Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Cafe Buenos Aires
Omni Catering

Cafe Buenos Aires
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2011-03

1316 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 963-0242

  • Category: Latin American
  • Hours: 11:30 for lunch every day. Dinner starts at 4 pm until 9 pm or later. Happy hour is between 4 and 6 pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
  • Reservations: Yes, recommended
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Reviews by the General Public

Follow-up to my January, 2011 review..., 3/12/2011
Reviewer: Mary Waskewics from Dana Point, CA.
We had our son's wedding rehearsal dinner, for 38, on March 4th. Cafe Buenos Aires did a wonderful job! Martin couldn't have been nicer, the staff was great and the food was absolutely delicious. Every one of our guests enjoyed the evening. We used the inside room, as March can be fair or stormy. It worked out very well. As it happened, the weather was beautiful and we were able to drift in and out of the patio area, where there was music. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone for lunch, dinner or an event. Thanks for a memorable evening, Martin & staff!!

Tango Wednesday from 7 til 10, 2/21/2011
Reviewer: Martin from Santa Barbara, CA
Every Wednesday from 7 til 10 (if weather permits) there is tango at Cafe Buenos Aires. The only condition to enjoy the 90 minutes is to show up 90 minutes before 10 pm not 9:40 pm. Hope that makes sense Paul from Buenos Aires.

Takes More Than Two To Tango, 1/25/2011
Reviewer: Paul from Buenos Aires, Argentina
It also takes a good place and, sadly, Cafe Buenos Aires is not that place. I made a special point to visit the Cafe the day before our intended visit and was told by the owner, Wally, that there would be a 90 minute tango party the following night. I spend much of my year in Buenos Aires and love Argentina and its beautiful tango, recently honored by UNESCO as the cultural heritage of humanity! I invited two Santa Barbara friends to join my novia and I on our first visit to the Cafe the next evening. Fifty minutes into the dancing, the volunteer coordinator announced there would be 2 final dances! I found Wally and reminded him of what he had told me the previous day. He waved me off as if we had never talked. The music ended 30 minutes early. If I lived in Santa Barbara instead of Buenos Aires, I would be organizing a better place to tango. The wait staff were terrific. The music magical. How can a Cafe named Buenos Aires not celebrate tango!

So far, so great...., 1/13/2011
Reviewer: Mary Waskewics from Dana Point, CA.
Four of us had lunch in the beautiful court-yard of Cafe Buenos Aires, last November. We enjoyed it so much, we have reserved it for a large dinner party for our son's wedding rehearsal dinner. Looking forward to writing my review of how they handle this affair, in 2 months time. Stay tuned!

Reviewer: Sharon from Alta Loma
I am a former waitress and am totally sympathetic in favor of wait staff. We had a reservations for 11 at 4:30 on Sunday for a UCSB grad party. We showed up to a restaurant that was 75% empty. We were seated at a table in the hot sun though there were numerous other tables for large parties set up in the shade. We had several elderly people with us so asked for an umbrella or a different table. The manager said 'there is no way I can move you - I have 300 people coming tonight and I am not going to re-do the whole floor plan for you! I'm sorry but that is how it is!' and walked off. They set up 1 umbrella that was not adequate - we draped a tablecloth on it to block more sun but still glaring. Slow service after that (payback?). When we left restaurant maybe 50% full- lots of empty tables in shade. Food was decent but the awful service, especially from management, was not. I would never return here. Spoiled a nice event for our family.

Great ambience and amazing food!!!, 6/8/2010
Reviewer: Jim Daniel from Santa Barbara, CA
My wife and I walked in to the courtyard and enjoyed a fantastic lunch on a beautiful, sunny day in Santa Barbara. You could tell the chef used only fresh ingredients and soup and salad we enjoyed was terrific. The service was friendly and attentive, but not annoying. The price was in line with what you would expect from restaurants in the area. I would recommend this spot to anyone visiting Santa Barbara.

Please, bring Silvia back, 6/3/2010
Reviewer: Rob Anderson from San Francisco, CA
I used to go to Cafe Buenos Aires 2 to 3 times per week. This was about 6 yeas ago. The food was incredible, the service was perfect. I had to move to San Francisco for work; since then, I haven't been back, until last Wednesday. I when to Cafe Buenos Aires with a couple of friends. What happened? The food was blend, the meat tough. Later that night I found out that Silvia is not one of the owners anymore. Can you please bring her back?

Helpful , 5/20/2010
Reviewer: Debbie from Washington, DC
Yesterday my mother accidently fell in Cafe Buenos Aires. She didnt realize right away that she had broken her elbow. Today I called and spoke with Diego. He made me feel better about the situation knowing that I could not be there to help my mother with anything. He got in touch with the owner and with the insurance company and kept in constant contact with me. His help throughout the process made it better for myself and my parents. Also, my parents loved the food and will be back!

Great Mother's Day Lunch, 5/11/2010
Reviewer: Mariana Vizcarra from Santa Barbara, CA
My sisters and I took Mama to Buenos Aires Cafe for lunch and spent 2 and a half hours there. Reason for that: It was awesome, relaxing, couldn't get up after so much good food (and drinks too). The food took a little longer than what normal but it was understandable since they were almost full, but it was delicious and the prices were actually great for such a nice place. I have to stress, the place made me relax so much that I almost took a nap. We highly recommend this place. Mariana and familia PS: the peruvian ceviche was great and we know peruvian food (we are peruvians)

The atmosphere very pleasant and the food was delicious., 4/6/2010
Reviewer: Hector and Claudia from Pico Rivera, CA
This is our first time at the restaurant and we were pleased in every way. The food was great and the waitress very polite and professional. We would recomend this restaurant and we are coming back, that's for sure.

I had a great time, 3/18/2010
Reviewer: Markus from Santa Barbara, CA
I think Cafe Buenos Aires is such a great place. It has potential to be one of the best restaurants in SB. I go there at least once a month and most of the time I'm totally satisfied. Not many places offer live music or dance performance without charging a cover fee. I recommend this place.

Great dinner, 3/16/2010
Reviewer: Bruce and Rachel from Santa Barbara, CA
I had dinner here this past weekend and I was really curious about argentine food and I just found out what it is like, it is actually completly different that thought, I was imagenig some type of mexican food WRONG!! It is amasing full of flavour and different spicies and the steaks OH MY GOD!! backting to the restaurant great food, fantastic service with latin jazz on the background with all the atmosphere going on!! and everybody seems to care about you, I didn't feel like in Santa Barbara at all, such shame I should have found this place before but I always thought was too expansive WRONG AGAIN! avarege price worth every peny!! if Buenos Aires is like that I wanna move there!!

A real one night vacation......, 3/14/2010
Reviewer: Miki and Francesca from Santa Barbara, CA
Living and and working in SB you get to know the restaurants and the quality of the service. At this cafe' you feel like your on vacation even if your in your home town. NOT ONLY THAT!! But Lyndsi (our server) was not only fabulous and kind..but was on top of every move, request and desire (aside the fact that she was able to comunicate in Italian, English and Spanish). As good Italians and in the restaurant buisness, we found that the food was brought in perfect timing with an ultimate presentation. Four thumbs up.......and even if the prices are slightly on the high was definatly worth every penny.

Beautiful Atmosphere ... Wonderful Dinner, 1/5/2010
Reviewer: Brat from Napa Valley, CA
My husband and I always visit Cafe Buenos Aires while vacationing in Santa Barbara at the holidays each year. Their courtyard is so lovely. We ordered empanadas and brochette de carne y vegetables for starters while waiting for camarones cubanos with coconut rice and pastel de choclo. The food was delicious and the service was attentive. Definitely recommend eating here!!

It was okay, 12/14/2009
Reviewer: Junko from Ventura, CA
We had lunch here on Saturday afternoon. We had garlic shrimp for appetizer, then my husband had salmon and I had mixed seafood. Seafood was flesh and good. We didn't like the appetizer so much (just because a little too much garlic for us), but we loved our main. We also had Flan and Grilled banana for dessert, they are good, too. It's not like "Excellent", but it was great. The service was okay. I just wish that the service were as good as the restaurant's interior/atmosphere.

The seafood platter is divine., 11/5/2009
Reviewer: Jill Ballard from Solvang, CA
I was introduced to this restaurant by a friend. Since then I have had many wonderful dining experiences at Cafe Buenos Aires. Their seafood platter is one of the single most delicious meals I have had at any restaurant in Santa Barbara, and I've lived here in the area for 20 years. I don't know anything about axxes cards or corkage fees. It is the restaurant itself, together with the wonderful music and lovely ambience, and their exceptional food and wine, that makes it a great dining experience for me. Save your coupons for Denny's. Keep your own wine at home and instead, try something new. They have some great wines. Instead of a subtle nuance of a movement of your hand to your teapot, just ask for more hot water - how hard is that? You who grumble and whine sound like really awful customers, pompous and arrogant. You need to practice up on your manners.

Cafe Buenos Aires Perfect Wedding, 10/14/2009
Reviewer: Jen from LA
Cafe Buenos Aires made my wedding reception one the most perfert day of my whole life, few weeks ago I had my wedding reception at the restaurant and it was more much then I was expecting, everything was wonderful food, drinks, service, atmosphere, music the entire scene was fabulous, I don't even have words to describe how thankful I am!! and how lucky I was for have chosen the perfect place!! I would like to thank Cafe Buenos Aires and specially Diego who coordinated everything all the small details and made my dream become true...

I have to agree with Jeremy, 9/21/2009
Reviewer: Jim Durier from Santa Barbara, CA
I have to agree with Jeremy. My wife and I ate at Cafe Buenos Aires this weekend and the manager was really cold to us. Our waitress was fantastic, but Diego needs to work on his people skills. And I also have to voice my opinion about the restaurant not honoring Jeramy's (sp?) Axxess card. My wife and I buy an Axxess card every year. We pay good money for them and we expect a restaurant to honor them. What difference does it make if Jeremy and his party used a gift certificate? And, as the manager confirms, if they did order cocktails, appetizers, desserts, etc., it doesn't sound like they were being too cheap to me. Trust me, I know how to eat cheap. Water? Yes, please.

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Jim: I'm sorry if Diego seem cold. I would apreciatte if you could write me to to let me know in more detail the conversation you had with Diego so I can forward it to the owner (who already asked me to request this from you). In concern to the gift certificate, let me explain the situation. We have a deal with Axxess where they are allow to sell give certificates for $25 at less than that nominal price. It is part of the agreement that this coupon will not be used with any other from axxess. The attempt is to have more guests to come and bring their business. When someone try to abusse of it and get so much for so little money we end up losing money. That behavior and the disrespect for other patrons (they stole a beer from another table) force us to prohibit these people to come to our restaurant again. Thank you for your understanding. Martin
Great service, great space but terrible food., 9/18/2009
Reviewer: Dr. Robert Miller from Los Angeles, CA
I have a few comments to make. This a wonderful space, with top notch service. The problem is the food, our three meals were terrible. The seafood dish was tough and tasted like cleaning product. The steak was of poor quality and very tough. The chicken dish had no flavor at all. I did read the other reviews and find it interesting that an owner or the manager would reply to a customers review in such a negative way. You sound very arrogant and very un-professional. Maybe that's why only 50% of your customer reviews on the other review websites like your restaurant. Maybe it's time to take the negative reviews and make some changes in the way you conduct business; i.e food prep, cooking methods and learn to deal better with paying customers that do complain.

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Thank you Dr Miller for your review. It is very helpful. We are working really hard on bringing our food quality and consistency back to what we were used to offer and then improve it more. I'm very sorry you did not have a good experience. I hope you trust me that we will work hard on preventing from happening again and that you come back so that we can prove it. Regards Martin
Jeremy - You are a cheapskate, 9/17/2009
Reviewer: Kevin McTague from Paris, France, also SB
I am ambivalent about Cafe Buenos Aires. I like it but am not a cult follower. That said, Jeremy, your said your meal was good, service good, but you were just bummed you couldn't nick the restaurant from making a buck. Gift certificates,plus axxcess, plus trying to drink two bottles of wine (total) for one corkage? Why not bring a methuselah and buy no wine there. Wait, I bet you didn't have the common courtesy to buy a bottle from the restaurant to begin with. I bet you left a meager tip too, if any. BTW, I don't work in the restaurant business, I just don't like amateurs like you who should just take your "magnum" to taco bell and be happy. I like supporting a good restaurant so it stays good, not going to one just for a "deal". Deal eaters are the "Big Mac for a buck" crowd, sound familiar?

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Kevin: Thank you so much for sharing your opinion. Martin
Manager needs a reality check, 9/17/2009
Reviewer: Jeramy Gordon from Santa Barbara, CA
Tonight was my first -- and last -- visit to Cafe Buenos Aires across from the Arlington Theatre. From the time I moved to Santa Barbara four years ago, Cafe Buenos Aires had always been on the list of restaurants I wanted to try. As a self-proclaimed "foodie" who loves to eat out, I knew it was only a matter of time. Tonight, I got the opportunity to finally sit down and enjoy some quality South American cuisine. Five of my closest friends and I walked on to the dimly-lit patio, that just oozed ambience, ready and rearing for a good time. We brought our own magnum of wine to celebrate just how lucky we all are to live in such a beautiful town. We reminisced about old times, laughed, ate good food, drank good wine and had a great time overall -- until our check came. That's when the night took a turn for the worse. One of the members of our party happened to have two $25 gift certificates for Cafe Buenos Aires. Our wonderful waitress happily took the certificates and applied them to the bill. But being the thrifty diner I am, I asked if they accepted the Axxess card. "Yes, we do," our waitress responded, saying she'd be right back. Moments later, she returned and informed us that the manager would not honor the Axxess Card because we had used the gift certificates. Strike one. Now, mind you, our gift certificates were less than a quarter of our total bill, but I digress. Bummed that we were denied use of our Axxess card, we began to examine the bill. It was then we noticed we had been charged two corkage fees for our one magnum bottle of wine. When we informed the manager of what we thought must have been a mistake, he told us he would not credit our bill for the 2nd charge. He said because the bottle was more than 750 ml, that he was in the right to charge us two corkage fees. Strike two. Our argument was that the restaurant should have told us before opening the bottle, that because of it's size, there would be an additional charge. They didn't. The manager continued to argue with us over the fifteen dollar charge. Strike three. Never had I been treated so poorly while dining out. I realize the economy is tough right now, but arguing with 6 locals over a $15 fee in front of other customers is uncalled for. I am bummed because the food was good, our waitress was great and the ambience was like no other place in Santa Barbara. And now, out of principle, I can never eat there again.


