The view from The Endless Summer
Courtesy The Endless Summer
Santa Barbara, Calif., is one of the most expensive cities in America. But there are plenty of low-cost ways to enjoy the best it has to offer. Start with tacos, the quintessential Santa Barbara meal. By far the most authentic, affordable and delicious option is LILLY'S TAQUERIA, where $1.60 will get you a small taco on a homemade tortilla with the filling of your choice. Options range from carne asada to tripas to grilled veggies.

The Details

Lilly’s Taqueria
310 Chapala St.

The Shop
730 N. Milpas St.

Municipal Winemakers
22 Anacapa St.

Kunin Wines
28 Anacapa St.

The Endless Summer
113 Harbor Way

For more of a meal, check out THE SHOP, a hip spot for breakfast and lunch. The socially minded owners run a nonprofit that digs wells in Uganda, and the best dish on the menu is a Ugandan import — a variation of a street-food dish called “The Rolex” made of scrambled eggs, bacon and a smoked tomato spread wrapped in flatbread for just $6.

When you get thirsty, Santa Barbara’s URBAN WINE TRAIL has you covered. Weaving its way through a neighborhood known as the Funk Zone — it’s chock-full of street art, surf shops and renovated warehouses — the route can be walked or biked easily and includes 17 local producers that offer affordable tasting flights and wines by the glass. Try the MUNICIPAL WINEMAKERS, which is located in a converted tire shop and sells a Pale Pink for $8 a glass. Just next door, at KUNIN WINES, splurge for the $30 syrah to experience vintage varietals from the region’s top grape.

If wine isn’t your thing, take a beer tour instead. Plan to end at the Santa Barbara Harbor marina, where THE ENDLESS SUMMER bar-cafe’s house-label Blonde Ale is on tap for $4 per 10-ounce glass. Drink as you watch the sun set slowly over dozens of fishing boats.