Cava Restaurant & Bar

4.5
523 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Cava Restaurant & Bar features an eclectic mix of nuevo Latino and Mediterranean cuisine to go along with inventive, hand-crafted cocktails.
We offer a unique wine list of owner selections from Spain, South America and California.

The décor, menu and staff here at Cava Restaurant & Bar reflect the sophisticated yet casual character of Montecito.
Enjoy a vibrant outdoor patio, romantic dining room, cozy fireplace and a beautiful bar setting. Original artwork by Channing Peake,
vintage pottery by Gorky Gonzalez, striking interior notes by
David Minicucci and the seductive sounds of local musicians Téka and Daniel Navarro lend Cava Restaurant & Bar it’s distinct and inimitable style.
What 523 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
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, great food, nice live music that wasn’t too loud.

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R
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Food and service was good, the one thing I would have changed was that when we asked for chips and salsa, the server asked if we wanted guacamole too (I said yes because guac is great) but didn’t tell us it would be an extra fee. Even so I expected to get a $2, maybe $5 charge on the check with the bill. That guacamole costs $15. The chips and salsa are free on their own but getting guac is an extra $15! The server didn’t let us know about that and it was ridiculous in my opinion.

Other than that the food is good, worth the trip if you don’t order guac.

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JW
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We love coming to Cava when we are traveling the coast with our dog, because they offer outdoor seating so we can dine with our pup. The staff is marvelous, and always provide water for our doggy. It's a fun, casual place. We will always come back because of their dog-friendly policy.

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JF
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Drinks are great; food is delicious. Always a fun time at Cava!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was amazing!!! Food, atmosphere, and service. The prices were on point, also.

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JD
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

This restaurant was sub par! Food not worth the long wait, service was terrible and the hostess on the night of July 4th was awful!

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LM
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Cava restaurant. It is a favorite spot for us, welcoming, pleasant and always good food. We came in for hamburgers but ordered fajitas and fish tacos instead. loved them both. Really appreciate the appetizer corn chips and salsa - adds to the fun!

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Waiters and staff super friendly and knowledgeable as always. Love coming here. The food, without a doubt, authentic and genuine flavour. You’re missing out if you don’t try it out. One solid vegan option available of the menu but I’m sure if you ask the kitchen can accommodate other dishes. Live music on point and sets the tone. Love it.

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PC
New England
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service, food and general atmosphere were excellent

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MK
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have loved this restaurant for years! I treated 3 friends and we had a great time on the front patio.

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m
Los Angeles
63 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

always a good evening when we go to Cava...great fajitas!!

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i
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

food was too piquante. I love spicy but the spices overwhelmed the food. the service was inattentive and poor. waiter couldn't remember what we had asked for after he stepped away from the table. he generally ignored us and rarely checked on our needs. I had to ask for my drink 3 times before he remembered to order it and got no refill. others in our party experienced the same with drinks and other food/service requests.

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ceviche and mole. Would come here again for sure.

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J
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 1

Overpriced very loud and poor service. First time in a long time we were this disappointed

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a great dinner at Cava! The food was delicious and we loved their chips and salsa! Everything was really fresh and delicious!

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J
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food with an awesome service

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KJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Service is usually very good. We were meeting friends from out of town who we see a couple times a year. There were 4 of us. The food was very good and we really like the ambiance. But the waiter was rushed and obviously impatient with us. We stayed for quite a while because we had after dinner drinks. There were other tables. I didn't care for his pushy attitude. To be clear, this was not usual.

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LZ
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cava is a favorite stop when my wife and I go to Montecito, which is frequent. The food is simply delicious, awesome! Our recommendations are the Enchiladas Suizas and the Paella Valenciana .

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c
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have already recommended Cava to several people. The food was great and the service was amazing. Our server was superb..very professional...knew just what we needed before we asked but didn't disturb us in any way. The atmosphere was wonderful...we appreciated having a booth just for two,quiet and cozy! Thanks!

