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La Arcada Bistro
1112 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 965-5742


Reviews by the General Public

One Of My Many Favorite Places To Dine In SB, 12/12/2014
Reviewer: Jose A. "Art" Gallegos from Santa Barbara, CA
I have walked by there many times (in 2013) and I would look at their menu on the chalk board just outside and at first I was just not interested in dinning there. On Friday evenings I would walk up State St. and there is Willy Quinn & his daughter Aoife (pronounced eefa) singing Irish Folk Songs so I would stop for few minutes and listen to them. Willy would look at me and give me a smile. (I think that was his way of saying "Come on in and be welcomed"). So about midsummer of this year (2014), I was walking by and was thinking of going to Dargan's Irish Pub but I did not feel like walking down to the 600 block of State St. ("Sorry Master Dargan"). So I stopped in at La Arcada Bistro for a pint and get something to eat. Now I am a semi-regular customer and I am considered a good friend, not only with Willy, his lovely wife Trini but with all the staff who work there. I have had breakfast, lunch and dinner. The appetizers are wonderful, Nachos, Guacamole, Ceviche, Irish Soda Bread w/Salmon and so much more. Just not to long ago I convinced Trini into to make me a Pint of a Black & Tan. She was very reluctant at first, but she did it. I asked for Firestone Dbl. Barrel Ale & Guinness. Very refreshing. She will also make it with Firestone 805 Pale Ale if requested. Of course this is not included on the Happy Hour list but well worth it. I have had their sandwiches, burgers, seafood, seafood pasta, steak and so much more. (I still have not had the Mud Pie. Someday I will. That looks sooooo good). So, the next time you are walking by La Arcada Bistro come on in. I just might be sitting at the bar like Norm Peterson on Cheers.


Bizarre and completely absurd, 8/6/2014
Reviewer: John from Santa Barbara, CA
Went here with my mother on lunch break from the office and it took them 15 minutes to just get us started, 10 minutes later they took our order, we then waited a half hour and just left, we were out of time for our lunch break and they did not even once check in with us. We went to the front to look for the older lady who seemed in charge/waitress and could not find her. There were only two other parties in the restaurant besides ourselves, so it was most certainly not busy. After unsuccessfully finding the waitress, we left. We're about half way up the block and she comes running out at us SCREAMING and swearing in front of a kids group camp, telling us that we are stealing. I do not understand the service provided or the wild accusations thrown, but it was absolutely ridiculous and will never be back.


Home from Home
Reviewer: Paula Kenny from Santa Barbara, CA
We are from Ireland and have lived in Santa Barbara for 11 years now. We discovered La Arcada Bistro St Patricks Day 2013. Let me tell u it was the best St Patricks since we left Ireland. The Atmosphere the food the entertainment was second to none. Willie and Trini are wonderful people and daughters beautiful. The staff are friendly and helpful. We have eaten many times there since and bring friends when they are visiting. We tell everyone how great it is. Going back again this Saturday


GREAT PLACE TO EAT
Reviewer: Bill from Glasgow, Scotland
We dined here on our visit to Santa Barbara as part of a holiday trip from Scotland.We were warmly welcomed by Willie and his wife. We enjoyed a lovely meal & can recommend the soda bread (made by Willie himself, he being Irish, of course). Willie recognised our Scottish accents and spent time chatting to us. It turned out that before he came to Santa Barbara, he had a connection with the company from which I had just retired - small world. Excellent service and good atmosphere.


I am a frequent dinner at La Arcada Bistro
Reviewer: Joan from Santa Barbara, CA
I have never had a bad meal or poor service. In fact, I have experienced just the opposite. Tony always has a warm greeting and is most accomodating. In addition to frequently enjoying a meal alone I have organized gatherings after work for small and large groups. There has never been a problem! Willy is a welcoming and chatty host whose Irish accent is devine. He sat for a long time with my out of town guest who shares his love of Irish and folk music. This is a lovely place to sit outside enjoy the sun while people watching. The soup is always good. Everything is fresh and cooked to order. I especially like La Arcada Bistro breakfast too.


Not really new at all
Reviewer: Sophia from Santa Barbara, CA
I was excited about trying this place; it's a great location for lunch. I tried both of the prior incarnations (Barcliff and Cafe Shell) but was never impressed by their uninspired food choices; I read a few articles about the new owners of this place and was excited to try something new. How disappointing! The menu is the same Cafe Shell menu, the prices are the same (a bit expensive for the quality/quantity/interest level of the food when you compare it to Jeannine's, for instance) and the place is decorated in the same "meh" style. I sat inside the main dining room for lunch. The overhead lights were turned off and the back tables were used for storage/table prep. It felt a bit like sitting in a storeroom, and being served cold hot tea didn't help (I should have known better, hot tea was always cold at Cafe Shell as well). Oh well, hoping for better things next time this place changes hands!


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