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Shang Hai
830 N. Milpas St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-7833

  • Category: Chinese
  • Hours: Lunch: Mon, Wed-Sat 11:30am-2:15pm, Dinner Sun-Thu 4:30pm-9:15pm, Fri-Sat 4:30pm-9:45pm, Tue Closed
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

Reunited, and it feels so good!
Reviewer: Justine from Santa Barbara, CA
Had not been there in several years, but went back last night for Chinese New Year, tired of other Chinese restaurants in town--food quality is often below expectations, even at what I think of as the Good Places, like China Pavilion, and most are so expensive! This was good food, affordable, with reasonably prompt and efficient service, though they were fairly busy (glad to see). One high point was that in addition to the fortune cookie at the end of the meal, I received an old-school almond cookie. It has been decades, I think, since I've been to a Chinese restaurant that has those. When I mentioned to the server that I appreciated that and no one else in town has them, he asked, "Would you like more?" and brought me an extra handful. I hear Yvette Yin has owned the place for 25 years, taking it over from her father. She was there last night, a friendly presence greeting patrons and bringing around the red envelopes for Chinese New Year--they're celebrating through the weekend, so go! Mine contained a card good for free egg rolls next time. Another patron's was for 15% off. I am so glad to have rediscovered Shang Hai, and kudos to Ms. Yin for maintaining a high-quality, enjoyable dining experience in an unlikely location.

I will never eat/order from here again
Reviewer: Marie from Santa Barbara, CA
This is the third and final time that my office will order lunch from Shang Hai on Milpas street in Santa Barbara. We will never do it again. The meat portions are laughable for the prices that they charge and my dish was so bland that I threw it away (shrimp with lobster sauce.) Seven of us ordered and seven of us will not be back. The young man that took my order was very thorough and I appreciated that; however, our food was not memorable enough to return. We will try another local venue in the future.

I have eaten here for years
Reviewer: mike from Santa Barbara, CA
After many years of being pleased with this restaurant last night was not good. Most of the food was OK but the orange chicken was just bad. My main complaint was the service or lack of. The ladies working there were giggling in the back room when they should have been attending to the patrons. We waited what seemed like 10 min for someone to take our bill. We finally went in the back room to fetch the cashier. Why did I tip? Well I won't if it happens again.

best chinese food in SB ! ! !
Reviewer: Prue from Santa Barbara, CA
super friendly staff, super yummy food. i always order the orange soybean chicken and it is soooooo amazing. the mushroom fried ( brown ) rice with curry flavor is also delicious. i like the shrimp fried rice too, but there are only 5 or 6 shrimps in it, and i'm left wanting more! my BF really likes the garlic pork with green beans. everything they make tastes like they really care when they make it, trust me...go eat there now!!!!!!!!!!!

Best for the $
Reviewer: Mike F from Santa Barbara, CA
Actually this is the best Chinese food I have had in SB. I do think it is time for a new carpet.

Reviewer: JS from Santa Barbara, CA
Don't let the location deter you. The food here is amazing and the servers always attentive without being intrusive. Always nice to see the owner on the floor.

Ok Food, Nice people
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
In more of a strip mall at the end of milpas businesses. Food was just Ok for me, nothing special. Ambience was cozy and nice. Not sure the draw here unless because its the only typical Chinese place on this side of town(except for more buffet style China Express). I would suggest comparing to other places like Uncle Chen, Wings, Pick Up Stix, Madam Lu or Empress Palace but adequate for the typical Chinese meal and apparently have good veggie options.

Great food great price
Reviewer: James from Santa Barbara, CA
Shang Hai is exactly the kind of place I have been searching for in Santa Barbara. The food was excellent. Service was excellent. Great value. Highly recommend trying the lunch special.

Great Food
Reviewer: Bekki from Santa Barbara, CA
I cant eat Chinese food anywhere else thanks to Shang Hai! All other Chinese food places are no competition for Shang Hai. Its the best restaurant in town, with great tasting food and great service.

Reviewer: JS from Santa Barbara, CA
I have to agree with the vegetarian friendliness of this restaurant. Its called "soybean chicken" on the menu and is SO SO good! I like the Soybean Kung Pao, but now i cant wait to try the vegetarian lemon chicken! thanks for the tip! oh and the owner Yvette is....AMAZING!

Great for Vegetarians!
Reviewer: Tiffany J. from Santa Barbara, CA
I used to live in SB, and frequented this establishment often. I fondly remember the delicious egg fu yung, vegetable rice, and, most especially, the vegetarian tofu lemon chicken. This last dish was so delicious, you could hardly believe it was tofu!! It felt, tasted, and looked like actual perfect white meat chicken. My best friend is unusally discerning when it come to food and she still talks about driving up to SB to partake once again of the vegetarian lemon chicken (and she lives in Aliso Viego!!) Anyway, highly reccommend, DELICIOUS!

Consistently the Best
Reviewer: Linda from Santa Barbara, CA
We are locals and still had to 'discover' Shang Hai. We get take out regularly but have also dined in the restaurant. Have never been disappointed. Our current favorites: Kung Pao Shrimp and Mongolian Beef. YUMMY!

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