About Montecito Cafe

1295 Coast Village Rd
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
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The Montecito Café is a family run restaurant and was established in 1986 by husband and wife team Mark and Margaret Huston. The food is simple and delicious. The Montecito Cafe has been awarded "Best Restaurant in Montecito" for the last 15 years in a row. We make all of our own soups, sauces, stocks, dressings, hamburger buns and desserts daily from scratch on the premises. We use only the freshest and highest quality ingredients and specialize in fresh fish, salads, pasta, grilled meats, burgers and sandwiches. Our desserts are excellent and we are famous for our coconut cake. We strive to provided quality service and value to our customers every day. We are located in the beautiful Montecito Inn Hotel built by Charlie Chaplin and free valet parking is available.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Californian, Contemporary French

Hours of Operation:


Lunch: Daily 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Daily 5:30pm-10:00pm
Bar Hours : Daily from 5:00pm-10:00pm,
Bar is Open until 11:00pm on Friday & Saturday

Cross Street:
OLIVE MILL ROAD

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(805) 969-3392

Website:
http://montecitocafe.com/

Parking Details:
Street Parking as well as free valet parking is available

Public Transit:
Olive Mill Rd Bus Stop

Executive Chef:
Mark Huston

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Special Events & Promotions:
We will be serving a 3 Course Dinner For New Year's Eve. Please call us for reservations at 805-969-3392

Restaurant Photos

Montecito Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.3

noise

Moderate

99% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Value
California Central Coast
Great for Lunch
California Central Coast
Neighborhood Gem
California Central Coast
4 More
Best Service
Santa Barbara
Best Value
Santa Barbara
Neighborhood Gem
Santa Barbara
Californian
Santa Barbara
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neighborhood gem (47)
great for lunch (31)
special occasion (31)
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fit for foodies (30)
romantic (18)
good for groups (13)
great for brunch (10)
notable wine list (7)
scenic view (4)
late-night find (3)
vibrant bar scene (2)
kid-friendly (2)
hot spot (1)
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162 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My wife and I are never disappointed wit ...

Dined 5 days ago

My wife and I are never disappointed with the service or the food. When Catherine is in charge everything is always special. Best restaurant value in Santa Barbara.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience3
service4
value4

Obviously a place for regulars. Seemed l ...

Dined on May 4, 2016

Obviously a place for regulars. Seemed like all guests were old monte into folks. Service very good. Very pleasant evening

Tags: neighborhood gem
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

Great Restaurant

Dined on April 27, 2016

The Montecito Café is a wonderful restaurant. I frequently take clients there for lunch because I know the food will always be outstanding and the service will be friendly and responsive.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Good food choices and done well. Good wi ...

vip
Dined on April 27, 2016

Good food choices and done well. Good wine list and service.

food4
ambience3
service2
value3

Poor service, good food

Dined on April 17, 2016

The food, when finally served, was pretty good. Our party's complaint is about the service. Waitress took forever to come for drinks order, and then we waited a full thirty minutes before we asked the hostess to please send the waitress to collect our dinner orders. She made a flimsy excuse about the waitress being caught up with the espresso machine and the hostess took our order. Well, the waitress had been at each of the tables around us, simply never bothered to come to us. Bottom line is that the hostess did most of the service. Not a class act at a restaurant we've enjoyed in the past.

food4
ambience4
service2
value3

Beautiful space, delicious meals.

vip
Dined on April 16, 2016

But on this particular evening, service was lacking. Our server barely spoke to us, possibly because she became perturbed that we did not wish to order immediately upon being seated; she rushed the second course, so we had to sit our salads to one side and finish them after the entrees; and, she didn't even utter a word of thanks when dropping off the check! This is not typical of the service offered at Montecito Cafe, thankfully!

Tags: neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Bitter Sweet!

Dined on April 9, 2016

Love Montecito Café! We've been going there for years and always enjoy special occasions with family and friends! They are famous for their wonderful coconut cake! We are saddened because after 30 years they have lost their lease and will close at the end of November!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Cute place!

Dined on April 2, 2016

Service was also amazing! Loved the atmosphere. Tasty lunch fare.

