Cava Restaurant
Cava Restaurant

Cava Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cavarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 8059698500
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm; Brunch: Sunday: 9:00am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican / Southwestern, Latin / Spanish
  • Executive Chef: Armando Benitez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Welcome your guest to the warm and intimate ambiance of our terracotta colored La Cavita dining room & terraza. we offer pre-set menus to ensure the optimum dining experience, along with Reidel crystal, special linens and our signature garden rose & fresh herb arrangements. This guide is designed to assist in the preparations that best suit your upcoming celebration or meeting. Whatever the special event-parties, birthdays, wedding rehearsal dinners, meetings, corporate dinners, reunions....all are welcome at La Cavita.
  • Private Party Contact: Becca Nirenberg 805-705-9574
  • Entertainment: We have Spanish guitars Wednesday through Saturday night.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Middle Road
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet Parking is available Friday and Saturday evenings.
A word from Cava Restaurant
Experience the bold flavors of superb Latin cuisine from Spain, Mexico and South America in a romantic setting in the village of Montecito. Sunflower colored walls, original artwork, cozy fireplace, relaxed outdoor terraza and a beautiful bar and Tapas lounge to sip Sangria with friends while listening to live Spanish guitars.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Cava Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
41 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (24)great for outdoor dining (21)great for lunch (12)great for brunch (11)fit for foodies (9)romantic (8)special occasion (7)good for groups (6)kid-friendly (4)vibrant bar scene (3)notable wine list (2)scenic view (2)late-night find (1)Show More
  • MerelVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Love the restaurant. I always eat here when I'm in SB or even drive there from LA. I love the Tortilla Espagnol and the Cava Tostada!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it!
    Sass
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Great food, service and ambiance. Generous portions and reasonable priced.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Indegestion
    robinVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Went to Cava for a nice family dinner. After ordering, the hostess sat a family of 5, with 2 young boys and a baby, right next to our table. The baby was continuously crying, the boys were throwing crayons and screaming and the parents were oblivious? We couldn't hear or talk so we had to move to an out side table by the parking lot. Our food came over an hour after ordering, and we had no set ups….it was not a good evening. AND it was expensive. No Manager in sight.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful
    something4everyone
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    We dined with family from Texas, and they loved the restaurant, it's ambiance, friendly staff, & great food. They even wanted a large container of the delicious salsa to go. They were taking it to their hotel in Anaheim. It was a good reunion after 9 years and this was the perfect meeting place. Thank you Cava and Open Table!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Belated Birthday
    drinkplease
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We made reservations to celebrate a couple of family birthdays. Not going out all the time, it is a big decision on where to go. We had a great time and enjoyed the food although the margaritas were not as good as they should have been....nothing out of the ordinary. We were seated after waiting 15 minutes, acceptable with a reservation, but then proceeded to wait for 20 minutes to have a waiter take our order for drinks. We received appetizers BEFORE the drinks arrived. All in all about 60 minutes before having a cocktail which I find unacceptable and not a good start. Made up for it in the end with much better service as the evening wore on but still not rushing back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Would not go back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The waiter was not friendly and appeared to not like me and my dinning mate.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • And
    FineWineVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    Once again, a great time, with an amazing relaxing time
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Too noisy to stay!
    DelightedVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Long a favorite of mine but noise level and 25+ min delay in getting a table, despite OT reservation, caused friend whose birthday we were celebrating to ask if we could go elsewhere to hear each other talk. Staff sympathetic so will probably return Didn't eat so food rating required by site is useless
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Again
    FineWineVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Always a great time....weather it's for a light bite, or full on meal. We always leave happy
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    Maestro
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Great service and a nice setting, but the food is mediocre at best.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • To go to
    FineWineVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Been coming here for many many years. Always and enjoyable experience, with the food to match, as well.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • KevinVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    This was a first time dining experience for me at Cava, and I enjoyed everything about it. The atmosphere was comfortable, and service attentive. I had the Pasilla Chille Relleno en Caldo (which is a favorite) and even thought its presentation is quite different from the usual/traditional Chille Relleno, it was a surprisingly delicious variation (it's served in a bowl of sauce) with the rice & beans on the side. I also sampled some of the meat from the burrito asado, which was DELICIOSO! ...and had bites of the grilled veggie salad which was also tasty.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great event
    1meateaterVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    its always an event when we come here, the staff always make great suggestions from food to drink! The attention to detail is very evident!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cava was quite enjoyable
    ArthurJacobVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Be forewarned: the portions are quite hardy and delicious. We had awesome service thanks to Sarah, gracious, professional and efficient. We would go back. And don't skimp on the guacamole!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Big disappointment
    BelgianWaffleVIP
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    This place came highly recommended as a higher scale Mexican. In the end, we left utterly disappointed. The guacamole was fresh and good, the fajitas mediocre, but the other two plates (quesadilla and empanadas) we ordered were blant and over-sized. Honestly, I would have gladly paid as much for smaller sizes of great quality and tasting food. We had lunch the day before at Los Aroyos in Santa Barbara, which had been referred to us as lower scale. Well it was cheaper, but a hell-of-a-lot better overall experience. Four thumbs down to Cava from my wife and I. It was the only meal we truly disliked over a 5-day trip to the area. Cava.....never again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun interesting menu
    Kristinla
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    We just celebrated my husbands and daughters birthdays at Cava. We 5 different and couldn't finish them all. Our favorite was the halibut cerviche. The server was very upbeat and quite knowledgeable. We were there quite a while and never felt rushed to leave. Great place to come back to.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cava is Dependable
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    Cava is always great. The food is perfect every time. And the cocktails? They are super, just like that darn guacamole!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 24 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 5, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 211 reviews are from the Cava Restaurant reviews archive.
  • great Mexican feast
    jb65VIP
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Dined at Cava during an out of town stay. This quaint and lively little Mexican restaurant is quite the neighborhood hot spot. Everything was A+. The upbeat servers were attentive and very cordial.Both the food quality + quantity were perfect.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brunch
    DianeVIP
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Had a great brunch w my family. There was something for everyone of all ages!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Montecito Gem
    NotAgain
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Our regular stop from LA to Santa Barbara. Love this place!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • disappointing
    pizzaexpertVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Everything was mediocre--food, ambience, service. We'll not go back.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Special Southwestern
    goodfoodwonoiseVIP
    Dined on 3/7/2014
    Food was so good, and menu so creative that normal bar noise so close to nice booths detracted only a little.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Maybe an off night
    RockyVIP
    Dined on 3/5/2014
    Went back for a second visit with my family for a birthday celebration after having had an amazing dining experience last year. Maybe expectations were too high. Maybe they had an off night. The food was good, but nothing special. The service was a bit slower and less attentive than what I remembered -- but not at any level worth complaining about. An OK evening, but not memorable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Grand Time at Cava
    Queendi
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    We went to Cava for a special celebration and we were treated accordingly. The food and service is always great there, but this time it was even better. I had a great pork posole and the paella looked terrific. Our server was attentive and friendly even when we stayed longer than we should have on a very busy Saturday night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Go There
    SBtraveler
    Dined on 2/11/2014
    This is a great spot with wonderful food and we always enjoy going there every time we are in Santa Barbara
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My wife enjoyed this more
    KAS1VIP
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    My wife enjoyed this more than I did but I think I just ordered the wrong thing. Quality Mexican food centrally located in Montecito.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cava is a Standard
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 1/20/2014
    Cava has always been consistent with fine dining and great service. And they have the best guacamole in town!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Margarita Maniacs: this is it!
