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Arnoldi's Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA
Arnoldi's Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA
Arnoldi's Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA
Arnoldi's Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA
Arnoldi's Cafe, Santa Barbara, CA

Arnoldi's Cafe

4.5
4.5
733 Reviews
$31 to $50
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 dinner 7 days a week! We also host rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions, and large birthday parties.We also host kid's birthday parties during the weekends, bring in a jumper, music, popcorn machine and face painters!

Make a reservation

2 people

9:30 PM


Booked 2 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Italian, Californian, Pizzeria
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Daily 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (805) 962-5394
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Private party facilities
    We have a room that fits up to 45 people. People walk through to get outside, but it is often used for private birthday parties, holiday parties and rehearsal dinners.

    We also have a patio that fits up to 100 people and can be reserved privately with a food and beverage minimum

  • Private party contact
    Sara Peri: (805) 886-2842
  • Neighborhood
    Santa Barbara
  • Cross street
    Cota Street
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

What 733 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • California Central Coast

    Kid-friendly

  • California Central Coast

    Neighborhood gem

  • Santa Barbara

    Kid-friendly

  • Santa Barbara

    Good for groups

  • Santa Barbara

    Neighborhood gem

  • Santa Barbara

    Good for special occasions

  • Santa Barbara

    Italian

733 Reviews
  1. DisappointedThisTime

    Exclusive

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 13, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 1
    We were very disappointed to receive a call 90 minutes prior to our reservation to tell us that we no longer had our indoor table and that we would be seated outdoors instead. It was cold and windy and not a nice way to treat repeat customers who were bringing first time visitors. Although, the food was delicious as ever and we were given a complimentary dessert, which was nice.

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  2. JML1234

    Central Coast

    22 reviews

    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on April 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful meal, the salmon and beef ravioli were fantastic!

    Is this helpful?

  3. KaityS

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Simon was an amazing server! He made our experience perfect. After so many years of not going to Arnoldis we will be back soon because of our server Simon.

    Is this helpful?

  4. JudithL

    New York City

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on March 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a great time with a delicious meal. Simon was a star server!

    Is this helpful?

  5. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The food & service was superb! We’ll be back! Patio dining is very casual, indoor dining is more formal.

    Is this helpful?

  6. DisappointedThisTime

    Exclusive

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent and a must stop when you visit Santa Barbara !

    Is this helpful?

  7. spaghettidinner805

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This was one of the best meals my husband and I have shared together. We celebrated an early Valentine's Day dinner on 2/13. The staff was fantastic; friendly and helpful and genuinely seemed happy to be there. The food was classic Italian with large portions and plenty to share. We ordered the Gnocchi Tricolore, Bruschetta della Casa, and Bolognese Spaghetti. Tiramisu for dessert, of course. It was great. We will be back 100%! Thank you to everyone who made our night special.

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  8. Shadi

    Central Coast

    9 reviews

    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on January 25, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We had pasta with Pomodoro sauce, which was very good, and Spaghetti with fruti de mare, which was good, but a little saltier than usual. Arnoldi's is a great local neighborhood gem with good service and comfortable atmosphere.

    Is this helpful?

  9. JudithL

    New York City

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My friends and I hadn't been to Arnoldis in a few years. We had a delicious dinner, fun evening, and we will come back soon. Simon was a star server!

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  10. SandieW

    Central Coast

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 7, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Front door was wide open - too cold. The spinach on my plate blah - need another veggie to add color - carrots perhaps? But the salmon was good.

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  11. Marsha

    Central Coast

    213 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    213 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    We three enjoyed our meals of salmon, chicken and veal Milanese. However because the front door was open it was cold inside and the noise level was high. We will return on a week night instead of weekend for a better time.

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  12. DavidH

    Washington DC

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Been visiting 2-3 times every winter x 10 and amazingly good food.

    Is this helpful?

