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Paradise Cafe
702 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-4416


Reviews by the General Public

Good as ever, 5/8/2014
Reviewer: Jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Easy place to like as one is well fed and well served - nothing fancy or over-refined. Just good basics and surprisingly sparkling white wine by the glass which was the right touch for the grilled salmon salad- that was cooked perfectly with an exquisite touch of grilled smokiness to the sweet and tender fish. Lots of substance to this salad with a heavy mix of greens, avocados and tomatoes. A great full dinner salad. DH had the penne with sausage which was hearty and satisfying. Dinner comes with a basket of warm cheesed topped french great. Sharing the flavorful chocolate mousse pie with the tender/crunchy chocolate crust was the perfect ending, and a stand alone treat if one is just craving something chocolate at its best. Heated out door tables on the street side patio and roomy well-placed tables on the inside. Servers wanted you to be cared for and showed they obviously proud to be working there. This is a casual, down-home place and was filled on a week night with what appeared to be a very loyal group of diners. Keep up the good work, Paradise. You remind me of the good old days in Santa Barbara when the dining was solid and not fussy and one wants to go back for more. Salad and pasta - each around $17 and wines by the glass start at $7.


Not as good as it used to be.
Reviewer: T. Nash from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been enjoying Paradise for years. The first time I remember eating there was in 2000, and the food was always fantastic. We've really enjoyed lunch and dinner there ever since. This Sunday breakfast was very disappointing. The OJ waffles, which they are famous for, now taste like freezer waffles. The bacon was very greasy and chewy and tossed on the plate in an unappetizing pile. The iced tea was great as always, but the rest of the meal was certainly not worth the price. Not sure when I'll go back. Hoping it was just an "off" day, but still very disappointed.


Not the best of 2013
Reviewer: Kathy from Santa Barbara, CA
First time here. Liked atmosphere the most. Hostess was very friendly. Disappointed in food & service. Waiter never came by to check on us. We asked for a medium well burger & steak but both came well-done. Both were dry. People next to us ordered steak & it was also dry. Probably won't be back again.


Long time patron too
Reviewer: jinelle from Santa Barbara, CA
Count me among those also confused by these recent negative and personally petty reviews. Hate to see local politics possibly creep into this. I go often and Paradise has always been known for its consistency and popularity *before* the owner got on city council and is running for re-election. We also join the owner supporting down town businesses and all us old timers know how to vote with our feet as well as the ballot box so time to stop this potential misuse of all the sudden negative reviews with the voices of those who have loved this place before, during and will well after this upcoming election is over. The owner invested in down town, grew this restaurant slowly over time, polished it up to its homey charm and consistently good value for its menu classics. Restaurant reviews are no place for political and economic sabotage so keep up the good work Paradise. We love you and we keep voting with our feet down to your doorstep for more.


I loved it
Reviewer: mike from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been going to paradise for years, i usually go for happy hour which is awesome but tonight i went with a group of friends for dinner and it was amazing. We all had something different and it rocked, tri-tip sandwich, pork chop, BURGER!!!!!! yum, good job guys, sweet staff :)


Bad food
Reviewer: Jessica from Santa Barbara, CA
I have only been there once. I liked the place itself but i did not like the food. It did not taste like anything. I had to add salt and lime juice to everything. I did not think it eas expensive but i feel like i paid too much for food that did not have flavor at all. Service was okay.


Poor all around
Reviewer: PJ from Santa Barbara, CA
Dinner before show at the Bowl. Ordered two bottles of wine and appetizer. The appetizer never came. We had to ask for the wine twice. We opened the wine ourselves while the server went to get the second bottle. It took about an hour to get the food. When it arrived it was mediocre at best. Sorry. Paradise has lost it.


Kudos from a Long Time SB Patron
Reviewer: Steven Krivit from Santa Barbara, CA
You can't beat the Paradise Cafe patio on a warm summer evening. My companion and I dined on the Oak Grilled Prawns in red and green salsas for starters and then each had the grilled salmon for entres. We agreed that the salmon could not have been better prepared or tastier. It has been one of my favorite dishes there for years--it's simply done. The garlic mashed potatoes were a little off. Oh, well. While there are many places to dine in town, I give the Paradise high overall marks. Its consistency from one visit to the next makes it old reliable. The service was attentive. Good food and a short walk to downtown.


Happy 27th Anniversary Paradise Cafe Style!!!
Reviewer: DAVE YOUPA from Santa Barbara, CA
Arrived @ 5:50 pm Hoping to enjoy their Happy Hour: Unfourtantlely for me and my wife the bartender informed us they were Celebrating their 27th Anniversary and that Happy Hour was Suspended. So and instead of paying $3.00 for a Happy hour Anchor Steam draft it was now $4.50.AND THAT THEIR NORMAL $3.00 off for Happy Hour Apps. was "forgetitaboutit" IT'S NOW FULL PRICE! Altough I could've saved $2.00 bucks on a Cobb salad or a Whopping 3.00 bones on a BURGER! Looking -> -> To 6/10/10 when the anniversary ends


Bad and slow service
Reviewer: Susan from Santa Barbara, CA
We have tried Paradise Cafe several times over the past couple years. Every time the food is decent, with good quality ingredients and cooked well. However, the service has never been good. We always have to wait a long time before orders are taken, and then the food is slow to come out. This last time, the burger was cooked well, but not that much better than SB Brewing Co, and the swordfish in my tacos was a little dry. We ordered water instead of drinks and our waitress pretty much ignored us for our entire meal. We had to ask the busboy who brought our food for water since the next time we saw our waitress was when she asked us if we wanted the bill (which she forgot to bring us for another 5-10 minutes). It seems as though, despite the okay food, the only reason to go here is to look at the cute servers because you're going to have plenty of time waiting.


Regulars Weigh in on the Paradise
Reviewer: Martha and Tim from Santa Barbara, CA
Many of our friends know my husband and I have a tradition of going to Paradise every Friday night for our "Date Night" ! Why do we keep going back ? Because although they're not perfect , they work very hard to ensure we are taken care of. The measure of an experience is how they respond when things go wrong. A couple of years ago we had our parents in town and invited them to Paradise on aFriday night. It was extremely busy and we were asked to wait in the bar for 45 minutes. We had requested a table in the front room. When we were seated at our requested table, Randy, the manager, got upset with a hostess who began to seat us at our requested table and instead tried to seat us at a table between the kitchen and the door (you all know the table!). He had not been covering Friday nights for about a year and didn't know we were regulars. When I confronted him about how he treated the hostess and our disapproval of the table, he got defensive so we walked out and told him surely another restaurant in town would like our business. We were followed out and Randy apologized, gave us our favorite waitress to rectify the situation. He is human and was clearly affected by the stress of the night. Since that time Randy and the entire Paradise team has worked overtime to make us happy. Randy, on several occasions , has listened when we've commented on a food issues. We love the burgers, the chili and the grilled artichokes. In short, we are welcome and treated like family. Not always the case in other higher level five star restaurants in Santa Barbara... trust me. Give them another chance. Their committed to hearing from you. Tell them Tim and martha sent you !


From the minute we walked up, everything was great!
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
There were four of us and the gentleman host asked us where we'd like to sit. It was a sunny day and we opted for the patio, which was full. We had a short wait at the bar and were seated. The service was great and the food was excellent. All of us enjoyed our food and we had a great time. The fact that it was my birthday made it extra special and they brought a piece of cake which we all shared....DELICIOUS! THANK YOU! We'll be back again, sooner than later.


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