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“Great food, shame about the service”

Carlitos Cafe y Cantina
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Ranked #68 of 589 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 20 - US$ 35
Cuisines: Mexican
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Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed 27 November 2017

We visited recently and wanted Mexican food and this looked like a good place to eat. We were shown to a table and given a menu but then nothing happened for 15-20 minutes. There were plenty of staff standing around but they didn't seem interested in serving us. We were about to leave when a waiter came over. He asked how we were and we told him that we weren't happy about being left waiting for which he was most apologetic. Afterwards the food arrived promptly and was very good. The waiter did give us a free dessert as an apology - we think he had just come on duty so it wasn't his fault. Can't fault his service to us, just a real shame no-one else was interested in taking our order. Sadly we probably won't visit again.

Date of visit: November 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank dp6464
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (497)
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37 - 41 of 497 reviews

Reviewed 20 November 2017

I visited with Santa Barbara friends. One of their favorite places and now mine also. The staff are fantastic.

Date of visit: May 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Charles H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2017

Had another wonderful dinner at Carlitos this weekend. I especially love the fact they use fresh ingredients and cut way back on the grease. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed a warm fall night and live entertainment. Jesus our server was FANTASTIC!!!! He was efficient, quick, error free and responded to all of our requests with a smile. The mixed green salads and guacamole were perfect starters. I had a HUGE portion of chicken fajitas. My daughter had an enchilada/taco combo plate and her fiancé had enchiladas. We all were so full we had no room for desert. Go hungry. Sit outside. And enjoy fresh Mexican food at reasonable prices. Thanks again Jesus!!!

Date of visit: October 2017
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Tom K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2017

We came on a Friday evening, having obtained a reservation through Open Table. There is parking in the little strip mall (if you arrive early enough); we ate outside and it was breezy and cool, but then they fired up the heat lamps. Great location right on State Street (enjoyable people watching if you're outside), but pretty tight seating area. The food was very good (red salsa was excellent); we shared fajitas (chicken and steak) and they were good, but the corn tortillas were delicious! Live music added a nice touch.

Date of visit: October 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CKmom_4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2017

Sat outside and had a very enjoyable and tasty Mexican meal, good service, we had a burrito and enchiladas.

Date of visit: October 2017
Thank martin p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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