Arnoldi's Cafe

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4.5
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463 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Oldest Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara! We have two bocce courts on our patio with outdoor dining. Lots of pasta, steaks, salads, chicken dishes and homemade desserts...extensive Italian wine and local wine on our wine list...indoor or outdoor seating. We are a true local's secret and kid friendly.

Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, and breakfast on weekends.

We also host rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions, and large birthday parties.

Open for breakfast on the weekends, with Italian flare as well as the classics like eggs Benedict, omelette's, and french toast....

We also host kid's birthday parties during the weekends, bring in a jumper, music, popcorn machine and face painters!

What 463 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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ZG
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I really enjoyed this restaurant ! Although we would have love some sitting outside, the inside of the restaurant was also also good. The door was delicious and the prices not too bad. There is big portion of food so you might want to share.

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JP
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Unfortunately the service was terrible, the worst I’ve experienced as a local in Santa Barbara. Served our meals at different times with big time gaps in between. My pasta was the last to come out and when it did, it came with no sauce! Waited another 10 mins for the sauce. the manger was very apologetic and handled the situation with class. This place is a classic so for that reason worth a visit. Won’t be back for a while but at some point might give it another try.

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TB
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First off the Old World sandstone building is amazing. The inside of the original restaurant took me back to 1972 ( the first time I went there as a kid ) . Love the updated patio with fireplace , covered and uncovered dinning and 2 Bocce ball courts.
Service was spot on !
The food was amazing !!
We are going back soon.

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RR
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Really enjoyed the atmosphere, food, and service! My friends and I were celebrating a birthday and we all had a good time! It was their first time there and they definitely want to come back.

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DF
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Always good. Cozy and unpretentious. Friendly service.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cute Italian place with great service

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BP
Central Coast
20 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wife's spaghetti vongole was excellent. My penne with smoked salmon and peas was lacking taste. However, the key issue is that we did not even have time to finish our salads when the main course was brought to the table. There was no reason to rush our meal which detracted from our whole experience.

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BL
1 review
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 3

Fairly bland italian food. Cute little place though off the beaten path.

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P
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We go there at least once a week. Great food, try the salmon. Wonderful waiters, even the crowd, which is mostly local, becomes familiar after a few weeks. Santa Barbara’s oldest restaurant and still one of the best. Skip the LA inspired restaurants on State street and in the Estrada de Santa Barbara and go for a pleasant local evening. Drinks are good too.

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JO
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always pleasant, especially if you are there with children. The food never disappoints and the service friendly and attentive.

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M
New Orleans
13 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a large reservation with 17 people. This is a great place for any size group. The food was delicious. Service was good! Our friends had a fabulous time.

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T
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot for small, medium and large groups to have original Italian cuisine and an entertaining environment. No matter the occasion whether family time or business meal, the ambiente is very suppertive. Great selection and great service to the point make every visit quality time.

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OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent old school Italian restaurant!👍👍👍

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing evening great food service was really spot on wood plan in event there again.

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VR
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved loved eating here and our group had a wonderful evening. This place would be so much better if it had some bike parking! I came on my bike and there is very little bike parking.

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SS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food for a party of 4 Sunday eve. It was an enjoyable experience for all.

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BS
Central Coast
13 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We celebrated some family birthdays on the patio for brunch. It was perfect for the kids and adults. Great service, food, fun; it’s a new gathering place for our family

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BP
Central Coast
21 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The Veal Milanese dish found the veal to be much over-cooked, dry, and virtually tasteless. One the other hand, the clams in white wine sauce that was served to my wife was among the tastiest she has ever had. The Caesar salad was tasty, the lettuce crisp and the dressing tangy - a little more lemon flavor would have been appreciated. We will return for a future meal but I will never order that veal dish again.

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H
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great meal with delicious authentic Italian food and excellent service. One of my favorites

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We always love Arnoldis!

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DA
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We were there for my birthday, on the QT! The food was excellent, but the service was a tad slow. We sat for over minutes before the waiter came to take our drink order. The restaurant was not busy at the time of our reservation.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. The staff was very attentive. Food was yummy!!

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DW
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just a great neighborhood Italian restaurant. After repeated visits, the quality of the food and the service have been excellent. No pretense. Generous portions and great value. What's not to like?

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BA
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family style Italian place with great food, and reasonably priced. Busy. Make reservations, but even with reservations you might have to wait briefly.

