Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Despaña Princeton
Despaña is an all-authentic Spain restaurant and tapas cafe 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.
Princeton, NJ 08540
Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates, Vegetarian / Vegan
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
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Occasional live music and special events, like flamenco performances.
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.
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.
NJ Transit bus and Princeton Train Station are accessible to the restaurant
Private Party Facilities:
Despaña Princeton Event and Full Service Catering Services
Private Party Contact:
Bruno Romero : (609) 921-2992
Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Counter Seating, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
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.
Despaña Princeton Ratings and Reviews
Always a favorite, a little disappointed that the crocettas were changed. They’re a lot smaller, you get only four and the price is the same. They do tend to change up their tapas without mentioning it in the menu so you don’t really know what could come out. I would recommend they change a few things back to the originals. They haven’t added any value to the price.
We had tapas, which were very good, to start. Then for dinner we had a burger (which was delicious) and the branzini dish. The fish was small and overall just OK. The portion of fish was small for the price and if the portion is small, I expect the taste to be outstanding, and it was not. Overall the meal was OK. Tapas are definitely the way to go if you're looking for a less formal meal. Good for a large group to share.
Mercy was our waitress. She was friendly , helpful, and attentive. The tapas were delicious and came out rather quickly. The croquettes were a cool on the inside, but Mercy quickly replaced them with a fresh dish. I appreciate the BYOB feature as well. Our family sat against the top railing which allowed us to move some plates out of the way. If we were sitting at a regular table , I could imagine the table would get very crowded with plates. Overall, the food was delicious and we look forward to returning.
We ordered soup to start. When the waitress brought the bowls (not the soup) we ordered two other dishes. We had just received the soup when the two other "hot" dishes arrived. We sent them back even after the waiter who did not understand us wanted to leave them on the tiny table we were at. They went back and shortly thereafter one of the came out again with a repeat performance. When the waitress came to check on us we explained we did not want our hot food to sit and cool until we finished our soup[. I think she said they were remaking the dishes and she did not realize they would arrive as soon as they did. When we finished our soup we waited a while and finally the two dishes arrived but were rather lukewarm.
This was a rather disappointing experience for what would otherwise have been a pleasant and tasty meal.
Normally we are very happy with Despana, it was our 3rd or 4th time going, but unfortunately this time was not the case. We had went for my wife's birthday, and simply put, it was very disappointing.
Starting out with the positives, the serano ham was delicious as alway (although it doesn't come cheap), and the service was great, however when our entrees came it was a different story. The fish I had ordered was sold out, which was disappointing, so had to choose a different meal, the steak. It was cooked nicely, but was nothing special, especially for the price. My wife had ordered a seafood special, which upon arriving to the table was luke warm at most (like it had been prepared before they realized the fish I had ordered was sold out and waiting under a lamp for 25 minutes) and incredibly salty.
I don't think we will be returning to despana anytime soon, especially not for entrees. For a 120 dollar dinner even with BYOB, we expected much, much more.
Our reservations were for 6:30pm but my husband's flight got delayed. I called the restaurant, spoke with Marta, to see if they could hold our reservation until 7pm and they did so very graciously. Thank you, Marta! This made a very positive impression on me!! Hostess sat us right away. Server, Ian, was very pleasant and provided us with just the right amount of attention. He answered my questions adequately.
I ordered 2 tapas dishes (shrimp and potato omelette) which were cooked just right. My husband had the bone-in ribeye and potato. I really would have liked to try more tapas but my husband preferred a meal. I did like that they had a nice variety in their tapas menu, if only I had a bigger stomach or someone else with whom to share it. We ordered the house red wine (Old York) which my husband enjoyed, but I, not so much.
I consider this a casual to smart casual atmosphere. We were seated at a bar top table for two. I prefer a more comfortable seating arrangement like in a booth or traditional table. I was happy that it wasn't as loud as some of the reviewers stated.
Overall, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars for good service and good food.
The service was excellent and basic ingredients you also sell are superb, I was disappointed by the paella, the chef, was not up to par. Also if you can update, do get cushioned chairs, except for the outside. You need a much better chef. Appetizer was still good, may I suggest you skip the frying, and just stir in boiled potatoes with enough aioli; more traditional.
So glad we tried this place! Downstairs is an adorable little market full of Spanish imports and upstairs is an equally adorable tapas cafe. Each small plate was more delicious than the next. The patatas bravas and croquettes were our favorites, but everything was tasty. We will definitely be back.
Our server kindly accomdated our request to sit outside. I don't think they expected anyone to want to sit outside in late October - but it was beautiful. The server also explained that they were understaffed and she was the only one waiting on most of the tables and asked us to be patient. There was no need - she was efficient and very pleasant. The bacon-wrapped dates were to die for. The other dishes - mussels, shrimp, grilled veggies - were OK. The sangria was excellent.
The main dining room is upstairs and I’m in a walker and cannot go upstairs so after they gave us a hard time, they seated us outside, which was fine because it was a beautiful night. They said next time I should not reserve through Open Table, but to call the restaurant directly.
The food was good, but very pricey and the service was mediocre. We ordered a small paella for $36 and some tapas. The waitress had put in the order wrong and paella was made to order so we had to wait an extra half hour for them to make another one. The manager came over but only to tell us that it would be ten minutes longer but made no offer to make it right or take something off the bill, as other restaurants do.
We ordered the sangria mix which was some soda, appples and lemons in a pitcher for $14 and brought our own wine to mix in. At the end of the meal, we had half of it left so we wanted to take it home. We opened it the next day and it was not our sangria but someone else’s soup. I called the restaurant and the manager offered to give us an additional sangria mix minus the wine when we come in next. Needless to say, there won’t be a next time!
We ate at Despaña for our anniversary before going to see a play at McCarter Theater. The food was fantastic. We had a few tapas and the paella. All of it was fantastic. Especially the chorizo. Our server, Morgan, was amazing. Very friendly and attentive and gave us food suggestions, which were spot on. Only complaints were it got very loud in there so it is hard to carry on a conversation and the chairs are rather uncomfortable. But these are nothing that would keep me from going back. Highly recommend!
Restaurant was busy on a Saturday night. Our table was not ready by the time of our reservation, according to the front of house, the table that the restaurant allocated for our reservation was not ready as the people who were dining before us have been there for 3 hours. We ended up waiting for about 10 minutes. I did not get the type of table I requested (I requested a balcony table with a view, but was seated on the balcony in the back corner); however, I didn't mind it too much because I did not want to wait any longer and was shielded by the noise of car traffic. We also had a problem with receiving our food. Tables seated after us were receiving their orders before us. We ordered two tapas (brussel sprouts and chorizo) and a paella negra. They all came at the same time rather than tapas first. Our server did not check on us until just about all of the food came out at the same time, to which she explained the kitchen was backed up. They comped a dessert for the inconvenience. The food was perfect though, paella was moist and mussels were tasted fresh. Dessert (tarta de la abuela) was good as well, light yet satisfying. We also took advantage of the BYO wine for sangria. We definitely will be coming back again!
This was our first visit and we were not disappointed. We received a warm greeting at arrival and Rocia cordially welcomed us on the 2nd floor and sat us at a table we requested. Tasmin was our amazing server. She guided us through the menu and explained various food choices. We started with the chilled tomato soup and the fish soup du jour - both delicious! Next we shared the assorted ham and cheese- excellent. We finished with the octopus Galician style- also excellent but next time we will try the grilled version as we like octopus a little more al dente. We were too full for dessert, so will have to save room next time. Rocia even helped us carry out our leftovers. Our only complaint was the food came out too quickly but that was immediately rectified by Rocia and the manager. All we had to do was tell Tasmin when we were ready for our next course. Overall a great experience. Healthy, quality, delicious food and fantastic service from a very attentive staff - what more can you ask for! Thank you, Despaña.
If you want great Paella, this is the place! We ran into some friends that also go here just for the tapas and Paella, too. I would have rated it higher because the Paella was really great, but the service was really poor. We had to beg for water refills, refill our wine ourselves, etc. Perhaps it was an off night OR our expectations are just too high as we were expecting the same level of service that we get at the restaurants downtown that are at the same price point.
Had a reservation and were sent upstairs to check in. We were not acknowledged at first by the 3 staff standing immediately in front of us. Waited about 20 mins until a waiter finally came to our table to take orders and bring water. They did try to make up for the delay with a complimentary appetizer but service was overall poor and delayed. I've had better experiences here in the past but was especially disappointed as this dinner was for a special occasion
The food was average and very overpriced. Our waiter was good but servers delivered our food to the wrong table and no one noticed for 5 minutes. The food was then cold! Also the Sangria is a powdered mix for $14. You have to bring your own bottle or buy the wine they sell that comes from a local winery. Very loud.
Great service by Phillip, gave recommendations that were spot on and was very attentive. We went with a salad, which was perfect to share, then the mussels, octopus and finished with the gluten free chocolate cake. Mussels were a little sandy but the rest of the meal was excellent.
I've been to Despana many times in the past and really enjoyed their food. We would order a bunch of tapas to share and each one was amazing! This time was different. We actually ordered entrees off the menu. We found them to be very pricey for the amount and quality of the food. I will definitely return, but only for the tapas and the service. The service has always been great!
This was my first experience at Despaña Princeton. The service was prompt and very friendly. We were celebrating one of my friend's birthday and new job! We debated weather to order individual dinners but opted for tapas because we wanted to sample as much as possible. We were thoroughly satisfied. We opted to bring our own wine for the sangria although there were very good options to purchase at the restaurant. Of course we couldn't pass on dessert. I had the traditional flan and don't really remember what my friends had!
One of the things I was looking forward to was going to the inhouse store. We all purchased one type of ham or anther. I love chorizo, so ended up buying that and was pleasantly surprised to find morsilla and bought that as well.
I am planning to return with my son, daughter and their significant others.
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