1114 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101Neighborhood:
MexicanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.cielitorestaurant.com/
- Phone: 8059654770x
- Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Sunday 11:30am - 2:30pm
Tuesday -Thursday & Sunday 5:00pm-7:00pm
Friday & Saturday, 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Tuesday - Thursday & Sunday 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, Mexican, Tapas / Small Plates
- Executive Chef: Damon Murphy
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: From intimate to expansive, Cielito has the perfect space - and menu - for all your Corporate and Private Dining Events. Please see http://cielitorestaurant.com/private-dining for more information!
- Private Party Contact: Cynthia Beard 8889825066
- Entertainment: Join us for live music every Sunday and Tuesday night from 5-8pm!
- Special Events: From an outdoor lunch on a beautiful private patio, to intimate dining areas on the mezzanine level of the restaurant, Cielito offers many ways to create a beautiful and memorable private party or event. Please see http://cielitorestaurant.com/private-dining for more information!
A word from Cielito Restaurant
The core of Cielito’s vision is to bring the rich flavors of authentic, regional Mexican and Latin American cuisine to our Santa Barbara community. Drawing inspiration from decades of culinary vision and customs, chef Damon Murphy and his team awaken tradition while utilizing the freshest of seasonal ingredients that our area has to offer. Cielito features a mouthwatering Tequila bar with enticing libations and innovative cocktails as well as a wide selection of Tequilas and Mezcals. The elegant décor and sophisticated style of Cielito reflect our mission to provide both Santa Barbara locals and visitors with an unparalleled and memorable dining experience.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Cielito Restaurant - Best Restaurants in Santa Barbara ›
Cielito Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
104 reviews since May 20, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (66)fit for foodies (59)romantic (36)good for groups (36)special occasion (35)hot spot (31)neighborhood gem (30)vibrant bar scene (24)great for lunch (20)great for brunch (10)scenic view (9)late-night find (8)kid-friendly (8)notable wine list (4)Show More
- Great Restaurant, Great Ambiance.OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 9/13/2014This is an Awesome Restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara! What a find! WE had such a great table next to the fountain. The view was gorgeous. Food was exceptional! Staff Amazing!! We will definitely return on our next trip to Santa Barbara.Special Features:
- jkweJKWEDined on 9/9/2014Food was excellent as always, but music too loud for easy conversation and service was slow on this occasion.Special Features:
- Ideal for SharingOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/7/2014The menu at Cielito is ideal for sharing. So it is best for two or more people since then one can share several dishes. The Peruvian style ceviche was delicious and quite authentic. The kale salad was excellent and trendy. The octopus and chicken mole were both very good. An excellent and exciting dinner for two!Special Features:
- A culinary vacationVmi2000Dined on 9/5/2014Latin American Food or what you might call Mexican food has never been done like this before! If you don't know what to get, just ask you waiter what their favs are...you can't go wrong. I was disappointed that I was full because I had to stop eating...Special Features:
- Love2eatgoodfoodLove2eatgoodfoodVIPDined on 9/2/2014I love Cielito! The food is amazing and sure puts a gourmet twist on Katin American and Mexican cuisine!Our favorite and a go to every time we dine here are the Enchiladas VerDuras. The best Guacamole ever. The drinks are awesome .. And the European ambiance of their outdoor dining adds that "vacation" feeling. Ashley has waited on us several times and is professional as well as super friendly. Stellar service! One of my favorite places in all of Santa Barbara.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great as usualOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/30/2014I don't get to Santa Barbara often, but when I do I seek out Cielito. The food once again did not disappoint! Service this time was average, which was a disappointment given my past superb experiences. Hopefully this is not a trend.Special Features:
- Delicious and Romantic DinnerFoooodie87Dined on 8/30/2014My boyfriend and I dined here on a Saturday night to celebrate our anniversary and it was one of the highlights of the trip! The ceviche nikkei was the best we have ever had and we highly recommend it! The flavors are very rich so we opted to split the pork belly quesadilla and the seafood enchiladas; both were amazing. The quesadillas were smaller but loaded with flavor and we had three seafood enchiladas, which were perfect to split. It can be a crowded spot so I recommend reservations on a weekend or busy time. Our server was great and the ambiance is hard to beat! Great spot just off State Street that we plan to try again during a return trip!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- love itequiqueen3Dined on 8/23/2014we love to eat here - food is always great - just a little too pricey to visit very oftenSpecial Features:
- Great placeBugabooDined on 8/15/2014Great place! Fun and funky, fantastic food. A place to go with friends for sureSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Foodie's Mexican restaurantIEatSantaBarbaraDined on 8/15/2014Cielito offers really scrumptious, interesting and thoughtful food offerings. I miss the takeaway taco bar they initially opened at lunchtime and later closed, but the same fabulous tacos are available at their sit-down dining on either the outdoor patio or inside the restaurant in a more formal setting. Too costly for every workday eating, unfortunately but very worthy of an occasional celebratory treat. Their lunch margaritas are exceptional and every detail is carefully attended to. I highly recommend when you're in the area to visit the Museum of Art, to shop La Arcada or just in need of a special afternoon off!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mexican food eaten the Spanish way.COYSDined on 8/10/2014Wonderful taste combinations taken as small plates to share. Strong robust flavours leaving your tastebuds tingling with excitement. Lively atmosphere accompanied by knowledgable service.Special Features:
