Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Joe's Cafe
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Joe's Cafe
536 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 966-4638

Reviews by the General Public

30 Year returning customer, 10/26/2018
Reviewer: East Beach Boy from SANTA BARBARA
I will keep this short and to the point. I read most of the positive and all the negative reviews and I am astonished how petty people can be. Joes serves excellent food at value prices and their customer service is always excellent. Word of caution: Do not come in with an attitude. Be happy and you will be mirrored by their employees. To the many past and future negative reviewers, take my advise....Stay Home. I cannot wait for my Corned Beef and Cabbage Friday night special! Thanks Joes for the last 30 years and counting. East Beach Boy

Terrible service
Reviewer: P M from Santa Barbara, CA
The service was terrible. There was a waitress with two braids who was very rude and rolled her eyes a couple times and messed up all the orders. The eggs Benedict were fully cooked and the bacon burnt. I have been coming here for two years and never had such a terrible experience! I'm not sure if I will be back again.

Manager Doesn't Care if He Loses Business
Reviewer: Daryl from Santa Barbara, CA
We've eaten at Joe's for many years, usually in person, but also via SBMenus since they began offering their fare for delivery that way. The food isn't gourmet, but it is dependable and good. Sometimes, it's just what you crave. However, going downtown isn't always convenient, so we were thrilled to find that they allegedly offered delivery via Lately, however, they've mostly been listed as "unavailable for delivery" in SB Menus, even though they are still part of that system. I called tonight, hungry for some Joe's fare, and asked the manager what was going on (it was well after 5:00 p.m.). His answer? "We reserve the right to not participate, and tonight we're not participating. You're welcome to place an order and pick it up yourself if you want." "I might normally," I said, "but we already spent the day downtown. Going back really isn't convenient for us tonight. "Well, I'm sorry, then. Maybe next time." Really? So, what's the point of being in the SBMenus system any more, guys? You'll fulfill individual carry-out orders, but not a carry-out that uses a third party to deliver it? The manager was extremely unsympathetic. "That's just the way it is," he said. "It's up to my discretion to make that decision, and tonight I've chosen not to participate. I'm sorry if that's inconvenient for you." Well, with that attitude, simply going back to Joe's in the future is looking pretty darned "inconvenient" right now, even if we're in the neighborhood. Your attitude may have just lost yourselves a couple of formerly loyal customers. Retire on that, dude.

One of the Best Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Reviewer: Joyce from Manhattan Beach CA
We took two friends on Sunday - I wasn't sure if they would like a "hometown" atmosphere. They were VERY impressed with this restaurant realizing it was a "local" hangout. Everything from the rustic decor to the over-the-top wait staff (great personalities and so attentive) to the quality food was enjoyed by all. They have a very full menu to choose from - we chose the breakfast menu - from the salmon to the delicious omelet to the biscuits and gravy, no one left hungry and everyone's plates were empty. This restaurant is a great way to "get your motor started" in the morning - enjoy! We'll be back.

Brisket and Pot Roast
Reviewer: Jeffrey Taylor from Santa Barbara, CA
Absolutely love it! Portions are huge and it is very much like I used to get 'back east'. I usually sit at the bar, where they have the best bartenders in Santa Barbara and not only because of their highly touted mixed drinks...but because Steve and Frankie and Jerry and Matt are such great people to talk with.

Best breackfast in town
Reviewer: Art from Santa Barbara, CA
After reading last review I had to respond. Just had breakfast there this morning, great coffee, same as d'angelos, Lucky's, and tre Luna. I am a sucker for the smoked salmon (Cambridge House) and poached eggs, best deal in town. my friend from Kentucky raved about his chicken fried steak. The last guy should just stick to the cocktails

Worst breakfast I have ever had
Reviewer: Doug from Lompoc, CA
My first time. Seated promptly. Waited about 5 minutes for drink order. Drink served within another 5 minutes. Waited about 10 minutes for the food order. Order taken and then the real wait started. 30 minutes later food arrived; the food better be awesome. The food was terrible. My "chicken-fried steak" was not chicken-fried. It was a piece of meat maybe dusted with flour (probably not, definitely not tenderized), grilled, put under about a 2 inch biscuit (very dry), and barely covered in gravy. The over easy eggs were over medium. The steak was warm and everything else was lukewarm.

Poor Service
Reviewer: Alyssa from Santa Barbara, CA
I love Joe's for it's location and atmosphere. I usually go for breakfast and order the "All American". Food is fine, it's a simple breakfast. I tend to go on the weekends and on many occasions have poor service. My last visit, October 2012, left us waiting for almost 10 minutes before I had to get up and ask who are server was as no one came over to greet us. This was not the first time. I won't say that all of the servers there are like this. As a former server, I think the most important thing one should do is greet/acknowledge your customers asap. There never has been an apology or explanation for the wait. I find this incredibly rude, escpecially when they know your sitting there waiting. I guess I am not the first to write of the bad service, as I found many reviews that would agree with mine. I hope something will change as I do like Joe's Cafe, just not the servers who leave you waiting and waiting.

Come for the drinks!!
Reviewer: Marie from Santa Barbara, CA
I'm a local, and we all know you come to Joe's before the clubs! They have the stiffest drinks in town. This place is the pregame before going out! The food is ok, came a couple times for dinner. I had the regular hamburger and fries, nothing special. Just beware of thur-sat 9-closing crowd, it takes about 5-15min to get a drink with all the college students around.

Another bad review!
Reviewer: Charlotte from Goleta
So here we go again, another bad review for Joe's, a place I vowed I'd never return! Sunday staff as far as I'm concerned flat out suck!! ( except Denise, who comes in later in the day). 2:30 p.m. My family and I waited for a table in an almost empty restaurant and no hostess?? Finally we just seated ourselves. Magically our hostess/manager shows up at her station. She kept looking right through if we were invisible! So did all the other employees! No matter how much eye contact or waving, it was just useless!! Why on Earth would the damn manager ignore us?? Was it because we broke the rules and sat ourselves? After many failed attempts to flag down a server, which was about 10 mins. When finally the worst waitress ever appears! (the one who forgets everything, will not write anything down, brings your appetizer with your meal, leaves your drinks at the bar, for you to just stare at them or get up yourself and fetch them, and charges you for things that you did not order! Yes! That waitress!! Because of this we only ordered a cocktail (which I had to get myself, as our server was MIA!). Paid the bartender and left...we got our French Dip at Harry's! What's the deal with this place anyway!

Meatloaf really bad
Reviewer: J from Santa Barbara, CA
It was a slow night on a Monday. The service was okay, I guess.. But the meatloaf was not what I thought I ordered. When I asked the waiter where the gravy was he said it wasn't that kind of meatloaf. Then after tasting it, I realized it was the not very tastey kind!

Old school cafe
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
This place is like a mini Harry's in terms of decor(or Harry's is a larger version of this place). The food was slated for comfort/diner style. Probably the same stuff they have been serving for a long time(est 1928). They do have a bar which some people go for exclusively. The front booths really need shades for the setting sun. A place to go for down home food/drinks with down home waiters/waittresses. Plan to wait a bit for your food, this is a place where chatting with friends is the priority.

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