We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great view of the ocean and islands”

Boathouse at Hendry's Beach
Ranked #28 of 570 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$9 - US$25
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Romantic, Bar Scene, View, Groups, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: We are not a dog friendly establishment, though located near a dog friendly beach.
Reviewed 18 March 2015

My friend from Jerusalem was here this weekend, and I took him to the Boathouse for Sunday brunch.

To me, the food here is just average, and pricier than it needs to be. But the view of the ocean and the Channel Islands offshore just can't be beat. As a local I can see the beach anytime, so I usually only come to the Boathouse when I am bringing out-of-town guests. They love it! My friend kept interrupting our conversation to rave over and over again about how he just couldn't believe he was sitting there eating breakfast looking out at the Pacific Ocean.

The restaurant is situated almost right on the sand, raised up just a few feet from where the beach starts. It's a real beachy scene here - lots of barefoot people in shorts, bringing their dogs to the beach. This is one of the best "dog beaches" in Santa Barbara, where dogs are free to run off leash, chase Frisbees into the waves, etc. There is always a happy vibe at this beach. This is also one of the best places in Santa Barbara to watch the sun setting into the ocean, which you don't see from downtown.

Last week I saw whales spouting just offshore at this beach, very close in. Mothers and their calves that were born in Mexico this past winter are heading north to Alaska now, and the mothers and calves stick close to shore. My friend asked if I could order up some whales to swim by on Sunday, but we just saw lots of seals, seagulls and California brown pelicans swooping along in a long line with their wings almost skimming the water. Really, what a beauty! Sometimes I see dolphins here. On Sunday the tide was out, and we looked into tidepools. We had a lovely walk down the beach after brunch and my friend couldn't have been happier.

Sometimes people dress up to come to this restaurant, but there are also lots of patrons in shorts and flip-flops. No dress code here. Just lots of happy people.

So the food was average, and it cost almost $40 for the two of us to get omelets and toast and coffee. But it was worth it.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank HappyTrails12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
justine b, Guest Relations Manager at Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2015

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and bringing in new patrons when they are visiting you in gorgeous Santa Barbara. We hope to see you back soon!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (969)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

574 - 578 of 969 reviews

Reviewed 12 March 2015 via mobile

This is a great spot. The views are breathtaking. While we waited for a table we grabbed a drink at the bar outside and saw two whales! Wait staff was friendly to our group and the food was awesome. I had the shrimp quesadilla and my wife had the lobster tacos. Both tasted fresh and delicious. Would love to go back!

3  Thank mattheweilers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
justine b, Guest Relations Manager at Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2015

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. We are happy to hear you had an enjoyable time and got to enjoy some of the sea life passing by! We hope to have you back again soon!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2015 via mobile

This place was definitely worth the short drive from our hotel. It's located literally on the beach on the upside of the cliff drive. Simply gorgeous. The food was good and service was also friendly and accomodating. Call ahead to put your name on the waiting list if you don't have a reservation.

2  Thank fishy100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
justine b, Guest Relations Manager at Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2015

We are very happy to hear you had a great experience while dining with us. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and we hope to see you back the next time you are in town!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2015

We really enjoyed our dinner and the experience at the Boat House. Attentive and fun server, fresh seafood, nice wine list. The whole package. And the views are beautiful. Very relaxing. Will be back when we visit again.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Tammy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
justine b, Guest Relations Manager at Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2015

Tammy,
Thank you for sharing your great experience with us. We look forward to having you back soon!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2015

The Boathouse came recommended and the location promised so much. The reality was disappointing. We had to sit indoors as the courtyard was full and the first table we were seated at seemed okay but we had to ask to be moved as the noise impact from closely adjoining tables was overpowering. Recommended as a fish restaurant we chose the 'fish and chips' option but this arrived overcooked to such a degree that the coating was inedible. The staff were attentive but the constant banging of the restroom door prevented our anticipated enjoyment. Overall this restaurant has pretensions way above its capabilities and a pricing structure that reflects this.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Annie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
justine b, Guest Relations Manager at Boathouse at Hendry's Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 11 March 2015

Hello,
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We are sorry to hear you did not have as enjoyable experience as you were expecting. Fish and chips is one of our most popular dishes so we are surprised to hear it was not enjoyed. We appreciate all feedback because we are always looking for ways to improve.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Boathouse at Hendry's Beach also viewed

 

Been to Boathouse at Hendry's Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing