Via Maestra 42

3343 State St, Santa Barbara
(805) 569-6522

Recent Reviews

Mauro Colombo

Un piccolo angolo Di sapori ,calore e la qualità della cucina Italiana

Sue Dunham Danielson

Lovely restaurant with European ambiance and excellent food, including handmade pasta. Small, so plan accordingly!

P. Gribbin

Phenomenal. My absolute favorite. Wow is it a treat :) Every time!

Hayley B.

This is the most amazing Italian place ever. The food is absolutely delicious. It's a tad bit expensive but definitely worth it. The people who work there are super nice too. Very good experience .

Chelsea C.

Obsessed with this little place! My fiancé always gets the lasagna and he says it's the best he's ever had!! I always get the ravioli and it never disappoints! They have some amazing home made desserts as well.

Laurie Robinson

A true taste of Italy! Everything was amazing from the staff, to the food, to the wine! Even the local at the table next to us shared her dinner with me! We can't wait to return!

teresa henriksen

The most Exquisite pumpkin ravioli with Crispy sage and brown butter.?

Mickey A.

So happy to see that Via Maestra 42 has received some recognition as Runner-up for Best Italian Food in SB through the SB Independent. They truly make it an Italian dining adventure each time we arrive. And the servers are always helpful in recommending new dishes, and pair them nicely with their extensive list of Italian wines. Keep an eye out for the daily specials, and try to save room for the many Italian dessert specialties. Always very good. Conveniently located on State Street, near Las Positas, and next to the Post Office.

Kerrie K.

Great family owned restaurant. Love the intimate setting with a very authentic Italien feeling. Delicious food and great service. Recommend breakfast, lunch and supper

Shelley S.

Excellent quaint Italian restaurant. Wonderful service with a solid wine list. The servers were very helpful & welcoming. Their food is authentic & amazing . Make sure you save room for dessert!

James Brown

The food and service are superb. Loved everything I have had there. The Osso Bucco is the best!!! Save room for dessert.

Randy Wilson

Wow. Absolute gem of a restaurant. Best Italian food in SB. If you can get in, go!

Paris A.

Sometimes the service isn't the fastest because this place has very limited space and the kitchen seems to be small, but the staff and the space itself are absolutely charming! The food here is great, too, everything tastes like it was made from scratch and that's probably because everything actually is... it's the perfect place for fresh and authentic Italian. My only recommendation / warning is not to come with a large group.

David G.

We came here after a recommendation from our Hotel. The place was packed. I had a salad from the specials of the night. It was fantastic. It was a octopus salad with greens. The Octopus was so tender and tasty. I had the pastas with sausages and a great mild spiced sauce. The service was great. Everything was so good we came back a second nite. The regular house salad was very good and the Ossobuco just fell off the bone. Great place....

Teresa A.

So disappointed based on the reviews. Super tiny Resturant with super tiny low tables. My husband and I felt like we were seated at a child's table. They serve stale hard bread with no dipping oil. Disgusting! The Waiter wasn't helpful with the menu. When I asked a few questions, he said I'll come back. I said NO! I have another question. The waiter never came back after we ordered to check on us. Ugh...Service is extremely slow. The octopus salad $17 was mostly potatoes and onions. Took forever to get our food. We won't come back!

Bob M.

Renato and his culinary team are phenomenal. Our business group of 20 devoured the ethereal, flourless gnocchi, eggplant parm., beef meatballs, plus delicious salmon on puff pastry, melon and proscuitto appetizers. All scrumptious, beautifully presented and graciously catered on time for our holiday 2019 party. The dessert array was as stunning as tasty, each of the 29 little gems, e.g., mini cannolis, were whisked away, supplemented with vanilla and dark chocolate gelato. Applause, appreciation and recognition from all of us in Santa Barbara! Grazie, 42, for the third annual event! Sharon, The Cat House Hotel(R)

Anneliese P.

