This Central Coast wine bar is one of Yelp’s top 100 restaurants in the U.S. What’s it like?

A Central Coast wine bar is one of the 100 best places in the United States to grab a bite, according to popular review site Yelp.

Aperitivo in downtown Santa Barbara landed at No. 17 on Yelp’s 2024 list of Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S.

Tumerico, a Tuscon, Arizona, restaurant known for its Latin-inspired vegan and vegetarian fare, topped this year’s list of the best U.S. eateries, followed by Menya Rui ramen shop in St. Louis and Sunny Side Kitchen, a sandwich joint in Escondido.

In total, nearly 20 California restaurants ranked in the top 100, including Aperitivo.

To come up the 2024 list, Yelp’s data science team “analyzed user submissions to determine the top restaurants by ratings, number of reviews and volume of submissions,” the site said, finalizing the rankings with the help of its community managers.

Santa Barbara wine bar ranked on Yelp restaurant list

Located at 7 West Haley St., off State Street, Aperitivo is owned by sommelier Andrea Girardello and executive chef Brian Dodero.

“In Italy, people go to a neighborhood bar after work for small bites and a drink,” Girardello, who’s from Milan, told Yelp. “We wanted to create that kind of environment for locals — a casual, informal place to gather, where we remember what you like to eat and drink.”

Yelp users raved about the restaurant’s ever-changing menu, friendly staff and “warm and inviting ambiance.”

“Andrea, Daniel and their staff continue to dazzle the senses with their offerings of Italian small plates, wines and cocktails,” Yelp user Mickey A. of Santa Barbara wrote.

Gina L. of Scottsdale, Arizona, called the restaurant “a great place to unwind with friends.”

“Aperitivo is an absolute must for dinner in SB,” California Yelp user Katie M. said, adding that she “simply cannot say enough positive words about this place.”

What’s on the menu at Aperitivo?

As the name implies, Aperitivo specializes in small plates such as mozarella burrata, bruschetta, housemade pasta and crudo, a raw fish dish.

Recent menu offerings included roasted cauliflower bruschetta; burrata with pears and prosciutto, and potato gnocchi with spicy ‘nduja sausage. There’s also a salad made with radicchio, arugula, apples and shaved kohlrabi drizzled with grapefruit vinaigrette.

Drink options include Negroni cocktails and prosecco spritzers.

Aperitivo is open 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 4:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Call 805-869-2937 or visit for more information.