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DD
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

A little disappointed in the food quality. The pasta was ok, the veal was dry and flavorless.
My associate was happier with her gnocchi than I was with my spaghetti

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KW
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 2

Unfortunately the hostess who greeted us was quite rude. We were given a table right by the door (the worst table in the room), even though we had a reservation. Had I not had friends visiting after a long trip to get here I would have left after being greeted so rudely by the hostess. The food is good, but it was loud and crowded where we were seated and that definitely detracted from our experience. Service was sparse, but the servers were friendly.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

My family was in town from New York. Arnoldi’s is one of my favorite places in town for casual family dinner.

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TV
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very friendly staff
Nice place to go with
friends & family
Great food & dessert

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H
Phoenix
28 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

What a disappointment! We had a reservation on Sunday, February 17 at 12:45pm. When we arrived the restaurant was half full. We got seated right away, but that was it! The waiter never showed up after that. We had to call him 3 times before he came to take our orders. The drinks never came and we only had ordered 2 coffees and one ice tea. The others were fine with water. Then we again needed to follow up on our drinks several times. After 45 minutes we had enough since the drinks were still not there. We told the waiter that we are leaving now. He was busy on his smart phone texting with somebody which we noticed several times earlier. His excuse was that the restaurant is very busy. But when we left we were the last party since they are closing at 1:30. Definitely never coming back to a place where customers are not taken care of or appreciated.

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R
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The meals were amazing!

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SL
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service, friendly staff, owner was making rounds and very personable. Food was tasty

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c
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a fantastic and authentic Italian dinner at Arnoldi’s. The service was timely and efficient and the food was plentiful and delicious. I’ll definitely visit again the next time I’m in Santa Barbara.

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S
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

waiter was terrific. He was very patient and knew the menu very well. very satisfied with Ruben's service

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P
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Benito our waiter was amazing. We had an early dinner and the place was empty which is great. The only complaint would be they put us in the table right by the door and every other table was empty.

The place was full and turned over twice before we left. I will be adding Arnold's to my weekly outings.

Thank you for an amazing meal and experience.

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D
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We were recommended this restaurant by a local hotel. It's bit out of the way but the initial impression is good. There is a bar entrance with cosy booths. Bocce is played out the back.

It was relatively busy. Our server was a very pleasant young man eager to please. He really tried his best throughout our visit but had little support from his peers.

We ordered some red wine and it came chilled! I complained and was told it was kept like that to preserve it and it would warm up with time!! I began to think I might not live that long. In view of the recommendation I persisted and we were given wine from a newly opened bottle at an acceptable temperature.

The food came, I had salmon pasta and my wife mushroom pasta. Both were bland and lacking in flavour. Regrettably shan't be going again. A shame, as the place clearly has been good and certainly has lots of potential.

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F
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We are a family of 4 and our brunch was super. Very good servings for a hungry crowd. We don't have our pet but good to see people are allowed to bring their pet in the restaurant.

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CK
Central Coast
23 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We love Arnoldi’s and have been going for over 30 years. From the Arnoldi family to bartender Jim’s years to the current owners. It is a great place and usually very enjoyable. The current owners have really driven a positive resurgence. The downside is the inconsistency. This past Friday there was some sort of big party /event. While it keeps the place vibrant they are not prepared to handle it and service and quality suffer. Service was painfully slow, even just getting a drink. The servers seem overwhelmed and unprepared and the food gets slow and inconsistent. We still enjoy going and kind of cross our fingers and hope for the best.

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CK
Central Coast
23 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Hadn’t been in a while. Had forgotten how good it can be.

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JW
Las Vegas
20 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Reservation was for 7:15 arrived at 7:00 and were seated. Wait staff were confused on who was to take care of our table. After 15 minutes a young man took our drink order. The order came out incorrect and we had to go to the bar ourselves to get the correct drink as the waiter was nowhere around. Bread was served with cocktails. It was clearly old. We asked for another basket only to be told they were out of bread. This is now 7:25 on New Years Eve and they are out of bread??? By 8:40 we still had no food. We asked for the check for our cocktails and were also charged a corkage fee of $18 for the wine we had opened to enjoy with our dinner which we never received. Very disappointed.
Had to take Uber to another restaurant hoping we would be able to get a nice dinner. Thank you Holdren’s for working us in!

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FB
New England
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We love Arnoldi's! I have been coming here since the 50's when I came with my parents. It looks just the same, which is very comforting in this age of change. The food is delicious and the service is excellent - very friendly and timely. Thank you to you all for doing such a consistently good job. We have always had a good meal and a great time at Arnoldi's.

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