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Carlitos Cafe y Cantina

Certificate of Excellence
$$$
Mexican
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1324 State St, Ste A, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-8720
805-962-7117
Website
Today
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 9:30 am - 10:00 pm
Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Good for:
Families with children
Romance
Outdoor seating

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 250 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 102
    Excellent
  • 90
    Very good
  • 33
    Average
  • 16
    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Most recent review
California Mexican

High quality food, well prepared. This is where the locals eat and is very good. Guacamole is excellent. Salsa and chips are very good

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 3, 2015
bowl1901
,
wilmette, il
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Romance
  • Outdoor seating
  • Breakfast/Brunch
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
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250 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
wilmette, il
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015 NEW

High quality food, well prepared. This is where the locals eat and is very good. Guacamole is excellent. Salsa and chips are very good

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

Arriving from the Ohio snowstorm, we enjoyed dinner on the patio next to a gas heater. Our waiter was friendly and efficient , even as the area filled. The portions were very generous and good.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Oxnard, California
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

Well. The food was good. Waiter was nice. But when we asked if they could split the bill, waiter said he couldn't. Which was fine, so we ask for a manager. We ask for some help in splitting the bill since their computer could do it more efficiently then we could. The manager refused to help lost his cool and... More 

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Claremont, California
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

Carlitos is a wonderful Al Fresco restaurant on State Street in Santa Barbara. WE have eaten there two different times and just love the experience. The setting is outside and a lovely street, all the food is organic and super fresh. The salsa is made fresh each day and the chips are the best. The food and drinks are just... More 

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Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2015

The food is very good. The service is as well. The carne asada was well worth the price. Would get it again.

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Longmont, Colorado
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

The service at Carlitos is outstanding. Margaritas (a little on the weak and too sweet side for my liking) arrived quickly. Order guacamole and it heaps out of the bowl. Good chips! Shrimp fajita was very good - not spectacular, but very good. We always eat here when we're in Santa Barbara (often).

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015 via mobile

I've been going to carlitos for many years now and it is one of mine and my friends fav places for a girls night out! Gotta sit on the patio! On the weekends they have a live band and it is so fun. Get the fajitas they come out with a flame. Good drinks always a fun time

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Mission Viejo
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2015

We come to Santa Barbara 3 - 4 times each year and we always have dinner at least one night at Carlitos. This time, it was a pretty chilly evening but we sat outside under the patio heaters and we were very comfortable. The Cadillac Margaritas are among the best we've had anywhere, including Mexico. The guacamole is fantastic. We... More 

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Chino Hills
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

The food was very good as well as the service. Disliked the tiny bathroom. Liked that the restaurant was in walking distance to the Simpson House Inn where we stayed.

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Newport, Oregon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

We had a family Christmas Eve dinner with 11 people (4 of them kids) outside at one table. The service was cheerful and efficient -- alot of attention was paid to the kids food and drink (somewhat picky eaters). There was plenty of wonderful food that was well presented. They were very busy, but were able to give us plenty... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 1324 State St, Ste A, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-8720
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Santa Barbara
  • Phone Number: 805-962-7117

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 20 - 35
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Families with children, Romance, Outdoor seating
Open Hours
Sunday
9:30 am - 10:00 pm
Monday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Carlitos Cafe y Cantina staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?