Welcome to the Far Western Tavern


Our restaurant is recognized as a landmark of Santa Maria Style Barbecue, a renowned regional fare rooted in native ingredients and methods that were first popularized by 19th century rancheros.

Our menu blends this local barbecue style with other dishes that reflect our family’s heritage in the Santa Maria Valley’s Swiss-Italian ranching community, all prepared with fresh flavors from nearby farms, ranches and vineyards.

Buon appetito!

-The Minetti Family

Far Western Tavern, Orcutt, California

Far Western Tavern, Orcutt, California

Our Story

The Far Western Tavern was established in 1958 by Clarence and Rosalie Minetti along with Rosalie’s cousin Richard Maretti and his wife Jean. Originally located in the historic Palace Hotel building in the town of Guadalupe, the Far Western Tavern quickly became a hometown favorite, attracting locals and visitors alike with its legendary fare and welcoming ambiance. Today the restaurant has its home in a beautiful building in Old Town Orcutt.

Over the decades, the Far Western Tavern has received glowing accolades. In 2009, Sunset Magazine named it one of the West’s best barbecue restaurants. When Bobby Flay came to the area for his Food Network show BBQ with Bobby Flay, he chose the Minetti family to show viewers how to prepare Santa Maria Style Barbecue. In 2012, the Far Western Tavern and the Minetti family were showcased in an episode of Man, Fire, Food on the Cooking Channel.

Since those early days, the Far Western Tavern has outlasted countless culinary trends, remaining true to its original style while keeping pace with contemporary tastes. As Clarence was fond of saying, “To last in this business, you have to like people and you have to serve great food. It’s that simple.” Today, Clarence and Rosalie’s children and grandchildren remain committed to advancing the Far Western Tavern tradition.

Clarence Minetti and Richard Maretti with the original staff

Clarence Minetti and Richard Maretti with the original staff

Regional Cuisine

The Far Western Tavern is revered for its Contemporary California Ranch Cuisine. Every menu we create showcases our famous Santa Maria Style Barbecue, local produce and world-class Central Coast wines. The family’s ranching and farming roots in the Santa Maria Valley span five generations of the Minetti family. As ranchers, local ingredients are a way of life for us. 

Santa Maria Style Barbecue

The Far Western Tavern is recognized as a landmark for Santa Maria Style Barbecue, a regional culinary tradition founded on methods that date back to the 19th century. Over time, this signature barbecue has enjoyed variations and personal touches that give new, contemporary expression to an old tradition. We are thrilled that Santa Maria Style Barbeque is now world renowned!

Santa Maria Valley Agriculture

The Santa Maria Valley is one of California’s most productive and respected agricultural regions, yielding everything from strawberries to cilantro, broccoli to artichokes. The Far Western Tavern is proud to feature a diverse selection of ingredients grown by family and friends in the surrounding fields of the Santa Maria Valley.

Santa Maria Valley Wine Country

The Santa Maria Valley occupies the northern perimeter of Santa Barbara County, which today is recognized as one of the world’s finest regions for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other varietals.  We are committed to showcasing Santa Maria Valley and Central Coast wines as perfect complements to our menu’s local flavors. The restaurant hosts monthly Winemaker’s Nights where local winemakers come in to share their varietals with our guests.

Co-Owner Paul Righetti preparing Santa Maria BBQ for The Cooking Channel

Co-Owner Paul Righetti preparing Santa Maria BBQ for The Cooking Channel

Local Ingredients

Our family’s ranching and farming roots in the Santa Maria Valley span several generations. Along the way, we have been blessed with strong personal ties to the local agricultural community.

Naturally, local ingredients are a way of life for us, and we take pride in extending this experience to our guests at the Far Western Tavern. Below is a list of family and friends whose products contribute to our menu.

The Minetti Family

Alamo Farms – Pinquito Beans
Family friend John Porter learned the art of growing pinquito beans from his father and grandfather, who was one of the first commercial pinquito farmers.

Babe Farms – Spring Mix, Baby Spinach, Beets
Family friends Judy and Jeff Lundberg are renowned for growing specialty vegetables, including 30 varieties of baby lettuce.

Betteravia Farms – Pinquito Beans
As a principal and product manager at Betteravia Farms, Tom Minetti ensures that fine pinquitos are never in short supply at the restaurant.

Hermreck Farms – Avocados and Lemons
Randy and Karen Hermreck are family friends and vintners who grow fine avocados and lemons at their small farm.

Maretti-Minetti Ranch Co. & Righetti Ranch – Broccoli, Artichokes and Strawberries
The Ralph Maretti and Clarence Minetti families, along with Far Western Tavern co-owners Susan and Paul Righetti, grow several crops on their family ranches.

Ocean Front Farms – Artichokes
Jamie Gamble, a Minetti family cousin, grows amazing artichokes in Guadalupe, not far from the original Far Western Tavern.

Riverbench Vineyard – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Rosé and Sparkling
Far Western Tavern co-owners Marie Minetti-Will and her husband Steve also co-own this acclaimed producer of fine Santa Maria Valley wines.

Teixeira Farms – Lettuce and Broccoli
The Teixeiras, longtime family friends of the Minettis, have been farming in the Santa Maria Valley since the 1930s.

Susie Q’s Brand – Santa Maria Valley Style Seasoning
Far Western Tavern co-owner Susan Righetti founded Susie Q’s Brand in 1981 as the original artisan purveyor of Santa Maria Style Barbecue foods.