamb, venison, duck, and rabbit.
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Cold Spring Tavern reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
590 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Unique spot in the side of the mountain. Delicious tri tip sandwich and friendly staff. We loved this lunch stop on our way through the area. Lots of kids around. Highly recommend! 
    Unique spot in the side of the mountain. Delicious tri tip sandwich and friendly staff. We loved this lunch stop on our way through the area. Lots of kids around. Highly recommend!  more »
  • Loved this former stagecoach stop. Food was tasty; waiter was excellent; scenery was incredible. Well worth the trip. 
    Loved this former stagecoach stop. Food was tasty; waiter was excellent; scenery was incredible. Well worth the trip.  more »
  • Got this place recommended by a friend and we were not disappointed. The place is super cute and cozy. The service was great and the staff very helpful. The food was amazing and the portions were... 
    Got this place recommended by a friend and we were not disappointed. The place is super cute and cozy. The service was great and the staff very helpful. The food was amazing and the portions were...  more »
Google
  • Rode in with a few friends this past weekend and as always a great stop with live music, great food and drink. Parking was a challenge as always especially if your on a bike. We decided to have some appetizers and 4 of our friends were already seated inside. We sat at the table next to them and had great nachos and onion rings. I told the waiter Riley I was paying for our table as well as our friends next to us. Could not believe that 2 nachos, 2 onion rings & 1 cup of chili cost $87.92!! I looked at the bill and saw a "large party" fee after every item. Are you freaking kidding me? I was ready to leave a 20% tip till I saw these fees. Although the food was great, but not worth $22.80 including "large party" fee. Talk about gouging!!! P.S. there's very limited handicap access in them hills.
  • Stopping here for some food and drinks is a must if you're in the area. It does get very busy so you may have to wait a while for table service. You can add your name to a list and enjoy some of the live music. We ordered our food from a lovely staff member named Rae. The sandwiches came out very quickly. Make sure to ask for some BBQ or mustard horseradish sauce to put on your sandwich. Overall, it was a very fun atmosphere. Enjoy. P.S. Make sure you know how to get there/where you're going beforehand because you'll be without cell service.
  • The tri tip sandwich is famous and I can see why. The vibe is laid back and fun. Cold spring has amazing views and most of the action is outside on weekends. Finer dining can be had as well. Come hungry and thirsty!
  • I can't believe how popular this place is, considering the location. It's fantastic though. Ashley was our server and she was completely awesome. You know that when a server is as enthusiastic about the menu as she was, it's going to be good. And it was great. Try the apricot beer.
  • I was camping with my dog in the vicinity and wanted to check out this tavern. My practice is that I always check first with the business on their position with dogs prior to bringing my dog out of the vehicle. Upon arrival I noticed a sign posted at the host stand that read: Absolutely no dogs allowed due to health concerns. Definitely a rare situation in California no less but certainly the managements given choice. We quietly left. If you’re planning to visit leave the dog at home and be sure to check the hours ahead of time. They are open Thursday through Sunday with altering hours each day. It’s an easy drive from California State Route 154. You’ll enjoy the scenic route and the fantastic view of Cold Spring Arch Bridge from below.

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