The eggplant parm and tiramisu are so amazing they cook Christmas dinner every year at my house. This year I will be in DC so Via Maestra 42 will be what I will be missing! It's tiny and wonderful and an absolute must if you are an Italian food lover


Highly recommend the Ravioli Zuccotto and the Chocolate Souffle with vanilla ice cream! If you are in Santa Barbara and want to eat Italian food, definitely try this restaurant as well as the two dishes I have mentioned.

Christine Pittman

got there about two, it was not packed. next time i'll be back with my coworkers.


Small restaurant, with limited seating, is off the beaten tourist path, but well worth the visit. Authenticity Italian cuisine. Fresh salads. Tasty pasta. Nice service. Only complaint was the $12 glass of wine. Rather pricey. Frequented by locals.

Anjana M.Jayaram

Delicious ravioli, tasty pesto among the vegetarian options. You can ask for butter and cheese with penne or bow tie pasta for kids.

Carlos A. Guzman

Every thing is delicious and they have excellent service.

Kimberley M.

Excellent food, light and delicious pastries, very helpful and friendly staff. I make an effort to come here every time I am in the area.

David West

My wife and were traveling through and looked on the internet for some place to eat.

Vince Von Dahlen

Each time we have the pleasure to eat here the food and service in this Italian eatery is superb. The flavors created in each dish tantalize the tastebuds.

Elisa S.

This one deeply saddens me, because I have lived here over 10 years and have always look forward to eating at this wonderful restaurant but today I'm not so sure. It was the end of my shift and hot AF. I thought HIM wouldn't it be nice to just get a ready-made sandwich at my favorite place and when I walked in they even had one left of the sandwiches I wanted. I was so overjoyed until I experienced the young man behind the counter. I place my orders for two sandwiches and a scoop of gelato the gentleman cannot answer my question as to which sandwiches they were in the store window he just told me just read the menu he didn't know. We got over that and he understood that I wanted what I wanted. I then proceeded to order the gelato, and I read the list so he would not get perturbed with me again. When I told him what I wanted he said we don't have that what are you talking about and then ask the man beside him who said that they did I asked for it to go lid and he said they don't have any he also told me I would have to wait for my order which I thought was strange because the sandwiches were already prepared and they just wrap them up in front of me. The gentleman walked away before I could ask the question of why my sandwiches we're on hold if they were there in the window to be wrapped up Another gentleman, whom I've seen many times and has worked there many years yesterday I need help or was I being helped and at that point I didn't really know because the young man had disappeared. When he finally came back I asked about why my sandwiches were not wrapped and ready to go he proceeded to tell me that one of the sandwiches was being heated up, this is never happened before. I question why didn't he ask me if I wanted it he did or not he proceeded to tell me that he had worked there for six months and it has never been cold ever. Now mind you in the beginning of my review I told you that I've lived here 10 years and how much I am in love with this place for 10 years. They've had the same sandwiches the same menu but they haven't had this young man for 10 years. When I am asking for something I don't want an argument I just want OK this young man went back and told all the other workers how dare I ask for the sandwich and yeah he told me XYNZ and then they decided to speak in Spanish. Maybe because my skin is not brown they didn't think I would understand? I do not appreciate this type of customer service and this saddens me that I have to write this about this marvelous place

Ronda B.

The best Italian meal ever!! Just happened to find this gem, was going to eat at Harry's but a 45 minute wait, walked around the corner and found Via Maestra 42!!! Our son wanted to order another meal to take home for the next day. Can't wait to go back and get some gelato or AMAZING pasta. Definitely need to stop and have dinner when your in Santa Barbara

Jennifer S.

All of their pastas are so good! I especially like the linguine con gamberoni and tagliatelle con capesante!

Bridget J.

We always have a wonderful meal here! I wish it was a little bigger sometimes but, that's also part of what makes it charming!

Linshan J.

Everything is just ok for me. Tomato source is a little bit too much and the cream puff is also ok. Not a bad restaurant, but also not a super good one.

Caroline B.

My husband and I are visiting from Seattle (he is a SB native), and I am SO glad we came here. The food was magnificent, and the diminutive locale is small but very charming. Will definitely return another time.

roberto hernandez

Excellent food,average prices,place looks good and clean.

