San Carlo

4 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BN
Italian Restaurant
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31 reviews of San Carlo


San Carlo Birmingham. We treat ourselves to an evening here about 4 times a year in addition to New Year's Eve '08-'09 & have booked again for this coming New Year's Eve '09-'10.Food and wine is always excellent and service very efficient and friendly. Our one gripe is that you have to check your bill carefully as unordered items do sometimes appear there, on these occasions they have always been removed without any question or argument. We tolerate playing this game as the food is just so good and, now we have come to expect it, we don't mind waiting the 5 mins whilst a new bill is prepared. It's their game, some they win, some they lose.

Terry & Iris & Grandaughters

My Grandaughters recommended this restaurant to us because they know we like good food and good service and all i can say after our first visit to-night is 10/10 for everything thank you San Carlos will see you again soon.

Edward K

Have to disagree with the last 2 reviews - I had such an excellent night at San Carlo's! I went with my family for a birthday celebration and found the service to be great - they were attentive, polite and knowledgable. The food was piping hot, and was very tasty. A few members of the table had desserts, although not many as we were too full from our mains!! The desserts looked great - the presentation is spot on. Love the restaurant!


I recently travelled up to Manchester to spend a long awaited evening with some close girlfriends. One of our party had already been to San Carlo and rated it very highly. When we arrived the atmosphere and staff were welcoming and all boded well for the start of an excellent evening - or so we thought. Admittedly the restaurant was very busy but mysteriously someone had managed to give our table away to someone who, they claimed, had made a reservation for a party of exactly the same number under exactly the same name. What a coincidence, or was something fishy afoot? Fishy was most certainly the order of the day as the swordfish (or what I assumed to be swordfish) in my mixed grill of fish had acquired the nasty sulphuric pungency of aging fish long since departed from the sea. My scallop was cooked to squash ball consistency and my tuna had been not so much seared as ironed on the linen setting. Oversized, underseasoned and overcooked is the only possible way to describe the giant cardboard frisbees masquerading as garlic bread. That said the salads were fresh and the ingredients liberally applied though regrettably not in the combinations we had requested. But the de "fin"ing moment of this fishy tale was the unbelievable rudeness of the staff who, once overbearingly obsequious and familiar, were now demanding that we vacate our table (and this despite us already requesting the bill and being there a mere 2 hours). Clearly £30 a head doesn't cut the mustard (or the tuna for that matter) at San Carlo. If you wont spend the brass (the bass was too poor even for fish jokes) then move over for some one who will.

Colin Fletcher

5 of us dined at the San Carlo on Tuesday 23/10/07. The food was good, however, it tended to go cold very quickly as the plates had not been heated sufficiently. We were also presented with vegetables that had not been ordered. The service on the other hand was quite simply abysmal; apart from one very recently recruited member of staff, the rest displayed at best, a very disinterested attitude (until it was time for the bill). They were however, very attentive to a table consisting of 6 scantily clad young ladies! The bill itself was an art form in over-pricing. Not only were we charged for 2 bottles of wine that we hadn't consumed, we were also charged at a higher rate than shown on the wine list. All in all, the over-charging amounted to in excess of £70, plus the standard 10% service charge, meant that we would have been out of pocket by some £77! It is not acceptable in the day and age, particularly as there is so much competition in central Manchester, for this type of lackadaisical and very poor attitude to service to be tolerated. A very disgruntled diner.

Peter K.

I most definitely would recommend San Carlo to anyone who wants to go out for a nice, classy evening out. We were seated on a table away from other guests - we visited on a Wednesday and were suprised to find it quite busy for a week night - the staff tried to separate us all though, to give us privacy, which was nice. The music was perfect and added such a great ambiance to the evening. Very impressed with the staff, especially the friendly chap who served us throughout the evening. Had a great night - have booked another table for this weekend!


Our first and only visit to Manchester's San Carlo was a truly abysmal experience. Never have I eaten in a restaurant were the tables are positioned within such close proximity - so close that it is almost impossible to flex one's arms so as to able to consume the meal. The restaurant is noisy, the service is lacking in sincerity but strong in quantity with, at times, a veritable swarm of waiters descending upon the table to achieve nothing but total confusion.The Crab Taglioni was truly attrocious, the wrong pasta having been used, displaying an astonishing lack of awareness of traditional Italian cooking. If there was any crab present in this dish it must have been in miniscule quantities. We can't give this more than 5 out of 10. (Two British + one Italian customer)


Manchester, San Carlo. 12th. June 2007.Very Disappointed. Starters,a biscuit like tasteless garlic pizza and about £3.00 worth of bland cooked meats,which we were charged £8.95 each!! Mains,a very expensive, but reasonably tasty fish special,and a very poor Daviola pizza. Authenic Italian? We think not, had better at half the price,and to top it all a £5.50 service charge! Never again!

Ros Eisen

San Carlo in LONDON - HIGHATE N6 Bad Bad Bad- service poor, food poor, bill high. Suggest you eat somewhere else if you can?

Stacey Davenport

We have visited San Carlo on several occasions. Last time we decided we probably wouldnt go again as the service was extreamly slow. We were sat right next to the toilets which wasnnt very nice and the waiters were not friendly. We prefer to go elsewhere now.


San Carlo Birmingham, the only Restaurant in town with Professional Managers, what a wonderful experience,They sure know their business.Thank You Carmina e Paulo for the wonderful Birthday Ciao Louis.