great food with service that is now better than ever, 6/7/2009
Reviewer: Hajir Sailors from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been to the Cafe Buenos Aires every year since I can remember going to restaurants in Santa Barbara at least once, I've always loved the menu options, especially the pastel de choclo, a traditional argentinian pie with ground beef that really is something quite different than you can find anywhere in Santa Barbara. The empanadas for an appetizer are of course always great and really the setting is quite lovely. Not much has changed about that or their sauce for their bread which is fabulous and sold by the bottle for really quite a reasonable price, but what I noticed on this visit was the service was markedly different. Upon arrival I was greeted warmly at the entrance to their lovely outside eating area, given the choice of any table i would like that was open, immediately bread was on the table with the dipping sauce and drink orders were filled right away. Our servers, both females and both helping out equally at the table one had been there for 10 years one for apparently not very long, were all smiles, 100% friendly, and on top of service the entire time. Ready to chat if you wanted to, and willing to step away without making you feel bad. It's nice to have service up in a good eating establishment such as this one and I will certainly suggest this to friends and family for dates, business, or just for going out.

Memorial Day, 2009 - Really good. Nice surprise, 5/26/2009
Reviewer: Robert from Santa Barbara, CA
Family of 4 with 7 mo baby. My older daughters have allergies and my wife is picky. Ended up with 4 totally cleaned plates. Excellent dinners, we were really surprised. Usually someone(or ones) has a complaint but the service was good, the food excellent and the atmosphere great (outdoor patio with fountain with indoor space if it's too cold).

Very good sevice and wonderfull food., 4/8/2009
Reviewer: Sophia and Johnny Key from Santa Barbara, CA
Me and my fiance' enjoyed an elegant lunch outside,the service was very nice. When our plates arrived they were an art form and so full of flavor.We will dine again and do recommend.

Great food, service, and experience , 2/22/2009
Reviewer: Alex Jones from Los Angeles, CA
I went to dinner and had exceptional steak and my wife the risotto. The service was great and very authentic since my server was from Argentina. However the table next to us complained about thier food, and actually tried to start a fight in front of everyone because the manager wouldn't give them thier money back! It was truly outrageous especially since they ordered the same thing as my wife and were there long before we were! Kudos to management for making them leave and allowing to finsh our meal in peace!! Everyone has been to a restaurant and been bothered by obnoxious people around and nothing happens... it is good to see someone taking control to ensure a good experience for others. Can't wait to go back!

I wont be back., 2/16/2009
Reviewer: russ from sfv, CA
I heard about this place by evesdropping so I made a reservation for valentines day. When we got there I got a table right away. I asked for a high for my daughter and it took 30 min. to get one asking for it twice. The atmosphere was very nice. It seemed as if the waiter didnt want to be there cause he was such a rush to get our order. Plus we received a menu with only three choices not much of a selection. i ordered the filet mingon well done and my wife ordered the fish. Mine came back freshly chopped off the cow and the fish was still jumping. The check was preety pricey for what i didnt eat. Needless to say I definitely wont be back.

Canceled a Reservation at the last minute., 8/18/2008
Reviewer: Dana Welch from Santa Barbara
We had made reservations here for 9 people at 8:30, 10 days prior to my wife's birthday. She got a message at 5:00 on her cell phone telling her they they we canceling our reservations because there was a private party there and they shouldn't have taken our reservations. No apology, nothing, said they were going to call back at 8:30 to let us know if we could possibly eat there, never called. We managed to get reservations at a great restaurant across the street ( very luckily, it was a Saturday night) From there we could see that there was a wedding going on. So obviously they must have know before that day and yet failed to let us know until the last minute. I'd eaten there once before, nice atmosphere, passable food, but I won't be going back.

Amazing patio, great argentinian food!, 7/27/2008
Reviewer: Rico Muller from Beverly Hills, CA
Certainly people that are complaining about the food never had an Argentinian experience before. I had been in Argentina a couple of times and I really enjoy Cafe Buenos Aires!! I go there every time I'm in Santa Barbara with my girlfriend to enjoy their delicious churrasco, a capirinha and some live tango (sometimes the music can be a little loud, so just ask for a quiet table). The only thing missing in the menu is the bife de chorizo, I wish we had a place like this in LA!

great food with a romantic setting, 7/24/2008
Reviewer: Charles Pafford from Los Alamitos, CA
We wanted to enjoy some authentic Argentinean cuisine and were not disappointed. Everything we ordered was packed with flavor. I had the rib-eye and it was fantastic, done exactly as specified. My wife had the salmon and it was tender and tasty although it could have been a little warmer. For dessert the mousse duo was amazingly delicious and as a chef special it really should be offered nightly. The ambience was exactly what we wanted to celebrate our anniversary and the friendliness of all the staff helped to make our evening that much more memorable.

soup & special you can't go wrong, 7/5/2008
Reviewer: Ian Renga from Santa Barbara, CA
Being a native of SB, I have tried to find a place to relax and not worry about the quality of my dining experience. Now I just order the soup and special of the day and sit back and take in the exceptional music, the fountain, and allow myself to transport to Argentina for an hour each week. Worth every penny!

Delightful family dinner, 3/4/2008
Reviewer: Roxanne from Santa Barbara, CA
I went to Cafe Buenos Aires for the first time and had a wonderful experience. The patio is gorgeous and the atmosphere was enchanting! All of our meals were so yummy but the salmon de silvia was just spectacular and the asparagus was perfectly cooked! I will be back for more!

Lukewarm food, sloppy service, 3/2/2008
Reviewer: Mac from Santa Barbara
The servers were polite, but negligent. The waiter never brought an ordered appetizer. Another appetizer (fried potatoes) arrived lukewarm, followed one minute later by the main course. The potatoes must have been forgotten in the kitchen for 10 minutes. The shrimp were lukewarm and tasteless--probably should have been thrown out a few days ago. Some of the food was good, namely the steak and asparagus. Considering the price of the meal, the food and service should be better.

1 sad Doc, 1/19/2008
Reviewer: Grant MD from Montecito, CA
My wife, mother-in-law, and kids thought this looked like a nice place to eat, because the patio looked quaint. Our server was OK. Our food however was appalling. My wife ordered a $30 steak medium rare, and it came tough and overcooked without a bit of pink. She couldn't even chew it. She mentioned it to the waiter, and he said he would let the manager know. 35 minutes later, we asked again and the manager visited our table. He was young, arrogant and stated that it was perfectly cooked according to Argentinean standards. He told my wife she was wrong, but after 45 minutes it was too late to order anything else, and he refused to take it off of the bill while unprofessionally raising his voice. After more discussion, he said he would take half off so he could cover his cost. I was appalled at the way he treated my wife. To add insult to injury, my mother-in-law, didn't even mention the poor taste of her seafood(mussels and clams), until later. Will never give this place a second chance, EVER!

My favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara, 1/4/2008
Reviewer: Robert from Sacramento, Ca.
I first came to the Cafe Buenos Aires back in 1998. I was immediately made to feel comfortable and at home. The food, the service, the ambience were great. My steak melted in my mouth. I tell everyone of my experience. Each time I travel to Santa Barbara from Sacramento, I make sure I reserve at least one evening here, as I will do again this year.

Great service, mediocre food, 11/14/2007
Reviewer: Dana Alexander from Santa Barbar CA
What a shame that a place with so much potential and such a romantic setting can't get the food right. It's been a long time since I've been here and I was hoping for some improvement. But just like last time the steak was expensive and poor. It is clear to me that they are using a cheap cut of beef. It was gristly, tough, overcooked and under-flavored. My wife's cannalloni was very unexceptional and for three small servings, expensive. The service was perfect: timely and attentive.

Cafe Buenos Aires, 11/3/2007
Reviewer: Terri from Goleta, CA
My risotto was undercooked and clumped together. My friend's steak was too salty and not much of any other flavor. The waiter didn't come around to refill our water or check on anything. A lot of them seemed to just be hanging around the bar; he only appeared to bring us the food and the bill, which was brought upon by waving down another waiter. The bread was cold... but probably the best part of the meal, which isn't saying much. I usually don't bother writing reviews for restaurants and let these things slide, but when paying $30+ for a meal [no appetizer, only entree], I kind of expect a bit more...

How can they stay open, 10/25/2007
Reviewer: Grace from SB
I can't believe how bad my food was. I had a Milenesa Steak with cheese and tomato sauce on top with french fries. It tasted like deep fried shoe leather jerky with red paste and mucousy white tasteless stuff on top with a side of deep fried banana skins. What are they thinking!!! The waitperson was very good though.

Parrillada... could be much better. , 10/13/2007
Reviewer: Marcela from LA, CA
It was our first time at this place. After reading the mixed reviews we decided to try it and have our own opinion. As a native of Argentina, I was disappointed with the Parrillada (Traditional Argentinian BBQ) The meat and vegetables were not well cooked. The veggies were 50% of the parrillada and were chunks of unkooked zuchinis and eggplant. Love in the kitchen was definitely missing... The ribs were chewy. The only good piece of meat we had was the chorizo. You can charge $25 per person for this, but for God sake... Have someone supervise the kitchen! A little love when cooking a traditional dish would be good. Specially when you know that most of the clients that order "Parrillada" are your fellow Argentinean citizens.

Cozy but pricey, 10/5/2007
Reviewer: Aidana Ra from Santa Barbara Ca
I went to the restaurant with my husband on Wednesday. It's a tango night at Buenos Aires. The restaurant is very cozy and romantic:) the food is expensive and in small portions.I had a gift card for $40.but that didn't cover our dinner. I had to pay $40 extra to cover it (+plus tips of course). But for such a price....ok, If it was yammy I wouldn't care for the price a lot. but since it wasn't I won't go there no more.

The Minimum, 9/20/2007
Reviewer: Connie from Santa Barbara, CA
My husband and I eat out about three nights per week, at many of the fabulous restaurants that SB and Montecito are known for. We know great food and great service. Cafe Buenos Aires was a disappointment almost all the way around. The food was mediocre at very best, lacked flavor and texture, and was not worth the prices. (My $28 steak was tough and tasteless). We honestly could have cooked - and often do - a far more tasty meal at home. The service was very slow - twice we actually wondered if our waitress had gone home for the evening. We had to summon other servers to order a glass of wine or request a dessert menu. The only decent thing about this restaurant was that it was Tango night, which made the ambiance somewhat romantic. The musicians, however, were too loud and we had to strain to have a conversation. While there is huge potential for a place like this, there simply wasn't much gusto put into the menu or the service. The restaurant offered only the minimum, and we won't be back. I would suggest Cafe Buenos Aires for drinks and perhaps an appetizer, but if you are looking for an outstanding dinner experience, go elsewhere.

A Great Dining Experience!, 7/30/2007
Reviewer: david jay from santa barbara, ca
my girlfriend and i had dinner with another couple there last saturday evening. we all really enjoyed the great food and outstanding service. the ambiance on the patio was perfect. the live music set the mood and the food and service really was the best!

Terrible service, 6/27/2007
Reviewer: Vo from Santa Barbara, CA
Came here for the third time for a late-ish lunch on Sunday. Was promptly seated half way in the sun and half in the shade. There was only one waitress for what ended up being about 7 different tables. She was concentrating on a table of four in particular (did she know them?). Each action item took at least 10 minutes. 10 minutes to ask about drinks. 10 minutes to bring them. 10 minutes to take our order, etc. We waited for at least 10-15 minutes just to get our check and another 10-15 for them to pick it up with the cash, another 10 for me to get my chance. What kind of place is this? The owner/manager should be ashamed. IF you can't afford to staff the restaurant, don't open on weekends.

Won't be back!, 5/21/2007
Reviewer: Dave from Santa Maria, CA
My wife and I live out of town, and have been going to Cafe Buenos Aires for about 5 years now, deciding that it was our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara and has GREAT food! However, over the past couple of years we feel that service has continuously declined, and this past weekend probably pushed us to the point of not returning. Please trust that I am in NO WAY a snob or "richey-rich" type. However, I feel we paid a premium price for a less-than-fair service. Initially asking for a reservation, we were told that we couldn't past 8 P.M. So, when I arrived at 8:30, we waited for 1 hour before we were seated. Not a problem for us, since we like the place so much. Not a problem until other walk-ins were being seated at around the 45 minute point, and then we are seated approx 15 min later. Another 15 minutes later, someone brought my wife some water while waiting. I requested water as well, and finally received it just before I received my check, about an hour and 20 minutes later. Also, our order was "confused" with the wedding reception's, so we did not have our food until approx 50 minutes after being seated. Believe it or not, I was still trying to be understanding! I could tell that they were very busy, and I figured it came with the territory. Our waiter even offered free flan for the mix-up with our order. It was one of many apologies that night - for the long wait before any service, for the mix-up with our order, for not bringing any water during dinner, etc. Although less than happy, I was still cool with everything until the very end. My wife and I had agreed that our experience was not the best and would tip accordingly. I have NEVER "stiffed" anyone, but there was no way I was going to tip over 10% for this lack of service. When I paid, I left enough for $15 change coming back to me (approx $105 tab, gave $120). I had planned on leaving $10 of that, but it was ASSUMED by staff that I was giving it all to them. So, instead of receiving my change, I received a thanks and good-bye message from the waiter! GOOD-BYE! Once again, I didn't complain to anyone or make a scene. We quietly left, and just decided that we most likely won't be back. This is the first time in my life I have ever written a negative feedback for ANYONE, so I kinda feel bad, but I honestly feel that the other night was completely UNSAT, even to the most forgiving customer. I am not great with words so I can not even decribe the entire experience. I only hit the "lows". Buenos Aires, I hope y'all can get your act together a bit better, or y'all are going to continue to lose paying customers who really enjoy your excellent food and beverages!

