Montecito Cafe

Montecito Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://montecitocafe.com/
  • Phone: 8059693392x
  • Hours of Operation:


    Lunch: Daily 11:30am-2:30pm
    Dinner: Daily 5:30pm-10:00pm
    Bar Hours : Daily from 5:00pm-10:00pm,
    Bar is Open until 11:00pm on Friday & Saturday
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Contemporary French
  • Executive Chef: Mark Huston
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Special Events: We will be serving a 3 Course Dinner For New Year's Eve. Please call us for reservations at 805-969-3392

Getting there

  • Cross Street: OLIVE MILL ROAD
  • Public Transit: Olive Mill Rd Bus Stop
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Street Parking as well as free valet parking is available
A word from Montecito Cafe
The Montecito Café is a family run restaurant and was established in 1986 by husband and wife team Mark and Margaret Huston. The food is simple and delicious. The Montecito Cafe has been awarded "Best Restaurant in Montecito" for the last 15 years in a row. We make all of our own soups, sauces, stocks, dressings, hamburger buns and desserts daily from scratch on the premises. We use only the freshest and highest quality ingredients and specialize in fresh fish, salads, pasta, grilled meats, burgers and sandwiches. Our desserts are excellent and we are famous for our coconut cake. We strive to provided quality service and value to our customers every day. We are located in the beautiful Montecito Inn Hotel built by Charlie Chaplin and free valet parking is available.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
Montecito Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
49 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (30)fit for foodies (21)special occasion (21)great for lunch (20)romantic (18)great for brunch (12)good for groups (10)notable wine list (6)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (3)late-night find (2)hot spot (2)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    The new reservation process worked very well. We were seated at the time we requested. The food of good, not great. We have eaten here many times in the past. It is very convenient to our home and a nice, casual place to bring visitors (which was the case this time). We waited an extremely long time for our dinner to arrive after one member had received his soup. The staff seemed a little hassled. Being with family made it ok because we had plenty to talk about!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place
    JustAl
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We have eaten at Jane, their sister restaurant, and loved it. The Montecito Inn is better. Same great food and a quieter more romantic restaurant. You musst have the goat cheese pancakes... off the charts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very good fresh food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I've been going to this restaurant for 25 years with my family. It's as good now as the day it opened. Great consistent fresh food and good service. I highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good All Around Spot
    AndreaVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Adjacent to the Montecito Inn where we stayed, it was great to find a good restaurant at the hotel. We were a group of 3 and all chose different menu items. There is a good variety of options on the menu and we all enjoyed our meal. Especially good --- penne pasta with seafood. Delicious fresh bread too.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A tradiition of good dinning
    MLopez
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Montecito Cafe has been a choice destination for us for the past 19 years. Quality, price, and service are excellent.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Reliably delicious!
    robinVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Always one of our favorites. Food is consistently delicious, with a varied menu, something for everyone. The staff is always pleasant, and easy parking. Enjoy! Be sure and have dessert.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always A Great Stop
    foodluvr
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We always find a way to stop here for lunch or dinner on our way up and down the Central Coast. Good food and good location. Been doing so for 20 years.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a pleasure
    SallyC
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We hadn't been to the Montecito Cafe for dinner for quite awhile but took some friends who had never been before and we all had a lovely meal and the service was great. Year after year the Montecito Cafe is an excellent choice. It never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gem in Montecito
    DelMarDiner
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    There are many other fancier and more expensive places, but this nice cafe in the historic Montecito Inn (once owned by Charlie Chaplin) is a real find. Prices are reasonable and the food is good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding as Usual
    SpikermikeVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I've been here several times in the past and am never disappointed. All the selections are great. Will definitely come back when in the Santa Barbara area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently superb
    MLopez
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    We have enjoyed Montecito Cafe for the last 19 years never to be disappointed. Consistently superb. Marcelo
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just the thing...
    maven
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    We were looking for a good meal on a Monday evening and Montecito Cafe more than met our expectations. Dinner was great, the wine choices were excellent, and the ambience was "just right" -- Goldilocks-like.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Awesome experience, wonderful food, great service, spectacular setting, nothing better for an upscale, yet casual dining event. Food was superb, service was lovely. All in all a most exquisite place for dinner and conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistent
    Flossie17
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    I go here regularly and am never disappointed! The food is always good and the desserts are incredible! Also the entry way is beautiful and always a pleaser!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ginny
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Everything was wonderful....coconut cream cake was just so-so, but the rest was very good...
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Excellent food. Excellent atmosphere. Convenient location. Close to shopping.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovely birthday dinner
    doctorVIP
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    We had not dined at Montecito Cafe for a couple of years and were pleasantly surprise at the menu which has much more variety in food and price than the previous menus. The server was professional and very helpful and friendly. We sat near the window in the ante room of the main restaurant near the pretty fountain and fun people watching toward the sidewalk outside. Our meal was delicious from the celebratory glass of champagne through dessert. Look forward to our next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One of the best in town
    Darmok
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We have been dining at this restaurant for years. It is a favorite of locals. The food and service are consistently great. (Although the veal scallopini was very lemony for my taste this time). We usually go early because it can be quite noisy when it is full.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JIDCO
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    We eat here often and find the service, food, and ambience reliably congenial.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MC on our short list!