Maeve McCann

Have been a few times and the food and service has been excellent.


I've eaten at the restaurant many times and think (know) that the food is fantastic.The service and staff is excellent. I would however, agree with another reviewer on this site that the tables are too close together.

Grant Walker

Went to San Carlo in Manchester on 24.06.06. Drinks service extremely fast - surprisingly pushing expensive wine without giving even a minute to assess the wine list. Food service was very slow and one main course was cold and undercooked. Staff were very reluctant to return the dish to the kitchen. Meal returned after being microwaved - is this an acceptable standard for an expensive restaurant - I think not. Think twice before you visit this restaurant.

Mike Wood

Have been twice to the restaurant in Manchester. Service was very slow and I thought surly at times. Food was disappointing. The Montecarlo pasta is suppoused to contain Monkfish - if it did there was very little and the whole thing was ruined by a stodgy tomato sauce. It had no redeeming features. Crab cake starters were seriously short of crab and tasted of nothing but cotton wool. I have been to the Bristol branch and this was more like the real thing.

Joanne Bradshaw

Third time this year [feb2006]brill.

Joe Bates

We booked a table for 9.30 on Saturday night in Birmingham what a mistake. We arrived at 9.15 which was lucky because it took until 9.30 to speak to anyone. We got a table at 10.30ish and to eat at 11.45ish. The food might have been OK but we were too tired to notice. There was no apology offered and when I complained to the manager, he said try 7.00 or lunchtimes next time. I am sorry but if a restaurant cannot come up with a table reasonably close to the time I booked (due to its greed in overbooking itself) it doesn't get a next time.

Glynn Goddard

I went to the King Street (M/Cr)San Carlo. I was well under-impressed by the very slow service, perhaps designed to force the customer to buy more drinks than they originally intended; hence pay a lot more. The food was good, nothing better. I have had better "authentic" or "genuine" Italian at places charging half the san C's price. It's a place to be seen, to talk about having been to to. I would recommend the place to anyone interested in going there but with a strong caveat; don't forget your credit card and make sure you want to spend a whole afternoon/evening in there.

James Oldfield

What can I say from the second you walk through the door to the time you leave everything is FANTASTIC.


i absolutely love this place, the food was amazing i have recommended this place to alot of people and they all come out saying the same thing, the food is outstanding without a doubt the best italian in manchester, if youve not been make sure you go you wont be dissapointed.

James Nelson

I visited San Carlo in Birmingham last night, and i had an asolutely fantastic time. I have not been in a restaurant with that kind of atmosphere for a very long time, they really have got the balance right between a traditional true authentic italian while at the same time dining in a superb modern environment. I will definately recommend to friends!!! You have to go and see for yourself!


Top restaurant, food great, atmosphere great. Definately go again and recommend.


Truly amazing! Large choice of great dishes, superb service (with a smile, ie. something you rarely see these days) and good choice of wines. The fresh halibut (on the suggestions menu) was indeed fresh... Must have been the best fish I have eaten in a while now. To be done again.

Rob Miles

San Carlo's Manchester - Food was very good and reasonably priced. Service was attentive. Would highly recommend.

Fraser Maclennan

We lunched at San Carlo's, Manchester on impulse. It looked good, and it was lunchtime. Once inside we were delighted by every aspect of the place: the tables, the staff, the food and the customers. We're going again to-day, taking friends with us, and being confident of another memorable experience.

C Cashman

First visit to this restaurant. Good service, excellent choice on menu - everyone in our party of 6 enjoyed meal. Staff even sang happy birthday & brought out a free cake with a candle! Would return again.Dont be put off by negative reviews.

Micheal Powell

There is only one word for this restaurant, amazing. the food is of the highest quality. some people say the staff are rude. this is because they are not used to the friendly approach of the waiters. they joke with the customers and, i would personaly not say that thay are rude. I have visited many restaurants in the uk and i can not find the same atmosphere in another restaurant, even in london. A truly memorable experience and i reccomend this restaurant to anyone, i may also add that i have seen members of the aston villa football team and members of the birmingham city football team in there on numerous occasions... Can't wait for the restaurant to open in may will definately visit it!


Went on a bank holiday monday afternoon- busy yet superb in all respects. For the quality of the food I thought it was cheap.

Jenny Moore

After reading rave reviews i booked San Carlo for what i hoped would be a romantic evening. I was very disappointed in all aspects of this restaurant. The tables were so close together we may as well have joined the couple next to us, and on the other side the gap was so small the waiters kept knocking things on our table as they walked by. The food was ok,but nothing special, and certainly overpriced. The worst thing about the whole experience was that everything was rushed. The wine waiter set the bottle down on our table without a pouring any wine or saying a word, we were expected to order coffee with dessert, although i specifically asked for it afterwards it still came together, even the bill arrived before we had finished our meal (which incidentally had service charge added). Our table was being cleared and re-laid before i even had time to put my coat on. All in all i would say this was an expensive mistake and would not recommend this restaurant to anyone!

D Shuttleworth

A truly memorable meal on 5/3/04. We couldn't have picked anywhere better for our Anniversary. Setting, staff and food all excellent. We were lucky enough to meet the owner and his son - truly delightful people. Will certainly visit the new restaurant opening in Manchester in May.

Janine Perry

San Carlo Birmingham, well what can I say but amazing, every time Ive been Ive been highly impressed by the quality and choice and excellence of cooking... A must for any lover of Italian food...