Despaña Princeton

4.3
626 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 626 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RH
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Super expensive a cup of soup is 12 dollars

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a
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Despaña was an amazing restaurant with incredible service and food! It was just like being in Spain... would totally recommend to anyone who likes anything from seafood to spicy meats! Also vegetarian friendly!

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FS
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, specially Paella Marinera, patatas bravas, highly recommended if you would like to try a taste from Spain.

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L
Philadelphia
26 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

We went expecting great Spanish food, it was ok! When we were served our meal things came out plate by plate. Most restaurant bing out everyone’s meal or starters at the same time this didn’t happen. Not sure I would go back again, if we do it Won’t be anytime soon!

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RC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

we have been enjoying the paella at Despana for about 3 years now. We often order the Paella Mixta with Chorizo, is just out of this world. However, last time we noticed some changes, the chorizo was optional which is ok, so we added it. The taste was not quite the same, not sure what changed, the chorizos also looked different not the same kind as before not quite as tasty. Don't get me wrong it was a very good paella, definitely one of the best I've ever had. But the previous version was the absolute best paella I've ever had in my life. Maybe was just us but if you changed anything, please change it back.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

We eat at this restaurant quiet often. Recently quality went went down. Especially tonight food was awful, appetizers served cold and they tasted like they were cooked a day ago. We couldn’t wait for our main course. Manager wasn’t friendly at all.

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SJ
Philadelphia
26 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food & the service were phenomenal! We’ll definitely be returning!

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R
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service, lively atmosphere, delicious food

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Paella supposedly their specialty was not prepared properly. No sucrete at bottom of pan. Rice undercooked. Very little protein in the dish.
My wife had a salad which consisted of a small amount of 4 elements that were horribly prepared. For example beets that were like mush and must have been laying aro for days Our guest had portobello mushy with chicken.
Chicken was like shoe leather. Only saving grace was Tapas starters
Our server who was pleasant enough had assistance bringing out the main course The table had not been cleared and when confronted with no place to put the food told us to clear off the table putting the dirty dishes on the table next to us.
The patio is nice enough

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love everything about it ! Thanks Martha for your recommendation. The food was delicious.
Thank you!

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C
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service at Despana is outstanding! The tapas are delicious and there is a large selection to suit any palate. While they say they are for two people, they are very generous servings. The paella is perfect -- you taste all of the ingredients, rice is light and delicious and it looks beautiful. The service is excellent -- friendly and attentive. Do not forget this is a BYO place -- we made the mistake of not knowing and ordered wine from the menu. They have a variety of wines all from New Jersey and the two we tried were really terrible. Undrinkable. If we'd known we would've brought a nice Spanish wine!

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JH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent wait service- friendly, attentive, timely, superior suggestions

Food was delicious and authentic

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Manager was very unprofessional.

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OT
Atlantic City
18 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Still a gem in Princeton. Great Paella; it is the best dish!!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Disappointed our filet minion was late and terribly undercooked

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JM
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Went with a group of coworkers and ordered a good amount of tapas. Normally places like this that I've been to will space out when to bring plates, but all of our food arrived at more or less the same time. Our waiter went AWOL for most of the middle portion of our meal and didn't get a chance to fill our water very often at all. They did seem short staffed so it wasn't the end of the world. Overall the food was tasty and actually well portioned and worth the price.

The outdoor patio was not loud and had sufficient lighting once the sun went down. Overall positive experience, but again the service could definitely be improved.

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JJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was delicious, although I felt it’s a little over priced.

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s
London
38 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

There were 4 of us for dinner at Despana Princeton. We had asked for and received a quiet table. Very happy our request was granted. A friend had the paella and the portion was generous. Another friend had a salad for an entree...my husband had the branzino (small portion) I had mussels and the portion was tiny....more of a appetizer size than an entree. At the price charged, it didn't make me happy.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

1- upon entering, the greeter asked if we were meeting people, I replied no, we have reservations. I lunched there before, so I knew the restaurant was upstairs. Also, a sign states the same. I went up, a waiter looked at me as if I had 2 heads and told me To go back down to check in. This is a long/steep flight of stairs, but I was planning to have a good meal, maybe dessert...so ok. I go back down,the greeter checked me in and sent me right back up.
2- things started off well, we quickly ordered 3 tapas and advised the server we would still order entree. First dish-fried calamari, came quickly, rest came out one at a time and took longer. That defeats the idea of tapas,we wanted to sample 3 different tastes, not one at a time.
3- overall service- as mentioned in other reviews-server went awol. At one point, all tables were filled- we didn’t see a single worker appear for extended periods of time. Finally flagged another server- at this point, guess what- my husband and I were full, my son wanted to order, but he changed his mind from lamb chops to the ham sampler.
3- food was ok. Ham sampler was the best, but I guess they just order and slice that, it’s not cooking. I found everything to be over seasoned. Boiled octopus tasted like chorizo. Yes there was sausage but other than texture, could not discern between the two. The Aeoli was overly garlicky- and I love garlic.
4- way over priced. They do not have a bar, but you can purchase NJ wine. A half bottle is$21. sangria mix is $14- a pitcher of Sangria, with meh wine and a lack luster mix- $35!!!
No one asked us if we wanted dessert or coffee. We had to wave down a server to request our Check. Upon leaving we wanted to ask for a manager..... but no one was around.
Had lunch there once before, my meal was ok, the other diner had the oxtails, she was disappointed. This was the 2nd try, and that’s it.

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KR
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous authentic food from Spain. Had the longostinos and Paella, so yummy and finished it off with Churros and chocolate. Definitely a return in the future.

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g
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

The appetizers were great but the main courses were awful - the filet was a great piece of meat but way undercooked (twice) and then of course overcooked - terrible experience for a medium prepared order. The fish specials were terrible too. The waiter described it incorrectly (said it was in a marinara sauce when it was in a white clam sauce - tasted bad and both people in our group who ordered this meal got bad stomach cramps that night. It si a pity because started so well with the starters (beet salad, asparagus and fried calamari were all very good).

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JP
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Despana was very good! While it's a bit on the pricey side, the flavors are fantastic. My fiance and I love coming here to share paella or get a few tapas. The food is always perfectly cooked and they bring out slices of delicious warm bread to soak up all the remaining juices on the plate. They have a good wine selection, although if you want sangria, I would recommend bringing your own. Their sangria mix is an additional cost to the wine. Finally, they do have a nice balcony to sit on if you want outdoor seating. Reservation highly recommended.

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MH
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Great tapas, very gluten free friendly. Our server wasn’t into small talk. It was quite loud (high top seating) but not unbearable.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Fun place and had a very good vibe ; food was very good and our waiter made the experience enjoyable and had greAt recommendations

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SJ
Indiana
52 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Wide range of nice dishes. They have a parking lot, which is nice, although it does fill up easily. Service was a bit slow.

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MN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

It seemed as if anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong once we sat down. Were not given a wine menu. It was brought late, after the appetizer. Wrong main dish was brought to the table and the waitperson looked completely confused and didn’t seem to understand. The oxtail that was brought was pure bone and inedible. The waiter offered to take it off our bill but wound up charging us for it. Didn’t bring a fork. Didn’t bring the right knife. The bread tasted stale. Awful!!

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EQ
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Black ink paella wasn’t that authentic, but the great of the food I tried was good.

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JB
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
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 on March 23, 2019
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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AC
Philadelphia
10 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
5 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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