Carlitos Cafe Y Cantina
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Worst Mexican(?) food I ever had...anywhere!!! And I spent over a year in Mexico.
We were disappointed with the service. Our server kept bringing another table's order to us. We had to ask for water refill several times. He was not personable and the only time he made eye contact and smiled, was then he presented the check. This is unfortunate because we loved the location and environment and food.
our server Ariel (sic) was phenomenal. And the steak at the bottom of the menu was wonderful; tender and tasy.
Just as good as I remember! Haven’t been to Carlitos in a while and it was just as good, if not better than the last time.
Had a wonderful dinner with friends. Food was great. I had the enchiladas verde. Just the right amount of flavor and heat. Guacamole was great. Server was super-attentive. Outdoor space had a great ambiance. Will definitely go back next time we are in Santa Barbara.
Loved the restaurant. First time there and definitely not the last.
The food was great, service good, and really liked having live music!!!
The food was just average. Nothing special. With so many good Mexican restaurants in town, I think you can do better.
I thought Carlitos was extremely overpriced for what you received. The customer service was basic, the food had no flavor and the portions were tiny for the price and the margaritas tasted as thought it was just sweet and sour mix with ice. Unfortunately it’s not a place I’d ever recommend not ever return to.
The food and service were fine, just not exceptional. Not much atmosphere.
Very good food!!
Great margaritas and casual patio dining with our dogs.
best chips and salsa in town. We have been coming here almost every Friday night for 27 years!
Waiter was arrogant...not the usual there. Food was okay but not up to usual standard. There was no music.
Great place. Always crowded prior to Covid...so the wait for a table in the evenings can be long (prior to Covid). Definitely a place you want to go to for dinner from time to time.
We had friends visiting during the film festival and I thought they would enjoy watching the commotion in front of the Arlington theater one evening. So I suggested we dine at Carlitos. Everything was perfect. Thank you to Carlitos for reserving parking for their reserved guests. Thank you for seating us with a reservation relatively on time even though the restaurant was packed. Food and drink was brought to us in a timely fashion. And ALL yummy. Our friends had a wonderful evening and so did we. Not our first time there and the food and service is excellent as always. We ordered the salmon, beef fajitas and a burrito, guacamole and calamari. All excellent.
Excellent food and margaritas. Very energetic atmosphere, but a big drawback is that if eating indoors it is extremely loud. This makes conversation at the table very difficult even with the person seated in the seat next to you.
The bathrooms are very small and if you are a tall person (say 5’10 or more) it makes sitting on the toilet (if needed) a bit uncomfortable.
Great location on State St across from the Arlington Theater which was our ultimate destination.
Great experience until they slopped all our meals into one box!!! We wanted to take this home to eat individually...I've never experienced this...we got a half hearted apology. I feel like they owe us a meal after that...
I'd much rather put my own food in a box anyway...I don't want somebody else's food dumped on top of mine! I've never had this happen before!
Great food, great service, always a great experience
Pretty average food, but great service. The spicy baby back ribs were really good, but the rest of the food we ordered was fairly mediocre.
Great food and an amazing blood orange margarita!!
Had a lovely meal with the family for Christmas Eve! It’s was delicious & service was A+!
I have been to Carlitos several times while visiting Santa Barbara.The last few times I've been there, the menu was not Tex-Mex as I like it and the drinks were a bit expensive. There are many great restaurants in Santa Barbara, so I probably not be back.
Waiters were quick and really helpful&nice. Blood Orange margarita is really delicious and fajitas are delicious. See you guys soon :)
Had a lovely dinner with drinks out on the patio. It was raining when we were there, however there were tables under an awning with heaters.
Always a must when we travel to SB. Food is authentic, plentiful, and very delicious!
Carlitos has been opened for 40 years so I expected it would be great Mexican food. I found the food to be very bland. I did like their chips and salsa but the taco’s were very average. The other thing I didn’t like was how fast they brought all our food. We ordered a salad to start and they bought the entree’s out with the salad’s. I hate to feel rushed when I am out to dinner. I must say all the staff were friendly and helpful.
One of our favorite places to eat in Santa Barbara!
The staff was extremely friendly. We were seated quickly, served drinks and food in an appropriate amount of time and was on our way to our event with plenty of time to spare!
Attentive staff. Great chips & salsa/guacamole & the drinks are tasty too. Food is always more than enough & great flavors.
Food was average nothing spectacular.
Too many tables on the patio, crowded. Waiters kept bumping into ba I of chair as they worked their way through the area.
First time at Carlitos with my boyfriend and they did not disappoint! We both got mango margs with a spicy mix on the rim and I had the best chicken fajitas I think I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to go back!
Ordered a margarita and wasn't disappointed, it was as good as I was lead to believe. The chips came with a very good red salsa as well as a corn salsa both were very flavorful. My entree was a very tasteful chili relleno and the corn and chili tamale..which tasted delicious. We will be back.
Fabulous place to get together with long time friends.
The ambiance on the patio in Santa Barbara is like none other.
Enjoyed a quick drink and lite dinner recently on the patio, before going to a show at the Arlington. Every one of the staff was friendly and helpful, seating was prompt. Service, food and beverage were all first rate. We will be back, thanks for a lovely evening !
We are local and always love to enjoy everything that they have to offer! The food is always consistent and great!
I love Carlitos! I actually ate at Carlitos twice this week, and at Dos Carlitos once. I have to say that the food is always better at Dos Carlitos, but it's hard to beat the ambiance of being downtown Santa Barbara, nestled between the mountains and the Arlington Theater.
Excellent food and service! We appreciated the help from our server, Cindy. Thank you!
Best Mexican food !!! Every time we visit Santa Barbara , Carlitos is a must!!!
Price of kids' meal surprisingly didn't include a drink. Those were extra. The food and atmosphere were fantastic. We would definitely recommend! Family friendly and appreciated the vegetarian option.
Agave margarita and steak tostada delicious
Carlitos Cafe Y Cantina is rated 4.5 stars by 214 OpenTable diners.