  13. MattR

    St. Louis

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Probably my favorite Italian food in town - definitely the closest thing to what I was used to growing up near a true Italian neighborhood in the Midwest. Highly recommend Arnoldi’s!

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  14. PerieL

    Central Coast

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    We love Arnoldi's and the food is always superb. It being New Year's Eve the waiter seemed very much in a rush to get us in and out as much as possible. We did not feel welcome.

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  15. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    A true local, staple and hidden jam. The service is always expedient and the food is excellent. The outdoor ambience with fire pits and bocce ball courts is perfect as well. Best chicken parm in town!

    Is this helpful?

  16. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Liked the setting. Food was disappointing. They comped my guest’s entree, which was generous, but I expected higher food quality, although not perfection

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  17. LauraW

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 18, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    My husband's Eggplant Parmesan was tough and flavorless. My lasagna was fabulous! The service was good and the Christmas decor very nice and festive. We would return but avoid ordering the eggplant.

    Is this helpful?

  18. Shadi

    Central Coast

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on December 18, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food, good service, and the backyard next to the fire was perfect. It is nice to watch Bocce Ball players.

    Is this helpful?

  19. SMAG

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 17, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Parking sucks. More appropriately, the lack of parking sucks. Not a big deal but we had to park 2 blocks away. Fortunately we were a little early so we still got to the restaurant in time for our reservation. We reserved in-door dining but ended up having to sit outside. The table was under a heater so it wasn't a problem. The important thing is that the waiter was very good and the food was excellent.

    Is this helpful?

  20. maliburon

    Los Angeles

    88 reviews

    4.0

    88 reviews

    Dined on December 17, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    always great food....need to work with the servers ..didn't seem to very helpful that evening..seemed distracted. love the place for their food.

    Is this helpful?

  21. AnaZ

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 15, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Love that our table was ready, servers kind, food delicious, cozy ambience.

    Is this helpful?

  22. MelindaM

    Los Angeles

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on November 19, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always great good! Our go-to Italian restaurant for good Italian comfort food.

    Is this helpful?

  23. ChuckN

    Central Coast

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Many large parties in the outdoor sitting area made for more noise and confusion than normal but food and service were spot-on! Clearly the best Italian restaurant in town ! Many locals, less touristy!

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  24. SabrinaB

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 22, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Family friendly environment on the outside patio. Food was excellent, I had the Eggplant Parm. Good service. Highly recommend!

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  25. ChristinaB

    Central Coast

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 8, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Comfortable outdoor seating area, incredible service, delicious food and great wine options.

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  26. BrentonC

    Los Angeles

    41 reviews

    4.0

    41 reviews

    Dined on October 7, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Place is a casual neighborhood restaurant with a bar. Real comfort food which is surprisingly good. The Eggplant Parmesan was outstanding. Not fancy, but quality Italian food

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  27. DennisM

    Central Coast

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 1, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Everything was 100% Italian great. Appetizer & Vino perfect. Much food on main plates. Pasta was prepared perfectly.

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  28. IraG

    Los Angeles

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on September 28, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Staff was very helpful in accommodating and taking care of our party of 9, where we didn’t know with certainty who was going to show and exactly when. Food was excellent and well-prepared.

    Is this helpful?

  29. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 23, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 1
    My husband and I had the unfortunate experience of attempting to dine here last night. The ambiance is converted diner. The service is non-existent. Even Europeans would be left wandering, “where’s the wait staff?” Little did we know, that was a blessing. Once we received our “food,” we immediately regretted it. The lasagna was inedible. The gnocchi tasted canned. The pesto was reminiscent of a vat cured batch from Fresno. The wine had turned. And even the bread was epically bad. To top it off, wait staff tried to add another glass of wine to the bill! We weren’t even able to choke down the first glass having only drank it to wash the food taste away. In short, it’s bad. Really. Bad.

    Is this helpful?