Amazing!, 5/21/2007
Reviewer: Laura from Santa Barbara, CA
I wish I could give more than 5 stars for the food - everything was absolutely amazing! We had the empanadas, canalones, and chicken dish which were all some of the best dishes I've ever tried, not to mention the great bread and oil to start off with. The service was good once it picked up (we were briefly forgotten about until the hostess got our waiter for us) but other than that everything was fantastic. The mojitos are definitely the best I've ever had - try one!

A great place to hang out, 5/15/2007
Reviewer: Jeff Renner from Isla Vista, CA
I have only eaten at Cafe Buenos Aires once. I am a college student at UCSB and my friends and I were going to see President Clinton speak at the Arlington. We arrived too late to grab lunch anywhere so we went across the street to CBA. We were seated right away on the patio. The server was very friendly and when we told her we were in a bit of a hurry to get to the lecture she made sure we got our food on time. We just got some appatizers (empenadas) and they were great and very cheap. My friends got some good wine and I had a beer. Both beverages were great. It was like sitting enjoying a light lunch in a European or Argentinian Cafe on a beautiful sunny summer day.

el mejor, 4/16/2007
Reviewer: marc from santa barbara, ca
i usually save this place for special occasions because it's so good, i don't want to ruin it. most recently i went here with my wife for her birthday. the food is always top quality, prepared really well. the service is friendly, even able to give suggestions about wine choices (which is good for the occasional wine drinkers like me). while the food is a bit pricey, the portions are also large. i always leave here full, and very satisfied. dinner for 2 w/ appetizers, entrees, and bottle of wine will be under $100 including tip. a santa barbara bargain. i will definitely go back here in the future.

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Thank you Marc for your generous review. I'm very proud of the quality of food and service we are able to reach. I do, although, regret to only have you on specials occasions. Hope to see you, your wife and your friends more often now that the weather is getting more pleasant to enjoy our patio.
Same Time Next Year, 4/2/2007
Reviewer: Yelena from Huntington Park, CA
This Place is Awesome, I love it. I was there for dinner back in 2005 went back there 2006, same excellent service (had the same waitress too, she was great) Will be going back this April. I know I wont be disappointed. The people, service, music great. Great Appletinis! My fave :) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Came in for Valentines Day, 2/21/2007
Reviewer: Jason from Goleta, CA
I came in for Valentines Day and I have to say that it was the best service I have had at a restaurant here in Santa Barbara. My girlfriend and I made reservations for 7:15 that evening but we arrived sometime around 6:30 because I thought there were going to be a lot of people there. I showed up that early because I have made reservations at other places before and they made us wait upwards of an hour despite our reservation. Here it wasn't the case. We were actually seated at 6:35! Our server Victor was extremely attentive, rarely going more than 10 minutes without checking our table. He knew when to ask us if we wanted something and when to leave us alone (that man deserves a raise if you ask me). The food? It was awesome to say the least. The soup and salad were excellent (especially enjoyed the salad) and the main entrees were also excellent. My girlfriend got the lobster and I got the filet. I have never had a more well cooked, tender steak in my entire life and the lobster was perfect as well. My only complaint on the night was that our table was a little wobbly, but that's something I can easily live with. I plan on coming back on a regular day and seeing if the attentiveness to service and high quality of food are the same (I'm sure I wont' be dissappointed). I'm recommending my friends here for their special occassions as well. Good job!

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Jason: We are really glad to know that you received the service we work so hard to provide. I will make sure that Victor reads your comment. We look forward to have you back. Regards Martin Lertora Nowacke (GM)
Just dropped in before the SBIFF , 2/2/2007
Reviewer: Debbi Pascua from San Luis Obispo, CA
Was looking for a place to eat before the SBIFF got underway for the evening and found this restaurant directly accross from the Arlington Theater. Knowing nothing about it, it drew us in by it's beauty, the friendliness of the staff, and the live music playing quietly. We really enjoyed the food, which was excellent and moderately priced, and the ambiance on the covered patio. I'm reccommending it to all my friends. Try the tapas dishes (I enjoyed the salmon croquettes)and one of their salads - light, satisfying and tasty!

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Thank you Debbi for visiting us and for recommending us to your friends. Thank you for taking your time to share your review with other people. We look forward to have you back. Martin.
Perhaps a good mojito is enough, 12/27/2006
Reviewer: Bruce from Santa Barbara, ca
I given this place a chance about once a year since they moved to this location. The meat I've had here has rarely been very good quality, the wine list has very poor representation of quality argentinian wine. The last time I was there, my wife and I were placed in a table in the very back and were ignored. When we eventually got our steaks they were cold and gristley. And it took us 23 minutes of prodding to get the check (we decided to start timing it after the previous long waits). I have previously had fun there with large groups having mostly mojitos and appetizer, but I would never go here for the food. I AM glad to see that the management trys to address issues brought up in pervious complaints, so perhaps I'll try it again someday.

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Dear Bruce: I'd like to first apologize for not providing you with the excelent service we usually provide. I also would like to thank you for letting us know about it, it is easy to get distracted from making sure that everything is perfect when we believe everyone goes home happy. I'm happy to know that you will be coming back and since you like our mojitos I would like to buy one for you and one for your wife next time you come to try our steaks, all I ask in exchange is to have a more detailed critic from you to be able to address the problem more effectively. Please contact me at to let me know when are you coming (so that you can get your Mojitos on me). I look forward to hear from you. Martin Lertora Nowacke (GM)
Company Christmas Dinner, 12/20/2006
Reviewer: Jean Beazley from Santa Barbara, CA
We have been to CBA in the past and always enjoyed the food and service. When we needed to find a Restaurant at the last minute for our Office Christmas party we called on December 19th for a reservation the next evening. Martin the Manager could not have been more helpful. He created a special Menu and arranged for tray passed Hors D'oeuvres for our group of 15 and a nice table in the Main Dining Room. The food was delicious and perfectly prepared. Our Server Lee did a terrific job. She was very accomodating and her timing excellent. Also liked the new Menu. Thanks to all of the Staff at Cafe Buenos Aires for making this one of our best Christmas Parties ever.

One of the best Argentinian Style Restaurant on California!!, 12/18/2006
Reviewer: Oscar Funez from Los Angeles, CA
Last sunday, me and my family, we decided to try Cafe Buenos Aires for the first time for many reasons, but I think we went there because we are from Argentina and we are moving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara by January 2007, so we decided to check the places on the area and why not our kind of food first. Everything was perfect nice weather, the service, the delightful decoration, the ambience, especially the music, just on the right volume. We received the food just as we ordered, the chimichurri was great, also we appreciate the good recommendations from our waiter, I think his name is William, he make us feel very wellcome. In other words we are planning to go more offten, try another dishes and off course bring our friends there when we finnally move to Santa Barbara by next month. Muchas Gracias.

Enjoyed everything!, 9/24/2006
Reviewer: Kristine from Bakersfield, CA
This was my first time at this Cafe, and my first time with Argentinean food. We got, {I think} the best table there...near the outdoor fountain, on the patio. Our waitress was wonderful. I didn't get her name, but she was very patient with us and very helpful with everything from drinks to appetizers and then our food and desert...I think we spent a good 3 hours at the cafe, just relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere, music, food, and our Mojito's (YUM). I will definitely dine here again. It was a great experience.

