If you think vegan cuisine is boring, you probably haven’t eaten at Mesa Verde http://mesaverderestaurant.com/ restaurant in Santa Barbara. Don’t let the rather unassuming exterior put you off either – Mesa Verde is situated some distance from downtown between a gas station and a convenience store, but once you are inside, you can forget all about the surroundings and focus on the excellent food. However, if you want to eat outside, there is a pleasant patio area.
Mesa Verde has had almost all positive reviews on several of the most popular review sites, with more than one customer saying it is the best dining experience in the city. Many other reviewers point out the attentive and helpful staff, and the overall great service, regardless of the time of day and how busy the place is. Mesa Verde is open for lunch and dinner, from 11am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and for brunch at the weekend, from 11am to 5pm. But of course, it’s the food that people drive out of their way for, and that has led to all those glowing reviews.
Share plates, or appetizers, include cheese dishes, tacos, polenta fries and flatbread with hummus. Main courses include a mushroom lasagna, mushroom risotto and a traditional Moroccan fez. There are several flatbread pizzas to choose from, and a variety of salads. Drinks include herbal teas and coffees, and a selection of juices and smoothies. The owners pride themselves on using only the freshest of local ingredients, and buy much of their produce at the city’s farmers’ market. One other appealing thing about the food is the way it’s presented, and it really does look as good as it tastes. Mesa Verde is located at 1919, Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara, about a 3 mile drive from downtown, and within easy reach of Highway 101. The phone number for the restaurant is 805 963 4474.