  30. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on September 23, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Bruschetta wasn’t toasted. Rotoli was very salty. Eggplant Parm was tough. 6:00 pm seating, restaurant not too busy and our food was served lukewarm. Definitely Not the best meal I’ve had there. And it was embarrassing because I brought a professional chef who cooks for major celebrities and billionaires and I was going on and on about how good the food is there. He gave it 2 stars. :(

    Is this helpful?

  31. OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 22, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 1
    This is not fine dining! The food was poor! Veal had no taste… lemons were so dried out you couldn’t squeeze it on to the food. Pomodoro pasta was more of a cream base. The glasses were dirty and the water carafe filthy. Waiters were fine but this is below average establishment!

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  32. CynthiaO

    Central Coast

    45 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    45 reviews

    Dined on September 1, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Such a great staple & fun with wonderful food & drinks.

    Is this helpful?

  33. ChiaraG

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Good Italian food! Simple and traditional. I felt home

    Is this helpful?

  34. MelindaM

    Los Angeles

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on August 19, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always excellent food! This is our go to when we want traditional well prepared Italian food.

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  35. CoolAunt

    Houston

    20 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on August 6, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 2
    We went to Arnoldis for our anniversary. The service staff was impeccable. There was no availability on the patio so we were seated inside at a booth. There is no AC and no fans. It was stifling. Apparently the owner is too cheap replace the old chandeliers with ceiling fans. My husband enjoyed the lasagna (tho I thought it was mediocre). The pasta primavera that I ordered was a bit salty and dry and lacked flavor. I think the patio would have been enjoyable. I do not recommend that you eat inside on a warm day. It would be so easy to fix this problem. The owner obviously does not care about his customers’ comfort. It’s so sad that a long-time SB classic restaurant is being managed so cavalierly. Shame on the owner. The wait staff and hostess were friendly and professional. This review is not a reflection of them.

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  36. StuartP

    Dallas

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    We're in Santa Barbara every summer and always eat at Arnoldi's. It's very consistent. Love the ambiance when the server is attentive. We took guests again and they thought it was special. Not many restaurants like it. We already look forward to going back next year.

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  37. JohnL

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    As always, excellent dinner! Sorry we don't live closer.

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  38. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 13, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great! Thank you for accommodating us! So much fun!

    Is this helpful?

  39. OpenTable Diner

    Central Coast

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 3, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 2
    We made a reservation at Arnoldi’s as part of our college tour trip visiting UCSB. I read many of the reviews and figured there were enough solid reviews to give it a try. Unfortunately all of the bad reviews were spot on. The chicken Milanese was tasteless and the accompanying pasta was not only wrong but bad. The pomadoro sauce was really sweet. We’ve had better Ragu jar sauce. My 19 year old compared it to spaghetti o’s. The steak was mediocre and after a 30 minute wait for our food it came out raw in the center. The calamari was also tasteless and $20. The meat lasagna was decent but considered on par with frozen entrees. Our waiter was very nice but besides him the meal was an expensive disappointment. I wouldn’t even give them a second chance which is something I’m typically a big proponent of doing.

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  40. NicoleS

    Chicago

    41 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    41 reviews

    Dined on July 2, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Was so delish and the service was spot on. Our server was so courteous.

    Is this helpful?

FAQs

Arnoldi's Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (805) 962-5394.

Arnoldi's Cafe is rated 4.5 stars by 733 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

9:30 PM


Booked 2 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for Arnoldi's Cafe

600 Olive St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Cota Street
  • Neighborhood
    Santa Barbara
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Daily 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Italian, Californian, Pizzeria
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    Street Parking
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Phone number
    (805) 962-5394
  • Private party facilities
    We have a room that fits up to 45 people. People walk through to get outside, but it is often used for private birthday parties, holiday parties and rehearsal dinners.

    We also have a patio that fits up to 100 people and can be reserved privately with a food and beverage minimum

  • Private party contact
    Sara Peri: (805) 886-2842
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