Excellent Restaurant in every detail, 9/12/2006
Reviewer: Bill Simon from Los Angeles, Ca.
On April 21, 2006 my wife and I held our Wedding Rehearsal Dinner at Cafe Buenos Aires. My wife had discovered Cafe Buenos Aires when she attended a business lunch. We both came into the restaurant in order to check out the food, ambiance, service and wine selections. All past our high expectations in what we wanted for ourselfs and our guests. After the sumptous meal Nathaniel introduced himself and worked closely with us in selecting the dinner courses and wine for our special night. When we held the actual dinner party, everyone of our guests were impressed with their food and wine as well as the attentive service. What really impressed me was the professionalism of the staff as they were not intrusive at all as they interacted with me and the guests as the evening flowed on. My wife and I look forward to continue to dine at this fine and festive establishment. I recommend that you do the same.

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: On behalf of Nathaniel and all of us at Cafe Buenos Aires I would like to thank you again for choosing us and let people know how hard we seek to provide great service to our guests. Hoping to see you again soon. Martin
Great place for just about anything, 8/9/2006
Reviewer: Hajir sailors from Santa Barbara
This restraunt can fit any ocassion, anytime of the day. I've been there with many different people for many different ocassions, and the food is quite flavorful, there's enough "new choices" things you woulnd't eat at home to keep your palette entertained for weeks at this restraunt. You should always order an appetizer (it's priced well) th one i love is called i believe a tapa. Amazing whatever it's called, i'll check later. But if you're going to the arlington, this is such a better choice than Carlito's right across the street, priced much better with better food. I like it.

Any bad review of this restaurant has ulterior motives, 8/4/2006
Reviewer: Jeffrey Bollwinkel from Santa Barbara
Any bad reviews of this restaurant have ulterior motives. Either some high school snot that gets a kick out of giving bad reviews to a wonderful restaurant or a competitor gives a bad review of this wonderful place. We have been to this restaurant several times. We take visitors from out of town there and we all loved it. It is a wonderful restaurant. Well you have my opinion. And we are natives of Santa Barbara and we are going there next Sunday. I am shaking with excitement.

Reviewer: Michael from Sonoma, Ca
Delightful evening, but the music was too loud.... The only way to avoid it was to go inside which would have been frustrating because half the reason to go was the patio ambience. Is there really need for all that amplification? The musicians made great music, really great. But no way to converse with dining companions. All that straining to hear and talk made for a tense evening--I've got my Ipod for loud music... Food was great. Waiter from Chile was wonderful and patient. Drinks were made perfectly. Eccentric way of running the gas lines from outlet to the warmer. They ran the lines under and between the legs on my chair. Hilarious and delightfully eccentric. Can't wait to visit again....

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Thank you for your comments Michael. We have a constant battle with our musicians to keep the volume down. But now, with your help I will be able to physically show them what guests think of their playing too loud. I am glad you enjoyed your experience and am looking forward to seeing you again at the restaurant. Nathaniel Muņoz, GM
Bad, 6/6/2006
Reviewer: Alex from San Francisco, CA
Cafe Buenos Aires was very dissapointing. This is the second time I've been. The first time my family got up and left because we had left at our table for 45 minutes with no waiter, which didn't change after asking two other wiaters where our waiter was. The second time the service was much better but that could have been because there was only four other people in the restaurant. The food was overpriced and had a complete lack of flavor. Of the five dishes ordered by our table, only one person enjoyed their enough to finish it. The atmoshpere and location has so much potential, it's a shame that it is being wasted so blatantly.

Cafe Buenos Aires writes: Alex, After reading your comments I felt inclined to offer you my apologies on any negative experience you may have had. In comparison to the reviews we get yours was quite the opposite. I would like to hear your comments in more detail if you find it convenient so that I may find any holes or flaws in our service or product. My name is Nathaniel Muņoz, General Manager at the restaurant and feel free to contact me at the restaurant 805.963.0242 or directly at 805.807.4211. Again I do not often hear comments such as those you have offered and would hope to understand how we may have failed in any way. Thank you for your time and honesty.
Really Great Find, 5/10/2006
Reviewer: Bill McMillan from Midlothian, VA
I visited Santa Barbara for the first time last weekend (4-6 May). I just picked the CBA out of the hat for Friday night after reading the reviews. The good ones were certainly right. The food, service and atmosphere were great. Our party of four was seated immediately with a chioice of patio or inside. As there was folkloric music on the patio, we chose to be seated inside where the sound was a bit muted and the atmosphere was a bit less casual. Our waiter, Gaston, who has family in Argentina, was very accomodating and most knowledgable of both the food and wine list. The service was attentive while unobtrusive. Our meal was just great. In all the evening was wonderful. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. I will certainly go back on my next trip to SB.

My Favorite place in Santa Barbara, 4/25/2006
Reviewer: Jill from Long Beach, California
Everytime I go to Santa Barbara we go to Cafe Buenos Aires. We love everything about this restaurant: the service is very friendly, the food is incredible (some of the combinations the chef makes are so tasty), the wine is amazing and most important you can really feel relaxed and enjoy yourself here. The last visit I brought my entire family as we had just come from a sad occassion (My Grandmother's memorial). You accomodated all 20 plus of us and treated all the kids so nice. We truly enjoyed ourselves in honor of my Grandmother from Santa Barbara.Perfect!

Excellent Lunch!, 4/2/2006
Reviewer: Sarah Harris from Solvang, Ca
I just got back from Santa Barbara and lunch at this wonderful restaurant! I have been here in the past for dinner, but it was so nice to sit on their patio and watch the world on State Street go by! We started with beef and chicken empanadas (amazing!) and two mojito's, which are in my opinion the best in town. I have the stuffed pork loin with goat cheese, spinach, and sundried tomato, whicle my fiancee had the churrasco new york steak which was out of this world! The service was so attentive yet you felt like they weren't bugging you. The bus boy posed as a host too and was very gracious. Overall, a wonderfull meal! Keep up the good work!

The brazilian beer name is..., 3/27/2006
Reviewer: Martin from Santa Barbara
The brazilian beer the last person to review is talking about is the Schincariol. Is a great dark beer. Please come enjoy a great night at our restaurant. Martin (Manager)

Gourmet food - Great atmosphere, 3/15/2006
Reviewer: Anatole from Southington, CT
Thanks Maeda for taking us for a great night out while visiting you in SB. Atmosphere is unique, service was personable and the food... delicious. What was the name of that tasty Brazilian beer? Great recomendation!

Picture does not do it justice, 2/24/2006
Reviewer: =) from Santa Barbara
I thought that this place would be nice for a romantic dinner. Score, I was right on. The ambience of the place is magnificent. It was confortable yet semi-elegant. The food was mediocre. I was expecting it to be a lot better. Don't get me wrong, it was not bad, just not as good as expected. But the overall experience made up for the food. Very attentive wait staff. I would definetly come here again but try something different from the menu.

Nice place, 12/30/2005
Reviewer: Bruce from Monterey
No complaints what so ever. Got Fillet Minon, Huge portion, cooked exactly to my specification. Service was fine. All in all a great dining experience.

