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Marmalade Cafe
3825 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 682-5246

  • Category: American
  • Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 8am-10pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

Great Food & Service
Reviewer: Daisy from Chino, CA
The food at Marmalade Cafe was very good. The service also was very good. We are tavelers passing through and read some of the reviews & decided to try it despite the bad reviews. I am glad we did. is in the Mall parking lot between Sears & Starbucks. Kevin the Bartender was very personable and made our lunch experience very enjoyable. We will have lunch here next time we are in town

Best Place for Banquets in SB
Reviewer: Diana Thomas from Santa Barbara, CA
We used the Banquet Room for 2 family events: UCSB Graduation, followed the next morning with Father's Day family reunion. In both events, the food was EXCELLENT, the service was EXCELLENT, and the room was perfect for our needs. They let us decorate the room for each event to make it personalized. AND...equally important, the managers of the restaurant were so easy and pleasant to work with---even when we had endless questions and requests leading up to the events. I highly recommend Marmalade Cafe Banquet Facility for any group event. I also recommend the restaurant in general for excellent breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Recommend as a solid choice for casual dining
Reviewer: Steve Nelson from Walnut Creek, CA
Walnut Creek reunion for party of 15 at dinner on 5/4/13. Table was ready and waiting at reservation time, and our waitress was quite good. Drinks were well made, the menu had a nice variety, and the food was pretty good. Kind of reminded me of an upscale Mimi's Cafe. Prices were reasonable. Very pleasant evening and didn't feel rushed or ignored. Would recommend and repeat if ever staying in Santa Barbara again.

Very good steak
Reviewer: Michael from Santa Barbara, CA
We had a party of 6 and two people didn't like their food. The management offered to replace with something else. Steaks, salads and seafood were perfect. Don't recommend the Pasta.

Worst service ever!
Reviewer: Jackie from Santa Barbara, CA
First and last time here for dinner!! Service was awlful - waited forever to get someone to take drink orders and then waited forever for them to be served! Also waited at least 30 minutes for our dinner to be served after ordering. There were four of us and one party ordered an entree and was not told it was not available until our dinners were served. Needless to say, she had to watch us eat while she waited for her dinner . Manager did come by and apologize and at first was compting 1/2 of her dinner saying he was not informed by kitchen that the entree was not available. He ended up compting her whole dinner after telling him what awlful service we had. I might add that the resturant was not busy at all except for a private party in back - guess they cater to the back!! Food was only fair. I had made reservations at 9:00 AM for dinner in a booth and was given the last booth by the restrooms. Light was so poor we had to use a flash light to read the menu.

three strikes
Reviewer: Lex from Santa Barbara, CA
tried breakfast at Marmalade three times ....great potential,spacious, pleasant atmposphere.......but i've given up on it, food was good but service lacking.... major gripes: 6 small tables occupied with two servers present... had to chase down a server to get a refill on coffee.... All three times asked the server to run the toast thru the toaster twice as it was not done..and even then needed further toasting..... butter rock hard....server said there's nothing we could do about it...... sorry i had to give up on this place as it is nearby.....its too pricey for bad service

Reviewer: Mike F. from Santa Barbara, CA
Best Steak I have had in years. The sauce was perfect and cooked to perfection. The two side dishes were also very good. I don't give a '5' for the food very often. One complaint, the water was terrible, it tasted of chlorine.

Decent food; perfect inexpensive business lunch
Reviewer: John from Santa Barbara, CA
I work nearby and always enjoy bringing associates here for lunch. Prices are reasonable for this situation. Portions are large; for example, entree half-salads are plenty for a meal. Love the beet salad! Soups are outstanding, particularly the mushroom and pea. Service can be loose sometimes, but the men and women are friendly and accommodating. My wife enjoys the food and she eats out for a living (wine marketing). And she has a low opinion of most of the local high-end restaurants that have much higher price points. My one complaint is the carpet: it is way past time to replace it.

