Santa Barbara > Restaurants > Paoli's
Omni Catering

No longer in business
Opened: ? Closed: 2006

202 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-5350

Reviews by the General Public

This place is still open just called "Bougainvillea"., 8/5/2008
Reviewer: Stefano from Santa Barbara, CA
Work across street from this place. Great food and great staff. Prices are not bad.

SAD TO SEE IT GONE, 5/31/2007

Bring back Paoli's!, 3/5/2007
Reviewer: Jimmy from Santa Barbara, CA
Argh! For those who didn't notice, Bougainvillea = Paoli's. I loved Paoli's, and was there almost every Thursday for the half off pizza special. It is easily my favorite pizza in Santa Barbara, and you absolutely can't beat that price. I took my friends there a few weeks ago, only to find they were closed for painting. We returned next week- it was certainly repainted, and the name had changed. At first I thought it looked great, but then I realized that they are just trying to change to a more upscale place- cloth tablecloths, waiters aren't dressed in the typical funny t-shirts (regulars know what I mean). Anyways, EVERYTHING about this place, down the the menu, is still the same- just a new coat of paint and tablecloths- EXCEPT for the half off pizza night which is gone! I really do love the pizza, so there is no way I will be able to resist once or twice a year, but I will no longer be a regular here... sorry guys, I still love you (especially big jolly mustache man). I guess you gotta do what you gotta do!

Delicious food in a family-friendly environment, 8/17/2006
Reviewer: Anonymous from San Diego, CA
A few days ago my family and I took the Amtrak trip to Santa Barbara. Before going on this trip I researched the restaurant reviews on the Internet and found Paoli's. Since Paoli's was located just across from the Amtrak train station and was recommended for good pizza (my son's favorite food) we decided to have our dinner there. I ordered chicken marsala, my husband had chicken vesuvio, and my son had a cheese pizza. All were very yummy. In fact, we liked our food so much that we came to the same restaurant for lunch next day, before our departure back home. On the second day we shared a caesar salad and a pizza. They were both delicious. Overall, we have found Paoli's to be a good value (medium deep dish cheese pizza was $11.00), with pleasant decor, reasonable prices, big servings, and nice service. The lunch was served until 4:00 p.m. This restaurant is family friendly, with children's menu, inside and outside patio dining, and colorful vinyl tablecloths (no worries about child spills). And, finally, for those who love watching trains pass by, make sure to get a window table.

Paoli's = Great service + Fantastic food, 7/30/2006
Reviewer: R.K. Landau from Santa Barbara, CA
By far and away the BEST deep dish pizza I have EVER tried (and I've tried pizza's from all around the world). But I don't just go there for the pizza. EVERYTHING on their menu is pretty good, and that's because it's made from the finest, freshest ingredients. Well, I better stop...The more I write, the more hungry I become. At least I know what I'm having for dinner tonight (Paoli's pizza, of course).

In a town of so many italian restraunts..., 7/24/2006
Reviewer: hajir Sailors from Santa Barbara
In santa barbara it seems on every street there's another italian restraunt. Many of them are great, some of them good, some not so good. This restraunt is cute, quaint, and has a nice selection of pastas, but in a town of so many italian restraunts, there's no real point. The food is moderate to good, but the pasta is really not much better than the pasta served at the city college cafeteria which isn't bad pasta at all, on the contrary it's good but the price is much higher at paolis. There's nothing special about serving size, no real signature dishes, i even had the paoli pasta to see if that was anything special and it wasn't. Now the Chicken Marsala is good, and the pizzas are excellent, but for the price you can easily go somewhere else, and i'm afraid i would much rather be going to Ca'Dario. Now the one thing i will give them other than the pizzas being excellent is the bread that is served with your meal is so good that if you had time, and you had been to some of the other good restraunts in the area, and you were in the neighborhood, then you might just want to stop by.

A Must Eat in Santa Barbara!, 6/19/2006
Reviewer: Melanie Kuecker from Chicago, IL
We loved the atmosphere and food at this quaint little Italian restaurant so much that we ended up there 3 times over our week and a half honeymoon! The pasta is delicious and made to order! Perfect for picky eaters! Eat here!

Best pizza in SB, 9/18/2005
Reviewer: Megan from Santa Barbara,CA
Can't beat their pizza and beer deal on thursday nights! Hands down the BEST pizza in santa barbara.

Yummy, 7/25/2005
Reviewer: Erika Swanstrom from Thousand Oaks, CA
Who would have known that you could bake an entire artichoke? It was so good. They give big glasses of wine and their bread is incredibly delicious. They are so centrally located. You can shop on state street, eat some good Italian food and then walk across the street to the beach. My entire family went their for father's day after my sister's graduation last year and there wasn't one complaint. It is now mine and my boyfriend's favorite place to eat when we drive to Santa Barbara.

Best pizza anywhere!, 7/22/2005
Reviewer: Vanessa from Los Angeles
My first time in Santa Barbara I chose this restaurant to try something new, and now, I make it a permanent staple on my vacations to Santa Barbara. I have been to all over Italy, and many times to New York, and there is no place that has pizza like Paoli's! The crust is so flavorful and the ingrediants are plentiful and fresh! I am a huge fan of the pizza and wish I had a Paoli's in my hometown!

salad, 7/21/2005
Reviewer: disatisfied customer from santa barbara
Last time i ate here there was white sand at the bottom of my salad which the waitress tried to dismiss as ground pepper which i did not ask for when she offered it to me. the bread has improved though.I hope this honest review does not get deleted again.

cannoli, 5/16/2005

Excellent excellent cannoli...we will definitely be back for dessert. The dinner was a special of pasta and shellfish with tomatoes in kind of a broth. It was excellent as well. College night can be a bit noisy but otherwise a pleasant atmosphere where two people can have an enjoyable dinner and quiet conversation.

Best Pizza Ever, 5/2/2005
Reviewer: Ryan from Santa Barbara, Ca.
Took my girlfriend to Paolis on a monday night (mondays are half off everything ont he menu!!!!) and had quite a bit of food, including a large pizza with all kinds of stuff on it. i almost died when i saw how good the pizza looked, and the taste was even better. the service was semi-slow, but the wait was worth it!

The best kept secret in Santa Barbara, 4/25/2005

Went there tonight with my girlfriend to celebrate her birthday. We ordered the pasta with clams as well as a pizza, and fried calamari as an appetizer. Everything was absolutely delicious, the best meal I have had in Santa Barbara the two years I have been here. Highly recommended.

Reviewer: STEVE from VENTURA , CA

True patio, excellant prices, superb service, 4/18/2005
Reviewer: barbara from Wisconsin
A quaint neighborhood setting, yet right on State St.. We sat on the patio, which is semi enclosed from the street, so you don´t get car fumes from 2 feet away, yet you get the view of walkers and cars lovin´ State St. We could afford the meal and tip appropriately for the great service. I hate to tell people about this place because too many others will discover it and take away the ambiance and make it crowded and noisey, but I have to pass on the good word

Good Pizza, 2/18/2005
Reviewer: Spinelli
I went their for college night on Thursday. A Large was 7.95 and an additional buck or so for toppings. I got a pitcher of their house Lager for 4 bucks and it turned out to be a great 20 dollar meal for two, leftovers included.

good pizza, 12/17/2004

best pizza place in sb go on thurs cheap food and beer. you leave happy and full.

Best Italian Food , 12/17/2004
Reviewer: Jerry & Gabby from CA
The pizza is great, the home made italian dressing unique and the chicken marsala a must . Even the owner stop by the table to check in our food. I love the patio atmosphere and the flamenco guitar player. Was our first time and we really enjoy it. We will be back.

Excellent Pizza, 12/2/2004

Sat at the bar and enjoyed two pizza´s with friends. The pizza was very good and the service was average. Great place if you want privacy, doesn´t appear to do a lot of business.

Horrible Food/Atrocious Service, 7/12/2004
Reviewer: Nicole from Bay Area, CA
Our first (and LAST!!!) visit lasted less than five minutes. When I asked for a place setting the waiter huffed and rolled his eyes. The garlic rolls they brought out looked like lumps of charcoal. They should have been ashamed to put it on our table. My friend ordered a sangria and it had about two drops of sangria and 50 cubes of ice. When she pointed this out to the waiter he blamed her for not specifying light ice (she didn´t ask for ice in the first place and according to their manager they don´t usually put ice in their sangria´s). The waiter brought her back a half empty glass which was still mostly full of ice. My daquiri had a chunk of ice in it the size of a pager which I pointed out to the manager and she chose to ignore. I have never been to a restaurant with such rude employees. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

