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Billies
[closed, no longer in business]

413 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 966-9782

  • Category: American
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 10am–3am, beer & wine until 11:30pm
  • Price: < $10
  • Serving: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

Great for Late Night Food
Reviewer: Heather from Santa Barbara, CA
I work until 10PM most nights and generally have a difficult time trying to find something to eat that isn't fast food. Billies is great - a wide variety of food that is all very delicious. If you haven't tried their chicken or biscuits and gravy, you are missing out. Also, perfect for when you are out downtown and need some food after the bars close. I would recommend this place to anyone.


Mixed Feelings
Reviewer: Rachel from Santa Barbara, CA
Both times I have gone to Billies were after a night downtown, so my taste buds weren't exactly on their game. The first time the person behind the register told me they were out of burger patties and chicken strips so I had to choose something else on the menu. I opted to leave. The second time I finally got the burger I had been craving. I thought it was great. I want to say there was a hint of curry or some special seasoning in it. It was definitely unique! With all of the reviews of the mac n cheese, I have to try it now, because it did look delicious when I saw other people eating it.


give it time
Reviewer: craig fumerton from Santa Barbara, CA
Billies has a good start! But get rid of the cooks hire people who need a job (not friends.) The blonde girl @ the registar needs to be retrained. When she stands @ the registar counting her tips and tells me "sorry I am off." And doesn't even attempt to get another person to help or assist me, but looks down to count her money. Needs to be canned I have goe their and got bad service from her 3 of 3 times. You got a good start billies, but fire the extra luggage and get a real crew.


Augh--
Reviewer: Jason Montgomery from Santa Barbara, CA
While the Service at Billies was good--attentive and helpful--the food just doesn't make it worth it. I ordered a take away lunch while at work and I wish I had gone up the street to the Habit. I had the Billies burger, and not only it incorrect (I order cheddar, not pepper jack), but it was undercooked. Undercooked as in just about raw. I have read a lot of talk about the house sauce, and yeah, it isn’t your run of the mill burger sauce. But, just to be clear, the house sauce is just terrible. I am all for "different", but the amount of curry in that sauce would be too much for Indian food much less a burger. A side order of fries (the burger does not come with fries and yet still cost just about 8 bucks) only to realize that they cost about as much as the burger. Short and sweet—Bad food at outrageous prices.


Yuck...
Reviewer: Kelley from Santa Barbara, CA
I hated this place when it was Lettuce B Frank's, and I hate the place now. A couple work friends & I decided to give it another chance when it opened as Billies. We ordered the pulled pork, mac & cheese, and sweet potato fries. The pulled pork was COLD in a lot of spots and very plain. The mac & cheese was worse than any other I have ever had - it seemed like they boiled some noodles then sprinkled shredded cheese on top. It was not tasty in the least. The yam fries were okay...but really, it's not science to open a bag of frozen fries and stick them in the fryer. I will NEVER go back.


THEY CAN DO NO WRONG
Reviewer: a p c from Santa Barbara, CA
Their mac n cheese gets so many bad reviews that I finally ordered it out of morbid curiosity. Yes, it's a spiral tube noodle (cavatappi, still considered a variety of 'macaroni', shape-wise), it's not just 'elbow macaroni', but a lot of places use different shaped pastas for mac n cheese. I've seen pennette and gomito used just at places on state street. It was wonderful! Super cheesy and classic, even using orange cheddar instead of trying to bouge it up with white cheddar. What strange conspiracy is behind the bad reviews of it? The burger may have had a 'weird/different' taste because of their house sauce; it's different but delightful. In other news, I'm pretty sure these mofos are making their own ketchup.


so-so
Reviewer: catrina from Santa Barbara, CA
I read the review son here first before I went to this place so i wa svery attentive. The sevrice was great. They even let me bring my bike in because I did not bring my bike lock in that day. I ordered the mac n cheese with a burger. There was a cook in training working....he wa shorrible. They used some sort of spiral noodle ibnstead of good ol macoroni noodles to be fancy which isn;t such a crime if the mac in cheese didnt taste horrible. There wa sbarely any cheeze and the flavor was too "different." the head chef remade it for me and it was alot more tolerable but I wouldnt order it again. The cheeseburger was quite small for the price and it had a weird taste. Cheaper than what you find on state street but Im from LA so im a bit more judegmental. The food is alright.


