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The Shop Cafe
730 N. Milpas St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 845-1696

Reviews by the General Public

Good food if you are lucky, 12/7/2014
Reviewer: Mario from Santa Barbara, CA
This place used to be 5-stars but the quality has been suffering lately. I ordered their BLT today, which comes with avocado. I was dismayed to find that the avocado they used was black and brown. I love avocado but there is nothing more disgusting than rotting avocado. They also drenched the sandwich in mayo. The last two times I ordered the smoothie, they left out the key ingredient (basil), and I ended up with a pretty mediocre smoothie. The first time I asked about the basil and they said they had run out. The second time I ordered it I clarified with the cashier that the smoothie still had basil in it, but still got a smoothie with no basil. Anyway, I think you can still get great food here, but you may need to be lucky, or just be willing to send your food back until you get what you ordered.

Really interesting breakfast items. . ., 5/5/2014
Reviewer: Sharon from Newbury Park, CA
DH and I stopped for breakfast at The Shop Cafe, 730 North Milpas, Santa Barbara (at de la Guerra Street). You place your order at the window, receive a number to place on your table, then they deliver your plates to you. (Pick up your utensils, napkins, and water on the way to your table.) There are windows so you can watch the kitchen staff cooking interesting combinations with way cool names. DH got the Rolex - two scrambled eggs, bacon, smoked tomato spread wrapped in Shopmade flatbread. (Dudley, the owner, advised the flatbread is a recipe from Uganda.) I loved In-Yo-Face - two poached eggs in thick-cut Shoptoast with bacon. A cappuccino and tea were great, too. Seating is outside and inside. There's a lively buzz and genuine foodiness about the place. Go there. . . and enjoy!

Lunchtime Favorite, 4/18/2014
Reviewer: Goleta Gladiola from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been dining at The Shop since they first opened. Not only have I been impressed with the friendliness of the owners and staff, I can tell that they are constantly striving to make their menu better. Yes, there has been a miss or two, but overall, I have had many delicious lunches at The Shop. I wish them continued success and hope they are around for many years!

Don't stop at the Shop
Reviewer: M from Santa Barbara, CA
I had the Sweet Maria and it was a bad sandwich. It was warm with wilted lettuce the smoked Gouda did not work with onions and bitter strawberry bbq sauce.The place felt kind of dirty and yet a friendly staff.

Mediocre at best
Reviewer: Allison from Santa Barbara, CA
Service was quick and attentive but food was quite greasy. We got shop burger, Tijuana, colonel sanders, chicken nuggets. Very little chicken in col sanders, cheeseburger was average but greasy. Tijuana had so much mayo/sauce I had to discard the wrap and just eat chicken. My 11yr old was expecting white meat nuggets but got a good bit of dark chicken nuggets that tasted quite gamey. Fries and shoestring onion rings were good however. Very pricey for average bus your own table, dining. Won't be back.

Yikes! Sunday Breakfast????
Reviewer: Amazing I think not.... from Santa Barbara, CA
Can only say how my wife raved and wanted me to come and experience. What a mistake! Yolo...Loyo... whatever it's called, chicken, biscuit and gravy breakfast. How simple is that? Apparently not simple for this group. I got a piece of chicken on top of a biscuit literally swamped by some concoction they called gravy in a bowl. It was more like extremely bland mushroom soup and I suspect it was as I love to cook myself. Just absolutely horrible breakfast experience. Not sure if I'll ever return. Service? What's to rate, they drop a bowl off and their gone, nothing said. What a start to Fathers Day.....OYE

Best Fish TAcos ever
Reviewer: Meidith from Santa Barbara, CA
Just had the fish tacos for lunch and they are the best I've ever eaten in Mexico or California. Kudos to the chef.

I wish everywhere was this great
Reviewer: a p c from Santa Barbara, CA
This is the only food place in town with creative, unique, tasty food created with complete integrity and dedication to quality at an honest price and great service. I wish I could make it over here to eat here every day. I love you so much, The Shop. Never stop doing what you're doing.

Reviewer: Sarah from Santa Barbara, CA
I love this place. I have been several times and am so glad to have a new restaurant near my house that is consistently delicious and such a great value. The service is great, everyone is very friendly. I have tried many things and loved everything except for the chicken sandwich with strawberry bbq sauce. I think it's a great idea and I loved all elements of the sandwich except I thought the sauce needed some acid to cut the sweetness. Otherwise I have recommended this place to everyone I know.

Excellent food, vibe & service!!
Reviewer: Colleen from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten here twice with my son. The food is extraordinary. I tried the cinnamon roll with orange zest in the frosting, The fish tacos which are amazing, the Yolo my son has tried, which was really delicious. The coffee, iced tea and orange juice are all really tasty. I'm impressed with this place and it's my new fav place to eat! Service with lots of great smiles. The only downside is the parking. Check it out!

