The Visitors Guide, home to The Restaurant Guy blog,  turns 25 years old in 2020. To mark the silver anniversary of the guide, which debuted in 1995, before Google or Yelp were born,  I  released a new website today. The blog is mostly the same (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) except that it is now optimized for mobile. There is some funkiness in the desktop version of the reader comments but that will eventually clear up.

Participating restaurants are now featured on the Dining Guide home page and every page in the Dining Guide. The featured eateries also appear on the Dining menu throughout the site (thousands of pages). If you own or manage a food-related business and want it to be featured in the new Santa Barbara Restaurant Guide let me know.

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Karl says:

    Nice work John.
    And like I’ve said before, thanks for all you do to provide this excellent resource for our community.

  2. Brian Cogswell says:

    Congrats on the new site. It looks very nice.

    Have you considered a new host/server for your website? For years it has been far and away the slowest site on the internet (at least that I visit). To the point that I sometimes just skip reading articles rather than wait for them to load. Just a thought

  3. Rex Of SB says:

    Very nice crisp new look! The font is much easier to read.

  4. Christine_Z28 says:

    Congrats on the anniversary and new website!

  5. Fay says:

    Kewel, keep up the good work!

  6. gillian says:

    Looks great John! Thanks for all you do!

  7. Bob says:

    Looks great, John, and as noted above, thanks for the time, energy and interest that you’ve always expended and shown in keeping us all updated on the constant goings-on in the food scene in town. Congratulations!

  8. connie milano says:

    good luck

  9. DeeDee says:

    Congratulations John!! I know you have been working very hard to upgrade this site; the go to resource for everyone!!

  10. Katie says:

    Looks fantastic! Congrats – I know what a lot of work that must have taken!

  11. SL says:

    John, speed it up. Your pages take too long to load.

    Love your redesign….welcome to 2020

  12. Rex Of SB says:

    How can one continue to access the list of restaurants that have already been accorded reviews?

    • The Restaurant Guy says:

      Every listing in the new Dining guide has reviews provided by Yelp. Navigate to any restaurant’s individual page via the Cuisine/Region tabs and click the Reviews link. I don’t operate an in-house review system anymore.

      • Paul says:

        I guess the in house review system was a PITA for you, but it was cool. I would compare it to Yelp, which was often people from LA, to get a better local feel for the place. Of course any review system can be gamed for either good or bad so too much heartache to deal with for you.

        I hope you keep up the openings posts as I use those to find new places to hit. Keep up the good work!

        • The Restaurant Guy says:

          Thanks for the feedback. I didn’t mind playing review nanny but these days there are more reviews overall at Yelp so it was time to switch. My review system had a good 25 year run. I still have the openings and closings lists, under the Cuisine tab in the Dining guide.

  13. tony mastres says:

    Looks great John, well done and nice to see the whole thing keep going 🙂

  14. Sbmizzou says:

    Looks great.

  15. HappyinSB says:

    Very nice update to your outstanding website! However, I will say that I am NOT a fan of the new system as far as viewing the reviews for a restaurant. I am perfectly fine with the website linking over to the Yelp reviews for the restaurant, but the set up is such that clicking that link takes the browser page over to the Yelp review page and you “lose” the page. I would rather that clicking the review link opens a new browser page/tab so that you still have the original page. As it currently is (on Firefox anyway), there is also NO option to “right click” the reviews link to elect to “open a new page/tab”. If I am thinking about looking at the reviews on several restaurants in the session, I have to keep opening new pages to get back to the restaurants list. Just an observation.

  16. Rex Of SB says:

    John, I still can’t find a “reviews” place to click. What am I doing wrong?

  17. Rex Of SB says:

    Joshua, I was thinking the same thing! I actually did utilize the new linking system and it works fine. The problem I have with Yelp reviews, though, is that so many of them are from obvious shills.

    John, is there any way you’d consider bringing back reviews from your readers? They’re really the only ones I trust, and everyone enjoyed them a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *