Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Minnow Cafe
Omni Catering

Minnow Cafe
No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2011-10

9 Breakwater, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-6315

Reviews by the General Public

Fish tacos are now terrible, 8/27/2011
Reviewer: Jonathan from Santa Barbara, CA
I had the grilled fish tacos for the first time since Brophy's changed them. I used to like them but now they are horrible. Barely any fish and smothered in some type of coleslaw-like sauce with pickles and greenpeppers. It is my understanding that quite a few others have voiced their dislike to management, but the new Brophy owners have chosen to ignore the feedback. I suggest ordering the fish and chips instead.

A fast food jewel, 8/10/2011
Reviewer: Marie from Santa Barbara, CA
For a hole in the wall, the Minnow is what it is. I do not go for fine dining, but to enjoy good fast food at a busy harbor. I love the ambience....I don't expect the view to die for...go to Brophy Bros for that.

Bring back the old tacos!, 6/21/2011
Reviewer: Sammy Dee from Santa Barbara, CA
First trip to Minnow since the change of ownership. The new taco recipe is really awful. If you liked the previous tacos, you will most likely be disappointed. Please bring back the old taco recipe and let us know here that you've done so. Thanks!

bring back the fish tacos!, 6/13/2011
Reviewer: Jan from Santa Barbara, CA
Have been going to the Minnow for years and their fish tacos have always been my favorite. Now that Brophy Bros has taken over, they have changed their fish tacos, which are now very bland/so-so. Please, please, please bring back the Minnow original fish taco!!!!

Reviewer: Lindsey from Santa Barbara, CA
I work on the breakwater and I normally dont eat out here, because its super expensive..but today I ran out of time and didnt pack a lunch! I was not looking forward to spending 15 bucks on lunch for something that probobly wasnt even that great!! To my surprise, I dropped in this little "hole in the wall" and ordered a tritip burrito..OMG it was the bomb!! So worth $6.95...and the tritip flavor was amazing..

Great food for a tiny hole in the wall., 4/24/2011
Reviewer: Paul from Santa Barbara, CA
This is not a fancy dining establishment. What it is is a great place to get a variety of foods for a good price after you have been sailing or surfing. I've been going there for years and the staff is always helpful and cool and the meals taste great. But if you are expecting gourmet, you may want to walk to Chuck's Waterfront.

It's worth it, 6/19/2010
Reviewer: Noah from Santa Barbara, CA
Growing up in the harbor, I'd often stop by the Minnow Cafe with my dad after fishing. The homefry burrito is my favorite breakfast in town, and the burgers have been consistently tasty using large beefy patties served with flavorful garnishing. It has given me the impression that EVERYBODY should use roma tomatoes and cheddar cheese in their burgers. The fries are also out of this world, steak cut with a light spice mixture sprinkled on top. A lot of people have complained about the inconsistent service crew, and depending on who is working your experience will be dramatically different. However, the short order cooks are all good at what they do, and the counter is so close to the grill you should give them a holler. The outdoor seating can sometimes be detrimental to the experience, but if you're going to the harbor, chances are you're already dressed for the weather. Nothing like the smell of salt on the breeze while chowing down.

Food is Average and Service is Horrible, 5/11/2010
Reviewer: Anna from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been wanting to try this place for a while. The food was alright, nothing special, it was a bit pricey but what really made me not want to come back was the service. The young girl at the counter was so short and rude with me. Her attitude was not friendly, and it's just really disappointing. So if you want to have average food with bad service this is the place.

A place to skip, 2/1/2010
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
Not sure the draw here. Food was expensive and not good. Tables are picnic benches out in the sun(or cold wind) with no umbrellas and no view. People were nice there but go elsewhere. Positive would be you can eat with your dog.

Best for Breakfast, 10/2/2009
Reviewer: Zoe from Santa Barbara, CA
I used to live on the Mesa and the Minnow was a weekly Sunday spot. It was wonderful to bring the dog, sit outside and have huevos rancheros and yummy OJ to start your day.

GREAT place to go!!!!, 9/13/2009
Reviewer: Curtis from Santa Barbara, CA
The Minnow is a great place to go, quick and great!!! Breakfast is sooo good can't ever choose so I get something different every time I go. I have never had any prob. with the staff. If anything you get some crabby customers that forget that they are not the only people in line..