Tags: special occasion, great for lunch
food1
ambience3
service5

This has been one of our safe, "go to" p ...

vip
Dined on April 1, 2016

This has been one of our safe, "go to" places in the neighborhood for the past 4 years, but no longer. Some changes have been taking place that have been discouraging: staff changes and strange menu changes. Today I could find nothing appealing except the turkey sandwich and fries, requested crisp. What a mistake. The fries were soggy and cold; I could find no lettuce on this strangely built sandwich. When it returned from the kitchen, the replacement fries were just as bad as before and instead of a piece of iceberg lettuce, there was wet, limp shredded lettuce. The only taste to my sandwich was provided by the Dijon mustard. The sesame bun had no taste and less texture. They graciously comped my lunch but it was totally inedible. My partner's pesto shrimp salad seemed satisfactory. Still, for a sandwich I had ordered in the past it was a major disappointment.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding restaurant in Montecito

Dined on March 31, 2016

Our third visit to this wonderful restaurant... cannot be beat! The food, wine, and service were impeccable; we highly, highly recommend!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4

The chicken piccata was delicious - the ...

vip
Dined on March 30, 2016

The chicken piccata was delicious - the chicken had a fantastic crust and the lemon caper butter sauce was the perfect complement. My husband enjoyed the cedar planked salmon with scalloped potatoes. Great dinner!

food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Fun with friends!

Dined on March 14, 2016

Well its not everyday you can find a place that has great food and service. The six of us male and female had such a good time not only because of the company we kept but because dinner and the service was fabulous! The Montecito Cafe has become one of our favorites and I look forward to my next great meal with good friends.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Always a pleasure to dine here when staying here.

Dined on March 3, 2016

Excellent in every way. The menu is predictable in that we always find several items we would like to enjoy. Service is friendly but permits privacy.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Local favorite for many years

Dined on March 2, 2016

Montecito cafe has been a local favorite for many, many years. A wonderful place to dine if you want good food at good prices and in a comfortable setting where you can actually have a conversation! We are told the Montecito cafe will be closing this fall, and that is truly a shame! I'm sure the new owners will put in another "expensive, hip, trendy and NOISY restaurant, as if there were not enough of those around already. Losing the Montecito cafe will create a great void for so many people who frequent the restaurant.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great dinner!

Dined on March 1, 2016

Great dinner with plate split w no charge; topped off with coconut cake which was the lightest and most flavorable!

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Always the same- great

Dined on February 21, 2016

Always the same- great

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Good Locals Place

Dined on February 21, 2016

We visited on a Saturday night and had great service and excellent food. The overall experience was great and close to the house we rented in Montecito. I especially like that it was not so crowded early and we made a reservation the night before

Tags: neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Fantastic food - an easy, memorable experience

Dined on February 20, 2016

The shrimp Farmers Market salad was perfectly flavorful & fresh. My partner had a sausage pasta dish and ate every bite. Although the atmosphere was not as romantic as I had hoped, it was cozy and charming. It took quite a while for drink orders to be taken and received (2 mimosas & waters) and there was no mention of our celebratory occasion which was noted in the reservation *which we arrived late for (less than 15 min) and was cancelled by the hostess; we had did not have access to a phone en route to the restaurant. Seating was still prompt. Service was satisfactory.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great place for a special evening!

vip
Dined on February 14, 2016

Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Montecito! Loved sitting in the glass atria. Food was excellent as was the service. Definitely will return.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delightful

Dined on February 8, 2016

This is a quiet delightful place to enjoy dinner and conversation.

Tags: romantic
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

montecito cafe

vip
Dined on February 7, 2016

Very good food; duck was outstanding as was chocolate marquise. Service good- room is pleasant.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Every thing was terrific

Dined on February 6, 2016

We loved the night! Everything was above our expectations.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Montecito cafe is our favorite restaurant.

