La Nacional Restaurant

4.7
361 Reviews
$30 and under
Spanish
La Nacional has been feeding Spaniards and Latin Americans in New York since the 19th century from its historical brownstone in the heart of what was Little Spain. Today, our volunteer-run non-profit has opened its doors to create a community restaurant and gathering place for everyone to enjoy. The Society sponsors the visas of Spain top young chefs - providing them with an apartment in our brownstone to draw inspiration from La Nacional’s past and establishing a culinary epicenter in New York City for Spanish food. Our goal is to offer diners innovative cuisine, reasonable prices and a neighborhood atmosphere for everyone.

The Restaurant at La Nacional is the catalyst for significant cultural and community programming that reflects the Society’s 152 year-old mission. This includes free or low-cost apartments upstairs for artists-in-residence and opening our event space on the parlor floor to community events, cultural pursuits and charitable causes.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Staff is vaccinated
  • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
What 361 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We loved this place. We sat outside and it was nice and warm. The food was delicious. But honestly the best part was the staff. They were all so friendly and kind. It really made for such a pleasant experience. Will definitely go back often!

MJ
MJFC
New York Area
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food5service2ambience3

La Nacional is a great restaurant to try authentic Spanish tapas and mains. We usually go at least once a year to also see the flamenco show upstairs at Alegrias. The food is wonderful, flavorful and tasty. The service, however, leaves something to be desired. They didn't seem to have nearly enough servers/staff in the dining room. It took a long time just to get drinks, let alone order our food. I would definitely go back, though as the food and general atmosphere is unique and not to be missed if you want an authentic Spanish experience in NY.

LK
LisaK
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service were excellent. The staff was very accomodating

P
Pegz
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food as usual

A
Anonymous
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience3

TERRIBLE night. The note in the reservation was that we should stay no longer than 90 mins. At the 90 min mark we were still waiting for half our order (the paella). It was noisy (we clocked 80 decibels) and we were hungry. When I told the waitress we would like the check and couldn't wait any longer we were so hungry we were going to have pizza down the street, her response was "Oh well."

The patatas bravas and jamon iberico were great; the pulpo was overshadowed by too much sauce and parsnip strips, but was also good. Obviously there are problems with management and in the kitchen and waitstaff looked overworked and harried. Such a shame, so much potential and so much history.

KB
vipKarenB
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

We love la Nacional and have been patrons for a
Long time - we were a little
Concerned that no one checked our Covid 19 vaccination cards however, even though we were told we needed to be vaccinated to eat indoors.

R
vipRocky
New York Area
114 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious croquettes, macaroni and cheese, and chorizo burgers at our last meal here. Great food at this top Spanish restaurant.

P
vipPluti
New York Area
77 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

we love this restaurant - very welcoming staff.
My only negative is the loud music which makes conversation difficult

w
vipworldtraveler
Denver
75 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Absolutely authentic and wonderful according to my Spanish visitors. Only drawback was trying to catch up with extremely loud space!!!

TG
TomG
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and wine, and great service. It feels like a very comfortable place to be.

R
Rita
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great place for drinks/dinner with friends. Friendly staff, great vibe. Love that it is a nonprofit restaurant!

AD
vipAD05
Charlotte
21 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious tapas and great value!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was really good food. Prepared very quickly

PW
PeterW
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The most authentic and best presented classic Spanish cuisine n New York City

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly staff, delicious dishes

JP
JessicaP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was an amazing evening with delicious paella and live music. Overall a superb place to celebrate birthdays or anything special.

HD
HappyDiner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was delicious and fresh! Authentic Spanish cuisine with beautiful presentation. Reminiscent of my visit to Spain several years ago where we enjoyed the unforgettable cuisine. Don’t pass on dessert!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, good service and nice ambiance. Would definitely recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Service was a little slow but well worth the wait! Food was delicious, as was the wine. Staff was very friendly!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pleasant experience. The food was delicious and the ambiance was just lively n romantic at the same time. Made for a very sweet date night spot

Paella is about 45 mins wait on the weekend, but it was worth it!! I would say it is a great spot if you just want to take it slow and enjoy your surrounding.

AD
AndrewD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Best Spanish restaurant in Manhattan!
Try everything.

P
vipPluti
New York Area
78 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience3

What a warm, welcoming place! We have the paella which was delicious but the stand outs were the mushroom crochettas - we had to order them twice

AC
AmyC
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, attentive service. Overall a great experience. Loved the authenticity of the food.

BK
BrettK
Austin
2 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great dining option in NYC with reasonable prices and good service.

B
Bebacksoon
New York Area
44 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very good legit Spanish tapas. Festive but civilized atmosphere. Friendly helpful staff. Plan to go back soon.

L
Lilifire
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this restaurant! Very special place with a great history.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Upon arriving, my girlfriend arrived first. She asked where the entrance was and the staff merely pointed in a direction as opposed to escorting her or guiding her to the actual entrance. Non-chivalrous.