    2retiredSB
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    The latest lunch visit was for cousins, who came to SB for a short midday visit, some of them for the first time. One place had to represent the best upscale casual food and ambience of SB and the venue for fun bonding and re-connecting. MC delivered, just as it frequently does for my wife and I and our friends.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A local favorite
    Quebarbara
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Great food, diverse menu, relaxing atmosphere, easy valet parking - what's not to like? I have a friend who visits regularly from LA and this is our go-to spot. Montecito Cafe never disappoints!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food and Service!
    felixfeefs
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    They seated us 30 minutes past our reservation only because the people before us wouldn't leave. As an apology, they waived our cork fee for the champagne we brought ourselves. The service was great and the food was great quality new american!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • An Old Favorite
    ColinFraser
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    I've been eating here since I was a kid. It's still probably the best ratio of food quality to reasonable price in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very cool!
    irish1101VIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Everything about our dining experience was terrific!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Popular place
    KevinVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    My first time at the Montecito, enjoyed the atmosphere & food, also had great service. Had the El Macho burger which was one of the specials of the day....Delicious!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!
    Brandi
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    We were staying at the Four Seasons for a conference and found the Montecito Cafe. The absolute best chicken picatta I've had in my entire life. Seriously, this is a romantic little neighborhood gem you do not want to miss! We will be back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Good Place For Locals
    DishyVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    If you'd like a good large bowl of pasta, this is the place. But if you're looking for a more upbeat, more hip Montecito dining experience, you'll do better elsewhere. The waitress was friendly and helpful, the ambiance bland but okay, the room not noisy. Maybe if I was a local this restaurant would be okay now and then. But for an out of town visitor, it was pretty dull.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Charming
    CandiK
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Took the Inlaws for brunch and it was delightful ! The coconut cake was perfect for a light sweet desert.....
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful place for a meal
    Mnmustang
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We had dinner here during a recent trip to the area. A few days before, had a great meal at what turned out to be its sister restaurant. Even though the menu was basically same as the other restaurant in Santa Barbara, all three of us ordered something different off the menu with no drop in the experience at all. Special kudos for excellent service. Professional without being stuffy or snobbish. The notes from my reservation request were obviously reviewed. We were offered a specific table that was going to make it easier for my Dad to hear and for us to be able to converse during the meal. Thank you and highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 20 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 29 reviews are from the Montecito Cafe reviews archive.
  • Almost excellent
    SBLaura
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Made reservations for dinner on Mother's Day and were very excited about the special duck with blueberry, ginger and port reduction sauce, but they had run out at lunch! We asked for the same sauce on filet and lamb chops and were a little disappointed - especially with the lamb. The bread here is always a little disappointing, but the vegetables, salads, soups, etc. are usually perfectly prepared and presented. The hostess was attentive and our server was pleasant but a little scattered.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • An old friend
    Husky59
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    We have been coming here for years and love the place. Formal enough for those who want it that way and casual enough that a jacket is unnecessary. Food is always first rate and a nice mix of styles. Having valet parking there is a real winner as a bonus.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful spot: great food!
    SusanS
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    This was a lovely place for lunch, part of the historic Montecito Inn, right in downtown Montecito. The service was stellar: our waiter was friendly, willing to make recommendations and spot on with service. Our table had the yummy eggs benedict, a turkey sandwich with incredible fries and a baked egg panini. The eggs were perfect, and the accompanying provence potatoes, skinny fries and lovely fresh strawberries and blueberries were fresh and delectable. Don't forget desert: the coconut cake was beyond good. One complaint: the egg panini came on a squished up hamburger bun - did they run out of bread? If so, it would have been a good thing to inform us. Our party agreed we go back again and again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    The restaurant is great. The on-line reservation process was bad in that our reservation never made it to the restaurant staff. When we arrived they had no information about us, but made immediate changes to fit us in. I'll call them directly next time and skip your services.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great experience!
    Foodie4life
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Meal was delicious, but the coconut cake was HEAVENLY!
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always dependably good
    1localreviewer
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    My friends and I always say that we never had a bad meal at The Montecito Cafe. It is always good and we find ourselves going there more and more often.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 4starloverVIP
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Our go to place when we want a simple, well prepared meal. The service is always friendly & professional, the reservation always honored on time.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Favorite place
    BillTVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Fine food, service and location make this one of our favorite places. Montecito Cafe is a great place for dinner for two or to meet friends or family. Try the Coconut Cake.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistent
    Flossie17
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    I have been going to the Montecito for over 20 years. It is always excellent. It is also so impressive when one just walks through the foyer to the restaurant. It is a dining place to impress someone very special.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    The food is always excellent and the wait staff accommodating. One of my favorite places to eat
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unfortunate choice
    Lmhb
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    I have frequented this restaurant several times and loved it. Not so this time. Ok appetizer. Entree was not edible and was sent back. No charge for the entree but still a special treat dinner was rather spoiled. Truly tasteless watery completely unseasoned pasta and over cooked rubbery seafood. Very sorry to say because this has been such a special place in the past. Au revoir
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate