Despaña Princeton

4.4
599 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean
Despaña is an all-authentic Spain restaurant and tapas cafe with full service lunch and dinner. Despaña, 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.We are BYOB restaurant,our goal is treating you to a relaxing ,indulgent evening with us. To ensure you are seated promptly , and the guest dining after you as well, we kindly ask that you join us for two hours.We can't wait to see you!
What 599 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JB
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We sat in the high chair section near the food prep area, which is fine for adults without any mobility issues. Don't forget your sunglasses if you are sitting in that section just before sunset! Food was very good, except the chicken in the paella was too dry. Service was excellent and our waiter provided a very nice, unsolicited birthday surprise for our daughter. Overall, one of my favorite local spots (particularly good when the weather warms up and you can eat outside on the upstairs terrace).

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BS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went early and it was fairly empty. Within a half hour, it started to fill up. Wonderful food, wait service and ambience. Highly recommend it.

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OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We loved the place. Seated quickly. The service was slow but we knew what we wanted so it helped.
My daughter ordered the paella and she loved it. I ordered the baked cod fish but it was too salty for my taste..
Overall is good and we’d return

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SP
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location, great food and terrific service.

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JF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious paella, cool decor with great music - this is my second trip, and it was even more fun than my first. The ambiance is so hip and the food is excellent, most satisfactory! Plus, it's a BYO, so dinner doesn't break the budget. Try it! Bonus: parking!!

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LS
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The service is good and the paella is worth a return. Some of the appetizers are disappointing.

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b
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We noted in the reservation that we had a special occasion, no one even said anything. The space is very loud, hard to hear. The food was OK (the octopus was over cooked and rubbery). It was just OK. Overpriced for what you get (they were NYC prices without the NYC quality).

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P
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We had an excellent meal and great service! We ordered the bacon wrapped dates which didn’t disappoint! Our waiter recommended the eggplant appetizer which was also very good. We split a paella and had chocolate churros for dessert! Always good food and service!

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FD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very nice dining area; excellent food and friendly service.

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a
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Too many dishes are just OK. Some are really nice (bronzino) but shrimp and octopus appetizers, and paella, really lacked character. More spice more garlic more uumph, this isn't Nebraska!

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JS
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lots of good options. Some dishes are a bit pricey. Equivalent of NYC rates. Great service. Child friendly.

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DH
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was such a good experience the food was exceptionally good and the service matched this - delighted!

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t
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Consistently good food, moderately priced, great service. Good Paella’s, Dover sole was great

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently excellent experience at Despaña. Tapas is wonderful. Our server Marlon was on point. Looking forward to coming back soon.

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GS
Pittsburgh
10 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Terrific Spanish cuisine in a fun atmosphere. Wait service was terrific.

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OT
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a birthday party celebration at Despaña and invited 12 friends to join us. When we arrived the staff had a long table set up for us. As usual the party started showing up a few at a time but the staff was very accommodating making sure the wine was open and the ice buckets were at the ready.

As our group usually does; we started the party by ordering tapas. Everything was beyond delicious. (Deserving special mention are the Prawns and eggplant).
After enjoying the entire tapas menu and washing it down with copious amounts of wine, we moved in to entrees.

Steak, cooked perfectly, a couple of fish dishes ( the fish here is always spectacular however I skipped it since I came with a plan).
And a few orders of the Oxtail. Oh the Oxtail! Felt like it was braised for days, the fat as delicious as the meat. What a treat that was!

Then dessert; Fried milk and flan. Wash it down with a couple of “Cafe BonBon” and it was a done deal.

The only thing better than a 4 1/2 lunch with friends is a 4 1/2 hour lunch with friends at Despaña.

Thanks to Bruno, Chef José and our server Claudia for making it such a memorable experience.

Viva Despaña!

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SB
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great atmosphere, food, and service! My husband and I shared Croq de Jamon, Colores Salad, Berenjenas del Chef, Albondigas. Macario was our server and he was excellent in addition to the others. Its a BYOB, however, I hear the Sangria Mix (available for sale but BYOB of wine) is very good.

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V
Philadelphia
33 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We have always gone there for the paella and it was disappointing. They have cut back the menu to only 4 choices. One vegetarian and the other 3 include seafood (and my friend doesn't like seafood). They have eliminated the BEST one, Paella Despana, and that was a huge letdown. I can't believe they continue the one with the black squid ink - had once and that was enough. Bring back Paella Despana! Until then, I am not sure I would recommend Despana to a friend.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Tapas were awful. Very over priced. Poor quality

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D
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waiter was excellent, the ambiance was relaxing, and the food was very tasty.

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PV
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The paella is overpriced but delicious. The servers have never been more than just adequate. A lot of interesting, tasty dishes to choose .

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C
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Claudia was excellent, she was outgoing and attentive.

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DQ
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The open table reservation system did not work. I received confirmation emails. My reservation was at 6:15 and at 2pm the same day, I received an email thanking me for dining even though that was in a few hours. Once I got to Despaña, the 2 hostesses said I was not there and had a slight attitude even though I showed confirmation. It ultimately didn’t matter since the restaurant was almost completely empty when we arrived. The dining experience was nice though and the waiters were attentive.

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K
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We held a business meeting, 4 of us. We were seated in the quitter area of the restaurant. We had a ton of tapas and 2 paella's- Mixta and Negra. The Sangria topped the meal off quite nicely. The waitstaff was very attentive. The leche frita and tiramisu were both homemade and delicious. Highly recommend the restaurant.

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MA
Atlantic City
16 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great little byob restaurant above a little Spanish deli. Great food & excellent service. I would go again.

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D
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fabulous!! My first time at the restaurant, will definitely be back for more!!!

A Princeton jewel!!

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D
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent (as always), one of my favorite spots for authentic tapas, sangria, paella and more. Plus churros with chocolate!! Highly recommend.

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e
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A real gem in Princeton and we just found another great place to enjoy great seafood!

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m
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great tapas appetizers and wonderful paella. Wait staff was very responsive and knowledgeable. Definitely take advantage of the sangria pre-mix option (bring your own wine & some triple sec or you can purchase a half bottle at the restaurant). The bread was excellent but could have been better if they served it with their Spanish olive oil rather than just butter. Overall, a very good dining experience.

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JM
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service, cozy ambiance and tasty food, we had different tapas.

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LB
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice dining experience

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H
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

The biggest disappointment was in the food quality which was not that great (our group of 10 ordered two different types of paella, chicken, prime rib and several different tapas dishes). Prime Rib was tough, chicken was rubbery which came with a side of white rice (as an option) -- the taste of which reminded me of Chinese food take out. The paella rice was overcooked -- as if it had been made hours before and re-heated. The waiter was very kind and re-filled our water but didn't check in too much and gave us our appetizer plates a few minutes after the dishes had already arrived even though the restaurant was pretty empty and he mistakenly swapped my leftover food with another person at our table when he handed it to me which I discovered when I got home. The restaurant was clean but it felt like any other contemporary place with white diner like plates -- I noticed no Spanish music playing or any mediterranean influence in the decor -- even the soft drinks were served as cans -- not a very elegant experience. Overall, I thought it was overpriced and would not return.

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B
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This has been my second time at Despana and I cannot get enough of it. The service is great, the food is awesome! Love it, Love it!

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S
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Octopus and bacon covered dates are our favorite apetizers. You cannot go wrong with the paellas.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Very good service, Marlon was very nice!
No sure if the recipes changed, but paella was better before.

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BP
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Overall food is ok. Not authentic Spanish though.
Lately the menu items seems to have changed.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our relative was in town who had a great time. The place is cute, the food’s delicious, all of the staff’s interaction with us is always like we are family. We always want to say hi to Chef Jose who is always warm and friendly and seems genuinely happy to see and smile at his patrons. We have had the best time every time we go and the food is always on point!

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JM
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love it, great food and service

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OT
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Nothing even close to the items served in NY. Potatoes were frozen, chorizo was cut thick, croquettes were filled with filler. I don’t think any if the five items we ordered were passable

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MA
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

If you like authentic Spanish food, this is the place. The paella is the best outside of Barcelona.

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