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Harry's Plaza Cafe
3313 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 687-2800


Reviews by the General Public

Getting less for more, 5/18/2014
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
We've been coming here for years and have noticed many corners are bring cut and the prices are increasing. Even the once strong drinks are now a lot of ice and $10 for a well Marguerita not even made with fresh juice. I even asked the waitress if there was a mistake in the price of a crappy well Marguerita, she sniped "no". The $16 battered fish and chips is made of frozen Swaii, that came all the way from Vietnam! Really? We don't have any local fish here in SB.! They used to use Halibut or Cod. So they again raise the price and serve less quality for more$$. My Mother's beef dip had 1/2 the meat it had the time before. My daughter asked if the Fresh Salmon was really fresh and if it was wild. The server replied, "neither". So for $$$ we can think we are getting what the menu reads but really we are getting farm raised frozen Salmon. All prices are very high here for mediocre at best diner food. Makes me sad that I won't ever eat here again.


This place has gone downhill., 5/10/2014
Reviewer: Morgan C. from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been going here for years, and typically have a wonderful experience. However, my partner and I went there for our anniversary. It took three hostesses and ten minutes to get a table, even though there was no wait. We were seated in the very back, next to the bar, the bathroom, the kitchen, and the wait station. Not exactly romantic. When we asked to be reseated, the hostess gave us quite a bit of attitude. Our waiter was average, and the food was mediocre. We weren't even offered the fresh ground pepper that is usually floating around. Seems like a management issue; we won't be celebrating this former SB tradition anytime soon.


Wonderful non sports bar bar!, 10/13/2013
Reviewer: Kathy from Santa Barbara, CA
I like how the people complaining about not being able to watch the game say they are all locals, yet one of the people (obviously the party wrote two complaints) claim to be from buellton. Anyways, I have been there several times where they have been able to accommodate our tv requests, and several times they can't. It has never bothered us because IT IS NOT A SPORTS BAR!!! The food and service is wonderful always! My guess is that you had a negative experience because you were negative.


Still and will always love it, 10/10/2013
Reviewer: Steve L from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I have been coming to Harry's for 30 years and we love the atmoshere here! I just dont understand the last reviews. We have never gone to Harry's to "Watch TV" we eat, we drink(and I must admit they are really strong), have a good conversation with each other and friends. I dont think of Harrys as a sports bar and most of our friends don't either. As always we love the steak bites. PS if you REALY WANT TO WATCH A GAME STAY HOME


*, 10/8/2013
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Weird that the manager would not be in the know of the Dodgers clinching the playoff series that night over a Falcons Jets game, get your SoCal priorities straight manager or go back to Atlanta or NY where you are probably from!


Worst Experience Ever, 10/7/2013
Reviewer: Kay from Santa Barbara, CA
We went to Harry's last night to sit at a booth by the bar with another couple so that we could watch the Dodger playoff game. I had called in advance to make sure that the game was on, and the hostess was great. She seated us in a great booth with a view of the game. We all ordered a drink and we were just about to order dinner, when the TV was switched to football. It seems that the booth next to us (that was seated after us) requested it. We asked the manager to switch it back but he refused. We asked the nice people in the booth next to us if we could switch back to baseball at halftime and they said yes, when the manager walked by and asked us to quit "harassing the guests". We tried to talk to him but he needlessly escalated the situation and asked us to leave. We are all locals, over 60, and have eaten at Harry's for years. The manager was angry, rude, and disrespectful throughout the encounter. Wow, this was the worst experience ever.


Harry's has gotten even better
Reviewer: Jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Such a long tradition here but too long since I have returned, though we see the stream of regulars marching in when we sit in the Renaud's patio. Time to return and so glad we did: the bread, butter salsa starter was even better than I remembered, really fresh flavors, delicious clam chowder soup of the day -best in town so far, very flavorful prime 8 ounce sirloin which is too hard to find that size in town and really this is a very adequate portion. Fries could have been better, more on the softer than crispy side but tasty enough. Yes there was room for dessert so a split of the lemon meringue pie was the perfect topper. Fresh flavor and lots of merge - quite a treat over the usual industrial version of this classic. Service was efficient, friendly and professional. Wonderful ambience to the whole place and one felt they had landed on a treasured local secret with all generations present from young to old, and all looked very much at home at their Harry's. Gorgeous long wooden bar, low key lighting, lots of old time photos, yup it is throwback time, yet current in its menu offerings of classics with a contemporary twist. Even the vegetable side was credible with some crunch left in the array of ubiquitous choices. Only low point was in fact the seating felt too low for the table height . I felt like I was sitting at the big kid's table and they should have handed me the kiddie menu. Booths would be a better choice than the tables, if they are available. Keep Harry's on your short-list when you just want good old fashion classical American dining.


