Ciao Pasta

4.7
325 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Ciao Pasta offers the most authentic flavors of southern Italy in a historic setting reminiscent of the old world. Located in San Juan Capistrano, California, the restaurant serves upscale Italian fare using the finest quality ingredients. Such menu items include marinated eggplant parmesan, goat cheese salad, breaded chicken breast and oven baked halibut. Ciao Pasta offers unique blends of flavors using old family recipes that are sure to delight friends and family alike.

Happy hour at Ciao Pasta includes discounted house wine and beer, where guests are free to indulge in the beverages as they share affordable salads and calamari appetizers. Enjoy homemade martinis and wood-fired pizzas for a comfortable and fun dining experience.
What 325 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BN
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

This restaurant seemed to busy to handle the crowd. Consequently, the food was fair quality, and the $18 worth of Caesar salad tasted like they ran out of dressing and ran to the store for a bottle of dressing. Perhaps the chef should spend more time in the kitchen and less time working the room.

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C
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful! Great ambiance amazing food and service.
First time eating there this evening after hearing great things about the the restaurant. Our waiter George was so attentive and personable. We ordered the eggplant appetizer which was different than we've ever had before and delicious. The owner even checked on us which was so nice. You can see he truly cares and takes pride in his business. I had the wild salmon salad and my husband had the halibut both were so fresh and beautifully prepared. I ordered a regular cocktail which I asked George to make as a martini and it turned out perfectly in a metal martini glass which looked pretty and kept it nice and cold. We don't typically order dessert but since everything was so good we figured why not?! We ordered the chocolate lava cake and a double espresso to end the evening. Perfecto! We will definitely be back very impressed with everything.

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R
Orange County
60 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our neighborhood go-to restaurant. Always great food and great service!

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CL
Orange County
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really cute restaurant right across from the San Juan Mission. Great food and service. It’s on a semi-busy street, but it’s not too bad. Parking can be a challenge if you go on the weekend after six. Overall, great place to eat.

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r
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

corkage fee to high, long tables not good for conversations

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Y
Orange County
49 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Wonderful meals from pasta, to fish, chicken, meats & salads!
Attentive service in this casual restaurant with a lovely outdoor patio. Attentive service. Don’t miss the spumoni dessert!

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TW
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best chicken parm I have ever had. Amazing ravioli!

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OT
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Lovely outdoor patio provides quieter atmosphere for dining. Bruschetta to start followed by half portion Caesar salad and we each had different pasta dishes and all 4 were excellent. Spumoni dessert was wonderful as well.

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C
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Some the best Italian food in OC Reminds of the food I grew up in Brookln N.Y. Sevice was outstanding

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KS
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of Our favorites for Italian. Fabulous service and great food. I love that they have no corkage fee on Mondays. Always Bringing out of town friends here.

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TT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ciao Pasta has never disappointed and no matter where we sit on the patio or indoors, its a new and refreshing experience each visit.

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C
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything is always good. The servers are wonderful I have different allergies they remember what I can eat and guide me in the menu. Excellent food

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food

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CB
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

We tried Ciao and really wanted to like it because we had heard good things about it. First, the ambiance was very nice - they have a lovely patio and the inside was light and airy with high ceilings. The service was very good - bread and water was served immediately and our waitress checked in with us regularly. Unfortunately, the food was just mediocre. Both men in our party ordered the seafood soup dish (sort of like cioppino) and thought it was very skimpy on the seafood and not very flavorful. The cioppino at Nicks is much better tasting and a better deal. One person had the cod and thought it was just "meh." I ordered the lemon chicken dish - although the roasted vegetables that came with it were delicious, the chicken was so dry it was difficult to cut. We also had the rapini buratta appetizer and it too was just ok - nothing really special. We will probably try Ciao one more time because the patio looks inviting - maybe second time will be the charm.

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L
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve been meaning to go here for 15 years and for some reason have never been. What a great menu and more importantly, everything was delicious. Meatballs to start, Caesar salad, ravioli, tagliolinii neri, and branzino. I think the ravioli was one of the best I’ve had. The service was spot on. The outdoor patio is dog friendly. Wish we had Italian this good in San Clemente. We’ll done Ciao Pasta!!!

