CLOSED: Spiritland Bistro

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 9 reviews )



230 E Victoria St (at Garden), Santa Barbara, California, USA, 93101

Serves meat, vegan options available. Specialties include vegan dishes and raw food options. Items on menu are marked as vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, egg free, and/or soy free. Some vegetarian items can be made vegan upon request. Reservations suggested. Reported closed to HappyCow.

Categories: American, International, Organic, Beer/Wine, Non-veg

9 Reviews

First Review by irlandaise

Not Vegan Friendly - Edit

There were two vegan items on the menu, and one was a salad sans dressing. Hardly vegan friendly.

There are plenty of other vegan friendly places around. No need to waste your time with this one.

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Loved our dinner! - Edit

We had Eggplant Moussaka and Vegan Special of the day and both were delicious. Wait staff was nice, attentive and helpful in picking out a vegan wine. The place is small so if you're going on a weekend you might want to make a reservation. If I lived in the area I would definitely be a regular!

Pros: Excellent food, Great vegan selections, Knowledgable staff

Cons: Small restaurant

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What's with teh bad reviews? - Edit

Stopped here on way back from Pismo beach. Read the negative reviews, but didn't have any other options as we were starving. This place was a pleasant surprised. Found our service to be extremely friendly and on top of everything. I can see where it might get slow if the restaurant gets packed as there were only 2 servers for the whole place. Anyone who has ever served should be understanding of the fact that there is only so much 1 person can do!

Had the raw lasagna and spiritland salad (only 2 raw entree options on the menu). My boyfriend and I had to fight over the lasagna it was so tasty! I can't speak for any of the cooked dishes but they had some rawsomeness going on for sure! Dessert was the raw key-lime mousse - a definite must! Yummy yummy yummy!

It was slightly pricey but you get what you pay for! Fresh organic foods will cost a little bit more. The place also had a nice atmoshpere. Had I not been covered in sand from the dunes I would say it would make a nice evening out for dinner.

Pros: raw foods, fresh, friendly service

Cons: slightly pricey

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A perfect dinner experience - Edit

We had an great time dining here. The atmosphere quiet cozy and elegant, (there's a couple table outside too.) The service was impeccable, the food outstanding and there were plenty of creative, delicious vegan options, including great desserts! It is a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for, this high quality food is worth it.

Pros: Great food, Excellent service, Lot's of Vegan options

Cons: Pricey

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yummy but pricey - Edit

I love the food here. The hours are a little funky and it's quite pricey, so I use it as a "special occasion" place. The only bad experience I had was when I wanted only one dish from a three-dish special they had, and they wouldn't let me. So I paid $30 for a bowl of soup. I thought that was a little lame. But the food is great.

Pros: Delish!, Healthy!, Nice space!

Cons: Pricey, Can't order a la carte from specialmenu

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cute restaurant - Edit

Spent a luxurious 2 hours here having dinner and didn't feel rushed which was nice. Very cute home like atmosphere. Artichoke dip was great, grilled avocado salad was great. My entree was just ok, I had the Italian risotto which didn't have much flavor, and the Greek mousakka which I just didn't like very much. Then I had the lavender and honey creme brulee which was fantastic. Overall great place for a nicer meal.

Pros: atmosphere

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Best Vegan Dessert Ever! Best Milkshake! - Edit

Based on other reviews, we tried the Spiritland Bistro on our recent getaway to Santa Barbara and had a pleasant experience. Entrees were $16-$25. They offer a more organic upscale dining experience than the usual hippie Vegan/Organic casual places. The food presentation is artistic. The restaurant is small but sweet in the decor. Our waitress was very accomodating and friendly. The Asian stir fry entree I had was very average (as a Vegan I don't consider cutting up tofu and putting it with vegetables and rice Vegan cooking as there is so much more to being Vegan than baked tofu), however, I will say that I had the best Vegan chocolate cake of my life there! And my boyfriend thought the milkshake he had was the best ever - so this romantic little hideaway gets an A+ for sweets.

Pros: Best Vegan Dessert Ever! Best Milkshake! Charming atmosphere. Friendly & Very Attentive Waitstaff
Cons: Vegan Entree was very average

Pros: charming atmosphere, best vegan dessert, best vegan milkshake

Cons: so-so entree

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Nice presentation - Really OVER PRICED!!! - Edit

My husband and I ate here ONE time and haven't been back. To be fair, the ambiance was cozy, food was okay, looked really pretty when it was served, but the portions were microscopic! We were totally shocked when he bill came! They even charged for the water they served us! Not to mention my dessert; $9.00 for a martini glass full of chopped mango and coconut shavings (it came with some fancy name that made it sound exotic)! I'm really not one to fuss about the price of a nice dinner out, but this was outlandish for what we actually got. All told, the bill was upwards of $80 - and we didn't even order wine!

Pros: Nice Ambiance

Cons: OVER PRICED!, Small Portions, Very Expensive Ice Water!

2 Responses
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Hugo 22 Feb 2013 - I have just read your comments about these restaurants because I was curious to see your thaughts being that I have dined at four of them. I noticed that you wrote that you don't usually fuss about price but it seems as though you have in each review. So just to shed some light that firstly Spiritland Bistro and Mary's Secret Garden are both "ORGANIC" Bistros. So on that note I am wondering if you may or may not realize the cost of ORGANIC produce wich by the way is AT LEAST 4 or 3 times as much. So to pay $12 for a regular sized ORGANIC salad is actually resonable. But I must say when I saw the comment that you made that FOLLOW YOUR HEART is pricey. Wow thier prices are comprable to Denny's because so is thier food. I think that they are a sad excuse for vegan food but thier prices are DEFINETLY resonable. Either Way i just thaught I could shed some light and inform you that I am an organic chef and you would be amazed how much money is spent on organic food especially when it is being prepared in a classic or artistic way. For the most part I feel people appreicate the organic food and have no trouble with the price because freshness and love are the first to flavors they taste. Peace and light  

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irlandaise 22 Feb 2013 - Well, Hugo, I certainly seem to have hit a nerve! I'm GUESSING you're in some way (professionally) affiliated with "Mary's Secret garden" - maybe you're the chef? Considering you're from Ventura, your website is, and the only review you've written on Happy Cow is for Mary's Secret Garden, I think you may be a little biased. If I were in your place, I would probably try to encourage the dissatisfied customer to give your restaurant another try and do everything possible to make their second experience a positive one. I have no problem with spending extra for a special meal, in a nice place, with delicious food, but when I leave dissatisfied with the food and feeling light in my wallet I mark it down as a one-time experience.
I actually am very familiar with ORGANIC produce and ORGANIC restaurants - and yes there can be a price difference, but not as extreme as you paint it. And just to set the record straight, I did in fact say that Follow Your Heart restaurant in Canoga Park had "VERY AFFORDABLE" pricing (and EXCELLENT food!)
And FYI, the word "thOUght" is not spelled with an 'a' ("thAUght"). Just THOUGHT you'd like to know.  

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Really Organic and Good - Edit

Here they go to great lengths to make sure the food is organic and present a special flavor of the world each week. Small intimate atmoshpere with good service. A special find!

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