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Italian Grocery
[closed, no longer in business]

415 E. De la Guerra St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 966-6041


Reviews by the General Public

Vary Sad, 3/13/2014
Reviewer: Diana Ibarra from Santa Barbara, CA
I heard Tinos Italian Grocery is closing there store on De LA Guerra St. This is vary sad to hear this store has been part of my family since Tino opened on Olive St.sending my husband to get me one last Tinos famous torpedo sandwich.


The Best "Sub" in Santa Barbara, 1/21/2014
Reviewer: steve Schlah from Ventura, CA
My folks' family moved to Santa Barbara in 1959 and my Dad worked at Arden Farms Dairy on Canon Perdido and Milpas. His fellow Milkmen told him about the "best 'Torpedo sandwiches' in town", so he tried one. Since then, those "Sub Sandwiches", which used to use Vior Bread, have been my family's favorite for three generations and when I am in town, I must stop and get one or two for myself and one each for my two daughters. I say with pride that I got to know Tino and his sister Terry very well. With that said, I was so very sad to see Tino's health deteriorate over the past couple of years, but he continued to come to the store daily until few weeks before his death. Now I understand that the store will be moving soon, Tino will no longer live upstairs and the sandwiches will still be the best in Santa Barbara, but somehow they will not be the same. Tino brought a lot of joy to Santa Barbara and NOT just from his sandwiches. T%ino, I miss you


Best Italian torpedoes ever! Love Them, 1/6/2014
Reviewer: Alice from Santa Barbara, CA
I met Tino & Edith in 1970+ They have been a part of my life of years and years. Love the family and the food!


Been going since the 70's
Reviewer: Lil from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been going to Italian Grocery aka..."Tino's" since the 1970's. Always loved the subs. The place is much cleaner and organized. Must admit the sub's are more bread than meat and cheese...oh well, I guess that's the time we live in, but still a place to revisit.


Really seemed cleaned up.
Reviewer: Len from Santa Barbara, CA
I stopped going there a couple of years back...Place just didn't seem too clean. But stopped by today and was pleasantly surprised. Place has really been cleaned up...less clutter, new manager, brighter, sandwich area organized. ..so nice to see. Well, I'll be going back....I've always loved their sandwiches.


Customer since highschool (1968) says change is inevitable
Reviewer: Alicia May Mitchell from Santa Barbara, CA
But, Tino Zillioto, never forgot a face! I still shop at this market because it is a Santa Barbara landmark. I love my subs the old way with cold cuts, cheese and oil and a few peperoncini. If you want all the extras be prepared to wait. Take the time to enjoy the experience of shopping at a real market. The Italian Market is not a fast food restaurant. So, stop complaining! Long live the Italian Market and the Zillioto tradition!


I remember when......
Reviewer: Peter from Burbank, CA
As a kid I would love to go in and chat with Tino. This was in the 60's when we lived on Olive a few blocks down. The best subs ever!


High School lunchtime- The best
Reviewer: Charles P from Santa Barbara, CA
When I visit Santa Barbara I always like to stop in a get one of those fantastic subs Tino used to make us in the early 80s during lunch at SBHS....great meal and what a deal.


High school memories
Reviewer: bobby gonzales from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to "the High School" santa barbara high, where you could'nt wait for lunch time, get in your fast car to be the first one in line for a tino's sub. they have always and still are the best. as for service they were never in a hurry, if you were, oh well, it was sure worth the wait. I live in tucson now but when i go back and visit family and friends, i go to Tino's first! hope they live forever. Bobby G.


The Italian Deli with love and soul
Reviewer: Christina Lange from Santa Barbara, CA
Leon Molon, my father-in-law, always came and loved the gorgonzola and the subs--even reminiscing years later from his final home in Colorado. I come for the king of cheeses which Tino keeps "in a vault" in the back room--mmm, a Parmeggiano Reggiano to share with a loved one and a glass of wine (take it from Tino.) Also all the olives and homemade sausages...always a stream of locals coming in, subs rushing out, and a patio to enjoy them on. Edith and I talk soup recipes. THIS is a neighborhood treasure. I find great courtesy and smiles here, even when the pace picks up. And a bike rack for me, too. Abondanza! Grazie molto, Tino e Edith and staff!


Thanks for the First Fifty Years Tino
Reviewer: Joe Godwin from Las Vegas, NV
Talk about small, the old shop on Olive Street was small. My first visit was Sept 1962, sure it had been open a few years earlier. The bakery was in the back. And over the years Tino has always had time for a chat about those people from days long ago. Never had a better Super DeLuxe, taken those babies to Mexico, Vegas, San Diego, Isla Vista. Today his health is weak, but the human experience has been priceless. A man who made the life of so many others richer by his kindness. Thank you Tino


Dressing to Die For!
Reviewer: Sabine from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been eating at Tino's since I was a little girl, I am a local and this is one of the last local spots where you get consistent delicious subsandwiches. I miss the days when Tino was younger, full of comedic humour and spunk..but as I have aged so has he, but at least the tradtion keeps going. The price is good, the service is fast, and one day I hope they start selling the oil and vinegar dressing in jars to take home that they place in the sandwiches, it is perfection!


Sneeze-wiches.
Reviewer: Gail Watson from Santa Barbara, CA
I miss these sandwiches. I miss the blissful ignorance that was mine before witnessing both owners sneeze and cough into their bare hands, then grab sandwiches to give to customers. Won't be back, sadly. Delicious, but gross.


Great Italian Torpedo Sandwich
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
I think this is a little no brainer if you want something good. Just go up and order the super deluxe with everything and you are done. The meat that are in it are shown on a placard in the wall, the sandwich maker is really not there to talk to you as much as to make that sandwich. The lady at the register is the owner who owns it with her husband. They do now have atm/credit option available. She said they have been there since the 70s. Probably the best Italian torpedo sandwich I have ever had.


Love Italian Grocery
Reviewer: Jon from Santa Barbara, CA
Yes....the lady at the counter sits and reads...so what. I have paid with a CC Many times and not had a single problem.The sandwiches are great and service is quick. I have asked for substitutions and no problem. Will return over and over ! Thanks Italian Grocery !


What a disappointment
Reviewer: Stephanie Miller from Santa Barbara, CA
It's not the place I remember. The girl behind the counter was clueless as to what kind of meats were in the torpedo. I asked for lettuce and tomato (extra cost) and was shocked to see that the tomato was so thin and there was about five shreds of lettuce. I also paid extra for turkey and they put one slice in the sandwich. I suggest the owners may want to take a trip to Little Italy in New York and get a lesson in what a real torpedo sandwich should look and taste like. In addition, the ederly woman at the counter was rude as can be. Needless to say I WILL NEVER GO BACK!


One of a kind
Reviewer: tom palmeri from caldwell idaho
Tino e Edith al tuo continuo successo e vi ringrazio per 50 anni di ottimo cibo e ricordi One of my first jobs as a kid in 1962 was working at Tino's.I'll never forget the wonderful smells of the fresh bread in the morning and all the great cheeses and deli fare.I feel blessed to have had the chance to learn about hard work and honesty from him .In the almost 50 years of going to tinos I don't remember not seeing tino there early in the morning until closing.A harder working man you'll never meet.I believe nostalgia is an important part of the success of any business. How many of us remember the original Joe's, lil audreys, Jimmys oriental gardens et al. It wasn't just the food it was alot more. If you want fast food go to Mcdonalds if you want an atm go to the bank if you want a perfect enviroment stay home.If on the other hand you want a unique experience, and tino's is one ,go out and support your Local business's before their gone See you at fiesta tino


Not just a tradition....
Reviewer: roger from Santa Barbara, CA
Now, I am not a genius, or a millionaire, but I go to the ATM every so often, get out a hundred or so dollars to stuff in my pocket, along with my debit and credit cards, in case I go somewhere where cards are not welcome, or there is some sort of problem with the machine, or I run across the tamale lady at the lumberyard, or I go to Joe's for breakfast at the bar, and want to tip the bartender with cash,- or whatever- It also keeps me from writing whiny "reviews" about places where I didn't have enough cash to pay for a few sandwiches-"I WILL NEVER GO BACK AGAIN!" thank you-one less guy in front of me at Tino's. Yeah, they are grumpy. yeah, they are old, but their food is good, and how did I manage to go there for 30 years without a problem? And I am a grumpy guy! I gotta tell you. I am tired of reading "reviews" where the guy cries about the price, or the water glass not being filled, or missing happy hour prices, or there was a fly in the room, or they came in late friday night with 10 people without a reservation, and couldn't get seated, and "WILL NEVER COME BACK AGAIN!" How about reviews where the food is given a little mention, with some thought that life and commerce is messy, and oftentimes, not perfect. Tino's is not just a tradition, It's part of the food fabric of our Santa Barbara, and many newcomers just can't swing with that.


exellent
Reviewer: stephen t. burton from Santa Barbara, CA
I have not been to tinos market since summer of 1999 but the thought keeps me alive i remember the great old location on olive street to.when you are being assauted by triilions of dollars of pychotronic weapons systems to just accomplish something like make it to tinos and inhale there great manna from heaven in the form my favorite extra roast beef with sharp cheddar cheese red onions sharp dill pickles mayo pepperchino peppers and great oil is something they cant take away from you up the road at vandenburg afb.This is no joke!!!!


Really Bad Experience
Reviewer: John from Goodland
I have eaten here in the past and always enjoyed it (see review 12-18-09), but I will never go back after what happened yesterday. I walk in there and there are four people in front of me ordering. One person is working while a much older woman is reading at the counter. After waiting 20 minutes to order my food, I order 4 deluxe torpedoes. Another ten minutes while she makes these. I then proceed to the front counter where I am told their credit card machine doesn't work. I have $11.00 on me. After being yelled at for not having enough money to pay (of course it is my fault that their credit card machine is down), I walk out to my car and manage to find another six dollars. I walk back into the store and offer up enough money to pay for three torpedoes and am told that they will only sell me four because that is what I ordered. I am not allowed to purchase the three that I can afford to pay cash for. I will never go here again. By far the worst customer service that I have ever witnessed in Santa Barbara. And, I am going to assume that the woman manning the cash register was the original owner's wife. After 25+ years working there, she should have known better. She should go eat at McMasters Steak and Hoagie in IV or Brummis on State in order to learn quality customer service. I will never go here again. By far the worst customer service that I have ever witnessed in Santa Barbara. And, I am going to assume that the woman manning the cash register was the original owner's wife. After 25+ years working there, she should have known better. She should go eat at McMasters Steak and Hoagie in IV or Brummis on State in order to learn quality customer service. Those owners are the way you should run a foodery. Thanks for wrecking my fathers day, I really appreciate it.


Convenient location
Reviewer: a p c from Santa Barbara, CA
This market is right on my walk to work, and I like to grab some fuel for my shift on the way. I try and try and try to remember to bring cash, but I can only remember half the time, and I eventually got tired of getting sassed for paying with a card, and now I have to go out of my way to Rite Aid for my impulse buys because they never get mad at me for not having cash =(


Pleasr Give Us The Recepie For T he" Oil / vinegar"
Reviewer: Jolynn from Cottage Grove , OR
The supper Delux of course bring me back. The food is always leaves a smile on my face. The service is always freindly, it's an extra bonus to have Tino or Edeth wait on you. The smells of the food, the pictures on the wall of the family take you back with them as if you were there the first day they opend. My family for generations have been coming here. I look forward to my next visit. I would love to make these at home since i live in Oregon now.


Italian Grocery
Reviewer: Sarah Carson from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to the Italian Grocery today. I didn't relize that it would be so crazy! It still was great. What I mean by crazy is it was so amazing and a little crowded! I think that I will go back but not around lunch time.


I fell in love!!
Reviewer: Sarah Carson from Santa Barbara, CA
This is one of my favorite places to go for some amazing Italian food! I go as often as I can. There amazing Super Deluxe is one of my favorites. There is always freah bread and great meat! There is this little old lady named Edith she is really sweet if you get to know her. Tino is a great man he still makes the food. He is the most experianced besides Edith. Their workers are always happy to help. Yes it does get busy at lunch and you have to wait in line but trust me its worth it. if you haven't ever had an Italian sub you have no idea what your missing! In fact I'm going to go right now. Have a great day and if you want your day to be amazing head on down to the Italian Grocery at 415 E. De la Guerra St, Santa Barbara CA


The best sandwich in the whole wide world!
Reviewer: Lisa West from Santa Barbara, CA
Tino's is the BEST - I was a little afraid when they built the new store but the first time I walked in, it had the same smell. I agree with Bob West's review - (ex-husband) - there is nothing like it in the world. After we moved, we'd dream about it and make a point to get sandwiches when we came home to visit. The SUPER DELUXE rules!


Old School East Coast Italian Deli
Reviewer: John from Good Land
I ate here yesterday and had a fantastic Italian grinder. Probably the best I have had in Ca in over ten years. Also, best of all, walking into this location immediately brought back memories of delis and butcher shops back in New Jersey. A little far from the Goodland, but will be back many times. One key aspect, walked in at lunch time, ordered my sandwich, and paid all in under four minutes. Good times with fast service.


The Best Italian Deli in town and best torpedos ever!!
Reviewer: Tina Muller Willett from Santa Barbara, CA
I agree with Bob West's comments from the original Olive St. store; the smells! My dad was a plumber in town for years for RJ Carroll plumbing and used to frequent the place and said they were always the nicest, kindest people; always asked about the family and he always brought home the BEST torpedo sandwiches with the oil; yep; the oil made the sandwich for sure! So glad to know it's still in town as I live in Visalia now and will make a point of visiting next time I'm in town!


Skimpy Sandwiches
Reviewer: Angela from Santa Barbara, CA
I grew up eating sandwiches from this store and no doubt they are really good but i recently ordered one only to pick it up and wonder why the sandwich was so light? Well to my surprise i opened it up and there was barely any meat and cheese inside! What a rip off. I had to walk back inside just to order a side of meat to fill my sandwich which just about costs the same price as a regular sub. I understand everyone is cutting back but come on now TINO! The girl i spoke to agreed when i told her there was hardly any meat in my sub so you know they are purposely cutting back but fail to tell anyone. So just a heads up for everyone to order extra meat with your sub next time you go in this place.


If you don't like it go to go to Subway!
Reviewer: Ken M. from Long Beach
I find it interesting how easy it is for people to find the negative. You people need to get a life. I have been going to Tinoís since the days he was located on Olive Street and will continue to go until he decides to retire. He and his wife have always been courteous to me and even though they donít remember a name they remember a face. They welcome me back into town and ask if my family is well. As far as I am concerned, those of you who dislike the service or the way they run the business, you should go to Subway, there are plenty of Santa Barbara natives who love this establishment and will continue to give them their patronage.


Thanks to Tino and crew for an excellent sandwich!
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
To all you negative reviewers...give this place another shot as they have been working hard for a long time. They've really cleaned up the place and the sandwiches are as good as ever. DELICIOUS. And special thanks to Edith for always being so nice to me and asking about my family and friends!


not so clean...
Reviewer: Allen from Santa Barbara, CA
I agree w/previous reviewer about the cleanliness of this establishment. Does the health department go there? First, watch them make a sandwich. My last experience: I walked in and a girl was ringing up a boy w/gloves on. I was waiting in line while two gentlemen were being helped. The girl from the register came up to take my order when she was through. She made my sandwich w/the same gloves she rung the boy up w/and then rung me up taking my money w/same gloves. Itís my fault for not saying anything, although I didn't really think about it much until leaving. Who knows how many more sandwiches she made before changing her gloves? I understand why people continue to go there. I have eaten these sandwiches and they are amazing, they taste great! But they could possibly get someone sick. I don't know many people that want to eat somewhere were the sandwich-makers handle cash and food interchangeably. I think they just need to know the Owners&employees all need to be re-trained on washing hands, changing gloves and cash-handling. I really want to eat here again if these problems get resolved. Please & Thanks!


Wish I Was There!
Reviewer: Autumn from Atlanta,GA
I have lived out of state for almost 10 years. I grew up in SB and at The Italian Grocery! To this day I have not found better bread and sandwiches! The next time I come 'home', I'm going right there and bringing my daughter.


service
Reviewer: m from Santa Barbara, CA
Alright so i have known these two for as long as i can remember. Tino (the owner) is great, a funny old man that is honest, but for his wife on the other hand. She has to be one of the crudest old women i have ever met. you go see her at the register and she is always on the phone, talking about all of her business right there. She over charges you and won't give you your right change back, you confront her she yells at you when she is the one that is incompetent. The food tastes good as long as you dont know what they do it. The only reson to go in is to see Tino, i would not buy anything.


Way past its prime and dirty, dirty, DIRTY
Reviewer: Alan Toms from Santa Barbara, CA
Reading these other reviews it seems that a bit of nostalgia prevails over any sort of realistic review. I dont think this place has been cleaned in 20 years. It looks like a 3rd world country in there. It really is that bad. I cannot imagine that the health dept. has visited the Italian Grocery in many years or perhaps they like the rest of the reviewers feel a bit of nostalgia towards the place. Nothing special in the deli case and I will never, ever order a sandwich from the place again after watching them make one and then nonchalantly take the cash without washing a single finger.


Best Italian Groceries in SB
Reviewer: Cynthia from Santa Barbara, CA
I buy all of my olive oil (excellent selection and price), salami, cheese, coffee, etc and of course their sandwiches which are the best in Santa Barbara at Tino's....I have been going to there for over 30 years and I can't find a place for the type and wide selection of Italian foods that beats Tino's!


One of Life's Greatest Pleasures -- Super Deluxe!!!
Reviewer: Bob West from Santa Barbara, CA
I am so lucky to have grown up in SB enjoying Tino's wonderful sandwiches, but they have ruined me for anything else that pretends to be a "sub" or a "torpedo". The Super Deluxe RULES! I wish I could duplicate that taste at home, because I now live far away. You know whenever I am back in town I grab one. I am a world traveller and these are The BEST bar none. The meats, cheeses, the oil (if you get it without you're missing a big part of the experience), the bread, the peppers. I remember the old market on Olive... that smell of heaven would hit you when you walked in. Ah, bellisima.... Multo gracie Tino!


Another price jump, but still a good sandwich
Reviewer: lemonjelly from santa barbara, ca
I had lunch here yesterday and as always the standard sub is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Prices have gone up again. Standard is now $4.50, Deluxe is $5.00, Super Deluxe is $5.50. I am okay with that - it's still less expensive than boutique sandwich places and did I mention that the sub is oh so good? I also noticed that the freshly made sandwich is fairly better than the one pre-made. I know they like to premake the Deluxe-no oil because it's so popular and it's probably their best way to keep the deli line moving, but the bread is noticeably tougher than one made fresh.


Consistently a classic!
Reviewer: roger from Santa Barbara
Have been eating the "super Deluxe" since the early '70s, and the crew never disappoints! Sandwiches and sides are great, the deli meats and cheeses are superb, and wether its an obscure olive oil, preserved anchovies, or some limoncello- it's all here!


It's Worth The Wait !!!
Reviewer: Terry from Cottage Grove, Or.
I now live in Oregon.I was introduced to the "supper delux" in 1979, what a sandwich!. It pleases me to see Tino and Terry faces when i walk into the store. I have taken my children there and they're children. It's so worth the wait on many levels. All i can say is, "keep up the tredition".


good food, downright ugly service.
Reviewer: Matthew B from Santa Barbara



Answering the phone is also service, right?
Reviewer: Makiko from Santa Barbara, CA
Food is excellent! It is obvious from the long line at the lunch time. I tried to order 3 sandwich ahead on the phone. The person who picked up the phone was very rude and made my entire day. She said "Call back later!" and hung up! She even didn't mention when I should have call her back or didn't give me a chance to say a word. I would never call her back again, ever, unless thier sandwich was that good. I strongly recommend to train the staff "how to answer the phone". Thanks for lovely food!!!