Dined on February 1, 2016

Fabulous food and fabulous service. Too noisy to enjoy a four-way conversation though.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Never Miss It

Dined on January 29, 2016

We visit relatives in Santa Barbara two or three times a year. A few years ago they took us to Monticito Cafe for dinner. We loved it! Ever since then, when we visit we insist on taking them to Monticito Cafe. It is always an enjoyable experience in every way!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Loved this place

Dined on January 21, 2016

Outstanding food and service! The coconut cake was to die for. The cafe is attached to the Montecito Inn which opened in 1928. Loved the decor. Both places are well worth a visit!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A Special Experience

Dined on January 19, 2016

We truly enjoyed our special birthday dinner at the Montecito Cafe and the service and reception was quite exceptional especially since I was in a wheelchair due to an injury and they were very considerate in seating us to the table there.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience2
service4
value3

Tasty food, but doesn't match the competition

vip
Dined on December 31, 2015

This restaurant feels very dated. The menu and ambiance feel fifteen years out of date in comparison with the many other vibrant places to dine in Santa Barbara and Monticeto.

food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Always wonderful

Dined on December 31, 2015

Probably our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara. Always delicious food, sometimes innovative and "current", sometimes just the standards that we all love and count on at the Montecito Cafe. I had a special "coconut stew" that was out of this world.

Tags: special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

The menu items have been consistently ex ...

vip
Dined on December 29, 2015

The menu items have been consistently excellent in variety and quality in the 20+ years that we dined here. The prices are fair and the service is always great.

food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Great dinner

vip
Dined on December 29, 2015

We had a great family dinner. Everyone enjoyed their meal. The chicken with Anaheim chiles us just the best!

food5
ambience5
service5

The food is too die for!

Dined on December 15, 2015

The coconut cake is a classic gem. The whole experience is terrific.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5

Filet & Champagne

Dined on December 14, 2015

I hadn't been to the Montecito Cafe in a long time. I had heard that it wasn't as good as it used to be. So when I went for dinner last weekend, I was presently surprised by the excellent food. The dining room is still beautiful and charming. Our waiter was fantastic - knowledgeable, friendly, prompt. I had a glass of champagne and the Filet Mignon - not terribly adventurous, but the menu is pretty classic. The filet was superb, tender, juicy, cooked perfectly medium-rare and full of flavor with a delicious mushroom sauce, and came with their famous scalloped potatoes and not-overcooked veggies. Everyone else at the table ordered fish, and they were all really pleased as well. It's not a foodie joint with an adventurous menu or trendy cocktails, but the food was solid. Not to mention both the Coconut Cake and Creme Brûlée for dessert! I'll be back!

Tags: good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5

Love this place.

Dined on December 13, 2015

We have eaten at Montecito Café many times and we have never been disappointed. The goat cheese pancakes with caviar are fantastic. Not only is the food wonderful but so are the prices. Any time we are in the Santa Barbara area, we make sure to have dinner here.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience4
service4

Good neighborhood Spot

vip
Dined on December 12, 2015

Free Valet parking at the Montecito Inn. Mostly an older crowd. Sea food special are always good. Fair wine selection. Not really gourmet but not CoCo's either.

Tags: great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Awesome food

vip
Dined on December 12, 2015

The lasagna is really delicious--worth every bite. The linguine with clams in wine garlic sauce is the best in town and I've tried every Italian restaurant in this county and they give you the most clams with the best savory sauce. Everything is freshly prepared and carefully seasoned for just the right balance of taste. You will be so glad you dined here!!! Your money will not be wasted.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent Service & Food

Dined on December 9, 2015

Request Barbara as your server. She is very personable and anticipates your every need. I bring several clients to the restaurant for lunch and my husband and I have been in for dinner. The selection of lunch and dinner items will suit any taste. I highly recommend the Montecito Café.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5

Love IT!

Dined on November 30, 2015

This has always been a favorite restaurant. We are deeply saddened to know that the Montecito Hotel will be closing this Cafe at the end of 2016. A tremendous loss for the neighborhood!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food2
ambience1
service3

over rated!!!

vip
Dined on November 23, 2015

Almost diner like with a menu to match (they carry coffee pots to refill cups). Shocking they receive such high ratings.

food5
ambience4
service5

Consistantly Great!

Dined on November 20, 2015

He have eaten at Montecito Café several times. It is always consistently great! We usually enjoy the "specials" of the evening as that changes and utilizes the seasonal ingredients. Our out of town guests raved about their delicious dinners too.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience3
service2

The food rating would have been higher e ...

Dined on November 15, 2015

The food rating would have been higher except one dish was not cooked to order, sent back and still came back undercooked. Fillet was excellent and the sauce very tasty.

Tags: neighborhood gem

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