The best pizza , 4/26/2004

I have tried every pizza in Santa Barbara that I have come across, and Paoli´s is by far the best. Truly authentic, and perfect. Great wait staff even when really busy.

excellent food, friendly service, great pizza, 10/14/2003
Reviewer: marc and dana russo from montecito, california
a wonderful ´neighborhood´ feeling establishment. we were drawn in one fortunate evening by the fireplace and the color of the restaurant and found a treasure that we´ve returned to many times with many friends to share the secret. the helpings are hearty and delicious with excellent pricings for the fare. the pizza is also HANDS DOWN the best in s.b.! the service is friendly and even though it´s tightly staffed and very busy sometimes, as it can be on weekends, you´ll still get a satisfying dining experience. don´t rush the meal~ savor the smells and tastes, some good wine and conversation, and you´ll leave very happy, like we´ve done, as well as ALL of the friends we´ve shared santa barbara´s best kept secret with.

Oh sooooo good!, 10/4/2003
Reviewer: Robert from Berkeley, CA
I had the most amazing salmon here. Everything was priced well and the service was great, I will return whenever I visit Santa Barbara. Also when I was there Paolis was hosting the nicest wedding reception outside on their patio and everyine seemed to be having a great time.

Good food, good slow service, 5/8/2003
Reviewer: Trevor Hirst from Santa Barbara, CA USA
The pizza at Paoli´s is great, that´s a given. Some of the other reviewers refer to the service as perhaps being less than fantastic. I would disagree. As a European, I much prefer the more relaxed, slower pace of service rather than the ´eat it quick and get out´ approach of most US restaurants. What is considered good service in the states (like clearing plates before everyone has finished) is quite the faux pas in the UK (or most other places in Europe). So when Paoli´s promises good Italian food, they mean a good Italian restaurant too. Hats off!

Perfect Date Restaurant!, 3/23/2003

Great food, GREAT price. The pizza is AMAZING!! Nice, cozy atmosphere. I would definitely recommend Paoli´s to anyone looking to take their date to a romantic, affordable, delicious restaurant.

Long lost restaurant found!!!!, 3/10/2003
Reviewer: Steve from San Diego, CA USA
I ate at Paoli´s in Palm Desert,CA around 5 years ago. When I visited the desert a couple of months ago, I looked up that location and was very surprised to see another name of a restaurant. I got into Santa Barbara on Saturday and went downtown state street and ate at Palazzio´s and had a great time, check out my review. I was walking down state street toward the ocean when I saw Paoli´s. I could not believe my eyes and told my girlfriend it was probably the same ownership and they had the best Italian homestyle food. We were leaving around 7 on the amtrak train back to San Diego so we stopped in across the street from the station to Paoli´s for dinner. I was dying to know if it was the same family and it was. The waiter was very friendly and accommodating and the food was awesome. We were in the early bird special time so we only paid $7.99 for a pasta dish which includes caesar or house salad. The food was much better than restaurants that charge three times more. I am not cheap, I never eat at early bird hour but I had to catch my train home so it just worked out. The caesar salad was a hearty portion and top quality and the angel hair pasta pesto dish was perfect. They had micro beers also, if you prefer that over wine. Their are so many restaurants that jam tourists, I saw one mexican location on state street that charged $12.95 for a 1 item combo plate. Beans and rice don´t cost that much but the rent sure does so they get over on the visitors. I live in a tourist town, San Diego, and know good food from bad food and what is reasonable and Paoli´s is one of the best I have eaten at all over the world. It is 2 blocks east of Stearns Wharf on State Street and I look forward to coming back to Santa Barbara to eat their again. If the owners read this review, please open a location in San Diego so I can enjoy it locally.

Why not?, 12/27/2002

went there 2 times and liked the food (in 2000). The pasta and salad was good. The pizza is very good, one of the bests I had in SB. Sitting in the patio is very nice, but it took ages to be noticed by the waitress. She didn´t come back to check us out as often as it was necessary. Service is a little slow. The night we had the great pizza there was a karaoke. Fun because we were in a crowd and sang, but not so funny for the others just watching. I recommend anyway.

Good pasta, and romantic if the light is right, 6/27/2002

Ate here once with my girlfriend around sunset and I was impressed by the sunset-induced hues. The pasta was excellent if only slightly greasy. The complimentary bread was the best I´ve had in awhile. The salad plate was too small, making the always-tricky handling of an oily salad very awkward. The price was right.

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