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  • Santaella

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Santaella Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.santaellapr.com
  • Phone: (787) 725-1611
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch:
    Tuesday – Friday 11:30am – 4:30pm

    Tuesday – Thursday 5:30pm – 10:30pm
    Friday and Saturday 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Tapas / Small Plates, Global, International
  • Executive Chef: Chef José Santaella
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: For Caterings, please contact: catering@josesantaella.com or visit www.josesantaella.com
  • Special Events & Promotions: Please inquire within.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: La Placita de Santurce
  • Public Transit: Stop #19. Bus lines: A5, B21, M3, B16
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Santaella has valet parking ($7) and there are also two public, paid parkings nearby.
A word from Santaella
Chef Santaella transforms what used to be his catering workshop into an architectural acclaimed space committed to offer a menu full of flavor using many local ingredients sourced fresh from a farmer’s market only feet away. The space is one full of history where green, brown and wood tones décor the place. An interior garden full of native plants and trees such as papaya and ornamental bananas serves as the focal point of the main dining room.

Offering a 75-seat dining room and a a 16-seat bar designed for guests to eat in, Santaella celebrates the roots of the island's comida criolla, and incorporates techniques, flavors and fusions from around the world into its food.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Fantastic food, excellent service, romantic and chic, you just need great company"
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "Very good. Place is in weird location but food is dynamite. They have fantastic cocktails and coffee as well."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "Always awesome, delicious, beautifully crafted food and excellent service!"
    Dined on 8/29/2014
  • "Located in an un-likely neighborhood and behind locked doors, this was the best restaurant experience I have had in San Juan, PR. The decor, ambiance, service, and food were impeccable. The Stuffed Apio Root Vegetable was amazing, and so was the banana foster dessert... Friendly and professional service and overall great experience!"
    Dined on 8/26/2014
  • "Excellent food, drinks and service. They have a new signatur bar drinks that continue making them special for a night of drinking. Its food was excellent."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "Awesome place - if you're in San Juan for only one night, this is the place you want to have dinner."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "The food, specially the appetisers were really good. We visited on a friday night, and our only complaint was that it was hard to have a conversation in our small table of four. The mix of the bar scene, some very loud tables and the volume of the music a bit too high, made us a little uncomfortable. We are taking note to not visit again on a friday night! Otherwise, the place seems very quaint."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Great food, cocktails and service!! They have a great selection of single malts (Glenffidich, Balvenie etc) and great rums. Just talk to any of the bartenders and you will be amazed! The food was right on point from the appetizers to the main course."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Excellent food, good atmosphere, and good service. Variety of caribbean flavors elevated to gourmet standing. Tasty and elegant. Stronly recommend."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Second time to Santa Ella. Very special place. Luis, our waiter was exellent. Food was amazing. GO!"
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "We don't see the point in booking a table if we arrive on time we have to wait 25 min. And then, a long wait from one dish to the next one."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "a little bit expensive but it worth it. Has to update the wine list in the Ipad."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "santaella was highly recommended. Our visit started rough service-wise, as it was chaotic to get a table/waiter. The air conditioning was freezing, but they turned it down. And there was a condensed menu from general since the chef is closing for vakay. Had: tuna tartare (tasty but not special), goat cheese quesadillas (DELiCIOUS), Lamb w/quinoa (awesome flavor in the sauce), Filet mignon w/brussel sprouts/bacon (steak nice but not best and veggies way too sweet) And the Nutella waffle dessert (by far the best--so good we ordered two!!) Also had a watermelon mojito that was yummy but hard to drink given so many watermelon chunks. Overall, we really enjoyed the food, but the service was patchy and a few items were not worth the hype."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Fun and festive ambience. Active bar scene. Slow service. Stylish decor and crowd."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Dined here for my mother's birthday and food was absolutely amazing. However, the server kept trying to up-sell and was visibly displeased when we declined one of his offers, and then stopped coming by our table all together. Another server continued to serve us. I asked this server to please bring a candle with my mother's dessert, since it was her birthday, to which he told me he certainly would. He did not. This was also on the note I had written along with my reservation on Open Table and it was completely disregarded. Not the type of service one expects from a this type of restaurant."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Third visit to Santaella and it didn't disappoint. Appetizer list is amazing, no wrong choices. The main course selection is varied and creative so be sure to be willing to share 😃 Desserts are out of this world, however if you go there and do not order the hazelnut one you are doing yourself a disservice!!! By the way the design of Santaella is outstanding, feels very familiar to me..."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Party of 2 had filet mignon and lamb chops. Exquisite! Very friendly and polite service."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "La comida estuvo muy buena y buen servicio, pero es un poco costoso. Lo recomendaría solamente para ocasiones bien especiales."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "I walked to this place from condado beach and the further I went the more I was regretting my choice as the neighborhood changes quickly and you have to go through a creepy tunnel to get there. However, I am glad I did! The food was fantastic and the place was really cute too. We had a pricey but memorable dinning experience. I took a cab back to the hotel"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "3rd time & Santaella still amazing! Their twist on Puerto Rican delights are to die for and different; house cocktail also tasty and a wide variety, so there is a cocktail fir every palate. This time we tried the berry mojito, a sour orange drink (okay for me-not my type of drink) and an artesal beer (sorry dont recall name). For appetizer you can never go wrong with any kibd of risotto prepared in Santaella, brocolli and cheese, yummy! The white tuna tartare was absolutly amazing! The entrée filet mignon w/ fingeling potatoes no regrets and dessert as always decadent (nutella sandwich and a chocolate mini bananas and ice cream). Last but not leadt Marcos our waiter was super attentive."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "We were in San Juan for a vacation with our two kids(14 and 12) who are very adventurous eaters. We chose Santaella because we wanted to experience local flavors. Well...what an amazing food experience!! We've eaten at some fantastic restaurants known for their master chefs--Todd English's Olives, David Burke's Prime, Wolfgang Puck's Spago, Scott Conant's Scarpetta and I would put Santaella on par with any of those fine places. Don't miss this restaurant in San Juan. We loved the empananda's, tasty zucchini w/ parmesan cheese, blue crab on fritters, root vegetable fritters, beef sliders, pulled pork, popcorn chicken and escargot. The Nutella dessert is served in a skillet w/ icecream and is NOT to be missed! Open in Boston, please:)"
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "This is one of the best food tasted in San Juan. The bar scene is great on Thursday and Fridays. Other days they close a little early."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "I was visiting and went here for some authentic, local flavor. I found that in large portions. Worht the trip."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Don't be fooled by the exterior of the restaurant.. I am a foodie and a cook who dines frecuently in restaurants in NY, Miami, Chicago and of course Puerto Rico.. Right now Santaella is my favorite restaurant for Drinks, tapas or a 5 course meal if thats what you prefer.. Watermelon mojitos are amazing!"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "This is our favorite restaurant. Food is interesting and delicious. You will always taste something you haven't tried before. Specials assure you'll always find something new. The menu changes slightly from season to season but keeping their staples. Drinks are amazing; they have award winning bartenders. Have a sandia or honey berry mojito. Desserts are just as good and interesting as the rest of the food. Ambiance is cool and hip; a chance to dress up. Service is excellent, which seems hard to find on some hip places. Reservations are kept and there is valet parking. Reserve early, particularly if you want to go on a Friday night, its always packed. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "It was a favorite of mine this time in San Juan. I wish I went out in the area afterwards but I was stuffed! The good was amazing! The decor inside was also very nice! Really liked this place. Great date spot! Hens of wood, tuna tartare, nutella cake - Oh my Gawd!! WOWEE!!!! "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "As usual, chef José Santaella delivered on excellent fish and sausage turnover...the best! "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Everything was spectacular. The Watermelos Mojitos, the beverage of the house were refreshing, sweet and incredibly good. The Food was excellent and very delicious. I give them two thumbs up and recommended to others."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Best place we went in San Juan! Pork appetizer and halibut were excellent. Waiter was attentive but not pushy. Relaxing dinner."
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "Santaella is a hidden jewel in San Juan. Great creative and delicious Caribbean & PR fusion served with great attention and service in a cozy dining room surrounded by a trendy crowd."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Every time I go is a new experience. The owner, the ambiance, the service and the people, are great. I highly recommend the place."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Excellent food and friendly service. Lot of choices for appetizers."
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "The food and service excellent. Truly recommend anything on the menu, everything that I try was done to my satisfaction. My friends were from Europe and they loved it too. Probably going again soon before they leave town."
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "The menu at Santaella is fun to read, and to try! The food is creative and vibrant, which goes along with the scene, and it is good, very good. Unfortunately, the service does not pair up with the menu or the food. It was slow, too slow, and the waiters and servers, despite their funky looks, just seem to be bored with their jobs. "
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "Tasty but it had to be the extra salt added. We were very thirsty afterwards and 2 of of the guests had GI symptoms that night. The service was good but the waiter took away our bottle of Peregrino without being totally finished which made it uncomfortable. It was our third time and the first time we make this comment."
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "Everything was delicious, service was good, great ambiance....the only thing is the restaurant was somewhat cold (I would recommend taking a pashmina or wrap), other than that it was fabulous and is now on my go-to list of favorite restaurants... "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The selection done by chef Santaella was very balanced. I JUST Love They way they cook and spice the foie gras And the filet was superb. I JUST wish that they return back to the more gourmet menu that they used to have, now the appetizer are too puertorrican for my taste, and I don't go that often as I used to because of this."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Every bite of food we had here was fantastic, and the service was wonderful. The nutella sandwich is the best dessert I've ever had! "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Food is great! A bid noisy if its weekend and full but its worth it "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "My husband and I have dined at Santaella many times and love the food there. However, on this particular occasion the service wasn't up to par. We went with the prix fix menu and ordered an extra appetizer to share, the cheese turnovers, since the waiter recommended them. The turnovers didn't show up until after we had eaten the first appetizer. As we tried them we realized they were not cheese but chorizo and plaintain. We were never told they were not cheese and it wasn't after they were taken back to the kitchen (we don't eat meat) and nothing came back or an explanation, we called the waiter who then explained that when they run out of one flavor they switch to another. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014