Eating Out in Wine Country: Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Santa Ynez, CA

After a long day of wine tasting, nothing beats a casual, tasty meal with a cold drink. So, after the recent Santa Barbara Vintners Festival in Solvang, CA, we were looking for that spot and found Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar in the quiet little town of Santa Ynez.

A family-owned business with two long standing restaurants in Santa Barbara – Carlitos Café y Cantina (Est. 1979) and Cava Restaurant & Bar (Est. 1997) – Dos Carlitos is a casual, relaxed restaurant with an outdoor patio and features fresh homemade tortillas and an open fire grill (La Parilla).

In addition, Dos Carlitos has a list of over 60 premium 100% Blue Agave tequilas.

We opted for a tart, crisp Pomegranate Margarita.

As we were looking through the menu, our server brought us a basket of chips and salsas. The red salsa was fresh and bright but I couldn’t get enough of the the black bean and corn salsa! I could have made a meal just out of this dish.

Since I can never pass up guacamole, we ordered the Guacamole in a Molcajete that is made fresh daily and had chunks of ripe avocado to enjoy with the chips.

Of course, we were getting full with our chips and dips and drinks but fortunately, we were a party of 4 so we mustered up the appetite to try more dishes.

Pasilla Chile Relleno en Caldo – Chile relleno stuffed with queso fresco in a fresh tomato broth, beans, rice and handmade corn tortillas

Gambas Al Ajillo – Sauteed shrimp with garlic, herbs & chili flakes, served with Solvang Bakery country bread

Blackened Swordfish Tacos With Mango and Red Pepper Salsa – Chipotle cream, cabbage, black beans, rice and tortillas

Grilled Vegetable Tostada – Roasted peppers, corn, zucchini, eggplant, red onions, tomatoes, black beans, rice, guacamole and sour cream on handmade corn tortillas

Carne Asada A La Tampiquena – Grass-fed skirt steak with cheese enchilada, frijoles charros, rice, salsa quemada, guacamole and homemade corn tortillas

From the fresh food to the service, I don’t think you can go wrong at Dos Carlitos. It was the perfect end to a day in wine country.

Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar 
3544 Sagunto Street (at the corner of Edison Street)
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
(805) 688-0033