Fine Dining, 12/20/2005
Reviewer: Brent from Goleta, CA
Attentive and pleasant waitstaff; top-notch mojitos; and on both visits so far, a professional and expert demonstration of the ability to accomodate the unforseen. Most of the food was as flavorful as I like it; only 1 course and the bread fell below expectations (and the scrumptious herbed dipping oil for the bread almost makes up for the bread itself). The prices of the food are exactly what should be expected for a "fine dining" experience-- which was my experience 2/2.

Conflicting reviews made me try you!!, 11/8/2005
Reviewer: Patrick from Santa Barbara, CA
Always wanted to try your restaurant since I moved here 8 months ago, love your entrance, and after reading so many great and bad reviews wanted to see who was right. I lived in NYC for 3 years, and know fantastic restaurants....additionally have eaten at the best in L.A. To make the test worse, I brought our newborn to the restaurant to test the service. First of all no one denies the ambience, it is one of the best places to enjoy a meal in S.B. I found the host (Martin'?) was very pleasant..even asked about the baby and told my wife how great she looked so soon after having the baby. I had a waiter immediately come to the table, and I ordered a Mojito....very refreshing, not overly done with the alcohol either. The food was fantastic, and arrived hot and timely. My big test on service is how quickly they refill my water glass...I'm a camel. No problems there!! Can't figure out the bad reviewers at this site..gotta believe they are disgruntled employees as my experience was wonderful. By the we were pulling away from the curb in our car, someone knocked on our side was the waiter with our baby bottle we had forgot at the table!! I will be back....prices didn't seem out of line either, especially for the quality of ingredients that were used.

perfect, 10/16/2005
Reviewer: david and Diana,U.K. from U.K.
we had a wonderful luncheon,unfortunatly we left something important behind.They were fantastic in forewarding our belongings.A place never to be forgotton,the food as well as the friendly service.

All across the board it was wonderful!, 9/29/2005
Reviewer: Heather from Orlando, FL
My husband and I had driven by one evening and the restaurant had caught my eye - the lighting and entry is beautiful. So, we decided we would give it a try later in the week of our visit. I am so glad we did: it was the best food and ambience experience we have had during our visit. Although pricey to someone from Florida, the evening ended up being well worth the money. Everything from the wine, salads, main course (we had steaks), and desert (*dulce de leche*) was delecious. The live music and tango dancers added to the overall feel of the outdoor patio - for the time you are there you feel like you have been transported to Argentina.

Poor waiter had to make the most of BAD managment, 9/17/2005
Reviewer: Arlene from Santa Barbara
Asked what the corkage was while making a reservation for 10 people, spoke to the manager. We brought 4 botles of champagne to start with, celebrating a birthday. After we sat down we were informed that if the wine was on the wine list we would have to pay full price. We had intended to purchase additional wine from the restuarant and the waiter was embarassed and apologetic. The manager, not apologizing that he had neglected to inform us of this policy when the reservation was made with him, insisted that this is common practice. Several of us at the table work at other resturants on town, so we know this is not true. He was agumentative and insulting. Eventually he called the owner who came in, then lied to the owner that a person at our table swore at him. After the entrees were served the owner, while chastizing us for the alleged swearing incident, said he would only charge us corkage. We declined. At the end of our meal he stated that he would waive all fees. What was the point then? Profoundly dissapointed at the the way this was handled. Despite great service from the poor waiter, bad taste in our mouths all around.

Disappointed, 9/14/2005
Reviewer: A Zagoren from Newport Beach, CA
Sadly, my experience was a negative one. We were told by relatives that it was quite good. What cannot be denied is that it took 37 minutes to get our order. I was told this by the manager when I complained. It was not a busy night. The food was not worth waiting for in that it was not hot, in some cases overcooked particularly the rice dishes. Moreover, the manager was condescending and rude.The latter is why I would not go back, nor would I feel comfortable recommending this establishment. Sad too, I enjoyed reading about its inspiring history.

Delicious, 9/13/2005
Reviewer: Amber from Santa Barbara, Ca
This place is the best! Try the "Pastel de Choclo" it is excellent, my husband dreams about it. The wine is great and the food is always fantastic. The service still needs some work, but the ambiance is unmatched. I highly recommend giving it a try.

I can't believe some of these reviews!, 8/26/2005
Reviewer: Sheila from Merced, CA
I have been eating at CBA for about 5 years- almost everytime I come to SB- probably 4-5 times a year. I have never, ever had poor service. Quite the opposite. The waiters have always tended to every small detail. It isn't a fast food joint, so the food does change night to night. At times, I have been served too much to eat, and other times, the same meal has been smaller. Who cares? It's delicious. I don't know what these people are ordering who are complaining; everything is delicious. The atmosphere is very lovely. When people say the service is slow, I imagine they are the kind who come in, gobble their food, and don't take time to savor the experience. That's what I like most- on many occasions, my companions and I have lingered long after dessert and no one seems to hurry us so they can turn the tables. Great place to eat.

I don´t care about all the other reviews, I love it here, 7/7/2005
Reviewer: Lorna B. from Santa Barbara, CA
Best ambiance and mojitos in town. The sound of the water fountain splashing, munching on a crisp salad and sipping a mojito is what makes life worth living.

it was not, what i was looking for, 6/20/2005
Reviewer: michael from santa barbara
the food was cold and did not have the south american flavor and passion at all. they need friendly, fast service and better food. a smile does not cost anything.

Reviewer: Disappointed from Santa Barbara
I read the reviews before hand and had a gut feeling the experience was not going to be good. But I had no idea how bad it would actually be. The service was slow, the drinks were over priced, the food was overpriced, and to top it off the food was flavorless. My friend found a piece of plastic in her meal after she had finished half of the meal. When she promptly brought this to the attention of the waiter, the waiter was not surprised and acted nonchalant about the whole situation. Instead of taking the meal off the bill and feeling bad, he said "I thought you ate most of the meal and enjoyed it so I kept it on the bill." After he made my friend feel bad about finding a piece of plastic in her meal and asking to take it off the bill, he deducted the meal from the bill. But ironically the gratuity (we had over 7 people at the table) remained the same. They were lucky the 17% gratuity was added in because that was generous for the food and service we received. Please do not go to this restaurant. There are so many other restaurants in the Santa Barbara area that treat customers with respect and have great unique food, that this place should never have another customer.

Very Nice Experience, 2/26/2005

My husband and I had dinner here last week for the first time. Our meal of prawns sauteed with plantains and mangos in a curry-coconut mile with a Basmati rice cake was very good. Our waiter was polite and fairly attentive. We had a apple crepe dessert which was good. One problem, though, it was a chilly evening with threat of rain, so we were inside just off the patio. They had heaters to keep us warm, which really didn´t. We would definitely go back, as it was far better than our next night at Trattoria Mollie in Montecito.

Reviewer: Renee White from South Pasadena, CA
I am SO in love with this place, the service, the food, the ambience. On a scale of 5 stars, it´s a 10 for me. I´m telling all my friends about it! Keep up the great work guys!

