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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 4 times today

Arnoldi's Cafe

4.4
368 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Comfort Food
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!

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Californian, Pizzeria
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Hours of operation
Sunday Brunch: 8:30am - 2:00pm; Lunch Tuesday through Friday: 11:00am - 2:00pm; Nightly Dinner: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(805) 962-5394
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Alexis Bayet
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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

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Private party contact
Sara Peri: (805) 886-2842
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Cota Street
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 368 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 5 days ago

We were not seated until 7:45 even though there were empty tables and we were 20 minutes early, once seated 10 minutes before your drink and appetizer order was taken...
Very disappointing, second time this has happened...service just not the same...we are long time patrons..... was one of our favorites for more than 40 years

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Good food in a unique setting!

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1.0Dined on April 15, 2018

The menu prices on OpenTable do not reflect the actual restaurant price! Menu prices on Open Table are MUCH lower than when you get to the actual restaurant. This is NOT okay. This is very misleading. You would think they'd keep this information updated, but I have a feeling they want to attract more people, so they deliberately keep the prices low online, but it was a shock. We brought a special bottle of wine and their corkage fee is $18 - and their server had no idea about the "etiquette" of opening the bottle and pouring/serving it. I had to tell him to please pour everyone a glass. For an $18 corkage fee, they better learn how to do it. They seated us in the "back room" which is horrible - very stuffy and hot and absolutely no ambiance. It looks like an old worn out mess hall. The front room is so much nicer, we can't figure out why they don't do something with the back room. They throw a plastic pitcher of water on the table and expect you to pour your own water. I would expect this in a cheap cafe, but not a more upscale dinner place. Lastly, the food was not good - not for the price they are charging. The lasagna was mushy and bland and just overall bad. We've been here many times, and the lasagna was one of our favorites, however, this time, it was really bad. For the prices they charge, they should really focus on improving these things - when you are paying $25-$35 for an entree, there are plenty of other places in town that are much better. Management needs to take a look at these things. We will not return nor will we recommend.

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

In Santa Barbara for my birthday and wanted a casual place for my favorite authentic non-fussy food to appeal to a small group. A bit of a snag when we arrived and were told there were no tables outside, but when pushed the host said it would be a 10 minute wait and we chose a drink at the bar vs settling for the inside which was small and not what we were looking for. Outside was great to enjoy a warm evening with lots of groups celebrating and families. Server was nice and attentive. Food was as expected (a good thing) with many authentic items to choose from. Everyone enjoyed their meal. Don't skip the garlic bread and sauce for dipping. A good locals spot to enjoy.

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2.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Had the special pasta with mushrooms, procuotto, peas, etc. i n a cream sauce. Something in it tasted old. After getting home my daughter and I both said we could still taste something in our mouths, especially after belching (sorry) that tasted old and rancid. Our fault, we did not say anything to our server. Politeness doesn’t pay.

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4.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Seven of us met for a family reunion. We ate in the back room (on purpose), and had a really pleasant time there. the food was good, the service also was good and the ambiance just right. We ate on a weeknight and luckily the place wasn't all that crowded. Great for me as I am severely HoH and so was able to hear quite well.

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Bocce anyone? Best in Santa Barbara! The menu is solid, and is classic family Italian. Fun place to eat, and service is very good . This is a regular for us for years...

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5.0Dined on March 28, 2018

The meals were plentiful and Delicious!! Our waiter, Terry, was as attentive as he could be. He got very busy , for a Tuesday!

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4.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Went to Convivo and couldn’t find anything on the menu that either one of us wanted to eat - way too fancy. So we came here for traditional Italian fare and it really hit the spot. we both had the 4 cheese penne and it was delicious! Full bar and great waiters, friendly warm atmosphere. Loved it!

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

One of the oldest restaurants in Santa Barbara, we've been eating at Arnoldi's since the early 1960's and have always had great dinners. Excellent food, wonderfully prepared, and served by a friendly and professional staff. All in all, a great place to dine!

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4.0Dined on March 12, 2018

Not bad but service spotty

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3.0Dined on March 11, 2018

I had the ribeye. Completely tasteless. My girlfriend had the New York. Less than tasteless. They were out of all the wines we tried to order.

Maybe the pasta is good, but we won't be back to try it.