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L
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

We went to Cava for the paella and music.
Music was super.
Paella was very dry, and needed more spice, it was bland.

Lise

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LB
San Diego
75 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

My wife and I ate at Cava during a trip to the Central Coast. The restaurant does not serve traditional tapas in the sense that you order small plates, but the food was very good. The portions are large, especially for "small plates." To get a good sample of the menu, I would recommend four, or better, six people in your party.

Having said that, the food was excellent. We had the seviche and the tamales (one chicken, one pork). Both were very good, tasty, and well-presented. We had planned on additional plates, but instead had the tomato salad, which was also very good.

The wine list is not bad. Unsurprisingly, the central coast is well-represented, along with other California and international wines. We chose to have a glass each of the Albariño and the Tempranillo, the only Spanish wines available by the glass. Both were excellent choices for the meal. The Albariño was served too cold, but it presented itself very well once it came up to temperature.

Service was good. It is a casual restaurant, but they got all the basics correct. Servers were friendly and efficient, with just the right amount of attention.

I would recommend Cava, with the caveat that you go with several people in your party if you want to try the tapas.

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DP
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and I have been going to Cava for many years and we still look forward to it everytime.

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RF
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was great, as always!

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MF
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Had a great "date night" at Cava, which we always enjoy. The singer/guitar player was just loud enough to add to the ambience without being intrusive, and the food was excellent, as always. Their signature paella was amazing, and worth indulging in. My favorite, the fajitas, also were very good. We always feel well taken cared of.

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Q
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great eating experience with friendly service. I love to go here for both lunch and dinner. The bartender is very skilled and eager to please too.

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Q
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the moment we entered the restaurant we were treated like royalty by the staff. The food was plentiful and delicious. Our waiter was very helpful in offering opinions and facts concerning the menu.
I'll definitely be back.

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C
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Usually do lunch but dinner was great!!

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s
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

nice restaurant .very noisy ... the food was very blend .The place was very busy so I guess that other people liked it. I think that they can do a better job using more flavor to the food. I don't think that I will go back

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J
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This is my first time to Cava. Highlights: Chips and salsa were great. Nice spice and balance. Very good cocktails. I loved the mescal drink (Naked and something). Waitress was solid.

Main courses were good, not great. I had chicken enchiladas. My wife had seafood (maybe halibut). My daughter had the rock shrimp tacos. All fine. Not to die for.

Nice vibe. In this area, I would rate Cava second in overall experience next to Santo Mescal.

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

Love this little gem in the heart of Montecito. Excellent service. Great drinks!

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JP
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Always a wonderful place for lunch! Great food and service.

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SA
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We went for the special 3 course dinner. The main dishes were very salty and my salmon was over cooked. The cocktails were great. I had a blood orange margarita that was awesome. I’d recommend this place for drinks and small plates but not dinner.

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KL
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Would have been nice to have more gluten free options but everything was delicious.

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p
Seattle
21 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

My husband ordered the paella and I ordered chicken fajitas. First off, the portions are enormous! The meals were no so for the $ a good value but sadly not very much flavor as I enjoy a spicier meal and the fajitas were cold.

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d
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great experience, the food was great.
I am looking forward to go back again soon.

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LC
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

Very nice service, good ambiance, great waiter suggestions for a non-alcoholic but interesting drink. We were expecting some outstanding paella, the "special", it was way less than stellar. It looked and tasted very bland. No taste, no heat, no flavors at all. No saffron! No colors!

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KN
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The live music was pleasant and appropriate for the environment. Most importantly, it was not disruptive to conversation. The food was tasty and presented well although the paella lacked enough saffron. Wait staff was friendly and responsive.

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SR
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent on all counts. Guitar music added extra element of charm.

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l
Las Vegas
20 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent Mexican food! Pleasant surroundings and good service

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SS
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed lunch in this upscale Montecito Mexican restaurant. The food was well prepared and appropriately spicy and the service relaxed and attentive. We'll go back again.

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