- ServiceWaitingDined on 8/10/2014The wait staff were either under staffed or just plain bad. The hostess and manager were great. We were comped an appetizer because we waited so long to be acknowledged when we first sat down. The waiter and busboy seemed bugged whenever we asked for something.Special Features:
- Always terrificOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 8/9/2014Whenever we head into Santa Barbara, we always make sure to stop at this restaurant. It has been about two years now, and each time we go, service and food are still consistent. Our waiter was very friendly and took great care of us. This is also one of the few restaurants where the hostess actually acknowledged my open table preferences. Nice touch. Will certainly return. PS>The Filet Mignon is exceptional!Special Features:
- Great TapasBillWVIPDined on 8/8/2014The small plates are varied and outstanding. Do not miss the Ceviche Trio. Each was so different from the other and all were amazing. This is a friendly and fun place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always nice but always same tableMargaretDined on 8/1/2014We always have a nice experience here and their service coverage is excellent. This visit coincided with Fiesta so it was understandably crazy. That said, I am puzzled as to why we nearly ALWAYS are given the same table adjacent to the bar which leaves me feeling we are neither in or out of the restaurant. Made reservations 6 weeks ago so it was hardly last minute & we often get this table! The wait staff and management take every opportunity to touch tables which we always appreciate. Ordered the salsas which are the best, Little Gem salad, seafood enchiladas & Enchiladas Verduras, special Margarita & Cielito Margarita. Big difference in taste between the margaritas, the Cielito well worth the price.Special Features:
- Good andOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/30/2014We had great appetizers and drinks, unfortunately it was the first night of fiesta and the mariachis were too loud and didn't leave soon enough, we couldn't hear ourselves speak. Otherwise great spot. Just avoid downtown during fiesta if you want to hear your conversationSpecial Features:
- somethins was offOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 7/18/2014Had 8 friends come after not coming for 2 months and the food was bad, Service needed work. Ask waiter help help with the order and she looked lost. Will not come back and bill with tip was over $600Special Features:
- Overpriced and poor foodfoodgeekDined on 7/17/2014Nothing was quite as good as it sounded -- the chef doesn't have it right. Plus the service was pretty bad -- either overly solicitous or nowhere to be found. And the interior space is cold and forbidding.Special Features:
- Great Food, Poor ServicedowntownprofessionalDined on 7/17/2014This restaurant has great food, fresh and very flavorful, good quality. The service is always slow and often unresponsive. I work nearby and go there often hoping it gets better, the servers are not very knowledgeable, they do not refill unless you ask, if you are drinking we all order two drinks at a time because it takes a long time for them to check on the table and bring your order. I call to make resrevations and often the machine answers, not a live person even during business hours. They do not provide take out meals for dinner, I can't imagine why the would decline selling food to customers like this. Often many professionals I work with say we are not going back...we wait a while and then go back because the food is so good.Special Features:
- Hidden GemVC93003VIPDined on 7/13/2014Had never been to this hidden gem down the side street in SB. Great mexican food with even better atmosphere and service. Will be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always awesomeSB4diningVIPDined on 7/5/2014Love this place. Whenever our kids are home to visit this is the place they want to eat at first! Great spicy Margaritas. The Ceviche is perfection and the chorizo and cheese with corn tortillas is the best thing EVER! May be a little on the pricey side, but well worth it. I would rather get perfection for a little more money! Servers are attentive. Never had a bad experience here and will eat here on a regular basis! They take reservations, would definately recommend doing so if you don't want to wait.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Maintaing ExcellenceSBPinotFanDined on 7/5/2014Food is wonderful, innovative, complex. Architecturally stimulating place. Solid wine list even though it's not big. Great drink menu. Outdoor tables like eating in Europe. Service can vary depending on where your table is located relative to both the bar and the kitchen.Special Features:
- Fun, oudoor tapas style dining.ninny13Dined on 7/4/2014My daughter and I love ceviche, and this restaurant offered quite a few choices (we ordered 2 different styles and both were fantastic.) Located in outdoor shopping plaza, lots of good people-watching from the outdoor tables. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for in quality and flavor.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A findPickyDinerVIPDined on 7/4/2014We loved the innovative and tasty food at this nouvelle mexican place. Bills itself as Mexican but I don't think this is the kind of food you'd find in Mexico. Some highlights: octopus perfectly cooked and delicious, chicken with mole sauce divine. Outdoor seating with turtles swimming nearby a special treat for the kids. Would definitely go back when we're in town next.Special Features:
