Arts & Letters Café
We walked into this place and just loved the atmosphere. The courtyard, the fountain, the garden make this place so very special and to get to the courtyard you have to walk through a small art gallery. It was such a great location to have our reception. We ended up with 52 guests and it worked out beautifully. Lisa Neustad, the Arts & Letters Cafe restaurant manager, was very helpful and always returned my e-mails within a day. I must have e-mailed her a million times with all sorts of questions and she always sent back an answer within a day. Lisa also made a small platter of all of the appetizers that we ordered for us to taste. That was a great surprise! The reception itself was run on time and the wait staff was great and efficient. Everyone had a great time and we all got our food in a timely manner. Again, I would highly recommend Arts & Letters Cafe as a reception site. This place is best for a smaller wedding.
We needed a place booked with less than 1 months notice and they did an amazing job. The food and wine was excellent, the art/mural room was breath taking, and the staff was wonderful. We had the whole outside patio to ourselves. The ambiance was gorgeous!
The Arts & Letters Café serves classic California cuisine with an emphasis on local seafood, all set in our beautiful courtyard in the heart of Historic Arts District in downtown Santa Barbara. We serve lunch seven days a week from 11-2:30.
In all of his menus, Chef Avery Hardin participates in the Santa Barbara First program to ensure the freshest ingredients. He uses farmers, ranchers and vendors with local ingredients and sustainably raised seafood to prepare his fare in the California tradition. Range fed, antibiotic and steroid free, pesticide free, and organic are our buying preferences. The Café is also pleased to offer a fine selection of California Wines and a Full Bar.
The private Courtyard is the main dining area of the Arts & Letters Café. The seating capacity is limited to 100 people for a formal sit down event. Seventy five of the seats are open garden and twenty five are in the adjacent De Forest Gallery.
The garden was designed in the tradition of the walled gardens of Spain and Mexico. The central fountain fills the garden area with the sound and sight of water. Whenever there is a chill, the garden is heated. Whenever the sun is too bright, umbrellas are brought to the tables.
The De Forest Gallery (adjacent to the Courtyard) is particularly well suited to private meetings and serves as a secondary exhibition space for the Sullivan Goss Gallery. The space encompasses about 800 square feet including a Full Bar. Exhibitions rotate regularly.
The Arts & Letters Café also seats people on the Front Porch of Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery. Elevated a few feet from the street and separated by a wrought iron railing, the Front Porch is the perfect place to enjoy the Café’s wonderful food while still immersed in the excitement of the street scene of Santa Barbara’s gallery row.
Come find out why we have been a local favorite for nearly 20 years or why the New York Times made our pumpkin soup famous. Chef Avery Hardin and our professional staff will take good care of you.