We did sit by the window, and it was raining. That was nice...

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

All the servers for our son's wedding rehearsal dinner and the breakfast the day after the wedding were amazing - accommodating, prompt, polite and very helpful. Food was great and ambiance wonderful. Thank you!

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Dinner at Arnoldi's was fun! We sat outside next to the bocce court, and (with a glass of wine and a plate of delicious calamari) tried our hand at the game. Dinner was delicious -- spaghetti al vongole (with clams), veal piccata. The atmosphere is friendly, family-like, very comfortable and authentic.

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4.0Dined on March 6, 2018

The food was really delicious and came out very quickly. Very authentic. The ambiance inside the booth we were sat in felt very private so really good for a date! Pesto gnocchi was insanely good!

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2.0Dined on March 3, 2018

It’s wonderful that the restaurant itself hasn’t been changed but the food was very mediocre. My meatballs were tough and flavorless.

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3.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Kind of a joint, which we happen to love. Kitchen is fairly competent. Nothing brilliant, just good everyday Italian fare. Tasty. Garden is wonderful when weather cooperates. The flaw? Appallingly uneven service. One week everything is fine. Go back a week later and the main course arrives before the salad, not good in California. Worse, our server this time didn't understand our orders, didn't clarify, and brought the wrong food. And it isn't just one server. Different servers make the same mistakes. They don't know how to hire help here, and they don't know how to train it, and there is no one in the dining room to police the place and make it work correctly. I wish they'd figure this out. We keep waiting for management to notice and fix this, but nothing happens.

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4.0Dined on February 22, 2018

Old school Italian restaurant. Intimate booths, but the outdoor dining on the bocce courts is energetic and fun. Check out the mural of Lake Como in the dining room en route to the al fresco/ bocce area. Thumbs up all around.

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4.0Dined on February 20, 2018

Arnoldi's is a neighborhood gem. Step back in time to authentic Italian cuisine. This family run restaurant is the perfect place for delicious food and a glass of wine. Check out the outdoor bocce ball courts and play while you dine.

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2.0Dined on February 17, 2018

This is hard because the food is decent. I think had the experience been better we would give it another shot. My husband and I had never gone there and thought we would give it a try last night. We went on OpenTable and saw that there were a lot of reservations open, and made one for 9 PM. When we walked in the door it was basically empty. We were immediately told the kitchen would only be open for 10 minutes and we needed to order right away. We were hustled to a table and we immediately started looking at the menu. As soon as a server brought us water we put an order in for their antipasto. We were rudely told that we needed to tell our waiter. Because we could tell they were anxious to get us out of there, as soon as our waiter came over we put in a drink order and ordered the antipasto. The couple sitting behind us told us not to worry the kitchen had not been very busy all night. After waiting for a few minutes and seeing how everyone was running around and we hadn't gotten our antipasto I went and asked our server about it. He told me he had forgotten to put it in and he would bring it right out. As soon as he said that our orders came out. We' had only been there 15 minutes. We told him to forget the antipasto and we would just eat our dinner. I noticed that they were starting to sit people at the bar that looked they were in there a lot. As I went to the bathroom there were some other people that were going to the bar and I heard the servers tell them hold on "we're trying to close down for the night." My husband thought it would be appropriate to leave 15% for a tip. I disagreed being that the service was so bad. CaDario and Tratorria Victoria are two very good Italian restaurants in the area where the service and the food are much better. I would suggest you try those before heading to Arnoldi's.

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4.0Dined on February 15, 2018

Casual, locals cafe (though tourists are now discovering it). Very caring staff and Alissia is on top of all. No bocce tonight-so settled inside. Olympics on tv- so bar action—a fun atmosphere. Caesar salad always great and large enough to split and pasta special was good . Pizza not on menu—but love very thin crust w/mushrooms—yum.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Arnoldi's has been a bit "hit & miss" lately. Our last two experiences have been very good so we're hopeful that they've got the consistency going.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

More than we asked for. Great place and will visit again.

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5.0Dined on February 7, 2018

Love the private booths. This place has stood the test of time attributed to their great food.

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5.0Dined on February 5, 2018

Arnoldi's is a real Santa Barbara gem. The portons are great , If you like northern Italian food this is the place. I really think you wont go wrong on ordering anything on the menu. It's all good.