My last and final trip.
Reviewer: chuck from Santa Barbara, CA
I have to agree with most of the negative postings. Pancakes? Light and fluffy is not in their vocabulary...thick and doughy is. Very slow service, even tho nearly empty. Food, at best is mediocre, prices higher then they should be. The former occupant, "Red Robin" was more family friendly, good quality and decent prices. Dressing the servers in long black outfits does not impress me. Not a Santa Barbara friendly venue...more like LA.

Horrible Service. Bad atmosphere. Walked out.
Reviewer: Sean from Santa Barbara, CA
This was our 3rd time giving this place a try. Could we really strike out a 3rd time in a row? You be the judge. We waited at the door to be acknowledged for what seemed forever as servers and what looked like a manager passed us by several times, finally we were sat, not in a booth as requested but at a two top with very uncomfortable metal chairs. As we open our menus the table next to us shouted at the waitress, she ignored them, so I called for her,she snapped I know what that want I am getting them menus, apparently the had been told by the bartender to seat themselves and a waitress would be by which hadn't happened. As I realized I was in the middle of a third strike and was about to over pay for subpar food at above average prices and to was already receiving horrible service, we got up walked out and drove to Montecito and had an awesome lunch at Cava. Here's my advice to the owners of Marmalade, Fix your service!!! And have you food quality match your price points! I want a good place to eat next to Hope Ranch not far from the house, but right now you are not it. What a waste of restaurant space.

I want to like this place!
Reviewer: Scott Schwartz from Santa Barbara, CA
I was very excited to see Marmalade come to Santa Barbara. And I knew it would take a while for them to find their "legs" as a new restaurant in town. It's now been a few years and the Santa Barbara location still doesn't rate with the other Marmalade restaurants. It's a shame, and a bit surprising that the food quality is simply average. Meaning that I can't find or know anyone who has a "must have" on their menu. But what is shocking is the plating. A short order cook knows to make the food look good on the plate - this news hasn't reached Santa Barbara Marmalade. Basic white semi-oval plates with whatever the item you ordered thrown on top of it.. disappointing for sure. Though flat out bewildering is that the kids menu plates are heated/hot ???? Adding a laughable plastic (!?) container of apple sauce sitting atop the heated plate with the three previously frozen pieces of chicken scattered beside. Bottom line - try other Marmalade locations - Malibu is a nice choice. The Santa Barbara location isn't even worth the coupon..

Best kept secret in town!!!
Reviewer: Patrise Mercurio from Santa Barbara, CA
I'm somewhat confused regarding a review I read about Marmalade Cafe, as It was given but 3.5 stars? I have so enjoyed my frequent visits to Marmalade Cafe. The portions are far more than adequate and I cannot recall when I did not leave with a people/cat bag', (as we do not have any doggies atm, unfortunately). The food is very well prepared and excellent for the $$. The burgers are THE most awesome thing I've ever attempted to eat given my itty-bitty mouth. There are items on the menu that they do with excellence, especially their Sunday brunch & breakfasts, although their 'happy hour' has 1/2 price appetizers that are great. I find their entire menu quite diverse which makes this a great place to go when you aren't quite sure what you or your companion is in the 'mood' for. The only item I had difficulty with, was a 'happy hour' offering of Ahi tuna which is ordinarily my favorite. The waiter (mentioned below), nearly refused to serve it with wasabi vs. HOT chili sauce, which is the way it was 'originally offered'. Also, twice (out of 20+ times, it was mushy due to an over-ripe Avocado. This I passed off as a difference of opinion regarding what constitutes 'ripe'?? so given the parameters and my many visits, I can forgive the occassional faux pas. Owning/operating a biz in NOT an easy prospect and despite the occassional 'entitled waiter', I feel they do an extraordinary job. So, Regarding service, I had only one occassion above when it was also a bit 'rushed' and found that it was due to a 'shift change', as well as the mans' attitude; I've noticed that he is no longer present thanks to management. Having owned 3 local businesses myself, I was blessed by superb employees, but one cannot always tell until the damage is done. Please, should you have had ANY issues with Marmalade Cafe,(cannot imagine why), you owe it to yourself to give it another try!!! I find it delightful!!!

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