Chef Justin West, the culinary talent behind award-winning Julienne and Wildwood Kitchen, has opened a new barbecue restaurant named Soul Cal Smokehouse in the Santa Barbara Public Market, 38 West Victoria Street, in the space formerly occupied by Belcampo Meat Co. They must be doing something right because they were packed when I stopped by and Yelp is full of 5-star reviews. Reader George says “Barbecue is back in Santa Barbara, thank God!! Everything was terrific: hot hot wings, juicy ribs, rich Mac n Cheese. I would buy the BBQ sauce to take home if I could. The Public Market is really picking up,” where reader Anne says “Soul Cal Smokehouse is about to send Santa Barbara  BBQ places to BBQ school. The best BBQ I have had in SB.”

The menu includes Smoked Meats $5-14 (Brisket, Tri-Tip, Pulled Pork, Pork Belly, Ham, Chicken, Turkey), Baby Back Ribs $17/lb, House Made Sausages $3-4 (Bratwurst, Jalapeno-Cheese, Turkey Andouille, Soul Cal hots, Kielbasa), Sampler Platters $17-32 (Chef’s Plate, BBQ Sampler, The BBQ King), Soup $11 (Soul Cal Chili, Daily Rotating  Soup), Salads $10-12 (Kale, Thai Cobb, Soul Cal Cobb, Kale Caesar, Little Gem Wedge), Burgers $12-14 (Cheese Burger, Bacon Blue Burger, Mushroom Burger, Patty Melt, Cowboy Burger, Beyond Burger), and Sandwiches $9-14 (Smokehouse Chop, Brisket Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Fried Chicken Sandwich, Pork Belly Bahn Mi, Salmon Sandwich). Sides incluse Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, Smokehouse Caviar, BBQ Beans, Braised Greens, Mac & Cheese, BBQ Tempeh, Corn Bread, Fries, and Salad.

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  1. Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo says:

    Hope this spot works out for them! They put out some great food, The Mill overall is just kind of a depressing spot with weird vibes despite the nice design hoping the market is a better fit.. They are offering such different food than elsewhere in the market and more family friendly sort of options which I hope makes it work!

  2. Heidi says:

    Is Woody’s still the only place in town that serves Beef ribs?

  3. Rex Of SB says:

    Soul Cal Smokehouse is DA BOMB! When it was Wildwood on E. Haley Street it was “okay,” but Soul Cal is now the undisputed king of SB BBQ. The brisket is perfectly smoked and is nice and moist. Yeah, it’s a tad pricey (but not prohibitively), but you get what you pay for.

    Every time I mention brisket on other threads here, there is a skeptic named Spanker (I think) who posts comments about how brisket is too expensive to produce locally, people won’t buy it, etc. Soul Cal Smokehouse is living proof to the contrary. When I was there a few days ago, people were snapping up the brisket and rhapsodizing about it. I think Soul Cal is here for the long haul.

  4. Gary Suter says:

    Beef ribs or nothing. This is Santa Barbara. For the taxes, fees, surcharges, hidden costs, etc..etc…it’s beef ribs or starvation.

  5. Jackie L says:

    Pollofino in Goleta also has delicious Beef Ribs!

  6. Annie says:

    Not sure if they still do it, but The Brewhouse used to have all you can eat beef ribs on Wednesdays.

    • Hong says:

      Brewhouse should still have AYCE beef ribs on Wednesdays, Tee-Off does also, and Mulligan’s has them on Thursdays. Not smoked like traditional bbq, but still quite tasty!

  7. Tom says:

    I really really try to eat at the places in the market but parking is just horrendous. Not only is the lot they provide always full (pretty sure there are only a couple of public spots) the lot across the street is the busiest in the city and is always packed. Pair that with the limited street parking and you have a location that is difficult at best. So I wish them good luck but the only times I find myself spending money in that building is when I happen to be walking around downtown and hungry. Probably the reason that almost every stall has changed over in the last two years… A great concept, but a terrible execution and location for what requires a significant amount of foot traffic.

  8. Hefe says:

    Go all the time park under 80-90% of the time. One block up on Sola usually find parking also.
    Looks like the market has finally found the right mix.

  9. Christine! says:

    Enjoyed a stellar sandwich and fries before the John Mellencamp- a fried chicken sandwich!! DELICIOUS

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