obsessed
Reviewer: a p c from Santa Barbara, CA
I now spend twice as much money and calories whenever I go downtown because I HAVE to compulsively go to Billie's. I try to shake it up but I keep going back to the salad with ranch. Boring? noooo. it's got croutons and green onions and snap peas and the ranch is addictive. They had a rad vegetarian plate recently: a salad, mashed potatoes, heirloom tomatoes and corn on the cob with chili parmesan butter. Heaven. I am not a vegetarian but I love vegetables and tend to eat the vegetarian entrees wherever I go (unless it's something really uninspired like 'oh, a veggie stir fry, wow' or a lame tofu variation, come on!), and I haaaate when they don't treat the veggie food with the love it deserves. This was love. This was vegetarian comfort food. This wasn't 'oh lets throw something in for the vegetarians and the dieters, i guess', this was just amazing. Thank you Billie's!


Been twice - good so far
Reviewer: Spencer from Santa Barbara, CA
Now that i've been twice I can write a review. The first time I went to Billies was a Friday night and the drunks were out. This made the service here SLOW! 45 minutes for a burger, I thought i'd never ever be back again. Luckily, the burger I got was great and I also got a side of macaroni and cheese which was pretty good too. Figured i'd give it another chance and come during a better time. Went today for lunch and got the "LA hot dog" (hot dog with bacon and grilled onions). It was great and the best part was waiting only ten minutes for it. Santa Barbara might finally have some (really) cheap yet good bar food. Hopefully it can stay alive in the location that nobody can seem to keep.


Awesome food
Reviewer: Amanda from Santa Barbara, CA
My boyfriend and I went to Billies during memorial day weekend (I believe it was early saturday evening) and the food was awesome! However we happened to walk in with a HUGE crowd of drunk people celebrating a birthday. Needless to say we waited about 45 minutes for a burger, and two orders of mac n cheese. I was annoyed after waiting so long, but the food totally redeemed everything! The mac n cheese was delicious, and the sauce on the burger almost has curry taste to it - very good. I'm hoping once they get more settled in that the service will start to work out it's kinks, I will be going back!


tried it, liked it
Reviewer: Chris C. from Santa Barbara, CA
We had burgers and sweet 'tater fries at Billies. Burgers were like homemade - one on a crispy bun, one lettuce wrapped. They make their own sauces, including ketchup (also have commercial available). The sweet potato fries were served with a nice chipotle sauce, and a portion was plenty for two. To cap it off, the chef had made a thick and hearty bread pudding with nuts and raisins with a rum/butter sauce that was outstanding. Prices were in the mid-range for State Street eateries, and good value. Service was friendly and attentive, and speed was as expected for home-style fresh cooking. Recommended.


They are amazing.
Reviewer: a p c from Santa Barbara, CA
I don't know why people give this place crappy reviews, maybe there's one cook ruining food and when he/she's not there the food's better? I went a couple times and was pretty blown away. Really delicious and well-executed stuff for a fraction of the price they could have charged. Give these guys a chance!


looked good................................
Reviewer: Mario A. from Santa Barbara, CA
after a night of a few drinks i decided to give the new place a try,I heard it was a mix of different foods and that something was bound to grab your attention. well i decided to go with the mac and cheese, cause lets face it.......how can one mess up mac&cheese?.........well THEY DID IT! i also ordered what they call a "L.A. Dog"......the bacon wasnt fully cooked, the roll was hard and breaking everywhere. on a bright note, the service was great they were friendly but i dought i will ever go back to this place.


Great Food, Great Service
Reviewer: Lisa from Santa Barbara, CA
I'm baffled by some of the reviews here. Maybe there is a different chef some nights? (And, we didn't try the mac n' cheese) We went for dinner (3 of us) Friday night around 7 -- the waiter was attentive and the food was excellent, everything very fresh. We had the chili, fried chicken, and sliders-- the chef checked in with us, and we all loved our dinners. Overall, I think it's a great addition to the local dining scene.


dinner at billies
Reviewer: Maili Halme Brocke from Santa Barbara, CA
I LOVED the onion rings and sweet potato french fries. We had to order extra for our tables. I also thought the chili was fantastic with the bacon on top. I can't wait to go back and try the veggie melt because I heard that was really good too. My sister had the hamburger and loved the secret sauce. Also, I'm a big deviled egg fan so was happy they were on the menu too!


