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Fresco Cafe North
5940 Calle Real, Goleta
Phone: (805) 692-8999


Reviews by the General Public

going back again , 9/27/2014
Reviewer: Mike F from Santa Barbara, CA
Haven't eaten here for a year but the restaurant we were going to was packed SO I thought it is close and I will try it again. Best Cesar Salad I have had in a long time. Fast service and good food. I will go back soon.


Bad tasting food!!, 5/4/2014
Reviewer: Ray from Santa Barbara, CA
After 3 years of going, not going, going again, we have finally thrown in the towel on Fresco. WE are actually willing to put up with the poor service we usually get, if we could only get some good tasting food. But, that is no longer possible - not when you get a salad with rotten avocados, green tomatoes, and ham that taste like Spam. Add to that, they always conveniently forget to give you bread on your to go order. I think they must give incentives for employees who withhold the bread!! Unless we specifically open up the bag and check, there is never bread!


Why they are still in business is a mystery
Reviewer: William from Santa Barbara, CA
Spotty / inconsistent food and staff that range from surly to completely incompetent. . . . what more can I say. They are conveniently located, but that's likely the only thing that would be attractive to would-be customers. Tried and re-tried them over the last 6 months, and they're 1-for-6 in having a decent (not excellent) meal. I've given up.


Great Food, High Prices
Reviewer: MB from Santa Barbara, CA
Family eats at Fresco North often. The food is fabulous, something on the menu for everyone. Favorites: Chicken wrap, gorgonzola walnut salad, and the club sandwich. Portions are large. Service is good. The only "issue" are the prices: very high, especially considering that it is a order at a counter, and they deliver the food type of place. I personally do not think that any sandwich should be priced higher than $9.99, whereas at Fresco, most sandwiches are around $13.95. They should consider reducing their margins, resulting in more business. Overall, great food, and high prices.


Great place but don't like the LCD TVs
Reviewer: Suzanne from Santa Barbara, CA
Fresco North is one of my favorite lunch spots and has been for quite some time. The food is great and so is the service. Recently, a couple of LCD TVs have been installed... why?? I go out to eat to have a relaxing experience and enjoy the food and conversation with my friends. I don't need to battle the din of ESPN or CNN in the background and the constant blipping of the TV screen is chaotic and distracting. Not to mention the TVs are near where you sit, so there is a ton of EMF toxicity directed right at your head. Fresco isn't a bar, so what purpose do the TVs serve? Is this a guy thing? Who wants to watch sports or news while eating out? I could just as well do this at home. Otherwise, the place is wonderful and I guess I'll have to wait until summer to eat there so I can eat outside.


Solid Choice for Dinner
Reviewer: MB from Santa Barbara, CA
My family eats at Fresco North about 6 times a year, and overall, enjoy the experience. Pros: menu is varied, with choices for all tastes. The food is well prepared, and serving size is generous. Cons: Ambiance is sterile, minimal decor. Prices are high for an order at the counter and have the food delivered concept. If all entrees were cut a few dollars, I would expect business to increase in volume, thus more than making up for the margin hit (from the owner's perspective). A sandwich and a small side salad should not be priced at $14. Seems excessive. Favorite meals: Turkey Club and the Walnut Gorgonzola salad. The wraps are very well prepared as well. Overall, Fresco is a solid choice for dinner. If they would cut prices a bit, and improve the ambiance, Fresco would dominate the Calle Real food scene!


pleasant surprise
Reviewer: Frank from Santa Barbara, CA
I got a turkey sandwich with cranberries. You can find this combo in a lot of places, but here they included melted brie and it was quite tasty. I liked the gorgonzola (?) salad. We tried a few desserts, I recommend the mousse balls (sounds like a joke I know). I think the combination of ordering at the counter with waiter service works well. The waiters were all very attentive and we got service the instant we sat down. All in all a nice dining experience, wouldn't mind repeating.


My favorite restaurant
Reviewer: Elda Schaffield from Santa Barbara, CA
I think I eat at Fresco at least twice a week. The food is super good and fresh, like having a grandma cooking for us delicious home made food. Every day, some new delicious dish(s) is added to the menu's specials. Desserts are the best, even the pizza is excellent here! Staff is friendly, good service, good everything!


No longer a fan
Reviewer: M. Clark from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been long-time fan of Fresco since 1995. And have been regular at Fresco North for two years. But the last few times I've been there, service and overall experience has been mediocre. Just tonight at Fresco North, the woman at order counter was so sour she did not greet me, never smiled and barely mustered a thank you after I paid. While our server was friendly as he served the bread basket, he never returned again to check on us. My daughter said her penne "had hard things in it." It was undercooked. She's the one who asked "to go to Fresco"and she always orders the penne. But that was my last visit! A mediocre salad and kids pasta, with 2 drinks for $25! And they treat you like they just want to get you out the door! Fresco used to be good. What's happening?


I Love Fresco!!!!
Reviewer: Sam Rocha from Santa Barbara, CA
I am a 13 year old and I think I would die without Fresco!!! I frequently order the delicious pasta entrees! As well as the pasta meals I enjoy the fish and meat entrees! Although the food is amazing the desserts are to die for!!!!! All the different things just tickle my tastebuds!! I enjoy the cheesecakes, the cookies, the tiramisu, and of course the cupcakes! apart from the food the employees are always friendly and nice!!! I have NEVER had a bad experience at Fresco North


Fresh & Delicious Food with Good Service
Reviewer: Ixchelle from Santa Barbara, CA
I visit Fresco several times a week and have been doing so for over two years. I have never had a bad experience. The staff is always friendly and the food is great. I've taken friends and family here and each time the experience was lovely with pleasant service and yummy food. It's true that they are very popular (especially for lunch) and they do get busy so I can imagine a cashier not being as attentive as they might be normally but never rude. If you are in a hurry just call ahead, they are very efficient and there is a separate window you can pay at if it's a pick up order. The menu is focused on fresh ingredients and they serve a wide variety of options. I'm a big fan of the Beach Sandwich, Fish & Chips (Friday Special), and of course their desserts. Thanks Fresco for two years of delicious food!


Three Disappintments
Reviewer: Gary from Santa Barbara, CA
I have lived in Santa Barbara my whole life and have frequented Fresco many many times. However, after THREE recent experiences there I would no longer recommend this place. First off, I ordered a steak sandwich togo and when I got home I realized they had forgotten to put the steak on the sandwich, leaving me with only lettuce and cheese. I didn't let this one bad experience phase me so I kept going back (I should have checked my meal before I left). SECONDLY, I went to Fresco and was treated very rudely by one of the staff members during a rush hour. They seemed flustered and had a bit of an attitude. I also let this one go. Thirdly, I recommended my relatives to dine at Fresco. They had a chicken dish that turned out to be no good - they thought it might have been spoiled. I felt so bad that I was the one that recommended them. So, I have now decided not to recommend Fresco to my friends because of my experiences with poor customer service and bad food.


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