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Carlitos Cafe y Cantina

Certificate of Excellence
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1324 State St, Ste A, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-8720
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
All hours
Sun 9:30 am - 10:00 pm
Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
More Info
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357 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 326: English reviews
Level Contributor
265 reviews
146 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I ate here for dinner with my wife and son on a Thursday evening. They have both inside and outside seating and also live music from a guitarist. Don't get seated too closely to the musician or you won't be able to carry on a conversation with your party. Both my wife and I ordered the Carlito Combo and were... More 

Thank cohoman
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
217 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is just on the outskirts of downtown, which almost makes it nicer as it's quieter. It is authentic Mexican food with great flavors and they are very reasonably priced. We were there on a Friday. It was really busy when we walked past at 8pm, but when we got back at 9:30, it was really easy to get a... More 

Thank Andrew S
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
51 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We stopped for a small meal, not so easy in a Mexican restaurant but we shared the taquito and tamales starters and had all we could handle. This is a pleasant but really popular place so you are packed in and included, whether you want to be or not, in many conversations. The service was good and friendly and the... More 

Thank Ken D
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Came here in search of Pina Coladas as it seems you can't get them everywhere nowadays. Let me tell ya, their Pina Coladas are some of the best I have had! They were creamy and smooth with a good punch of alcohol. I had the shrimp empanadas and those were amazeballs!!! You should try this place out 👍🏻👍🏻

Thank Promembrain
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We ate at this place twice. Both visits were fantastic. The eggplant quesadilla was brilliant. My wife had the fresh fish both nights and it was delightful. The last night I had the chicken mole and the mole was very authentic (homemade). The avocado dip was plentiful, almost a meal in itself. Great place for Mexican food and the restaurant... More 

Thank Al B
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Had the Shrimp empanadas and nachos which were both great. We also had a mango margareta which were so strong we couldn't drink them. Maybe that is not such a bad thing!

Thank LisaA6
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
249 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were in Santa Barbara on holiday and ate here on our last night. The weather was so good we dined outside which added to the experience. Complimentary nachos and dip followed be excellent spicy Mexican food. We all had different dishes and all were really good quality and value.

Thank Motorsportenthuisias
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Very loud and overpriced Mexican food. We where four friends and ordered fajitas to share. We got charged extra $8 for sharing $15 meal. Felt like a rip off.

Thank VickasArt
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
53 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Carlitos Cafe y Cantina serves generous portions, good margaritas, and fresh guacamole. They have a menu with plenty of choices to please everyone. This time I tried the tamale appetizer which was very good. Lots of heaters makes the patio cozy even on a chilly evening.

Thank Heather747
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Well prepared standard Tex/Mex fare on State St. Our server was pleasant. The food came out almost too quickly. Our table outdoors was next to the live music speaker which made conversation a bit difficult. We had the beef and chicken enchiladas, and the shrimp appetizer with margaritas. I would recommend them all.

Thank docmonty

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Santa Barbara, CA

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
Average prices
$20 - $35
Mexican, Latin
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Families with children, Romantic
Open Hours
9:30 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
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

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?