Awful
Reviewer: Erin from Santa Barbara, CA
got the mac and cheese to go.....got home and was mortified, dry, little cheese....nothing. Do not go!!!!


So So
Reviewer: Alex from Santa Barbara, CA
I tried Billie's on Saturday night after reading the great reviews... I have to admit I was a little disappointed. The food was fine, the fries were actually really good, but for $6.00 there wasn't a lot. The fried chicken was good, not great and it doesn't some with any sides. The sliders were the same, a little smaller than I thought they'd be. I'll probably go back, but it was nothing to rave about.


Not impressed
Reviewer: Hannah from Santa Barbara, CA
I feel bad writing something on here so soon after they have opened, but its completely for constructive criticism as I always hope local businesses succeed. In that case, we had a terrible lunch here. The mac-n-cheese was a huge disappointment. It was basically just boiled noodles with cheese melted on top. The chicken was rubbery and flavorless. There wasn't any butter or jam given for the biscuit. The potatoes were tiny. The service wasn't terrible, but slow considering there was barely anyone there. Overall, not a great experience. We had to have dinner #2 down the street. I recommend they fix some of these issues soon.


Unique dining experience.
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
As a first timer diner I was impressed by the funky decor! The food was great. The chili and sweet potato fries were excellent. The waitress was very friendly and very attentive. This is not your typical Santa Barbara restaurant. If you are a square you won't get the concept. As long as the food is consistent and the prices remain about the same you will be very successful...We will be back...yum, yum.


$15 for 3 slides and fries?
Reviewer: Alex from Santa Barbara, CA
Too expensive. 3 pulled-pork sliders and sweet potato fries cost $15? The sliders were tasty, but the fries were average. I agree with another reviewer--the inside looks grungy and could use serious work.


Perfect lunch spot and late night dining.....
Reviewer: Robin S. from Santa Barbara, CA
Checked it out today with a friend for lunch - the food was fresh, homemade and cheap = perfect. We tried the pork sliders, small mac n' cheese, cup chili - my personal fav and I don't like chili all that much, the sweet potato fries, and yes, a cheese burger - everything was great and had a little taste twist, like the sauce for the burger was mustardy yet curry like, and chipolte dressing for the fries tasted like fresh mex cream of some sort w/out being spicy - and I liked the 80's raw decor - we have too many "fine" dining gigs on lower state - and wow lots of Indian food there too. Anyway, if you want a nice, fine dinner out with the wife - not the place, like guy below oddly thought but then maybe Micky D's is where he lunches - but great place for lunch, grub dinner and beer with friends and for late night dining like after happy hour...or a long night out :) Oh, oy vey...you won't be ignored - I think everyone in there came over to help us.


What is this place
Reviewer: Ben from Santa Barbara, CA
Decided to go here today after readiing it on Santa Barbara.com. As I walked into Billies with the wife I noticed the decor was very big city SF grunge feel. It felt dirty which was not a great first impression. We decided to stay thinking places like this usually produce some great great food when decor is not that great. We were wrong on the chance and experienced some really not so edible food. The Mac and cheese had no cheese and noodles were hard. The pork sliders which sounded good at the time and looked good tasted like the meet came from a can. Since our napkins were filled full we decided to skip the rest of our dinner. I know it's there opening night but they need serious help in the kitchen if they are going to last. Food was as good as decor which was poor.


Personalized Perfection... Service and food
Reviewer: Jason from Santa Barbara, CA
Walking into Billies I was immediately welcomed by beautiful women and a wide variety of beer!! I had partied all up and down State Street last night and all I wanted once I was done with the club was a large, hot, home cooked meal. I heard people on State talking about this new place, Billies, and how perfect the food was. My buddies and I went in and got tons of eye candy, house fries, chili, homemade ketchup, and the best fried chicken of my life! On top of it all, I've never before seen a restaurant decorated the way this place was! Check it out, I'm going back tonight for college night!


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