235A Nassau St.
Princeton, NJ 08540Neighborhood:
SpanishPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.despanaprinceton.com/
- Phone: (609) 921-2992
- Hours of Operation:
Cafe, Market & Take-out
Sun - Thurs 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Full Service Lunch
Mon - Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Full Service Dinner
Sun - Thurs: 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: 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: Despaña hosts numerous special events throughout the year. From tastings to live music to Flamenco performances. Check out our website and Facebook for news about upcoming events.
- 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 diners in a well-lit lot. Additional parking can be found on the side streets and Nassau street. Two municipal lots are near by for convenience as well.
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Despaña Princeton - Best Restaurants in Princeton ›
Despaña Princeton reviews from OpenTable diners
77 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (44)good for groups (40)neighborhood gem (40)great for outdoor dining (38)kid-friendly (18)special occasion (14)great for lunch (12)romantic (8)hot spot (8)scenic view (5)late-night find (5)notable wine list (4)great for brunch (3)Show More
- Go for the retail store.shaggDined on 11/15/2014The food is good, not great, but the deli/food store is AWESOME!!!!! The service was disappointing; non-existent the first 15 minutes, then rushing us out of the place.Special Features:
- Good Neighborhood RestaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 11/7/2014This is a good restaurant for Tapas. We experienced a range of Tapas and two sorts of Paellas. Both categories were quite good. They seemed too oily to fit onto the truly great category. The food serving sizes were quite adequate and the service was good. the restaurant has good ambience for a larger group. The wine selection is not great but adequate.Special Features:
- Enjoyable mealdeekayt11Dined on 11/7/2014All the food was excellent. The servers were great as well. The croquettes are my faveSpecial Features:
- Good Restaurant Needs TweakingRefLibDined on 11/6/2014The goat cheese, garlic shrimp and eggplant tapas were very tasty, especially the fried eggplant which looked like fries, presented vertically in a cup, with just the right amount of honey ginger sauce. The seafood paella was disappointing. With squid ink, it was almost hard to see the paella in the black serving pan, until it was placed in front of us on the table. Though flavorful, it was a little too salty, and the seafood was very skimpy for $32. You had to hunt for it. The almond cake was very dense - just right, with homemade vanilla ice cream. Service was very nice. The restaurant, on the 2d floor, was very attractive.
- BYOB and Tapas!BarbKVIPDined on 11/4/2014Two of my favorite combinations - BYOB - and they provide you with a pitcher of fruit/juice to make table side Sangria - (they also sell local wines in the downstairs store if you forgot to bring your own). Server was very pleasant - told us her favorite dishes which were spot on - we were celebrating a friends birthday - festive evening - ordered about 8 different tapas and a few Paella dishes - plenty for all to share - evening was well paced - if you were hungry you just ordered a few more tapas dishes - they also have wonderful outside dining with heat lamps provided to take off the chill - we have been outside on other occasions - this is a hidden gem of a restaurant in Princeton with authentic Spanish food!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great restaurant & great sangriaLOU27VIPDined on 11/1/2014We loved the restaurant , the food & the sangria. We had a wonderful meal. The only 2 downfalls are: 1. Pulpo appetizer at $17.00 is way too expensive 2. The chairs need some sort of cushions. Sitting on metal chairs for over an hour in dress pants can be tiring. I can imagine what the ladies go thru in skirts. The mussels are wonderful as well.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of our favorites...lovethefoodDined on 10/25/2014We love this place. It is very unique. My husband lived in Spain and absolutely love the tapas and the paellas are to die for. The churros and hot chocolate are also a big hit every time we go. Although not necessarily geared towards kids, they were very kid-friendly.Special Features:
- Perfecto en Princeton!scottyVIPDined on 10/25/2014Food, service was spot on and very accommodating. Croquettes crisp but not greasy. Potatas Bravas had just the right amount of heat… And a Spanish themed Cheeseburger made out of Pork that was simply decadent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent PlaceLove2dineDined on 10/20/2014Tapas, great services, excellent food. Could do better on the furniture, but overall and great place to go and would definitely come back.Special Features:
- Great find!OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 10/18/2014This was a great find in Princeton. We were looking for something other than Italian or seafood and this fit the bill. The tapas menu was diverse and all the dishes we ordered were delicious. Our server was very helpful as well. Would definitely revisit.Special Features:
- What not to like...?OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/12/2014This place is awesome, from the market on the first floor to the beautiful space upstairs that includes a terrace facing Nassau Street. Our dinner was great, we had different tapas, croquetas , patatas bravas, salmon tartar, pan tumaca, iberico ham that was perfectly cut ( like in Spain ) The service was very attentive and the waittres really knowledgable on the menu. We had 2 paellas ( Mixta, Negra ) hands down best paella I ever had in USA and as good as the best ones we had in Spain. We will come back very soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Authentic Spanish FoodOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 10/3/2014Good authentic Spanish food which is difficult to find in NJ. Tapas and soups are varied and interesting. My sons love the Paella. Nice outdoor seating upstairs. One of the better restaurants in Princeton.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food but poor acousticsFeedmepleaseDined on 10/3/2014We went for the first time to Despana because my husband loves Spanish food. The food was very good (especially the paella), but we had a difficult time hearing each other. Will go back for sure but maybe we will sit outside.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great tapasActiveNickDined on 9/20/2014I love Despaña, quite different from the heavy concentration of seafood & steak restaurants in PrincetonSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Real Tapas in PrincetonMercerChowVIPDined on 9/19/2014Had lunch here a few months ago and came back for supper. Very happy with the food and service. Despaña is a much-needed addition to the Princeton area. Plan to make it a regular.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great paella!AiredaleVIPDined on 9/15/2014It's been a couple of visits now and I think it might be one of my favorite places in Princeton. Great market on the first floor, excellent appetizers, really good sangria and fanatical about proper paella. I find the prices reasonable, maybe a little steep, but they do a good job of presentation and making the offerings a little more unique and, subsequently, valuable. Would recommend for outdoor dining as well as for large groups. A little outside the main shops and bars/restaurants, but worth the walk.Special Features:
- YummyDeirdreVIPDined on 9/13/2014Fantastic food! Can not wait to go back. Paella is the best I ever hadSpecial Features:
- Something for everyoneSPB1Dined on 9/12/2014Excellent tapas option. Paella is fantastic (order first as it takes 30 minutes) and worth the wait while you enjoy everything from hot tapas to salads to soup to fresh cheeses. Don't forget dessert-almond cake and churros! lot of food and great price.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Another Wonderful ExperiencePatWDined on 9/6/2014We had another wonderful dining experience at Despana in Princeton! It was a busy night for the restaurant, but as usual we received excellent attention and service. The food was at its usual best. My partner had the fresh mussels and we shared the excellent vegetarian paella. As always, we received thoughtful and friendly attentiveness from the staff from the manager on down. We also enjoyed shopping in the food specialty shop.Special Features:
- Amazing Foodbmwmed19Dined on 9/2/2014Best paella I've ever had in the United States, and just as good as the best I've had in Spain. Delicious and authentic. We got the paella negra, and also the berenjenas appetizer which was also perfect. Will definitely be back for more!Special Features:
- Not excitedOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/31/2014The food was okay. The music was nice but way too loud for us old folks to hear. No matter, we will not be returning.
- Wonderful serviceA123VIPDined on 8/26/2014The food was good, but the service from Marianne (sp?) was really warm and considerate. We just moved to the Princeton area and tend to gravitate to locally owned spots where owners truly care about there customers. At first blush Despana hit the mark!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Princeton restaurant with parking?foodiewannabeDined on 8/23/2014Girls night out was a success. Many larger groups were there, but this is also well suited for more intimate conversations and the noise level did not preclude conversation. I had the "special" soup: cucumber soup which was a lovely pureed with shrimp and avocado on top. If you like ceviche, you'll love this soup! My friend and I split the carafe of house red wine - I would suggest BYOB instead which is an option here. The artichoke fritters were not to my taste, but then again, I did not order them. What was most delicious and made the trip worthwhile, was the paella. We shared the paella mixta which was very fresh, perfectly seasoned, and authentic. I will be back again...
- YolyOVIPDined on 8/23/2014Our first visit to this restaurant was great. The service was terrific, but more extraordinary was the food! We chose to order many different tapas dishes and every one of them was delectable. It was a great way to get acquainted with all the flavors of Spain. It's just too bad that they don't offer Sangria.....it would've completed an otherwise perfect meal.Special Features:
- Great tapas!OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 8/22/2014Dined indoors on Friday evening, although the busy rooftop seating looked like a fun place to enjoy a meal. We started with 3 tapas selections: Fried artichokes with lemon, salmon tartar with avocado, and octopus. The octopus was one of the best preparations we have had; very tender, flavorful slices. Also had a trio of Spanish cheeses with honey, marcona almonds, and fruit. For dinner we shared a small paella mixta, which included chicken, chorizo, shrimp and sea bass. Menu alerts diners that paellas take 25-30 minutes to prepare to order, but the timing was perfect. Since it is prepared to order, we asked that the chorizo be of the spicy variety and they were happy to oblige. Wine from Old York Vineyard was a nice addition to the meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Deafening noiseBernieVIPDined on 8/16/2014Our dinner at Despana was defeated by the noise level which made conversation amongst our group of four totally impossible. Maybe that's the way that young people like it but I couldn't recommend the restaurant to anyone over 50. Our waitress was charming. However, I ordered dessert when the other three at our table ordered coffee. Their coffee arrived, they sipped it slowly, but my dessert still didn't arrive. After about 20 minutes, I asked the waitress to bring the check and she said that my dessert would be up very shortly. I tole her that was far too late, and she had it taken off our bill. The delay in the dessert was clearly not her fault, but she didn't come over to explain that the dessert would take some time! Too bad.Special Features:
- Great Meal!OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 8/15/2014I was really happy with Despana- the food was delicious (get the bacon wrapped dates!) and the outdoor roof deck was very cute. I would definitely recommend this place to friends and I can't wait to go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Tapas!!!!HLCFoodieVIPDined on 8/15/2014Absolutely wonderful food and terrific service. Definitely going to make frequent visits!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loved it hereFoodloverDined on 8/9/2014After looking through a bunch of restaurants in Princeton that were good for my party of 7, we chose Despana. This was the perfect atmosphere, the food was so delicious, the service was great, and we all really enjoyed ourselves. The sangria was a great, fun idea too that we participated in. Special shout outs for the amazing cheese plate (we chose the 3 M named cheeses), the vegetable paella was delicious, the salad with Manchego was fantastic, the list goes on. We really loved it, and I cannot wait to bring my husband back to enjoy Despana again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- GourmetVIPDined on 8/7/2014Best tapas in New Jersey, there are just like in Spain.Special Features:
- Great View of PrincetonPixieguyVIPDined on 8/6/2014This Spanish restaurant sits on top of a building overlooking the main street of Princeton. The gazpacho is excellent and freshly made. The paella is a bit overcooked with chewy chunks of seafood and meat. Pricey considering the quality of the food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Paella & SangriaLuvmesomeSangriaDined on 8/3/2014The outdoor dining experience on the second floor terrace overlooking Nassau Street at the Despana Princeton was truly enjoyable, we were serenaded by a very fine Spanish guitarist while dining on tasty tapas dishes, a selection of cured meat and cheeses and great paella. The Sangria was very good as well. The service was excellent by a friendly wait staff. Will definitely be backSpecial Features:
- dissapointed.onedayatatimeDined on 7/30/2014food was less than spectacular....was expecting better. The gazpacho was delicious, but the others fell short. Tomate Relleno was probably the worst of them, a bland tasteless tomato (even in the height of tomato season here!). Service was lack luster, got the job done, but not super attentive considering the mass amount of food we were ordering. I would think a server would have been happy to have our table seeing it was going to be a good sized check! Ordered the Paella and again was underwhelmed, but it was seasoned nicely. It is a beautiful restaurant, just wish the food was as good as the surroundings!Special Features:
- Great Tapas and Paella!mmmgoodDined on 7/27/2014We went here with a group of friends and it was a great place to share a bunch of different kinds of food! The paella was really good and perfectly sized. Our server was also very helpful in letting us know how much food was a good amount to share for the number of people we had. Overall a great experience!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good Spanish foodsamplerDined on 7/26/2014Food was good, considering it is the only Spanish food in town. Food choices are limited and wine list is very limited, especially if you don't want a whole bottle.Special Features:
- The following 89 reviews are from the Despaña Princeton reviews archive.
- Another wonderful time!PatWDined on 7/23/2014We recently celebrated my husband's birthday with family members at Despana Princeton. The tapas, soup, entrees, coffees, and desserts were delicious! Service was exemplary! This was our first lunch time experience, and it couldn't have been more pleasant! We plan to return more often for lunch.Special Features:
- Great Tapas2goodVIPDined on 7/22/2014We'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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What's not to like?TonyBoyDined on 7/19/2014Really authentic tapas and paella, sat upstairs on patios overlooking Nassau St. BYOB...So much better than the Ironbound.
- Nice dinnerYummyDined on 7/19/2014We 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Poorly managed but food goodez2pleezVIPDined on 7/18/2014Food 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?