Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Cafe Del Sol
Ca Dario

Cafe Del Sol
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2014-09

30 Los Patos Wy, Montecito
Phone: (805) 969-0448

Reviews by the General Public

Alcohol License suspended indefinitely, 9/4/2014
Reviewer: Kate from Santa Barbara, CA
FYI the bar is closed for the foreseeable future. I was told by a server the owner has not paid taxes and the license is suspended indefinitely.

Outstanding, 8/31/2014
Reviewer: Terry from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been a patron of Cafe del Sol since 1969! Yes! I keep coming back every chance I get. The food is excellent, always consistent, the service is as well, efficient, friendly and attentive. The Patron Margaritas on the rocks are my favorite, the bartender is very generous! The salsa and chips are the best I have ever had...anywhere! Alfredo always greets everyone with gratitude and appreciation. This is a local treasure!

Care in Montecito, 11/26/2013
Reviewer: George from Santa Barbara, CA
When I last was greeted by Alfredo, Jack and Emile it was a tragic time for me and my spouse (who was dying of cancer). As much as I wanted to just get through life, they stood up for me and were as supportive as any family could have been. The service and atmosphere was just outstanding, the understanding went beyond the experience. If you are reading between the lines here, you know that this is just an outstanding group of people who just happen to know how to make you feel comfortable, even in difficult situations. Bravo, Jack/Emilie and Alfredo.

Blech, 11/15/2013
Reviewer: Stu from Santa Barbara, CA
To improve tis place they need to try and get rid of the nauseating aroma, improve the quality of the food, increase the portion size and lower the price. We didn't order drinks so we probably missed the real reason this joint is open. Maybe the American or Greek dishes are good but the Mexicam ones we tried were below average. Service was average.

The best service , 2/6/2013
Reviewer: Angel from Santa Barbara, CA
The service at cafe del sol is the best as well as the food it just feels really good when the manager Alfredo receives you he's always very friendly we need more Alfredo's in Santa Barbara restraunts Start of with their Chips & guacamole. With a margarita The fast service is a 10 Alfredo and sal excellent job Thanks the. Gutierrez family

Stellar service + Good food = Return Customers, 9/2/2011
Reviewer: Sophie from Santa Barbara, CA
I am a Santa Barbara local so I eat out a lot. I know good service when I get it and Cafe del Sol is where it's at! We had a very honest, knowledgable server who was efficient with our time and made great recommendations. The busboys were just as great - always filling our water glasses, replenishing alcoholic beverages, chips & salsa, etc. quickly and attentively. The food was good - not my new favorite - but still good. The menu has a little bit of an identity crisis going on - steaks, omelettes (yes, for dinner), salads, Mexican food (GREAT), etc. but there's something for everyone! The desserts were AMAZING. Definitely recommend their version of the apple pie a'la mode - wonderful. I'll be back to Cafe del Sol. PS - we didn't sit outside but I would imagine that the bird refuge view from their patio is nice to enjoy.

comfortable atmosphere and great food, 6/17/2011
Reviewer: ignacio mendoza from Santa Barbara, CA
we re from oxnard and come often to santa barbara. we have dined in numerous restaurants and cafe del sol has always been a family favorite. great food, relaxing atmosphere, excellent cocktails. from the manager to the server and bus boy they treat you with professionalism. we re going for brunch sunday for fathers day. good job

Great in every aspect, 3/20/2011
Reviewer: Larry from Santa Barbara, CA
What a great place. They offer great service, great food,and go out of their way to make your visit an excellent experience. The host was the most understanding person we have ever met in a restaurant. New Year's eve he went way out of his way to make sure that we were taken care of. We have traveled all over the world and have never experienced such service.

Margaritas GOOD, Food MEH, 10/7/2010
Reviewer: M B from Santa Barbara, CA
Plain and simple: the margaritas here are good, the food is overpriced for its mediocre quality. I'll come back only for margaritas. Restaurant owners: please drop the food prices to something comparable to the area's offerings. I can go to Panino to get a sandwich twice as good for half the cost. Should I have tried your Mexican options instead? Perhaps - but if only they weren't more expensive than the other options on the menu. One would expect the Mexican options to be cheaper than the alternatives at a Mexican restaurant. Friendly service, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Excellent!, 8/2/2010
Reviewer: Madison from Santa Barbara, CA
Our family has been here decently often over many years and has always loved it. The service was incredible and the greek chicken is amazing! It's nice to get to a place that isn't stuffy like Montecito but crazy like downtown. This is a place, as a lifetime resident of Santa Barbara, that I would definitely recommend.