- Welcoming staffCrashtestpattiDined on 7/4/2014We were early, but no problem they were happy to fit us in. Beautiful patio setting in Spanish style arcade. Delicious food and efficient service.Special Features:
- Great ambianceDanaDined on 7/4/2014We made a reservation for the 4th of July and although there were a lot of people, we were served very quickly. We ate the chicken mole, the tacos al pastor, tacos de costilla and the Ensenada fish tacos. They accommodated my husband wanting his fish tacos with the fish grilled. Lovely time and great food. We liked the beans that came with the tacos; very fresh. The fountain with the turtles was especially pleasing to our daughters who remember this feature from their childhood. Good selection of beer. Chips (totopos) were close to my homemade ones, good job. And no, the guacamole was not overpriced.Special Features:
- DifficultStanleyDined on 7/3/2014Menu was obscure, and went on and on with strange terms. So we just gave up and ordered oddly named tacos and enchiladas, The tacos were bad-tasting and the seafood enchiladas were over-expensive. Then, when the place suggested tips-levels, those reached 30%.Special Features:
- Fun food and yummy margaritassarielaDined on 7/2/2014The size of the tapas was just right as there was enough to share and the flavor combinations worked great. The Huarches de Hongo were my faves. The Cielito Margaraitas are simple but tasty. Just what we were looking for in straightforward margaritas.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 6/25/2014Excellent! Had a multitude of the small plates ( tapas) and all very good to outstanding.
- Nice courtyard gemOpenTable Diner Since 2014VIPDined on 6/24/2014Location is great in the middle of a courtyard. They have outdoor seating right near a fountain with turtles. The ceviche special was OK. The tuna was great but the flavor was a bit off and there were some pieces that were way too crunchy to match the consistency of the remainder of the dish. They never softened either being in a sauce. I had the pineapple cucumber non alcoholic beverage that sounded like a weird combination but was absolutely delicious.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/21/2014Food was hit or miss. The ceviche was wonderful but the empanadas were soggy. The big downfall was the service, though. We had two adults and two teenage boys in our group. As soon as another party got seated next to us, which consisted of six young women, our waiter totally ignored us. Even though I ordered it much earlier, I only got my second drink as I was taking the last bites of my meal. Both my son and I ordered two small plates instead of one entrée; the second plate for both of us got delivered much later than the first, when the other two in our party were nearly finished with their meals. I would NOT dine at Cielito again.
- Better than ever!!!AlanDined on 6/21/2014It had been a while since we visited and the experience was better than ever. We will be back soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice but too expensive.RichDined on 6/15/2014We have been to this restaurant several times before, but I think this will be our last time. The service is a little too snootie for my tastes and the food is too expensive for what they are serving. The atmosphere is nice and tasteful but overall there are better restaurants in town.
- Mexican Tapas in Santa BarbaraSffoodieVIPDined on 6/15/2014Located at end of an alley off State Street is this wonderful gem serving Mexican food tapa style as well as some dinner entrees. Our group of 8 were celebrating a UCSB graduation and between us we tried many of the dishes on the Tapas part of the menu. All dishes were interesting and very tasty washed down with excellent cocktails. Strongly recommended but remember this is not your local taqueria!!! Be adventurous and be rewarded.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday celebrationGalsinSBDined on 6/14/2014Overall we thought our dining experience was outstanding. Food was delicious and drinks were superb! Can't wait to go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tapas or toplesswinetravelerDined on 6/11/2014The chili sauces were wonderful. The guacamole was very good. The chicken mole was dry and lacking mole. The tacos were un-inspired.
- Bad experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/10/2014Service was excellent but I wish I could say the same thing about the food. It was overpriced and had no unique flavor or any for that matter. I was scared to get dessert.
- Very NiceLimeade5Dined on 6/1/2014Every dish was superb. Service was attentive and cheerful. By far, the best Mexican food in Santa Barbara.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Glad we went back the second timeequiqueen3Dined on 5/30/2014Went there in the beginning and thought we paid way too much for our food and left super hungry. This is not the place to get a few appetizers to share and call it good. Their appetizers are very small. That being said this time when we went we had 2 appetizers and shared a plate and we left satisfied but not over stuffed, and the food was AMAZING - highly recommend the ceviche trio ad eating it with their plantain chipsSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great tapas style food!!!BobGDined on 5/25/2014Cielito's Mexican inspired cuisine is very creative, with an excellent mix of ingredients that are unexpected, but work well together. Asparagus in a quesadilla? Yep, and it was fabulous. How about short rib sopes? Another winner. We've been here several times with a group, and ordered lots of small plates for the table -- definitely the way to go. The service could be better -- we had to ask twice for beer refills, as well as for additional chips -- but the servers were all friendly, and we'll definitely be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.