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4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

This was my first time at Arnoldi’s. I had heard many great things about it. When first entering, I felt like I had walked into an authentic New York Italian Restaurant. It was a good feeling. It could use a little remodeling. The table wobbled excessively. The service was very nice. The wine list could be a bit larger but it was sufficient. My husband ordered a sausage dish which he enjoyed very much. I ordered the lasagna which I have to say was mediocre. It was very salty and the cheese (or possibly some of the pasta) was hard and difficult to chew. Very little cheese in it. The portions were large and we had enough to take home. I will visit there again but try a different meal next time.

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5.0Dined on January 19, 2018

Good, old-fashioned Italian food. They had enough room to accommodate our 10 people.
They have inside and outside dining, an inside bar, and a bocce ball court outside. Parking is a challenge since the city just recently painted a huge red zone on the side of their restaurant to accommodate a bike lane on a very small, narrow street called Cota...why? The City makes no sense. The restaurant was very nice in letting us amend our order so that the 5 children with us would have their pasta like they wanted it. They have a variety of sauces offered to put on your pasta which is nice. My husband had the lasagna bolognese and LOVED it!

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2018

Best seafood pasta I've ever eaten. Bocci courts provide lots of fun for kids. Service is great too. A real gem in Santa Barbara

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2018

Went here for Mother's 96th birthday. Been coming here since 1969 when Jimmy and Helen were operating, and Joe at the bar. Grandfather used to go over on weekends and play bocce ball out back, then play poker with his buddies. Food is better than ever. If your looking for 'high end - fancy' Italian cuisine this is not that type of place. It is however outstanding, home style, traditional Italian food. Our family is Italian, and not easy to please with Italian food, and we love it. We were seated in the 'back room' adjacent to a table of 22 LAFD men who are here fighting the fires and doing search and rescue. When their meal was nearly over, the owners of the restaurant come over to thank them, as we all had, and announced they were buying their dinners. Really nice gesture from great owner/operators. No one else in restaurant knew but us. So it was done from their hearts, with much gratitude for the brave men.

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5.0Dined on January 11, 2018

We had an excellent meal and service - again!
Thanks,

Jeff Post/TRI Commercial Real Estate

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5.0Dined on January 5, 2018

Very lovely authentic Santa Barbara dining experience. Every time I go to Arnoldi’s It reminds me why I fell in love with Santa Barbara 38 years ago. I love how walking into Arnoldi’s makes you feel like you are walking into a well-loved relatives home, and the food tastes like your grandmother’s Sunday dinner...never disappoints! Great friendly staff.....love Arnoldi’s, just wish they had more booths!

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5.0Dined on January 2, 2018

Driving thru Santa Barbara with hungry kids, we decided to check out Arnoldi’s. Found this restaurant to be totally charming, very friendly and attentive service, great food and great drinks. The noise level was perfect to have kids with as they didn’t annoy the other diners. Would absolutely go again.

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5.0Dined on December 23, 2017

Great place for our Family and friends Christmas gathering -service and atmosphere were terrific.

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4.0Dined on December 2, 2017

We were seeking a Rib Eye without driving to Woodland Hills. We had a great meal with fair service, a lot of waiting between services. I had the Veal Marsala, and when it got to the table you could tell it had been under a lamp for a little while. 2 of us without booze was $120 with tip. Oh, the Calamari was fantastic!

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5.0Dined on November 27, 2017

Good Italian for Ca, but not like east coast. Oooookooooooooooooooooooooo

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2017

A classic Santa Barbara diner. Always good people, good food, and good vibes.

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5.0Dined on November 11, 2017

We always have a great time sitting outside by the bocci court.

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5.0Dined on November 1, 2017

Chose restaurant based on Yelp reviews and was happy to find the favorable reviews were true. Not only was the food good, they were very accommodating to my dietary needs that day. It's a true neighborhood restaurant and will go there again next time I'm in SB.

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5.0Dined on October 27, 2017

the food was fantastic, and the service was good I was very happy to fine this restaurant

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5.0Dined on October 20, 2017

This is an historic, local restaurant with lots of atmosphere, a friendly staff, and satisfying, tasty food.

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