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!, 5/30/2010
Reviewer: Susi Cherry from Lafayette, CA
Our experience dining at Cafe del Sol was wonderful. The meal was delicious and the service perfect. The Shrimp Fajitas were so delicious that we returned the next night with friends to enjoy dining experience again.

The Most Home Feeling Restaurant, 4/14/2010
Reviewer: Eric from Santa Barbara, CA
I ate at Cafe Del Sol two days ago and its one of the most home feeling restaurants i have ever eaten. The service of the waiters and buss boys were off the charts. everytime i needed something wheather it be salsa or another margarita they were on top of it, always two steps ahead. Also the comfort of the manager Alfredo who showed us such a great time and the great food.I extremely suggest all to go and to try the greek enchilada. you wouldn't regret it

Best Hidding Locals Spot in Town, 12/17/2009
Reviewer: Sara from Santa Barbara, CA
With the many TVs in the bar and the AMAZINGLY FRIENDLY bartenders I cant get enough of this place! Dinner, lunch, and breakfast is awesome! I recomend the shrimp bisque if its on specail that day. Also have to try the cheesecake it is homemade and a different flavor everyday!!

Always the Best, 10/16/2009
Reviewer: Terry from Santa Barbara, CA
We have been eating here since the restaurant was in the Upper Village. Alfredo is the best! The food and service are consistently excellent. I can dine alone here without hesitation. Jack and Emelie Sears pride themselves with quality and a friendly atmosphere. Our favorite place!

Great, BUT, 8/30/2009
Reviewer: Mike B. from Santa Barbara, CA
Great location, great drinks, very able bartenders. The service in the bar area is on the ball, only there when you want them. The food in the restaurant area is nothing special, good, not very good, overpriced for the quality and quanity. The service in the restaurant was I felt slow and even worse, when our check arrived, it included the order from the table next to us. Our server said he had not caught that and would fix it. That was NICE of him, BUT should not have happened. We might return for drinks before going elsewhere for dinner.

The most consistent of all..., 4/12/2009
Reviewer: Herman from Santa Barbara, CA

Nice Location, But Extremely Overpriced, 4/5/2009
Reviewer: Dave from Santa Barbara, CA
The restaurant's location and atmosphere is great, as it sits across from the bird refuge. The service was good, except that we had to wait several minutes to be noticed and seated by the host. However, the food seemed extremely overpriced. I spent $14 for what appeared to be 1 scoop of beans, 1 scoop of rice, and 1 small cheese enchilada that was no more than 6 bites. In this economy, best to spend your money elsewhere.

Great Food & Great People, 3/2/2009
Reviewer: Donald from Sonoma, CA
I live in Sonoma, California (wine country) and travel south to Los Angeles frequently for work. I have stopped at the Cafe Del Sol over 20 times in the last year. The food is always fresh and tasty. The staff our quick and friendly. In particular the host / manager, Alfredo is helpful and professional. Traveling so often, it is nice to have a safe stop over spot with great food and friendly faces waiting for me in Monticieto. Thanks to to the whole staff.

some things should stay the same, 9/24/2008
Reviewer: dick/karen young from reno nv
My husband and I lived in sant barbara for years. We try to vist Santa barbara once a year. We always stop to eat at Cafa De Sole. We get great service , and I love the Greek Chicken.... We give Cafe Del Sol 5 stars. P.S. Jack see you on the 4th of july.

Wonderful breakfeast!, 9/18/2008
Reviewer: Hugo Wend from Santa Barbara, CA
It was our first time eating at Cafe Del Sol in the summer of 2008. We were there for a wedding the day before our visit to Cafe Del Sol. I went to high school with the owner Jack Sears and wanted to reunite with him during our visit. The service was excellent. We could order anything on the menu or modify what we wanted. They were very willing to comply to our requests. The service was great. The owner, Jack Sears even came and joined us for breakfast along with his wife, Emily and his niece. We were not rushed, the atmosphere was welcoming and the scenery from the cafe was beautiful looking towards the ocean. If you ever visit Santa Barbara please try to eat at Cafe Del Sol and ask for Mr. Jack Sears and tell him that he was recommended very highly by Hugo Wend and family from Modesto California.

