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  • Despaña Princeton

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Despaña Princeton
Despaña Princeton

Despaña Princeton Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.despanaprinceton.com
  • Phone: (609) 921-2992
  • Hours of Operation: Cafe, Market & Take-out

    Mon: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Tue - Sat: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Sun: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

    Full Service Lunch

    Mon - Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Full Service Dinner

    Mon: 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Tue - Sat: 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    Sun: 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Despaña offers full service off-site catering. Whether you're having a small get together or a party of more then 100 people, we can bring your favorite cuisine to you. Despaña has the ability to do a large paella show at your event as well.
  • Entertainment: Occasional live music and special events, like flamenco performances.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Despaña hosts numerous special events through out the year. From tastings, live music to Flamenco performances. Check out our website and Facebook for News about upcoming events.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Olden Ave.
  • Public Transit: NJ Transit bus and Princeton Train Station are accessible to the restaurant
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Despaña features free parking for dinners in a privately lighted lot.
A word from Despaña Princeton
Despaña is an all-authentic Spain tapas cafe and restaurant with full service lunch and dinner. Despaña's unique space features a beautiful industrial chic atmosphere with a second floor dinning room and outdoor terrace overlooking scenic Nassau Street. Despaña also offers guests take out from the spacious market featuring all imported goods from Spain and the ability to cater private events.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "We've been the first time here and pleasantly surprised. It's really something different. A great feature is certainly the roof top terrace where you can have dinner right over Nassau Street. We've tasted some if the tapas and they were fresh and delicious. Really great quality food. We'll definitely come back to taste some of the many other tapas available."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "Really authentic tapas and paella, sat upstairs on patios overlooking Nassau St. BYOB...So much better than the Ironbound."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "We had a few tapas-garlic shrimp, octopus, and cod fritters! All 3 were delicious! My husband and I shared the Paella Negra-which was yummy as well. The Sangria w Despana Red was also delicious! Overall it was a nice night!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Food is generally good but I can't believe the number of ways this rest. Can screw up This time it was delivering all eight tapas plates within five minutes of each other. Ever eat with plates on your lap in a restaurant?"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "I've been to Despana's a number of times but, my latest visit was not as pleasant for a foodie. The paella with chicken, fish, and sausage was just not as good as in previous visits. There was much less fish, the paella was saltier, and it just was not up to their prior standard. I hope they return to a better standard. The server was friendly and did do a good job."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Delicious, laid back. Not budget but not crazy expensive either. BYOB, you can also order wine there. While not necessarily a "family restaurant", we carted along my 9 month old and the staff was super helpful and friendly about it. (Plus, my kiddo totally dug the tastes of tapas!) Only thing I'd say that wasn't perfect was the recommended quantity per person, which was 1-2 tapas plus an entree per eater. We ordered 5 tapas, a cheese plate, and a small paella for five of us and it was more than enough. We were stuffed."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "The food at Despana is authentic Spain! Each of the tapas dishes we have tried over two visits have transported us back to our Spain vacation. I just love Tortilla de Patata. This last visit, we enjoyed the cheese stuffed peppers and the Paella Mixto - the rice is so creamy. When the weather cooperates, a table on the 2nd floor patio is the place to sit and savor. Definitely adding Despana to our regular stops."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "The tapas at Despana is truly a dining experience. From the cheeses to the jamon, to the seafood, it is a party of flavors. The service is excellent and helpful in making selections. The Old York Cellars Merlot they carry there was perfect with our meal! Can't wait to return to try the paella."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "food was tasty and good but is overwhelming Carb based...even the Octopus Tapas was on a slice of potato. there's more margin on starch that meat. Need more choices of protein that is not supplemented or constured to be more by adding carbs"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Great location, brings culinary diversity to the area. Food and service was very good. Sangria mix's taste was average (light on taste/fruit), and the flan was also average Will come back though for the paella and tapas."