Montecito Cafe

Montecito Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://montecitocafe.com/
  • Phone: (805) 969-3392
  • 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 WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Montecito Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
51 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (37)fit for foodies (18)special occasion (18)great for lunch (17)romantic (10)notable wine list (4)good for groups (4)great for brunch (3)scenic view (1)hot spot (1)kid-friendly (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • MLopez
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    The Montecito Cafe is an excellent restaurant. The prices are fair and the food is consistently good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cozy neighborhood bistro
    greenthumbVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    if you are staying at the SB Biltmore, this restaurant is right down the block inside the Montecito Inn. We ended up having dinner two nights because of proximity to our hotel. Very bright and airy with open kitchen at the back. Wait staff was very attentive. Appeared to be serving locals which is always a good sign. Off regular menu, ordered chicken piccata with side of spinach which was flavorful. Pear salad on bed of greens was ok - needed more pears and nuts and less dressing. Second night, enjoyed one of the specials - mahi mahi with cucumber relish- very good. Everything seemed to come with scalloped potatoes, which I found to be too greasy and lacked flavor. Fresh bread was offered. Have to request water with your meal.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Always great food. Best value in town. fjdkjfdkjfdjfdkj fdjdkjfdkfj dkjf kdjf
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We enjoyed it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Good food and very nice service. We had steak and seared ahi tuna, and both were good. The flour less chocolate cake was superb. The space is nice enough, but our window table had a view of the gas station across the street and the garage entrance. Enjoyable overall, and it was nice to be able to walk upstairs to our room at the Montecito Inn.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CBuf
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Friendly staff who greet you and wait on you. Excellent food with a good selection for a variety of tastes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Neighborhood Cafe
    MMJLCVIP
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I recently moved to Montecito and one of the best things about the move is Montecito Cafe. Everyone is so friendly, the restaurant is cozy and warm, the swordfish I had the other night was REALLY good. Since I like to eat out a lot, I'll be back there very soon! New nickname:MMJ@M
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Table was available and as requested. Service was excellent! Food was superb! Three different entrees order - three rave reviews! Always a popular restaurant, the Montecito Cafe continues to be one of the best!!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consitent
    sanysidroVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Food always very good and consistent. Been there many times with no regrets.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely luncheon site
    Joanie
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Took two girlfriends here for their combined birthday lunch and had a truly delightful time! Our server, Barbara, was wonderful...very attentive (without rushing us at all) and personable. The food was delicious...highly recommend this sun-filled, casually elegant, friendly restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jeanie
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Ambiance and menu were delightfully similar to our 10 year old memory of this, our favorite restaurant at the time. Prices remain amazingly reasonably for a gourmet prepared dinner. One of our meals was not quite as yummy as expected, as the spinach and heavy sauce on the flank steak were a bit too salty. Overall, however, still excellent and a great "buy."
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • over-zealous
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Hard to critique a waitstaff for paying attention, but our server was a bit over-zealous. Asked if we were ready to order within 3 minutes, and continued to ask every few minutes thereafter. I get the need to 'turn tables' and would rather be hounded than ignored, but this felt pressured. Can't say enough good things overall- food is always delicious and fresh, and after all, isn't that why we dine out? Low on pretentiousness, high on quality.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a great experience
    restaurantconnoisseurVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Montecito Cafe is always a peaceful and delightful experience! I recommend it for all travelers going up or down the 101! Lucky are those who live closer. The food is always superb; I love the veal piccata, the salads and the little salmon pancakes, the atmosphere is beautiful, the staff attentive and kind, and the coconut cake out of this world!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Great as usual. Never disappointed. It was a friends birthday and his request.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always great
    Husky59
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We are fortunate to live within 10 miles of this special place. I am glad Open Table services them as they are always busy. Great food and a busy but efficient staff.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • power outage
    cagirl36
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Unfortunately, I did not receive my entree due to a power outage! It was disappointing!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Must Try
    Localgal
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Don't hesitate to try this local gem! Great food, great service. Always a pleasant dining experience! Don't forget to try the yummy coconut cake!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Speechless!
    MJXXVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    We are locals and have enjoyed the cafe in the past...we rembered how lovely everything was so we jumped back in. Started with a martini.. It came half full and we were told it was "3 oz! And that's that! " (Next door at luckys for the same price it pours over the glass with the shaker left for extra! Then we ordered the trout salad (which was discribed amazing!) when it arrived at the table the odor of the fish was so gross and we couldn't send it back fast enough. I was planing on having salmon as my entree but after that, chose the "New York" steak. It had no flavor and I don't think it was a NY! We Never complain and honestly the staff didn't seem to care so we won't be going back unless we are invited. Sad very sad.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 19 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 43 reviews are from the Montecito Cafe reviews archive.
  • 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.