THE Santa Barbara Restaurant!, 9/9/2008
Reviewer: Amelia from Santa Barbara, CA
Being a Santa Barbara local, let me just say that I KNOW my way around Santa Barbara's restauraunt scene! So I feel, with complete confidence, that I can applaud Cafe Del Sol as one of the best restaurants of our lovely piece of paradise! From the moment you enter the doors, you are enveloped by a sense of homely warmth and a charming mexican atmosphere. The fabulous Alfredo is there to greet you, the rest of the staff is friendly and efficient, the food is flavorful and delicious (but wear stretchy pants!), and they have the BEST margaritas in town! At the Cafe, you're greeted with good food, good vibes, and even the owner himself bartends almost every night (say hi to Jack!). Word to the wise though, make reservations for weekend dinners! El mejor, Cafe Del Sol!

I dont get it, 9/7/2008
Reviewer: Doreen from Santa Barbara, CA
Since moving here Ive heard alot of people mention this restaurant. We finally make it there last night and I really dont get it? No hostess when we walk in waiting a long time finally some man comes sits us. Waiter was extrememly preoccupied and the place was not that busy. Brought wrong entree. Meals came extremely floating in butter and cream. Weird menu. Service horriable, meal extremely fattening- sure tastes good but who needs all those calories and extra fat? There was a whole weird vib in the whole restaurant. Like maybe all the employees were fighting or something? The bar is filled with alot of heavy drinkers.

You Call This Decent Mexican Food?, 7/25/2008
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara
Visited Cafe Del Sol yesterday.. I ordered the Beef Enchilada and margarita, she ordered chile relleno, and my son ordered a Chicken Burrito... In all cases the food was mediocre, bland, and non-representative of decent mexican food at any price. The only respectful part of the meal was the margarita which was excellent - - in which I observed a table of 7 only order margaritas, chips(excellent salsa), and guacamole (lousy) before leaving. Does that tell you something?...

Cafe Del Sol, 2/23/2008
Reviewer: Jessa from Santa Barbara, Ca
My finance and I decided we wanted to start trying new restaurants for our date night and this was first on the list. Upon arrival, we waited 10 minutes just to be noticed. It took another 15 minutes to set up our table, outside where there was nobody. We ordered our chips and guacamole and my fiance ordered himself a margarita. It had to be, hands down, the WORST margarita I've ever tasted in my life. Our food finally arrived and it was unimpressive at best. He ordered bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp with veggies and rice...The rice was about as impressive as microwaved uncle ben's rice pilaf. The veggies were over cooked and came from a mass cut store bought mix. It was obvious by the slices. I ordered the Chicken Relleno. Slightly better. Overall this place was totally un-authentic. I was under the impression it was Mexican food. I was wrong. Horribly overpriced, for five bacon wrapped shrimp and fake rice and veggies it was $25... For what you pay there you could go to Opal and have a high class dinner. A total disappointment we will not return.

Perfect little wedding, 12/10/2007
Reviewer: Breny from Santa Barbara
Starting first i would like to thank Alfredo for making our perfect and beautiful wedding reception. Alfredo and all the staff made all of us feel so special and the service was the best. All the staff was friendly. The food was amazing good. And i will be going back again to eat there. Thank you once again to all the staff of cafe del sol.

I lOVE this place!, 11/2/2007
Reviewer: Valerie from Santa Barbara, CA
This place is consistently fantastic. Jessica Gardner sez, "It also shares menus with two other restaurants (mesa cafe and cody's.)." She is wrong about that. The owner, Jack Sears, opened the restaurant first in the upper village of Montecito where Piatti now operates. It was there for something like 20 years. Then, he relocated to the place it is now. It's been there for another nearly 20 years. I hear Jack holds the current record for being the longest running proprietor of a Santa Barbara resturant. This restaurant is a SB classic - great food, great service, great value.

Utterly Positively Delectable, 10/10/2007
Reviewer: Woolsworth Featherbottom from Montecito, CA
I dare say this is the finest eating establishment our famed Bird Sanctuary has ever seen! The libations are stiffer than the upper lip of our beloved Winston Churchill, unfortunately they don't carry Absinthe as I'd so envy a visit from the Green Fairy. Alas. I must conclude that the owners are delightful and the mere thought of enchilidas with my steak sends me into a tailspin as if I'd been shot down by the famed Red Baron himself! Carry on Cafe del Sol! We salute you!

A poor excuse for mexican food..., 6/23/2007
Reviewer: Hajir Sailors from Santa Barbara, CA
The best that could be said about the food here is that they made moderately ok cheese enchiladas, cheese quesadillas, and the tortillas and the chips were still warm. Again on the positive side the decor is very nice and the location is relatively pretty. The food and the service on the other hand i found to be disastrous. It's supposed to be mexican food of some sort, however the first salsa that was placed on our table did not taste at all like any salsa you get at a taqueria on milpas, it tasted more like a californian blend of tomatoes and some other fresh herbs. The sandwiches fit an american restraunt, the quesadillas are bland and tasteless, the fettucine alfredo is probably as mexican as many of the things on that menu. The beans and rice did not taste very good at all. The cheese enchiladas were very edible but nothing special. The pork verde type thing had a strange non-mexican taste to it, it just didn't seem right. If you want mexican food I'd suggest you go to milpas or even little alex's less than a mile away, but this place has decor, just not any food that tastes mexican.

Getting Old, 5/25/2007
Reviewer: Jessica Gardner from Santa Barbara, CA
I've gone here with my family for a long time, and the menu has never changed. It also shares menus with two other restaurants (mesa cafe and cody's.) The waitresses are rude, the only person I like is the manager - he's amazing. My mom is pretty simple - Margarita, no salt, on the rocks and most of the time the bar tender gets that wrong too. It's steadily gone down the drain in the last few years.

Favorite Place, 5/7/2007
Reviewer: Patrick from Westlake Village, CA
We live in Westlake Village..and my family and I consider Cafe Del Sol our home away from home. We absolutely love their food and service is incredible. Alfredo and staff have become our extended family...this restaurant is OUTSTANDING!!!!! We look forward to seeing them again on Mother's Day...!!!!!

Always a great experience!, 4/16/2007
Reviewer: Christina from Santa Barbara, CA
This is a great place to eat and meet up with friends. Its very out of the way so it's never too crowded if you want to sit somewhere specific (like outside in the sun). Amazing chips and salsa that go perfectly with there delicious margaritas! Above all...the service is always consistantly GREAT!

Reviewer: Alexis from Santa Barbara, CA
Went for dinner Saturday night. Witnessed the gorgeous sunset and was seated promptly next to the fire place. Was approached immediately with water, chips, salsa and the freshest guacamole. Drinks were great, best blue cheese dressing I've had anywhere! The food was spectacular. Atmosphere was perfect for a couple looking to have a great dinner, good conversation and enjoy each other while enjoying a fabulous meal. Thank you Cafe Del Sol!!!

Lo Mejor De Santa Barbara, 1/9/2007
Reviewer: Jasmine from Los ANGELES CA
That service. It was the best.

Perfect & Excellent, 11/20/2006
Reviewer: Pat from Montecito, CA
We live in Montecito and took our house guests from Newport Beach to dinner at Cafe Del Sol. Everyone had an excellent dinner. Our house guests liked it so much that they want to go back to Cafe Del Sol every time they visit. I ordered their special filet of sole picata & chile rellano and the fish was perfect, excellent. The chile rellano was perfect and excellent. Our guest ordered half a lamb shank dinner and he thought it was excellent - just the way he likes it. The reason we came here is because they have such a large variety of choices of dinners. Meat & potatos, Mexican food to seafood. Our guests were raving about their experience and we enjoyed it too.

THIS PLACE RULES!, 11/8/2006
Reviewer: Joanne from Sanata Barbara
I went there from my anniversary the other night,and even though we were there during there busiest time, we were seated almost immedietly.When they brought the chips and salsa, and drinks, i was so impressed by the impeccable manners of the waiter, Manual Tellez. He made us feel right at home. My husband ordered the filet mignon, which was cooked perfectle to how he wanted it, and i have the broiled salmon, one of my favorites. it was so good, and it was almost like it melted in my mouth. They have a very good selection and the prices are amazing!

Terrrible, 7/12/2006
Reviewer: Ignacio from Santa Barbara
So it started off as a promising evening, with a nice seat on the patio and a margarita ordered right away. Then, everything went awry. The margaritas took about 15 minutes to come out, and there were mostly ice in a rocks glass. Mind you, at this point we didnt even have menus. When the menus finally came, it was about 25 to 30 minutes till we saw our waitress at our again, even tho she had time to bus tables right around us. We finally flagged her down and asked for our check, which was rather annoying as well. It was $14 for two small, salty margaritas. As an avid reader of this website and a regular eater-outer in SB, this was unacceptable. To say the least, i will not be going back.

Where everybody knows your name!, 7/6/2006
Reviewer: Jeanne from Santa Barbara
I've been going to Del Sol since the first month I got here. I went to the dentist next door and needed some cheering up afterwards. From my first Oriental Chicken Salad and Margarita outside on the patio, I've been impressed. Alfredo, the maitre d' and the waiters, are super people and service is excellent. I've been going there for six years and I always have a good time. It's got great atmosphere - laid back, but still clean and formal. It's my favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara. Del Sol's a Great place just to get drinks also.

