Santa Fe Cafe
Santa Fe Cafe

Santa Fe Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://santafecafehiltonhead.com/
  • Phone: 8437853838
  • Hours of Operation:


    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm;
    Dinner: Daily: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Southwest, Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Austin Harris
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We offer our upstairs dinning area for large party private dining which holds thirty to forty people, which is great for rehearsal dinners and other events.
  • Private Party Contact: Marshall Sampson 8437853838
  • Entertainment: For a truly enchanted evening, dine under the stars in our open-air, climate controlled Rooftop Cantina complete with an oak fire in our Adobe Chiminea and unwind to live music from our Ranchero Guitarista Wednesday through Saturday nights.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Plantation Center
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Santa Fe Cafe
We bring the very best of Southwestern culture and cuisine home to the Lowcountry. Our menu has been an Islanders" preferred dining spot for over 20 years and with dishes like our famous grouper, to our bone-in cowboy cut black angus ribeye, our outrageous chimichanga to even lobster fajitas, we're sure to have a new favorite waiting for you. From the sounds of the live Ranchero guitar player to the smells rising from our mesquite grill, Santa Fe Café is a much welcomed reprieve for the senses. Even when you're outside underneath the stars on our Rooftop Cantina, we've got you covered.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Santa Fe Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
185 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (88)neighborhood gem (81)great for outdoor dining (76)special occasion (59)good for groups (58)kid-friendly (44)romantic (36)hot spot (27)great for lunch (20)late-night find (15)vibrant bar scene (12)notable wine list (12)great for brunch (6)scenic view (6)Show More
  • great food and atmosphere
    fairVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We really loved Santa fe cafe on our recent trip to Hilton head. Don't let the reviews that say it's overpriced scare you off. Food is excellent! Ribeye burrito is a must as well as the pork tenderloin. Portions are healthy and you will have enough for lunch the next day!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tourist Trap
    RSDCArch
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This place is a "Hilton Head tradition." I'm sure they've been overcharging tourists for mediocre food for years. If you are determined to go spend more money than you should for the quality of food and the ambiance ($280 for 7 people w/ only 4 margaritas), then do order the quail. Very well prepared but the maple syrup takes over about the middle of the dish. Avoid the chicken fajitas at all costs (and that cost is $24!). Dry & tasteless chunks of chicken w/ the usual Mexican restaurant sides. All else was mediocre w/ the exception of the onion rings, which are the best deal on the menu. Service was pleasant, but I would definitely not return at these prices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • consistently good
    MandM
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Dined at Santa Fe twice over a 2 week period, and it continues to be our favorite restaurant on Hilton Head Island. We have the pleasure of going there a dozen times over the course of a year, and it is always special. Food and service are always excellent. Menu has been tweaked but thank goodness its always an addition and not a subtraction----- everything on the menu should stay there, as all the items are awesome. Steaks always perfection, and when I try something different "just because", it's always great too. This past time it took me forever to decide because of the various choices. Close your eyes and pick, and you're still in for a treat. Great job, everyone, see you again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our favorite restaurant on HH
    BestVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    We have been coming to Santa Fe for years and love it. Every time we visit HH it is a must go to, sometimes twice. The food is fantastic and so are the margaritas. I wish they would franchise and open them all over the country!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Not your typical Mexican- some tacos and fajitas, but also some more classic entrees. For example, the Fajitas were the best I've ever had, but were also the most expensive and presented as a regular dish, rather than on the "sizzling skillet". Everyone enjoyed their dinners, and we all agreed we would go back soon.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gourmet Mexican food
    CraigK
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Santa Fe restaurant is a consistent winner. It has gourmet Mexican food. There is always excellent service and wonderful specials. The guacamole appetizer is a must. It goes very well with the house margarita. The fillet mignon fajitas were perfect. We were seated immediately at the time of our reservation. I would highly recommend having the reservation. This popular spot is not one to just drop into. We have been here many times and the service is always friendly and prompt. I will warn you that the cowboy steak is enough for two meals for a very large hungry man.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overpriced for Mexican fare
    midwestfoodie
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We went here for lunch a couple years ago and had a great meal, so decided this year to try it for dinner. Wow, what a difference! Dinner was WAYYYY overpriced for standard Mexican type fare such as Burritos priced at over $20 which does NOT include Rice or beans. You had to BUY chips and salsa if you wanted it where as most every Mexican restaurant I've been to provides this at no cost to patrons. Fajitas for basic chicken were $24 and I had to ask for cheese to go with them. The food was just OK- and when you factor in the prices, we agreed we'd definitely not be going back. If you don't mind paying that much for mexican fare, then you might like this place, but for the taste of the food to me, it was not worth it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent again!