Great food, worst service, 8/16/2009
Reviewer: Rob from Santa Barbara, CA
I've lived in the harbor on and off for over 10 years and the Minnow has always been the spot to grab a quick, cheap and tasty meal. Everything from the breakfast burritos to the burgers to the sandwiches are great. One problem: their staff sucks! Jeff, the owner, always seems completely miserable and it's very apparent in his customer service. His large rotation of other employees mostly consist of college age girls who really do not care about their jobs and from the perspective of a frequent visitor, they do not last long. Many frustrating times sitting at the counter waiting for the cashier to finish a cell phone call or simply not paying attention.

Birthday, 6/20/2009
Reviewer: Peter Hutchins from Santa Barbara, CA
Please foward to Jrff Jones. Happy B-Day,From Pete Hutchins. Hi to Gretchen.Please E-Mail

Minnow Rules!, 5/18/2009
Reviewer: Mike from Santa Barbara, CA
The girls at the Minnow are greatest and sooooper friendly! You must have been a pooper stinker of a customer :( I love the minnow muffin and the garden tacos!!! Good huevos rancheros also. yum yum yum.

You need to go when the owner working, 5/18/2009
Reviewer: stan from Santa Barbara, CA
when the owner working it's always great but when he's out the girls don't care


CHEAP, QUICK, AND GOOD., 9/21/2007
Reviewer: Rob from Santa Barbara
That's pretty much all that needs to be said!

To die for!, 4/4/2007
Reviewer: Greg from Goleta, CA
Our first trip to the Minnow after a friend recommended it could not have had a happier outcome. My wife described her fish tacos as "To die for" and the juevos rancheros are the best in town. It's a hole in the wall - the best hole in the wall anywhere!We've been back many times.

Excellent fish tacos!, 11/9/2006
Reviewer: Dave from Santa Barbara
What a sweet little hole in the wall. We've lived in SB many years and usually eat at Brophy's when on the pier. On a whim, we decided to try the Minnow. My wife and I both ordered fish tacos. Delicious! The fish was fresh and spiced just right--and the price was right. Maybe I was seduced by the weather--another beautiful day in Santa Barbara--but the Minnow is a wonderful lunch spot!

Great food at a fair price, 11/7/2006
Reviewer: Ron Collins from San Clemente, CA
While in Santa Barbara for our 25th anniversary we had lunch here. I had fish and chips and my wife had fish tacos. The fish and chips are good, not great, but the fish tacos, actually swordfish tacos are excellent. Considering the quality of food the prices are very fair. By the way, the address above is incorrect. It should be 117 Harbor Way Drive, Santa Barbara.

shhh! hidden gem, 5/9/2006
Reviewer: lemonjelly from santa barbara
When I'm hankering for the hole-in-the-wall, shack-style fish and chips, this is THE place. I love it. The Cafe itself is sooo teensy tiny, with room just to stand in the line to order your food. So you have to eat outside - which can be pleasant if it's a pleasant day. But if it's raining it really sucks, you basically have no option to eat there. And if it's busy, service is very slow - it can't be helped, the place is so small. I really like the fish and chips, and the fish tacos and I almost didn't want to say that because I want them all to myself!

I love this place, 1/8/2006
Reviewer: Minnow Rocks!! from Santa Barbara, CA
The minnow muffin and breakfast burrito is great. The owners and staff are always friendly and courteous. I often there when they open for some muffins right out of the oven. YUM!

Love It!, 12/5/2004
Reviewer: AEM
The best fish and chips in town and reasonably priced. The atmosphere is great too - outside by the docks. Great place.

HOT, 10/24/2004

OMG the servers here are SOOO HOT. The food is good, but the servers are hotter. Mmmm mmm mmmmmmm.

Such an amazing staff, 7/19/2003
Reviewer: Jesse from Pensylvania
I went to the minnow cafe while visiting in June of 03. It was such a great experience. My server, Luke seemed to be running the whole front of the house and doing an amazing job. Luke was the nicest gay man I´ve ever met. Cheers to the Minow!

A lot of good food from such a tiny space, 7/6/2003
Reviewer: Rip from San Diego
This restaurant is tiny but it puts out a big variety of good food at very resonable prices. I have eaten there many times and the quality of the food is very consistant. The burgers are very good, the fish and chips are excellent and so are the salads. Seating is on picnic tables outside and there are lots of things going on at the marina to watch.

California Sun, 5/20/2003

I went to the Minnow with a friend and fell in love with it. I had never been there before but he swore to it. I have gone back since with many friends. They all love it. The people working there were very friendly and gave me a homey feeling. Not to menchion one of them was super cute. The food was great and I like to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and the harbor life. So for great food and hottie boys go to the minnow adn have fun.

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