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Carlitos Cafe y Cantina

1324 State St, Ste A, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-8720
805-962-7117
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Ranked #60 of 441 restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Mexican
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
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218 reviews from our community

77% Recommend
    96
    71
    31
    15
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW via mobile

On state street with onsite parking which is a big plus. Service good but not great. Food was good but not as good as expected. Shrimp fajitas lots of big shrimp but way too many uncooked onions and a few green peppers. Not impressed.

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Irvine, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014 NEW

Great Mexican restaurant, with traditional menu items and a few creative dishes. Outdoor seating with music, and pet friendly. I appreciated the friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere. Several vegan/vegetarian choices.

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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014 NEW

We loved eating outdoors at this lively cantina! The hostess seated us quickly considering we did not have a reservation and the service was attentive. The salsa, chips, and guac were excellent. The food however was just average, which was a bit disappointing. I wish we would have liked it, but really, there was nothing special about this restaurant.

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Hastings, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014 NEW via mobile

The restaurant has a lovely atmosphere with live music and the food is great even though slightly more pricey compared to other Mexican restaurants. We had a lovely meal at Carlitos and will return in the future.

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Glen Ellen, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2014 NEW

Top Tip, After the chips and fresh salsa and we found that a few appetisers do absolutely fine a the portions are pretty large!! Great food

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Monterey Bay, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

wonderful food and good selection of beer, wine ,and tequila. Parking can be a challenge, but the lunch or dinner has lots of reasonable and tasty choices.

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Massachusetts
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014 via mobile

I really loved the city of Santa Barbara. If you are lucky enough to visit, and you like Mexican food, make sure you eat at Carlitos. The parking lot was jammed. That is always a good sign!! The choices were more than adequate for anyone. The presentation of the food was just beautiful! It got us ready for some really... More

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Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

We ended up here because we had a meeting nearby and time to kill, and it was a great spot to sit. We were seated on their outdoor patio, which overlooks State Street, near the Theatre. We were there for early dinner, so it was not busy. There's something on the menu for everyone, and the setting is lovely. Of... More

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Dublin
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

My spouse and I had a lovely lunch here. We really appreciated the quality of the food and service we received. The beautiful weather helped but that is standard for Santa Barbara.

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Hyderabad
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

Carlitos had a long wait when we arrived on a weekday evening so that tells you something about its popularity. It was worth the wait. Ample size helpings but not at the expense of carefully chosen spices--each one of our three dishes tasted unique. Grilled meats were especially taste but our vegetarian enjoyed the variety of dishes on offer.

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