Sunday in Santa Barbara: Paradise Cafe and Plum Goods


There’s no better way to spend a Sunday than idly strolling down State Street in Santa Barbara and perusing the shops. With my family in town for the weekend, I decided to meet my dad and his fiancée for a quick bite to eat at Paradise Café—a quaint restaurant about a block away from the stops and shops of State Street. The place has been around since 1983 and has been a local favorite ever since. Hell, it’s even pointed out on tour buses. And after months of hearing about this café that my parents had visited years ago, it was time to check it out for myself.

Paradise Café is located on the corner of Anacapa and Ortega in downtown Santa Barbara. Outdoor seating dominates with select seating indoors. Brunch was well underway and my dad had already finished his first bloody Mary of the morning by the time I got there. We all opted for sandwiches and Cokes; although I’m told the burgers and key lime pie are out of this world. My dad worked on a second bloody Mary and reminisced about his last visit to the restaurant, some decade or two ago, and assured me that nothing has really changed.

My Father and his fiancee were headed north to San Luis Obispo and I had a heavy wallet that begged to be emptied along State Street. Happy to join me for a few hours, the three of us cruised the shops, keeping an eye out for home décor that would fill my then bare apartment. We came across a small mom-and-pop shop, Plum Goods—a store filled with handmade and eco-friendly merchandise. It’s hard to leave the store without buying something, and I couldn’t—walking out with a huge handcrafted and hand-poured spice candle that looks lovely on my counter.

By that time, it was starting to get late and I still had errands to run near home. We slowly crawled back to the other side of State Street, hugged goodbye, and drove off in opposite directions.