Love this place!
Reviewer: Lauren from Santa Barbara, CA
A friend at work told me about this place so my husband and I checked it out this past weekend. We tried the Rolex, the sweet Maria (oh my god!) and Mac on crack. Everything was so delicious and fresh and homemade! My husband was loving the sweet Maria while my favorite was the rolex (which is why I was so surprised about the bad review below). The place is really cute with an awesome patio and the service was great. We will definitely be back!

Yum!! Cool atmosphere!
Reviewer: Liz from Santa Barbara, CA
Had the poached eggs with herbs. Something so simple and so delicious! Don't know what it was but there was something addictive about it. The blueberry muffin was also really good. Cool atmosphere.

Reviewer: nicole from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been here a few times and have enjoyed it quite a bit. First, contrary to the other reviewer, I loved the "Rolex." It was rich, but not greasy. Flatbread, kind of similar to Ethiopian bread in texture (not taste) bacon, egg, and a chipotle sauce. It's like an extremely tasty and rich breakfast burrito. My favorite item may be the fried chicken sandwich with tarragon mayo. It was just the right combo of traditional and inventive. The granola is a good healthy option, but I would recommend putting either the yogurt or granola on the side so the customer can decide the ratio. Husband liked the burger and loved the fries. Coffee was good, chai was Starbucks level (i.e. Ok but meh). Service was friendly and attentive and the remodel looks great. Sides are a great value (mac and cheese!).Wishing the owners the best on this obvious labor of love. It's a great addition to Milpas.

My new lunch place
Reviewer: Ish from Santa Barbara, CA
Went there on a whim, just looking for a new place to do lunch during the work day. Went with a co-worker and we were both blown away. I had the Sweet Maria with fries and she had the General Sanders with Mac and Cheese. Everything was delicious.Not like anything I'm used to in that price range or in my neighborhood. Hope they stick around forever. Going there tomorrow to try out their breakfast menu.

Chapati Bomb
Reviewer: tony from Santa Barbara, CA
Chiming in again about the inedible Rolex wrap... Is that "shop made flat bread" supposed to be a Chapati? Inherently that form of flatbread can have a tendency to turn rancid and be a bit greasy... Probably not the best choice in this application. It truly was a grease bomb with a rancid odor. Perhaps a different wrap??

Grease bomb
Reviewer: Tony from Santa Barbara, CA
We ordered three "Rolex" breakfast wraps the other morning... Unfortunately upon return to our office... we discovered the wraps to be inedible. The "home made Flat Bread" seemed to be nothing more than a thick porous crepe that had absorbed every ounce of whatever oil they used to cooked it in... It actually reeked of oil... completely inedible... We removed the "home made flat bread" and proceeded to eat the egg filling which was nothing more than a greasy fried egg/omelette with a few pieces of rubbery old bacon. We were very disappointed to say the least. It's sad because there are supposedly experienced restaurant people involved in this project. Please we know it's Milpas... but degrease the food! Yuk.

Do The Shop!
Reviewer: Jojo from Santa Barbara, CA
The crew is hand-picked, the food is handmade, and the menu is hand crafted. The prices are pocket friendly to boot. I love the full glass window that lets you practically be in the kitchen but not have to do any of the work!

More work than worth
Reviewer: lance P. from Santa Barbara, CA
While everything is quite fresh the time it takes makes us late back to work. Post a menu on line... Short patience...get it together.

Awesome place!
Reviewer: Will from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been in twice for lunch, and both sandwiches (and sides) were off the chain! Chris (the owner?) is super friendly and makes sure everything gets out quickly. My only complaint is that it's almost impossible to tell anyone about (try googling "the shop santa barbara" and see what comes up) - maybe a name change is in order?

Mac on Crack is Whack!
Reviewer: Ann from Santa Barbara, CA
A new found favorite on Milpas! The Mac and Cheese (Mac on Crack) is fabulous and addictive. If you like Gorgonzola, this is a must! Love the addition of bacon, pecans and apples. The Chicken sandwich on homemade bread has great flavor. (Overheard a group of college age boys drooling over the burgers. May be my next order!) Or maybe time to try breakfast! The homemade goodies looked great! Plus I love poached eggs......

Reviewer: Tbird from Santa Barbara, CA
Fresh, homemade goodness! Loved it! It's about time we have a place like this on the east side! Will definitely make this a regular place.

Must Eat Here
Reviewer: Kathie R. from Santa Barbara, CA
Finally, someone has opened a California/American cuisine restaurant on Milpas. Their food is great - innovative, all home made and oh so reasonably priced. Have had lunch and breakfast here and they were both excellent. Service is friendly and efficient. Stop by for an expresso and homemade muffin or cookie or their perfectly cooked poached eggs on homemade bread or their creative sandwich combinations - this place is fresh, new and good. My only criticism is that they really need better signage. From the street, you cannot immediately see that it's a restaurant as the 2 large tire store signs seem to overshadow their signage. Get a big sign out in front and trim the hedges so people can see the large outside dining space. Love this place and wish them much success.

Bomb breakfast and lunch
Reviewer: B DUB from Santa Barbara, CA
Bomb new spot on Milpas, menu is fresh and innovative. Burger, chicken sandwiches, pastries and sides are all great. Check them out ASAP!

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