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RP
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous Italian food. I highly recommend.

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J
Orange County
9 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I got there early but there was still a fairly good sized crowd on the patio. We both ordered and the food arrived quite quickly. We each ordered a small Caesar salad, which was one of the best we've ever had, and I ordered the house specialty and my wife ordered the lasagna and we were both extremely happy with our choices. We recommend this restaurant and will certainly return there for another meal!!

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S
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ciao Pasta is wonderful. The food and service are inpeccable. Love the outside patio seating. Its so good.

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d
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The chicken parmigana was excellent, the atmosphere was sensational, the parking easy. The caesar salad was great. We had a great father's day celebration there. We ate on the patio which they made nice and warm and a brisk nite.

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l
Central Coast
9 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We couldn't be more pleased with our recent family dining experience. The outdoor patio was the perfect location for our family as well as our brand new puppy. Service was perfect and the food was beyond delicious. We can't wait to come back to celebrate more happy family events here. Highly recommend!

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food, as always, is wonderful. I was a bit disappointed with the higher corkage fee. $25 seems a bit pricey.

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R
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were with some friends and sat out on the patio. There was a fireplace that made everything cozy. The waiter, Roberto, made us feel like family. A nice wine list for casual Italian dining. Great food, tasty olive oil dip for the bread. All in all, Ciao Pasta is one of our favorite go-to places for a good Italian dinner and super friendly atmosphere.

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B
Orange County
28 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quality food.
Very friendly service.
Beautiful Patio dining.

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J
Orange County
6 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I recommend the ravioli that comes in a cream sauce with sun dried tomatoes. The couple with us ordered the Ciao pasta dish and they always order it and say it is sure to please.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

We were there for a graduation celebration, and had read all of the great reviews about the food. Last night the food was bordering on inedible. The calamari was extremely bland, the bruschetta bread was burnt, and the steak had no taste. The Chicken Parmesan was mostly breading, and doused in sauce. The service was ok— we did wait a long time for someone to come when we had a request for something. Overall, our experience was poor, and it was extremely disappointing as this was a special occasion for our family. When I remembered the reviews that recommended this restaurant for special occasions, I wanted to add this review so others don’t make the same mistake.

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k
Orange County
12 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a fantastic experience at Ciao Pasta. I had the breaded halibut and it was amazing!

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was great!!!

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OT
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very nice authentic Italian food and ambience. Consistently great quality.

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OT
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food,great and friendly service and perfect ambience. Best place for anything.

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C
Orange County
44 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food. Wonderful service. Great outdoor dining

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R
Orange County
23 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

We booked Ciao Pasta for the first time after reading some great and not great reviews. It was a cold, damp evening, so we sat inside (the patio would be lovely on a nice day). Our service was spot on...our waitress was always helpful but not intrusive. My husband loved his lasagne but unfortunately, the quality of my halibut was lacking. It seemed like it was frozen then defrosted so although it was breaded, it was soggy. The spinach that accompanied it was perfect. For over $30, I would want a fresh piece of fish that’s cooked right. I guess I should’ve been wary since the menu said baked rather than grilled. Oh well, I think I will go back again and try other dishes, such as pastas and salads.

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DD
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice find ! Would definitely return. Salmon was cooked to perfection and a generous portion. Great service ! My friends and I really enjoyed our meal.

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JV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent italian restaurant with very pleasant ambiance in the heart of historic san juan capistrano. The pasta dishes are consistently excellent. Their catering is also outstanding.

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m
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and ambiance!! We love the new updated decor!

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DB
Orange County
18 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best .. as always.. our favorite local Italian restaurant....Mangia bene 😉😉😉😉😉

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k
Orange County
13 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love going to Ciao!

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i
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience! Just happened upon this restaurant and am so glad I did. Authentic, fresh made Italian food. Outstanding food. Superb! Great service. Nice amabia ce o. The outside patio and beautiful restaurant on the inside.

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P
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best kept secret in Orange County. Great value for money. great food and cool vibe.

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J
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Ciao Pasta. We’ve been going for 20 years and it gets better every year.

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing. Food was great. Drinks were great. Service was great.

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