Jim G.

Love this place! Friendly staff and amazing food and wine list. I had the Penne Bolognese and it was a absolutely delicious. We had a salad (name escapes me) with arugula, heirloom tomatoes and a lemon dressing which was delicious. We'll definitely come back when we have a chance!

Neda Roghani


Michael C.

Great food, with an authentic Italian feel. Great service and great intimate little spot for lunch or dinner. Definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Santa Barbara. Pastas and salads are excellent. I'm a big spaghetti carbonara fan, and theirs is delicious.

Ginger E.

Wishing you could step into a little bit of Italy? This is the place! Charming, non-fussy atmosphere. Outstanding and really authentic meals, imported gelato, coffee plus quality deli and Italian grocery items. Friendly staff, some who've been there for years and seem like part of a family, and an owner (Renato) who's active in the community and connects with his guests as if nobody's a stranger. Like so many other regulars, I've come to absolutely love this place (I'm bummed if I can't make it in at least a couple of times a week, even for just a great coffee and toast with butter and fig jam or the Tortino del Contadino. Leave "hurry up" at the door. This eatery is smaller (which only adds to its personal and authentic atmosphere) and is popular but for very good reason. I shoot for before and after peak times for ample choice of seating and a quieter atmosphere, but any time is worth it. Bonus: Pooches are welcome at their outdoor tables. Casual breakfast, lunch or a bit "fancier" dinner... This place hasn't disappointed us or any guests we've brought yet. Because it's authentic, it offers way more than the heavy dishes that often dominate Italian restaurant menus in the U.S. There are plenty of refreshing and lighter choices, vegan options and gluten-free options. And it's quite popular with local Italians, if that tells you anything. I can't recommend Via Maestra highly enough!

Chanel C.

My husband and I drove up to Santa Barbara for the day for my birthday. I remember coming here several years ago and loving it. However, this time fell flat, very flat. I looked at the menu beforehand to see what I could eat considering I have many more dietary restrictions this time around and saw they had what I thought to be a charcuterie board. Perfect, meat and cheese. No bread, no pasta. I'll order that. We had our dog with us so we sat outside. I'm giving two stars simply for the fact that the outdoor seating is adorable and was grateful we could partake in lunch with our dog. Very well done. Unfortunately, the service is counter service only until 4. So I sit with our dog and tell my husband I want the meat and cheese board. He goes in and comes back out saying it is either a meat board or a cheese board. What?!!! They weren't kidding either. So instead of the beautiful charcuterie I was envisioning on the two hour ride from Los Angeles, I got some slices of salami, prosciutto, and mortadella. It was pretty awful. Didn't even want to eat it. Fed a little to my dog. Birthday lunch was pretty much ruined. If I wanted both meat and cheese they would have charged me 16 for each. I've spent less for beautiful charcuterie boards that come with crudités and jams and toasted bread and nuts along with meat and cheese. My husband's pasta came as a HUGE portion. It was lunch so I was shocked how heaping his bowl was. Penne with bolognese. Tasted very acidic when I took a bite. Very underwhelming. It's sad when a place you used to think of fondly misses the mark so badly. Feel like I wasted a birthday lunch on this place.

Roshni P.

Stopped by here for a quick lunch during the kennel club dog show and we were super pleased. Service was great and food was amazing. All staff were super friendly. Food came out quickly. Parking was easy. Can't wait to come back.

Julie C

We stayed close by to this restaurant which is an authentic Italian restaurant, the food is superb, service is very good. It is always busy day and evenings. No reservations taken unless for six or more people. They always seem to fit you in. We went on Saturday evening, we tried to go on Sunday but it was closed.

Perla Salas

I had years buying there a tiramisu slide cake to be exactly. I remember when the price was 4.99 and slide was double bigger than today when the price is 6.99. I was so sad when I saw my slices at home. But I promess I will never return to this place. People are nice but I am not happy for the food prices and how it looks.