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“Great style, food to match”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Joe's Cafe

Joe's Cafe
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Ranked #28 of 528 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: American, Bar, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Bar scene, Families with children, Kids, Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Drinks, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Joe's Cafe, a venerable Santa Barbara dining and drinking institution, is the oldest restaurant in the city. Over the years, it has become a favorite for locals and tourists alike, who mingle over cocktails or chat during dinner in a buzzing, traditional atmosphere. The exceptional ambiance underscores its rich heritage and long history. Our menu is hand crafted, modern American favorites in generous portions. Diners can find everything from prime steaks and chops, savory lamb shank, market fresh seafood and vegetables, classic sandwiches, pastas, daily soups, burgers, vegetarian entrees, and salads.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great style, food to match”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013

I´ve always loved diners and restaurants with a history. Joe´s has the right feel, and the food is good, too. Having said that, I didm´t like the tv screens (I do get that if you want a place to work as a bar these days, it´s probably obligatory to have those) and the noise level.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank WomanRay63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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464 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    77
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Fountain Valley, California
Level Contributor
82 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Strictly rating on the drinks”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013

We came here after dinner to get some drinks because we were told the bartenders have heavy hands. They do indeed. Enjoy!!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Happy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
161 reviews
103 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Good comfort food in a great location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2013

My college student grandson suggested this place in the middle of lower State Street surrounded by lots of eclectic eateries. I was pleasantly surprised to find an old fashioned diner. There was something to satisfy everyone in our picky foursome. The service was pleasant and if not super efficient they are personable. Next time in Santa Barbara, I will probably be eating at Joe's

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JERRY690
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Very loud ok cafe. Better for a drink than food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2013

Decided to try Joe's as it had a long line up and the menu looked ok for the family. Had to wait 20 minutes for a seat (which was less than the estimate).

It was about 8pm and it was very very loud mainly due to the large crowds enjoying the bar.


We had a mix of food including (the waiter recommended) French Dip, a salad, and chicken fingers. The food was about average but the service was slow. We had to ask four times for water and it took 20 minutes to get the bill after we asked for it.

I would recommend the French Dip and their fries but pass on the salad.

The drinks were good and well priced. As such, I would return for a night out on the town but not for food.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alexander N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sedona, Arizona
Level Contributor
230 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“please help the waitresses, Mr. Manager”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2013

Please do not get me wrong; my husband and I really liked our breakfast food at Joe's but the waitresses seemed to need help. It took forever to receive our food even though it was waiting on the pick-up bar for quite awhile before the waitress sauntered over and tried to figure out where it should be delivered. Then she forgot to give us a pen when we were checking out. It's hard to sign a credit card receipt without a pen. Would we go back? Yes, we would as it's conveniently located on State Street and we like the atmosphere. While the food wasn't piping hot, it was good after hoofing it down and up the boulevard.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SedonaMich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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