Don't let the "tavern" in the name fool you—this is not your average pub grub. With a farm-to-table focus, the menu here includes such high-end comfort food dishes as mac 'n' cheese with Gruyère, shaved truffles, and roasted leeks, and juicy burgers made with locally sourced beef, complete with house-made ketchup. Accents of brick, dark woods, and candlelight create a warm, comfortable vibe. Sit near the open kitchen and watch chef-owner Ron True and crew turn out main dishes from pan-seared local black cod to fried chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes. If it's in season, finish with the strawberry upside-down cake. The lively bar, which occupies a separate section, is a popular after-work meeting place for good deals on beer and wine, along with happy-hour bargain bites. The well-curated wine list includes a slew of Santa Barbara County standouts. The addition of sidewalk seating offers primo people watching: Foodies flocking to the bustling Santa Barbara Public Market, which opened in April, 2014, across the street. The tavern is also next door to the rebuilt New Vic theater, and around the corner from the historic Arlington and Granada theaters.