    KennyG
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We have been to Santa Fe Café several times. The food is always fantastic. You have to try the painted desert soup! It is out standing. We always go to Santa Fe when we are on the Island. It is a must go place. Centrally located by Palmeto Dunes, you can't go wrong!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of our favorites in Hilton Head
    suzyqVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Santa Fe has become a regular stop when we are in Hilton Head...could not wait to eat here again this year. We sat in the room where they cook and liked this over sitting in the upstairs area. We shared the special quesidilla of the night and it was tasty. My husband dined on the ribeye burrito which was delicious. I had the fish tacos. I highly recommend this restaurant which is a bit hard to find if you're new to the area, sits outside the entrance to Palmetto Dunes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Date Night
    RunHHI2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We hadn't been out in months without the kids and the staff made this evening so relaxing & enjoyable; and they made sure to seat us away from all children. Def. make a reservation. The food was amazing as usual, consistently great service at this restaurant & we love the atmosphere. We'll be back as always :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • DaisygirlVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Very enjoyable evening. Staff was very accommodating. Food was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love this restaurant.
    Lovevaca
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Our food was amazing. The drinks were excellent. Staff was attentive. We look forward to our dinner at Santa February Cafe every time we visit Hilton Head.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • consistently great
    MandM
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Been dining at Santa Fe for years, and it never disappoints. It's the first and last place we go when visiting Hilton Head. The food is wonderful, it's unique, and I can't wait to go again. I'm stuck on the bone-in Cowboy Cut Ribeye, and wife loves the signature grouper, which has a sauce you won't find anywhere else. The Chimichanga is another favorite. Other great choices are pork chop, lamb, and ribeye burrito. Service is always great---same servers are always there, seldom turnovers, so they recognize us and make us welcome. Great spot for groups, whether family or friends. Small restaurant which allows attentiveness from staff, but big enough to be really fun. Love the window tables back near the chef's grill. Congrats to all at SF!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it!
    EmilyVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    I've been going to Hilton Head Island since I was a child, but this is the first time I've tried Santa Fe Cafe and I absolutely loved it! I had the Painted Desert Soup, which was incredible, and the Ribye Burrito, which, while huge, was also amazing. We split guacamole, which was homemade and very good. The atmosphere is southwestern, but I definitely recommend the rooftop; it's beautiful, peaceful, and I loved the Spanish guitarists that were playing. It was a wonderful experience, I would highly recommend it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Impressed
    LouG
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We love tex mex food but were not impressed with Santa Fe Cafe. Restaurant facilities were nice including a large outside deck. However, the food was mediocre. It reminded me of a Chi Chi's (if those still exist). Guacamole tasted okay, but was a dark green color will a very smooth consistency. Salsa was watery. Our fish, beef and chicken dishes were bland and lukewarm. Margaritas seemed a little weak. We would not recommend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • ONE OF THE BEST ON THE ISLAND
    Phil
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    THIS IS MY GO-TO PLACE FOR EXCELLENT SOUTHWESTERN CUISINE. MY PARENTS LIVE ON THE ISLAND AND WHEN WE VISIT THEM EVERY YEAR, WE MAKE SURE WE DINE HERE. WE ALWAYS TRY DIFFERENT ENTREES--WHETHER THEY ARE ON THE MENU OR A SPECIAL--AND THEY NEVER DISAPPOINT. TRY THE GUACAMOLE & CHIPS APPETIZER AS A STARTER. DELISH! LOVE FRESH GAUC! ALL ENTREES ARE FANTASTIC AND THE WINE LIST IS VERY GOOD. ENJOY!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • George
    Geo26
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Good southwestern food. Queso dip was very good. Shrimp tacos were good but too spicy for my taste. Main drawback to the restaurant was having to wait over an hour for our entree to be served. Too long of a wait when dining with children.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice Evening
    greatplace2dine
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    This is a really nice restaurant and had a great evening. We actually should about 45 mins before our reservation and the guy at the front had us a table in about 20 min. Even with it being busy night. The services was good and the food was great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our First Visit
    regularguest20
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    We visit HHI at least once a year and were referred to this restaurant when we asked a local resident for southwestern cuisine. We were definitely not disappointed - Great ambience and excellent food and drink menu. We look forward to our next visit.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    Luvtoeat
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Arrived at 5:15 and the restaurant was not crowded at all, which is a treat for Hilton Head in the summer. We were promptly seated and waited on. The food and service were excellent. It is a little more upscale and pricy than your typical Mexican restaurant but we will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Honey
    Hmoss
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    As usual we had a fabulous meal. We sat at the bar overlooking the grill. Enjoyed interacting with the chefs. The food was impeccable. We had the grilled filet and the pork chops. Started with guacamole and ended with toffee cake and coconut ice cream. We plan to eat here again when we are in HHI next month.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    We have eaten here many times over the years. Diner was excellent! The food is delicious - full of vibrant flavors and well prepared. I had the smaller rib eye - perfectly cooked. My son had a chimichanga that was excellent. Both the painted desert soup and the black bean soup were excellent. Great dessert. Will return with pour next visit to Hilton head.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Good
    Green1
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Have been going to Sante Fe for ~20 years. Focused menu but they have the meals down quite well. Have been there for many special occasions. Good to make a reservation especially during prime dinner hours.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Long Time Guest
    Vermaas
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We are local and have enjoyed Santa Fe for over 7 years. The only issue I have experienced is sometimes indoor dining is so loud it is hard to speak to people. This was not the issue Saturday night between 7-9. We brought a couple new to the Bluffton area and it was a great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dave
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    First time visit, totally impressed with the food and service, exceeded our expectations. Ceviche and chimichanga were outstanding. Will definitely be back many times. Only downside was it was kind of noisy and just from normal talking at the tables.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Food and service were excellent. Atmosphere was excellent. All in all a great dining experience.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and service, noisy.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    is was our first experience at Santa Fe. The food and service were good. Based on our visit, where you are seated has a big effect on the overall experience. We were in a are of the restaurant where employees were placing the food on dishes. It seemed the ere having a contest on which one could make the most noise slamming the dishes, which had a negative impact on our dining. May try this venue again, but would definitely not sit the same area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always delightful!
    DBenedettoVIP
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    We make it a point to visit Santa Fe Cafe every time we visit Hilton Head. We have never been disappointed. They do everything right and consistent. It is our favorite restaurant on the island. We would love to have one like it in Atlanta.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Satisfied the Mexican craving
    MexicanCraving
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    We tried this out. It was great. The food was good. Service was OK. Our server was not very friendly. The food was a little over priced for what you get. Plan to spend $80 to $100 to feed a family of 4.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quaint dinner spot - will be back!
    capitalcitygal
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    My husband and I have vacationed in Hilton Head a number of times and had not tried Santa Fe Cafe before. A friend recommended it and now we can't wait to go back! The guacamole was amazing as were our entrees -- I had the vegetarian chile relleno and my husband had the chimichangas. We were crazy stuffed - SO much food! - but our friend who suggested it said we couldn't leave without trying the pistachio cheesecake... and she was totally right, it was so good (and homemade, too!). All around great service and loved the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice alternative
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Overall, food was very well executed versions of standard southwest fare. Ceviche was especially good and highly recommended. Prices were a bit higher than typical mexican/southwest restaurants.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Upscale Mexican cuisine
    motherofafoodie
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Not only was the presentation of the food "wowing", the flavors of the dish were outstanding. Everyone one at the table tremendously enjoyed their choice, as well as the gluten free appetizer. My friend was so impressed with the gluten free choices. This was a gem which was referred to us by a friend. We will continue to refer other friends to this restaurant and will make sure to dine here again. We also loved that reservations were available.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great meal!
    8Friends
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Excellent food! Cheesy appetizer was yummy and large enough to share! The wait staff was friendly and very helpful!! We'll definitely recommend to others.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Consistently great food
    SueM
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    We brought friends to this restaurant which is a fav of ours. They thoroughly enjoyed the breadth of menu offerings and energy of the restaurant. Wine & beer list had some interesting and different-than-the-usual selections. Food was excellent as always - the Painted Desert soup (yes, it actually looks like a painted desert) was great, my Herb-Roasted Free Range Chicken with cornbread stuffing was seasoned just right, and my husband's Outrageous Chimichanga was, indeed, outrageously good. We were glad we had a table indoors; while outdoor rooftop seating was available, there was a torrential downpour while we were eating....dodged that bullet!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • beachgirl42
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    We tried the Santa Fe Cafe for the first time during our recent trip to HH. We had late dinner reservations for the roof top patio. Fun and vibrant ambience, especially since they had live music that night. If you want seated outdoors, I would definitely plan ahead as there are not a lot of tables up there. Food was amazing as well. My husband had the appetizer ceviche and couldn't stop raving about it. Great quality food and presentation overall. Will defintely go back!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very Enjoyable
    ZaraVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Nice setting, attentive server and good food. The scallops and fish tacos were excellent. Will visit again!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect HHI restaurant
    Experiencelifenow
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Santa Fe cafe is just a nice treat and change from the usual seafood beach restaurant. Nice decor and atmosphere. We always request outside seating, but in the summer opt for later in the evening. Food and drinks are good, with a reasonable selection and variety, including seafood. The ceviche is my favorite appetizer with shrimp and scallops, cilantro and lime that makes it so fresh and light.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant
    runnergirl
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Great South West Food. Service was quick.. food great A must when you visit… Third time at this restaurant (go every year) and never disappointed
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Savory Restaurant
    FrequentdinerVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Food was very tasty. Best scallops I ever had. Being so near to water wish there were more fish choices . Enjoyed the restaurant however .
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good find on Hilton Head
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Santa Fe is tucked away in a what appears to be a business strip mall. I am glad we found it. The staff was very friendly and the food was good. We had a large group (11) and Santa Fe was able to make it work without a problem. Management slammed our server with several tables at once, but the server did a great job managing the situation. After dinner, we walked outside to listen to some music. The bar and tables outside are great for a date night. I would recommend Santa Fe to the visitors on Hilton Head Island.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.