Great location... food should be better, 1/28/2005
Reviewer: Jason from Montecito, CA
The patio is one of the most atmospheric outdoor dining spaces in Santa Barbara, and while the food is far from terrible as some reviews imply, it is fairly pedestrian, and service is mediocre. A much better option than dinner at Cafe Buenos Aires is to go for a cocktail or a beer (the wines do tend to be less than stellar and a bit overpriced) and enjoy the live music they host on weekend nights. Maybe enjoy some appetizers with your friends. If the owners were to hire a top-notch chef and focus on staff training rather than staff appearance, this could be an extraordinary dining establishment.

overpriced, overhyped, overrated!!!!!!, 1/25/2005
Reviewer: Anitra from Santa Barbara. Ca
Atmosphere was the only thing going for this place and that isnt saying much!!!! I was overcharged and my bill. When i paid my bill I signed for said one price, but when i checked my account online it showed a different debit! I was outraged, the waiter was not attentive to our needs as customers, and the food was terrible!!! I actually got sick off the shrimp I ordered. I have been to many resturants of higher quality and know what one consists off and this resturant had nothing to offer! So please spare me the insults of no taste - if you like this resturant your taste buds must be fried!

fabulous, from beginning to end, 1/21/2005

This is a wonderful, charming restaurant - beautiful food, impeccable service. The wine the waiter suggested was one of my favorites I had discovered during my recent trip around Argentina.

Fantastic!!, 12/29/2004
Reviewer: Omar F. Montero from New Mexico
I have spent quite a bit of time in Argentina and traveled the country from one side to the other. I have had dinner in many Argentinan Restaurants including some in Mexico even! In my opinion it is the best Argentinan Restaurant I have been to in the U.S. The food is very authentic, the service is great,I recommend you try a red meat dish with a bottle of Malbec wine Argentina´s Best from Mendoza Argentina´s Wine Region. (Yes I toured their vineyards while I was in Argentina!) The chocolate dessert in this place is to die for!! the patio setting is Awesome!! Even my wife who is a vegetarian agrees with me on this Reataurant. Omar F. Montero

Dried out meat, 12/27/2004
Reviewer: Ashley from California
I ordered pasta and exchanged the shimp for chicken. The chicken was so dry I couldn´t even eat chew it! We went back another time and the empanada had meat inside that tasted like it was seasoned with a Lowry´s taco seasoning packet. My mom loved her gorganzola vegtable cassrole.

Awful!, 11/14/2004

First off, I will say that my family is from Argentina and this is NOT Argentinian food. Many dishes were Mexican or Spanish and they chose the cheapest wine you can get from Argentina for their menu. We had to wait 30 minutes to get our appitezer and another 50+ minutes to get the rest of our food. Don´t go!

in response to the below review..., 11/13/2004
Reviewer: Bob from Santa Barbara
Typical trailer park piggies -- they would rather eat at In N Out burger than a fine restaurant and don´t know quality from a rotten egg. CBA is a wonderful place with great service, great food and an unbeatable atmosphere. And for the record, In N Out has lousy fries, The Habit is WAY better. :-)

What more could you want, 10/22/2004
Reviewer: Jonathan M. from Los Angeles, CA
Recently I gave Cafe Buenos Aires another look, outstanding. A year ago I would have thought different. Our meals were wonderful, service to a ´T´ (they picked up my crumbs!), and unbelievable patio dining. Their facelift in management and care for dining really show through! Oh yeah, best Mojitos in Santa Barbara, can´t beat that! They can expect to see me again soon!

UNBELIEVABLE!, 9/14/2004

Great atmosphere.Really tasty steaks,and good service.

GREAT, 6/28/2004


very good, 6/23/2004
Reviewer: paul
very good

i cant wait to go back, 2/7/2004
Reviewer: Lola C. from Los Angeles, CA.
i made early dinner reservations for my husband & myself.we ended up changing them 3 x´s due to my own miscalculation of time. we were graciously seated upon arrival near the patio dining area fireplace. during the course of our meal we didnt have to wait for service.the waitress noticed i wasnt drinking a caipirinah that i ordered, so she offered to get me something else from the was too strong for my taste so i was given another drink & i was very happy. our meals were terriffic, cooked as ordered. i must say add that this is in the top 3 of best filet mignon ive had yet, & living in los angeles i have tried many. the ingredients in my salad were fresh & the empanads- u cant leave this place without trying them. they have a nice selection of wine & the live smooth bossa nova band made this experience one that i plan to replay again on valentine´s day.

Delicious!, 2/3/2004

We went there on a random Tuesday night and had an amazing dinner! I had heard it was expensive, but much less than I had expected actually. For the amount and quality food, it is so much better than most places in Santa Barbara that are way more expensive for not nearly as delicious food. Service was excellent and the wine list was wonderful.

Yet to get a Mojito!, 1/28/2004
Reviewer: Liz from Santa Barbara, CA
My friends and I have tried several times to stop by on Thursday nights to get Mojitos. We have been told that they are not open yet (at 5:30pm) or that they aren´t seating anyone (same difference). Our new joke is that we won´t be having drinks together at Cafe BA. Too bad they´ve lost more potential customers...

Bad service, inconsistent drink size, 1/7/2004
Reviewer: Sandra from Santa Barbara
It took forever for our drink order to be taken. My friend ordered the same drink twice, the second time it was one-third the size as the first drink. The waitress said the owner´s wife told the bartender to use a smaller glass for the second drink, saying the first drink was a mistake. The food was fair but our overall experience was unsatisfactory because of the terrible service.

Not great, 1/5/2004

The location and ambiance is spectacular but my food experience was not good. I order rack of lamb and received 3 large bones, two with nothing on them and the third bone had a golf ball size piece of meet on it. It was also under-cooked. I told the waiter that the portion seemed WAY too small and was under-cooked. He took the meal away and soon returned with the exact SAME golf ball sized meal that was now over-cooked. It was so over-cooked, I thought the cook was mad at me for returning my meal. My date´s meal was a tomato dish that was obviously canned tomatoes - not created by any chef.

This is my favorite place, 10/31/2003

Out of every place in Santa Barbara, this by far the greates. The service is wonderful, the location is great, the food is to die for! I´ve had different meat, fish and veggie dishes, and all are great! Unlike what some reviews state, my dishes have been consistent with what I´ve ordered. Great place!

Yum yum yummy, 12/27/2002
Reviewer: Christine Meriano from Los Angeles, CA
The food here is authentic, fresh and interesting. Try the huge halibut stuffed empanada. The restaurant is small and cozy but you won´t feel squeezed in. They have a nice wine selection and crisp home made sangrias, a perfect mate to a wonderful South American style meal.

Beautiful spot but incredibly inconsisten food and service, 12/7/2002

Unfortunately, I don´t have time for a long review, but I can tell you that this restaurant is one of the nicest locations on a balmy Santa Barbara evening, but the service *can* be INCREDIBLY BAD and the food very unpredictable. I have brought clients from out of town and had GREAT meals, then come back a few days later and been virtually ignored by the staff and received inedible (literally) food. Very frustrating - what a shame....

Great Argentinian in Santa Barbara, 11/18/2002

This was my first visit to the restaurant. The food was very good and it was finely spiced. The ambiance was tasteful. The tapas in the menu were excellent. They accomodate vegetarian if speicifically requested which we thought was thoughful of them. The owner Wally was very nice and a retired techie. Good dining!!

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