Buena Onda Empanadas


My Chief Peak IPA !

We were up in Santa Barbara for a few days to celebrate my wife’s birthday. The happy memories of our last visit here in Sept, 2020 were still strong . . . staying overnight in a beautiful Casita at The Eagle Inn and enjoying fabulous fresh made empanadas from here while watching the World Series. DARN THEY WERE GOOD ! Not long after checking in at The Eagle Inn on Thursday we took a Lyft over here to have dinner. My wife and I arrived around 6.30pm . . it was great to be back ! In the last couple of years we have eaten dozens of empanadas but none have come close to the great flavors of Buena Onda Empanadas. YEAH BABY ! A very charming server / manager named Vanessa welcomed us at the service counter.

Our 3 Empanada Combos.

We decided to go with 2 x 3 EMPI COMBOS ( choose any 3 empanadas w/side salad or chimi papas ). My wife went with 1 x HONGOS ( crimini mushrooms, organic spinach, caramelized red onions, mozzarella ) and 2 x SERRANO ( prosciutto ham, mozzarella, garlic, wild arugula ). While I selected 1 x CARNE ( surfed ranch grass-fed ground beef, onions, bell peppers, green olives and free-range hard boiled egg ), 1 x CAPRESE ( organic roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil ) and 1 x SERRANO ( prosciutto ham, mozzarella, garlic, wild arugula ). For our sides we both chose CHIMI PAPAS ( Chimichurri oven roasted red potatoes, spices, topped with aioli sauce ).

My wife’s 3 Empi Combo.

I noticed they had a few beers on tap and ordered a Topa Topa “Chief Peak” IPA. Looking at their dessert selection in the display cabinet . . we chose a variety pack of 3 custard filled BEIGNETS plus a MANZANITA ( green apples, figs, cinnamon, goat cheese ). We paid upfront, given a table number and headed out to find a table on the patio. There were a couple of groups of diners nearby . . the heaters kept things comfortable for everyone.

Custard filled Beignets !

Before we knew it stuff started coming out to our table courtesy of a female food runner. BAM BAM BAM ! Beignets, Manzanita and lots of Empanadas. EVERYTHING LOOKED GREAT ! My wife loves mushrooms so the Hongos was her fav while I totally loved the Carne . . very juicy ingredients. All our empanadas tasted outstanding . . quality ingredients and captivating flavors. The custard filled Beignets were a real treat . . delicately delicious. And I savored the Manzanita . . a sweet empanada filled with green apples, figs, cinnamon & goat cheese. Before we left I met Franco the master chef and gave him a pat on the back for our fabulous empanadas. GREAT FOOD, TOP SERVICE, FUN VIBE !

Restaurant Details


724 E Haley St. Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA


(805) 259-3593

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About the Author

Michael Burke

Michael Burke

I'm an expat Aussie ( now a naturalized American citizen ) who moved to Southern California in 2006 with my American born wife Sherri. I like to write reviews about the most memorable restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, brew pubs and anything new that we find in our travels. I particularly look for excellent food & beverage consistency, good value for money plus friendly service.

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