We ordered a pitcher of sangria. The pitcher was brought to the table with two wine glasses, as they should. Unfortunately the glasses were not clean. I informed the waitress. She immediately attempted to justify as to simply just apologize and replace them.

She returned with two glasses which had stains again and one of them was dirty with specks on the inside. She attempted to explain that it’s the residue of the dishwasher. In front of our table to attempted to clean it with a napkin but to no avail.

As oppose to replacing them with two wine glasses, she gave us two regular glasses. Did I actually go dine at a diner?

She barely checked on us throughout our seating.

Then when it came to pay the bill, she charged me the wrong amount (less) which informed her of. That was not the issue.

The issue became when I informed her that she did not give me the card back. She insisted that she did. She showed how she always places the cards inside the booklet. Once I found it Inside the flap she responded she knew she had given it to me.

Then she swiped again Ave couldn’t find my card again. She went to look for it. She then herself found my card in the flap as well just like I had done.

Don’t you think as the experienced server she could have just apologized and also know that card get lost in that flap?

Didn’t apologize at all.

As a good patron that I am…I still tipped her 20%.

Not a good experience. Loved the decor though. If she showed remorse…my night could have been saved.

C
vipCriticalbutnice
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Always good! Never disappoints! I prefer sitting indoors and enjoy ambiance and videos of Spain. And watching hectic bar and kitchen. Always flavorful!

BU
BenjaminU
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent food and ambiance. Thank you Rogelio for the great and friendly service. It was worth the wait.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Had a reservation and were seated immediately only two for dinner and it was a 2.5 hour experience. Two larger tables of 6 and 4 people were seated after us and and received food and drinks before us. I had to request water after 15 minutes as no one had even acknowledged us and taken both of those larger table drink order. 25 minutes after being seated waitress proceeds to ask for drink order and at that point we debated just leaving. We decided to stay placed small plate and one paella to share between us. It took 20 minutes for our drinks to arrive again no acknowledgment of sorry we are busy or your drinks are coming it was like we didn't exist. By time our pan tomaca came out it was hour into our dining experience. 3/5 was good but nothing something I would go out of my way to order again. Paella was 2/5 chicken was very dry and only three pieces way more vegetables. We requested our check the minute our paella came out and still had to wait 20 minutes to get the check. Very disappointing for our last meal in NYC

c
ch011y
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I enjoyed my meal, as I knew I would. I came here with a guest for his birthday and he enjoyed everything about the evening as well.

I was first taken to this restaurant three months ago by a friend who was familiar with it and had dined here many times. Her high review was verified by my experience on that evening and I have enjoyed coming here ever since.

HF
HarrisonF
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff was kind and attentive, food was authentic and tasty, ambience was unmatched!

BR
BusseyRC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience4

La Nacional was a quality restaurant. The ambiance was good. I don’t have any complaints about the food. The service throughout our dinner was below average. I am not sure if I will return for a second visit.

RE
RaleighEats
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Must for Spanish food lovers in NYC. Second time here and can’t wait to come back. Wonderful all around! The paella, gambas, pulpo, sangria roja (skip the watermelon sangria) patatas bravas and meat and cheese board —try it all!

DB
DavidB
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Two colleagues and I had a splendid after-work dinner/visit at La Nacional. After cocktails (a martini made with the Spanish gin is superbly smooth), we shared potatoes bravas (so very good with the garlic and hot sauces), the mixed charcuterie board, and a seafood/chicken paella; this accompanied by one of their thoughtfully selected red wines. Eating outside on a cool fall evening seemed to further enhance our meal—though the traffic can be noisy. All in all, we had an excellent meal, and were attended by courteous, friendly and helpful staff.

W
vipWhynotfresh
Dallas
6 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience. It's authentic and the food is consistently amazing. Staff genuinely cares about your experience. Prices are very fair for the incredible quality of the food and drink.

R
vipRich
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Disappointing dining experience, overall. Some of the dishes were quite good, such as the wild mushroom croquettes and the manchego mac and cheese, but others not-so-much, such as the fideua (pasta-based paella) with squid ink and monkfish. The pasta was very good and some of the monkfish was good, as well, but some bites had an odd consistency.

The big weakness at La Nacional was the service. I had to wait alone by the hostess station for about ten minutes for someone to seat my party doe our reservation. And then it was hard to get the servers' attention when we needed something, like the dish the server "forgot" to put in. We had a bit of a time crunch so one of us had to go in, credit card in hand, to settle up, because no one brought us our check after we requested it.

I always hesitate to bash restaurants for service because employment shortages are real and I get that. But these were self-inflicted service snafus that render it likely that I won't come back here.

JN
JohnN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is the best Spanish food I've had outside of Spain. Service was fantastic as well.

J
Jacqueliner94
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great and delicious. Drinks were strong and the staff were friendly and nice. I recommend for a date night because they have live singers at night

C
vipCloseby
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

i love this place.

FAQs

La Nacional Restaurant is rated 4.7 stars by 361 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.