    Foodie93150VIP
    Dined on 1/7/2014
    Superb food and fantastic margaritas! I frequent Cava. Great patio dining and staff is very friendly. Private party room is a must for an intimate birthday dinner.. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cava on New Years Eve
    reedsteruk
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Booked the table two months in advance and ended up stuck in a tiny table by the fireplace with the fire at about 200 degrees continually. Because the table was an 'afterthought' in its placement, it was not really served well by the staff as they were very busy with the real booths and tables. The lady who greeted everyone constantly came up to the top of the room looking to see how far we were into the meal in order to 'rush us' - it did not work. It is a shame, the food/ambiance is good but the staff do not focus on the patrons in order to earn repeat business - maybe that is what the owner tells them.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Santa Barbara dinner
    Jimbo
    Dined on 12/28/2013
    We had the Paella & Enchilada's. Both were excellent. They served the largest, most delectable mussels I've ever tasted. Our only regret was that we were met, seated, served, finished in 40 minutes. We wish we could have lingered longer. But Alas, we were stuffed, and needed to take a walk.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gastronomical Treat
    scubastxVIP
    Dined on 12/27/2013
    We were visiting for Christmas and I was tired of eating "American" fare so I looked for something different. What a great choice! The different flavors were popping in my mouth. Though not a stranger to Spanish flavors and spices (grandmother was Puerto Rican), I am not necessarily indoctrinated in all things Mexican. I never had (my fiancee couldn't believe it) tamales and decided to try it after seeing it made on a news segment a day before we arrived in Santa Barbara. I'm glad I did. Unfortunately I had tapas, an entree and dessert; and I only say unfortunately because I was stuffed. I had to take food with me. I loved this restaurant, it's ambience and the service. Thanks Cava for making our last meal in Santa Barbara spectacular.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This was our first time dining
    greatnightoutfor4
    Dined on 12/23/2013
    This was our first time dining with you and it was fabulous. The food was excellent. The service the best I have had in a while and the staff all very friendly. It was a very pleasurable dining experience .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot for Halloween party.
    Foodie93150VIP
    Dined on 10/31/2013
    Located in the Center of Montecito. Great food, great staff. Excellent margaritas. Don't pass up the lamb, it's one of the gems of their menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I have been dining here for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/30/2013
    I have been dining here for years. One of my Montecito favorites.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, romantic, late-night find, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We went on a Monday evening,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 10/28/2013
    We went on a Monday evening, so it was pretty quiet. We choose to sit in a booth - very cozy! I ordered one of their specially cocktails - it was wonderful! My husband and I decided to share a couple of tapas (mussels with chorizo and stuffed chiles). Both were very delicious. For a main course, we ordered the ribs, unusual to find on a Spanish/Mexican menu. But, they were amazingly tender and the flavors complex and good. Portions were generous. We were too full to contemplate eating anything else. Service throughout the meal was excellent. When we return to the area, we would definitely have another meal at Cava! I hear they have live music on other evenings....that would be a nice addition.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently great
    DianeVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2013
    I love the food, cocktails and the live music playing. My daughter loves the guacamole! Great place to dine!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We were visiting Santa Barbara
    lovehealthycuisine
    Dined on 8/10/2013
    We were visiting Santa Barbara for the weekend and had been referred to Cava by a friend. We weren't disappointed! The food was delicious and fresh. The staff was very attentive and we could see that this was a local favorite and felt very lucky to have had the opportunity to dine here. If we had more time in the area, we would have re-visited again. Definitely next time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MMMMM Mexican
    mom2diVIP
    Dined on 7/30/2013
    Delicious Mexican food, starting with piquant bean dip and spicy salsa with very thin and crispy taco chips. The entrees were huge, and could easily be shared. Both the paella and the seafood enchiladas were wonderful. Service was attentive. Margaritas were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent food,
    jerseyguy
    Dined on 7/28/2013
    The dinner was wonderful, good portions, and the service was very attentive. Entire experience was very satisfying.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot!
    travelgirl
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    Our favorite place in town! Fantastic menu, great staff and cute spot..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.