Wedding Reception gone bad
Reviewer: Debbie from Santa Barbara, CA
A few weeks ago we held out Wedding Reception in the Rancho Room at Harry's. The food was good as always but the service we received from the Manager was unprofessional from the very beginning and I must say embarrassing for me during our reception. Not only was our menu incorrect but the Manager was never around when we needed him. Numerous time had to have him hunted down. We ran out of food more than once and my guests had to wait while once again hunted down the manager. His attitude was rude through out the night. I tried to make the best of it and not let it ruin by night. I had given up when i witnessed him what he called cutting and i can only describe as demolishing our wedding cake. It was so sad at that point I cried. So again the food was good as always but would I recommend a friend to have a private party at Harry's? Can't say that i would


Best restaurant on West Coast!!!!
Reviewer: Cynthia Guzman from Alhambra, CA
We love Harry's and make it a point to visit every time we are in town! Great food and drink!! Love the Martini's Up!!! Love the ambience. Read the reviews and can only say people are Idiots and don't get out much!


The Arnold Palmer ultimate experience
Reviewer: Jerry from Santa Barbara, CA
So we get there for reservations at seven. There's six of us crammed in a booth while there's empty tables in the ranchero room 7:30 drinks 8:00 salads while we ask questions the waitress didn't know wether they had bone in ribeye or not I asked her the price of the surf and turf I didn't get an answer, we asked for suger she gave us two (2) packs of sweet n low finally she brings out the food and spills Arnold Palmer full glass all over my friends wife no apology her remark was " ohh now she's awake" didn't comp her meal or anything of that sort until we spoke with the manager he comped it and said dessert is on the house well we never got the dessert and were ignored for the rest of the night our super waitress dropped the bill as she turned around and walked away ignoring us. I've never written a review they earned this one!


A Blast of The Past
Reviewer: Mr Burlesk from Santa Barbara, CA
Wound up at Harry's purely by chance on a recent outing to Santa Barbara last Tuesday. Ducked in expecting a typical strip mall cafe since the place is tucked nonchalantly in the corner of the Gelson's parking lot and there's little charm to the facade. When I opened the door I thought I was entering The Twilight Zone: Harry's is a retro gem, an institution; it's been there since the 1960s. Red leather tuck-and-roll booths, formal waiter's uniforms, carts that they roll the plates of food around on, and the prices of a fine steakhouse (i.e., if you're gonna eat here, bringa lotta munny). The steakhouse decor alone is worth a visit, even just for a drink. The cocktails looked tall and tasty and tables were ordering them "en masse." We got off cheaply by having salads which were nothing too special, but certainly fresh and delicious. We found dissonance on the starter plate, though: sliced sourdough bread paired with salsa and sour cream? Weird to me. Yeah, the hostess gave us, too, the spiel about the booths being "reserved" (she seemed detached, immature and kinda bored). Our waiter was kind of a shlubby guy but he had a lot of heart! Swell guy who told us about Harry's history (no longer family owned); a large portrait of Harry hangs above the entrance to the main dining room. How terrific Harry's must have been in its heyday, the 60s and 70s! A really testy old lady at the next table had the waiter apologizing all over himself for some transgression (felt sorry for him; she really was a mean old hag!). It was easy to conclude Harry's has probably spoiled its patrons during prior decades; the current staff struggles to maintain a high level of customer service. Folks, you just don't find 'em like this anymore. Harry's added a touch of "old world" charm to our visit to SB; I recommend dropping-in for a chuckle and a snort (BTW, don't let those horrid San Roque Lyndon LaRouche birthers peddling on the sidewalks put you off your visit -- we found them shockingly repellant).


food only ok, service bad bad bad
Reviewer: john from Santa Barbara, CA
I've eated at Harry's for 40 years, in the last 10 years the place has gone down hill, so sad many good times where had there.


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