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Every aspect of the Paella was excellent: it was better than what I had in Spain!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Great for tapas and paella. Has nj wine or byo. Eggplant tapa amazing and try Spanish hams and chreses"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Our second visit and it was as terrific as the first. Three of us shared the paella mixta for two, and some tapas (calamari, tortilla, albondigas, & piquillos) and everything was excellent. We'll definitely be back."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "My wife and I took her father and mother out for Father's Day. The food was amazing and it was a wonderful find in Princeton for a beautiful day. The gazpacho is incredible, but all of the food we had there was great. You can't go wrong with anything at this authentic Spanish gem."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The food was great. We enjoyed the tapas, i.e. patatas bravas, fried eggplant, artichokes, shrimp gambas and the paella negra was good too. I would definitely come back again. Next time we'll try brunch or lunch."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "My husband and I travel to Spain every summer, and we've had quite a bit of trouble finding a restaurant we consider to represent authentic Spanish tapas and cuisine. I personally joke that if Pan con Tomate is not on the menu it's not legitimate and I'm not going. Well, not only is it on D'España's menu, but it was BETTER than any we've ever had in Spain (had ours with the Jamòn). The gazpacho is so delicious and authentic, and the paella is heavenly, especially with the chorizo and sea bass. The sangria mixer was delicious and fun, although I think too sweet with the suggested half bottle. We poured an entire bottle of Garnacha in and it was delicious. Can't wait to go back for that upstairs patio and the bread!"
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "Lovely balcony seating. Food was tasty but very few vegan options. Tapas are nice but too many are fried and oily."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "We were a group of 8 and had a great time. Princeton generally has a terrible price-quality ratio, and for once I was satisfied with the return on my investment. The food was freshly prepared, well-seasoned, piping hot, and meant to be shared. Lots of fun, and satisfying."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "It is like an authentic Spanish restaurant - friendly, good food, easy going, but good service. It is one of our favorites in Princeton. "
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "My husband and I dined at Despana this past Saturday evening. Although Princeton was hosting it's alumni population and the town extremely busy, our server kept up with our tapas, paella, cheese and dessert courses. The food was delicious - the salmon tartare was our favorite, with the calamari and artichoke fritters a close second! Despana is a welcome addition to the Princeton food scene. We'll be back soon! Enjoy."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We went there on Thursday evening. Not many people......it took a little bit time to have our server to give us menu. The salad with citrus fresh fruit and shrimp is very good. We also had the fried artichoke as starter which was delicious. However, the paella we had that night was so so. We're recommended to order large portion which costed $48. The rice was a little bit raw, chicken was dry......sea bass was given a little bit. Taste was good though, but I was disappointed with their signature dish. The cured ham was delicious but it would come little meat... Servers were very friendly. Overall, food was ok but I still thought that it is pricy for this dinner."
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Tapas were excellent in taste and size. The paella was authentic and delicious. pleasantly surprise as we went in with no expectationsfor a small family restaurant."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We went to Despana for dinner last Saturday night. We made reservations and we sat upstairs outdoors. The food from tapas to paella to dessert was great. The food came in a reasonable time and the staff very helpful and friendly. I am going back tomorrow for lunch. I would recommend this restaurant for lunch or dinner."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "I've been to Despana about a dozen times in the last six months. Service is fast, the staff are friendly and engaging and they know their product. The food always comes out fresh and hot and packed with flavor. There is a very spacious feel, with tables just far enough apart that you feel you have privacy with your party. The ceiling is high and there is outdoor dining on warm sunny days. I'd like to see them change up the menu a little more often; with their new chef, who is from Spain, I suspect this will happen soon."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Despana is a great addtion to the Princeton culinary scene. Really nice people, great service, and their Paella is to die for. We've tried lots of the tapas which are good, but the Paella is so good we gravitate to that when we go. Wishing them great success. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We ordered several tapas plates and paella... everything was terrific. Wait staff was very friendly. Will definitely be back again."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • " We really enjoyed Despana's paella. Also, the appetizers: Cheese Plate, White Anchovies, and Fried Eggplant were excellent."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "A surprise choice for Mother's Day - everything was excellent. Perhaps the best Spanish cuisine in Mercer County - there will definitely be a return visit in the future!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We first discovered this restaurant when it just opened and had a small tapas menu. It's become even better recently with extended main dish options and more paella varieties. We love this place - I am a big paella fan (I've tried making it at home a few times with various degrees of success). "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Had a great time. Food was very tasty. Friendly people. Great service."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "I was surprised to find a traditional tapas restaurant in the heart of Princeton and approached it with some skepticism. I've spent a month in Spain in the last year and was looking recreate the Spanish grazing experience. The menu is very traditional although the restaurant adds some of its own twists to modernize and (I think) improve upon the dishes. We liked everything we tried and plan come back soon."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Sorely in need of International foods for generations, this is a very welcome addition. Really liked everything"
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "We are weekly and enthusiastic Despana patrons. This time was a different experience. As usual, my dish was excellent in quality and well-prepared. My partner tried the Salmon Tartar and returned it for its excessive saltiness - both the salmon and the avocado. When he asked the service person to return the dish and explained his reason, she was pleasant but added that "we are trying a new recipe". She added that she would report it to the chef. She didn't ask if we wanted a replacement item, and the dish remained on our tab. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Kids pasta was in good portion. I would like more tapas options but what we ordered were good. We may go back to try dinner next time. Been there twice for lunch and a bit bored of the menu already. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "If you like a good paella or tapas for that matter try Despana. Their 2nd story deck overlooking Nassau St is great for people watching and interior seating is modern and inviting. Downstairs they have a grocery where they sell excellent Spanish groceries. They are byo but if you prefer they can sell you a small or regular bottle of their wine to make a pitcher of sangria. Also enjoyed my Cortado and arroz con leche for dessert. We stuffed ourselves because "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "My boyfriend and I chose this restaurant for a dinner date. We went during a weeknight and it still felt like NY on a weekend! The service was excellent. Considerate, consistent, but not annoying. Very friendly and personable. The food was tasty too. I had the pasta and my date had the steak. It was well cooked, well portioned, and the presentation was also excellent. The music was just right, as was the lighting. My experience here was worth swimming through the rain for the reservation. I would recommend this to a friend in a heartbeat!"
    Dined on 4/30/2014
  • "If there was only one word that could describe this place, it would be AWESOME!!! The staff was very friendly and the piaella (sp) was terrific."
    Dined on 4/30/2014
  • "Founds this BYOB w/great tapas, cheeses and multiple kinds of Paella, cooked to order and desserts to die for when looking for something on short notice when our usual choice in the area was unavailable. Despana is really a couple of levels above other Spanish choices in NJ and well worth a half hour trip. A mix of adventurous eaters/lovers of Spanish food, a vegetarian teenager and 2 less adventurous eaters....and everyone left stuffed and VERY HAPPY. We will ALL be back!"
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "We went here with friends and had tapas only with sangria- had an amazing time. So we came back for my birthday with a larger group and it was so great- we had tapas, dinner and coffee. I have to say this is one of my new go to places and I will most certainly be back. The staff is friendly, there is a cute market on the first floor and the restaurant and patio are on the second. A must to try either for a quick bite with friends or a dinner. And right in Princeton where you can walk off the meal!!!! Parking is not a problem in this area."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "We have become regulars at Despana in Princeton. The tapas, salads, soups, paella, and entrees offer excellent variety and never fail to satisfy. The service is amazingly prompt, and the paella is worth the 30-minute prep time. We make it a point to visit once a week, and also enjoy the store which features authentic Spanish meats, cheeses, oils, and specialties. We are looking forward to taking friends for the Sangria, and for the entertainment nights. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014