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Carlitos Cafe y Cantina

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Mexican, Southwestern, Latin
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1324 State St, Ste A, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2620
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
All hours
Sun 9:30 am - 10:00 pm
Mon - Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
More Info
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381 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 349: English reviews
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
508 reviews
333 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The chips were superb at Carlitos and served with 2 kinds of dip, a traditional salsa and a bean and corn dip. Best chips and dips I have ever had in a Mexican restaurant. The grilled chicken salad was enormous and delicious. The waiter recommended ordering it a bit chopped with two dressins, a vinegrette and something a bit spicier.... More 

Thank panpanda
Ojai, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Quality Mexican food menu with excellent choices. The margaritas are delicious. Right in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.+

Thank RozDe
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
134 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This place is in a strip mall with limited parking so street parking may be the only option. The interior is decorated well and the patio is sunny and airy. The food was plentiful and delicious. Consider sharing a meal if you are a light eater.

Thank MLE0904
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Here with a family of 4. Had 3 mains and we have leftovers. A must for Mexican food lover. Though the prices are quite high. But the portion might compensate if u are willing to share with the other people on your table.

Thank 985ab564
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Absolutely fabulous restaurant! Best out- for-dinner event of our week stay in Santa Barbara. Add Carlitos to you "must do" list.

Thank Ron E
Waimea, Hawaii
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Party of 8 on a Tuesday night. Service was glacially slow. My entree was served last and it was cold. It took a few minute to get the staffs attention and my plate was taken away. I was very nice about the problem. Just requested the heat my plate. By the time I was brought a new plate, my friends... More 

Thank Love2GoSee
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2016 via mobile

I took my boo to Carlitos for his birthday (it was his first.time visiting the restaurant. I was disappointed...the service has gone down. It appear that they were short handed with staff.. I had to grab the hostess to let her know that no one had taking our order. Once the waiter arrived he had salas and chips we ordered... More 

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2016 via mobile

Mexican food is my favorite but sadly it was not this time. Start with the positive. The location is great and they have a nice outdoor patio. We had no reservation but were able to be seated promptly and on the patio. After about 5 min. the buss person brought us chips and salsa. No exaggeration but after another 10... More 

Thank Terry B
Aspen, Colorado
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2016

Friends took me to one of their "Favorite Restaurants". I agree. We ate on the patio. Great food. Great- very friendly - service. I started with the Tamale trio and then had the Enchiladas Mexicanas.

Thank ColoradoMtTraveler
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2016 via mobile

If your visiting Santa Barbara and love mexican food or would like to discover the kitchen, then its a place for you! Great food, good service, good and cosy location and decent prices!

Thank arnela6

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
$20 - $35
Mexican, Southwestern, Latin
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Families with children, Large groups, Local cuisine, Romantic, Kids, Special occasions
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 93101-2620
  • 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?