1114 State St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101Neighborhood:
MexicanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.cielitorestaurant.com/
- Phone: (805) 965-4770
- 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 WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Cielito Restaurant - Best Restaurants in Santa Barbara ›
Cielito Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
75 reviews since July 30, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (53)great for outdoor dining (48)good for groups (37)special occasion (31)romantic (28)hot spot (27)vibrant bar scene (26)neighborhood gem (23)great for lunch (12)notable wine list (7)scenic view (7)late-night find (5)kid-friendly (4)great for brunch (3)Show More
- Never disappointsSB4diningVIPDined on 11/23/2014Love this place. The ambiance is awesome, the food is great, and the service is excellent. Have to admit if it was a tad less expensive, we would go there more often. By the time you order enough items to feel like you've eaten dinner, it gets expensive, but worth it every so often! They should add some less expensive items in larger portions in case you don't want to do the tapas sharing thing. BUT...we will be back in spite - just not frequently.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Spanish GourmetBigBzyVIPDined on 11/11/2014This was a fun restaurant with exquisite Mexican influenced dishes that could be shared tapas style.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delish & Charming Gem!brittx92384Dined on 11/8/2014Cielitos was such a great location for a bachelorette party dinner! The ambience was so great, it was very trendy and had amazing decor, the drinks were so good (especially the spicy margarita, it had a KICK!), and the food could not be beat. Every single plate was delicious and the service was outstanding. I can't wait to come back into the area and will definitely not miss this restaurant!Special Features:
- Awesome findOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 11/1/2014Cynthia made our evening at Cielitos very special. Outstanding dishes with a lot of flavor. The bacon back quesadillas, best I have ever eaten. I do not often write reviews and this gem deserves my time.Special Features:
- Good food bad servicevelvetwinkDined on 10/30/2014The food was tasty but the service was TERRIBLE. It was embarrassingly bad as I had a special colleague in town. It took forever to place our order. Food came out at the wrong time and we had to wait more than 10 mins for all of our meals to arrive. There was no water poured when we asked. Dessert was delivered without forks/spoons.Special Features:
- GOOD EXPERIENCErar62686VIPDined on 10/30/2014Read the reviews for the restaurant and they all seemed good. The only negative things I saw was the service was not great. When we got to the restaurant and I first looked at the menu I was a bit nervous, but the food was amazing!!! We loved everything. I am pretty picky, but tried things and they were all great. Yes, the service wasn't great, but nothing to complain about or ruin the evening.Special Features:
- Location, location, location!solchasseurDined on 10/30/2014My friend and I choose a small table next to the fountain and were immediately offered water, a menu, and a wine list. Everything I've ever had at this restaurant has been good and this day was no exception. The tortilla soup was delicious. Cielito Restaurant is located in a quaint off-State Street courtyard, where you feel like you're sitting outside a Bodega in Spain. I highly recommend you bring your out-of-town guests here. Visitor to Santa Barbara? Don't miss this restaurant!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great placetonySRT8VIPDined on 10/19/2014Food was good and service was very good drinks were good hostess very friendlySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Still GreatWatermanDined on 10/19/2014We picked Cielito as we are foodies but needed an early dinner for our large party in order to get to a concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Cielito was a perfect choice.Special Features:
- Mediocre experienceJennVIPDined on 10/18/2014We were sadly disappointed with our meal at Cielito which based on the reviews looked like it would be fabulous. We ordered the Tartara De Atun Nikkei (oddly bland for a ceviche with asian flair), Pulpo a La Plancha (octopus soft and lacking in grilled flavor, served over mushy yogurt sauce), and the special duck tostadas (these were good). Compared to the amazing octopus we had at Lark this dish was particularly disappointing.
- ArleneDined on 10/16/2014Wonderful service. The ceviche. Three different types was enough for a meal and by far the best I've ever had. Ordered the duckwich was a lelittle fatty and not hot so a little disappointing. One the whole a lovely mealSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A really fun place !funkyVIPDined on 10/16/2014The service was excellent! The wait staff was very attentive and kept our table clean, water glasses filled and the delicious chip basket full! The food was amazing! I had the enchiladas, delicious! My husband had the duck and finished every bite. It was very energetic and looked like everyone was having fun!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently great foodLeslieDined on 10/10/2014We have been to Cielito several times and always enjoy taking out of town guests there. The food is consistently excellent. The dishes have unique and delicious flavors. We like sharing several dishes at the table so we can get a taste of everything!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- very goodpizzaexpertVIPDined on 9/24/2014We experimented with new choices and weren't disappointed.Special Features:
- Food to truly savorSBPatDined on 9/21/2014The tapas style "small plates" may appear slight in quantity but the quality and flavors at Cielito are nothing short of amazing. Beautiful presentation enhances the enjoyment of the experience. Three of us shared the guacamole, pork belly "quesadilla" (which looks nothing like what you think of as a quesadilla but is about 3 inches high full of the pork), sopasitas with braised shortrib meat and carnitas tacos. It's the kind of food that makes you crave more. Lovely service, too. We left fully satisfied (=full but not stuffed) and we'll definitely be going back often!Special Features:
- Delicious and Fun - Go! Go! Go!OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 9/20/2014We began our evening by taking advantage of their wonderful happy hour menu - ceviche, mole with chips, and guacamole. Then we moved into the meals - from seafood enchiladas to chorizo tacos. Everything we touched was absolutely delicious. The food was only made better by attentive and friendly service from the entire waitstaff (beyond just our awesome waiter Chris). It was a lovely evening in a beautiful little hidden corner off Santa Barbara's busy streets. A night we'll remember!Special Features:
- Cielito delivers a great experienceksb48VIPDined on 9/20/2014We went to Cielito while visiting Santa Barbara for a concert at the Bowl. The restaurant is very well run, staff was knowledgeable and friendly and the food was delicious. The chips were fresh and tasted home made...perfectly salted and crunchy. We shared several dishes and all were fantastic....we will definitely return. The drinks were fun, refreshing and delicious.Special Features:
- Specials Worth TryingInveterateFoodieDined on 9/18/2014In addition to wonderful tapas items (such as the authentic Peruvian ceviche and the heirloom tomato salad), the special of Mexican sea bass was great. Wine selection was quite good also.Special Features:
- Great Restaurant, Great Ambiance.winetravelerVIPDined 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 SharingInveterateFoodieDined 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:
- The following 247 reviews are from the Cielito Restaurant reviews archive.
- 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: