1324 State St Ste A, Santa Barbara, CA | Directions 9310134.424999 -119.706566
Neighborhoods: Santa Barbara Downtown
Great food in a perfect location – If you've ever been to Santa Barbara you've probably been by Carlitos. Right across from the beautiful Arlington theatre on State St. it's right in the heart of the city. If you're attending a concert or event at the Arlington, you can park at Carlitos for the entire evening. Great margaritas, crispy tortilla chips with spectacular salsa, and authentic mexican dishes make for a memorable meal. I usually try real hard to order something new but, if the waiter carries a plate of sizzling fajitas past me...I'm done! I gotta have that! Stop by on Saturday nights and enjoy "Vientos Del Sur" while you eat. Traditional Mexican music by some of the most talented and best loved musicians in Santa Barbara. Highly recommended.
Delicious, but... – I've been going to Carlito's for years, since my days as a student at UCSB. Always satisfying, great patio, you name it. Never a misstep. I live in San Diego now and took my girlfriend for a weekend trip to Santa Barbara recently which, of course, had to include Carlito's. I found a tight parking spot out front and did what I thought was a pretty impressive parallel parking job to snag the spot. We sat down and ordered beers, then the bus boy came out with the chips and accused me of hitting his truck while I was parking -- which I certainly did not do. I told him he was wrong, but he wouldn't let it go (he couldn't speak much English either, nor I much Spanish, so this was an awkward conversation to say the least). He finally let it go, but when my fajitas came out, guess who served them to me? Yep, same dude. I was hungry so I tried to ignore what he might have done to or put in my food, which as in years past, was delicious. So if you head to Carlito's, just be careful when you park. The busboy will be watching.
Average, average, average and maybe a bit below – If you are looking for great Mexican food this restaurant will disappoint. I ordered the filet brochette, medium rare and what I got was chunks of something definately not filet filled with gristle and well done. It took awhile to find a server and send it back and longer still to find my server to order a replacement. The chicken enchiladas came and were actually grilled chunks of chicken mixed with tomattilos, tomatoes, peppers and onions atop 3 cheese enchiladas that were cold with a side of bland - maybe canned - refried beans and rice cooked with red & green peppers and onions.
Speaking of onions - my companion had a dish that came with guacmole with so much onion the avacado acted merely as a coloring.If you are looking for great Mexican food this restaurant will disappoint. I ordered the filet brochette, medium rare and what I got was chunks of something definitely not filet filled with gristle and well done. It took awhile to find a server and send it back and longer still to find my server to order a replacement. The chicken enchiladas came and were actually grilled chunks of chicken mixed with tomatillos , tomatoes, peppers and onions atop 3 cheese enchiladas that were cold with a side of bland - maybe canned - refried beans and rice cooked with red & green peppers and onions.
Speaking of onions - my companion had a dish that came with guacamole with so much onion the avocado acted merely as a coloring.
The service was California careless. Long waits, disappearances, and way too busy working the three large party tables we found surrounding us.
Great live music in the courtyard – Excellent service, fantastic mojitos, made this a great place to enjoy the live music in the courtyard. Extensive menu, but the ambience won me over even more than the food.
Great atmosphere & delicious food! – Carlitos has a live band on weekends and there is always a fun crowd there. The waitstaff was very nice, we received excellent service and the food was GREAT! Everyone in our party loved their food and drinks. I highly recommend it.
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