Best Torpedo, Family Tradition
Reviewer: Daniel from Santa Barbara
I remember practically growing up in the Italian Grocery, aka: Tinos! Besides the fact that several of my family members have had the priveladge of working there doing odd jobs from my uncle who made sandwiches in the 60's to me who stalked the ice box in the early 90's - they serve the absolute best Italian torpedo sandwich from her around the world and back to Santa Barbara! There is no toping the Super Deluxe!


Tino We Love You
Reviewer: Roy from Santa Barbara, CA.
Known Tino and his sister Terry for the past 55 years. They are quality people. Tino's Italian Market and Deli have alway had quality service and products since back to when they were located on Olive Street. The Super Deluxe Sandwich is the greatest I have ever had. Not even in "Little Italy" in Baltimore can you find a better sandwich.


Best sub ever!
Reviewer: Derrik from Cito
Been going here since the seventh grade at SBJH, and the subs haven't changed and they are still the best! One super with everything except peppers, please!


reihldeihl, native Santa Barbaran
Reviewer: c deihl from Pocola, Ok.
I have been going to this Deli since I was a little kid. I am now 49 yrs. old. I live in Ok. Every time I go home I get my mouth watered up for my favorite deluxe sub. I am never disappointed when I get there. I also see people from grade school and have a great visit. Generations have kept this Deli wonderful. Don't change a thing. Looking forward to my next visit. Thank you for years of service........


food still good, but prices are higher
Reviewer: lemonjelly from santa barbara
The regular is now $4.00, deluxe is $4.50. Still a delicious sandwich, though, and fast service when you're on the go. And if you're not in a hurry, there is covered space to sit and eat just to the right after you walk out the door. Deli selections, beyond sandwiches, are great. Like Spanish chorizo - good for making paella.


Tino's is the best!!!
Reviewer: cheryl from port hueneme,ca
Food is great!!!!!! gotta go if you're in Santa Barbara or you'll miss out on a great sandwich!! P.S make sure you buy one for lunch the next day =)


Great review agreed!
Reviewer: Megan from Santa Barbara,CA
I love this place! If it weren't for my dad I would have never found it. I used to meet my dad once a week for lunch and not only were the subs outta this world, but the owner still remembered my dad from when he went to SB high like 35 years ago..its hard to find a place like this these days. hope it stays that way for years to come!


Over 30 years of Tino's
Reviewer: Sue from Los Angeles, CA
It might not be the fanciest place in Santa Barbara, but it does have the best sub sandwich available. My dad has been going to Tino's since he was in high school and that was over 30 years ago! None of my family lives in SB any more, but any time we do make a stop, we definitely go to Tino's for a sub. It's the best-- the meat, bread, and oil combination makes something beyond words.


super deluxe

Ok for the best sub in town, visit Tino at the the Italian Grocery. Not only that check out the fantastic selection of imported groceries. you can get a gallon of killer olive oil or bulgarian feta. now all these are priced much better that most stores.


Hidden Treasure!
Reviewer: Cheri Huss from Santa Barbara, Ca
I can not fathom the very thought of not having this wonderful little family owned deli/grocery. I´m pure-bread Italian. And every little detail about the food that´s served there reminds me of Italian Deli. You couldn´t ask for better sandwiches. The Meat, the Bread, The sauces. Ahh... I love it, as does the rest of my family. It truly is Santa Barbara´s Best... In my oppion. My family and I cherish "Tino´s" & we always will.


locals love it

Everyone knows Tino´s (as we locals know it). His cold cuts and french bread make THE BEST sandwiches ever. Tino´s is one of those childhood memories that stay with us forever. I hate to think of the day when Tino´s is gone.


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