Joe's Cafe

4.4
137 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Joe's Café is a classic Santa Barbara dining and drinking institution and is the oldest restaurant in the city, established in 1928. The legacy of Joe's continues into it's ninth decade: Over the years, this vibrant downtown destination has become a favorite for locals and tourists alike, who mingle over cocktails (the stiffest in town) or chat during dinner in a buzzing traditional atmosphere. The exceptional ambiance underscores its rich heritage and long history. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7:30 a.m. til 10:00 p.m. or stay later and get to know our locals at one of the busiest bars in town.
What 137 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JL
JamesLK
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Joes never disappoints, absolutely adore Denise. Spencer is a great asset, always keeping track of what the customer needs. Cobb salad, clam chowder and fries is the total comfort menu.

JK
vipJimK
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Joe's is a GREAT place - anytime of day!
We were staying across the street at Hotel Santa Barbara.
We had restaurant choices, yet we frequently ate at Joes. It's comfortable, fun and classic !

C
eatsinCal
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Joe's Cafe is always reliable, good food, attentive waiters and good value. The portions were normal, questionable for sharing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Great place to please all ages. Unfortunately the food and the service was just average.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super comfy vibe. Great comfort food. Service was great.

ST
SarahT
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Atmosphere! Superior Service! Huge Menu! Stiff Drinks! PERFECTION!

MD
vipMichaelDubSB
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been going to Joe's since the 80's and it is still the best!

R
Ralph
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Great blue collar restaurant at good price.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

CR
CharlotteR
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Always a fun time at Joes!! Staff is warm and friendly

m
vipmaliburon
Los Angeles
72 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great food and fun....regular customer always enjoy it.

JB
JasonB
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Nice place, lots of personality. Great server. Prices are high for food quality as well as quantity. If I’m spending $15-$20 for a salad, give me my damn monies worth. Don’t mind paying for quality and service. The quality at Joes is not on par with pricing. Otherwise, it’s ok.

M
vipMaxincito
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

We don’t usually go there for dinner and now I remember why.
The noise level was deafening, so conversation between us was next to impossible. Next to us, the other couple were shouting to each other in order to be heard.
The short ribs were okay but way too salty.

Joe’s is much better for either breakfast or lunch.

DB
DannyB
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The steak bites are the best! And the best cocktails in Santa Barbara hands down.....

L
Local
Central Coast
17 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Joe's is a good restaurant with traditional staples. I enjoyed it but we were seated next to a huge part that was so loud. I appreciated the good service - but it was almost impossible to talk.

C
vipCindy
Las Vegas
10 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

We took our friends from Texas to Joe’s before attending a concert. The staff was awesome, the menu so diverse it was hard to decide what to order and cocktails so good you could actually taste the alcohol. We are already looking forward to going back and will recommend it to others without hesitation!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We both had steak which was very good and the ambience in the room was good and the waiters were good and helpful and overall a good experience and if we are in the area again we would go back

KM
KarenM
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great time with great service and delicious affordable food.

GJ
vipGrandpaJimmy
Los Angeles
46 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Joe's is an old style home cooking restaurant. The food is fresh and delicious, and very plentiful. I had meatloaf with a dinner salad with outstanding blue cheese dressing. My sister had turkey, which had enough for 3 people to share. For dessert, we shared pecan pie. The best we've ever eaten!

d
vipdrrobtk
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love Joes
Always fun with great crowd. Never a boring dinner
One of my go to places. Very Santa Barbara

M
vipMaria
Sacramento
79 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

We were passing through Santa Barbara and chose this restaurant based on Open Table ‘s rating. The food was pretty good with HUGE servings. Unfortunately, the soup and main course came together-what’s that about?- and the staff was swamped because the restaurant was very busy.

H
Hanaleijan
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another fantastic dinner—Joe’s has been our “go to” spot for many years and has never disappointed us!!

MO
MaryO
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Overall truly recommend Joe's. Great food and range of menu, including Californian sparkling wine. A tradition and ambiance from a bygone age.

AW
AnnetteW
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

A characterful restaurant with a varied menu. Beware......the cocktails are very strong!

DG
DavidG
Dallas
13 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Manhattan in Santa Barbara! I had two! and made with real Luxardo Maraschino Cherries! The absolute top shelf Manhattan! We had a terrific Prime Rib, Filet Mignon, and Braised Short Ribs! Every bite was fantastic! All Cooked to perfection for three very different pallets.

KD
KristenD
Las Vegas
13 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Joe’s was a great spot for dinner on State Street. The location was prime!
The staff are very friendly and know the menu well. They were happy to share their favorites and made great suggestions.
The noise level was moderate, and holding a conversation was easy for a weekend.

m
vipmaliburon
Los Angeles
72 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great....favorite place to eat!! See you next time!

MZ
MrZee
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Hadn't been to Joe's since 1977. I ordered the prime rib. Bad choice. Meat was not tender and it was grilled, as one side was charred. Drinks were still amazing, as they were very potent!

JC
JimC
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Had a great prime rib. The only complaint was a group of girls having a birthday party who were extremely loud.

R
vipRobert
San Francisco
61 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

You get what’s advertised—good food at a fair price and strong adult beverages. No foodie would be happy with the fare, but that’s not the point. Everyone needs a spot with genuine food simply presented by caring staff. Joe’s delivers.

DP
DanielleP
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Joe’s. You can rely on them to get a consistently good meal and great service. I have never had a bad. Experience here.

R
Rivero
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Complicated for parking, slow service even during with just a few tables occupied

BH
vipBelindaH
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Joe's was a perfect spot to celebrate a birthday. Great ambience, though the noise level can be a bit exuberant, and the service was perfect. Best Manhattan ever! We loved it and bext time we head to Santa Barbara, we'll head to Joe's!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall2food5service5ambience5

There was a lively and celebratory large group there. Instead of moving them to an area away from the main dining, instead their loud exuberance interfered with our experience. I was not able to talk with my husband WITHOUT SHOUTING. oh. And there was only one bartender.

m
vipmaliburon
Los Angeles
72 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

great food ...great service...great management!! they always make sure to make us feel welcome!

BF
BrianF
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Joe's has slid down a notch from it's former peak. Although it will likely always be a mainstay in Santa Barbara culture, the overall quality of the dining and bar experience has declined in the past year or two. Our measure has always been the French dip sandwich. It's gotten smaller and lighter. A martini with house vodka ... something's off it seems. The uptown competition is Harry's, which still puts down hefty French dip sandwiches and a superb martini. Joe's is a fun social scene to meet people and dine with friends/family, but they should step it up a bit more to leave customers feeling like their experience here was worth the money.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Manhattan in town!

SM
SarahM
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had my 5th Birthday here and my 50th..great food, great drinks and great service.

SS
StevenS
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great time

WW
WoodyW
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Joe's remains a Santa Barbara (and beyond) treasure and a MUST-EAT stop when visiting!

LB
LisaB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food of all types! Very cozy atmosphere and not super stuffy!

FAQs

Joe's Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (805) 966-4638.

Joe's Cafe is rated 4.4 stars by 137 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.