Almost as good, 6/25/2006
Reviewer: Rich Gudjorno from Washington,DC
I had a positive experience at the Cafe Del Sol in Santa Barbara. Although I was expecting something better. There is series of Cafe del Sol locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania. They feature an amazing fusion of gourmet latin, italian and contemporary american cuisine in a smart casual setting.

Perfect Date, 3/30/2006
Reviewer: Jennifer from Fountain Valley, Ca
I loved this place. It was my first time here and it was wonderful. We stopped on the way home from San Francisco. From the first look of the place I expected it to be kinda expensive(The atmostphere seemed romantic). The prices were actually great, the service was impressive, the food tasted delicious and I was one very happy lady.

Eh, 3/24/2006
Reviewer: Meredith from Santa Barbara
I went here last night with some friends. The chips were obviously stale and their salsa tasted like it came out of the same industrial can that Playa Azul gets their's from. My chile relleno was okay but the beans tasted vaguely sweet like baked beans and were in desperate need of salt. My partner's fish, however, was awful. It was mushy, not grilled like the waiter said it was, and very bland. I swear that the "saffron" rice that came with the fish was yellow because of food coloring. I will not come back and steer friends away from here.

fantastico, 3/16/2006
Reviewer: mary gonzales from ventura ca 93003
my husband and i live in ventura so we never get a chance to try little resturants until a customer of ours gave us a gift certificate for christmas.traffic was heavy going towards ventura so we decided to use our gift. the expierence was fantastic the food was great.i love there guacamole and there fish is soooo gooood.we have been back since and will be having a birthday dinner there soon.i love this resturant.

good food, ok service, 2/22/2006
Reviewer: manny style from santa barbara,ca
i've been here many times with my girlfriend. she likes the food a lot, but many of the times, the service has been weak. we've had to wait long for drink refills or to even place our order. one time she asked for a refill on her drink and the server said "i'll let you finish it, then i'll come back and give you another one" the glass was almost empty, i was very upset, but she told me not to worry about it. i almost never went back, but we might, just cause of the food.

Top Notch Service, 6/2/2005

A few months ago my fiance and I visited Cafe del Sol with his family and I must say we were more than impressed! It was a busy Saturday night but the service was outstanding! The staff never let a glass get empty or the chips and salsa run out. We were completely taken care of the entire night. At the end of the meal we were even served two complementry desserts! The food was also great and reasonably priced. Cafe del Sol was, without a doubt, the best service I have ever had at a resturant. I will be a lifelong customer of this resturant!

Great food and the best service, 12/28/2004
Reviewer: Carmen from Santa Barbara, California
I must say my experience there has been top notch everytime. From the time we were seated til´ our last martini was sucked dry...from our first basket of chips and the city´s best guacamole to the most delicious apple dessert...everything was done right. I would higly recommend a dinner with friends by the´s about good food, great atmosphere, and the best service without the pretentious Santa Barbara attitude.

NOT IMPRESSED, 10/24/2004

I finally had the opportunity to try this restaurant this Sunday afternoon and was not impressed with my Liguine Primavera. It was swimming in a pool of overly oily sauce causing it to look more like a soup than a pasta dish. The veggies that accompanied the pasta where not consistant in texture or compatable with the pasta. Outside of the pasta, the tortilla chips tasted bland and not unlike a outdated bag of a store brand version. The water was not terribly palatable either. So overall, I really didn´t enjoy my meal. Could it be that they were overwhelmed by our large group of 20-25 people during their slower time, Sunday at 1 PM? Not sure but I doubt I will go there again. A Local

Best Place for Raging ´Ritas and Local "Cito" Faces...., 8/11/2004

I love the meatball soup (Albondigas), devour the chips and hot version of salsa, and DON´T EVER FORGET TO ORDER A BANANA/MANGO ´RITA--they´re the best. Not to mention that if you´re a Cito local, you are assured to meet up with good friends to reminisce with...

My favorite lunch place, 7/18/2004

Every Monday my partner and I meet at this wonderful cafe for margaritas and the chicken tostada. The view of the bird refuge is relaxing as well as the calm and peaceful location. The chips and salsa are flowing and the margaritas are the best in town. A true locals joint, Cafe del Sol, is the BEST mexican food in the area.

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