La Nacional Restaurant

4.6
108 reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
La Nacional Restaurant, officially the cantina of the Spanish Benevolent Society, was created to be inclusive and to appeal to the wide array of people who call La Nacional their second home. This classic haunt has been feeding Spaniards and Latin Americans in New York since the 19th century from a historical brownstone in the heart of what was Little Spain. Now, with the building having undergone a facelift and the non-profit reaching out to a new generation of members, it was time for the restaurant to follow suit.
What 108 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GA
New York Area
50 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Hmm, where do I begin?
We used to frequent this joint before the renovation. Even the place was kind of worn and hole in the wall feel, but the food was good. Recently, we went back for the first time after they reopen, sadly I can’t say the same on the food.
It’s modern with open layout now, and unlike before dishes are served in fancier plates/dish-ware.
4 of us started off with the cheese and cured meats platter follow with 8 tapas (chorizo, slice tomato with enchovies, patatas bravas, garlic shrimps, grilled octopus, potato omelette, croquetas, and baby squid on ink bun), then finished off with squid black ink paella.
On the tapas, potato bravas still pretty good, shrimp was fresh and bouncy mouth feel when bite on it, and tomato enchovies was not bad either. The rest was just so-so, and we were kind of disappointed on the octopus! We all thought the dishes were a bit salty to our liking, and the paella was definitely salty!!

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BB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am going again tonight (two nights later) with visitors. My new favorite place

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DA
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was impeccable and we had a 95 year old with us who needed assistance with steps and a walk. Food was outstanding and I have already scheduled to visit with two friends who reside in NYC.

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a
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A memorable meal that will remind me to come back over and over for more. Simple perfection is very hard to accomplish and the team at La Nacional managed to achieve it.

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KK
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The tapas were great: Pan con tomate, patatas bravas and croquetas. I was not a fan of the pulpo (octopus)...a simpler grilled preparation would have been better without the strange sauce. The seafood paella for 2 was delicious and we will be back!

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KB
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Love it here! The pan y tomat is crazy good! Fedua’ with seafood was perfectly done! Environment and staff are friendly and knowledgeable about their product. Also, the history of the location is depicted when you enter, which goes back over 150 years and tells a beautiful and somewhat sad story about immigration. 100% recommend!

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M
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The place is comfortable and has no attitude at all. The server was charming and helpful, and the tapas were delicious. Lovely neighborhood restaurant.

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OT
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful time. The food was great and the service was fantastic.

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D
New England
24 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very pleasant relaxed. Five good. Wine list doesn’t keep up.

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D
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

What a find! A quiet, friendly, tasty dining experience on a Saturday night. And in a fabulous neighborhood. I’m surprised they are not booked well in advance. We’ll be back!

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AA
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are from Barcelona,Spain. We know about Spanish food and, I have to say that....
This is a great Spanish restaurant!!!
We've felt like as home!
Thanks Carlos! We'll come back!

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VP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Good food. Bad service and music.

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ET
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We really enjoy the food and atmosphere at La Nacional. Reasonably priced tapas and wines/drinks.

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TW
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Beautiful restaurant. Not too loud or busy. Food was very good. Garlic Shrimp and Cod were high points. Very enjoyable and reasonable bottle of wine. Would recommend.

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S
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a great expirience and the food is delicious! Real Spanish from spain food! Totally recommended!

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G
New York Area
47 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The hostess helped us get a table in the back instead of at the communal table, even when my friends were late. However, we were a party of three seated next to the long table in the back. The acoustics were not great. This was our third time at the new and improved La Nacional. The tapas are the best part. The paella and arroces are fine but small. We'll be back.

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GG
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Nacional never fails to impress me. This has been my go to spot for a while now. My boyfriend and I love coming here, order the patatas bravas and the gambillo de calamar! Love it!

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JD
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly appreciate the friendliness of all the staff. They couldn't be kinder. Fun ambiance and good food.

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JS
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A hidden gem. Amazing manager with a great concept. Traditional Spanish dishes hidden on terrace level.

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F
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All around excellence at La Nacional. There were 10 of us and we sat at the high top table. We had a great time. The food was delicious, the service excellent and the ambiance welcoming. We all loved being there. Thank you.

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b
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We loved the food (various tapas and seafood paella) and wine very much but weren't into the live music (a group of women with guitars who sang songs in Spanish) -- we like to have conversation and found the music to be distracting. Perhaps (if music is necessary) some quiet classical Spanish guitar would have been better!

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DB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a treat. It has only been open a few months, but it is the re-opening of a place affiliated with an historical society over 150 years old that helped Spanish immigrants move to NY. They have visiting chefs from Valencia, and it is amazing Tapas at a reasonable price, and a very welcoming and fun vibe. Not to be missed, the place is outstanding and will make a splash in NYC, in addition to the history, which they have chronicled at the entrance.

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RA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was excellent, service was excellent. Just a wonderful Spanish restaurant.

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b
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Luscious flavorful food created with passion! Lovely room tables nicely distanced from others attentive smiling waiters.....A bit loud but I like the hustle and bustle great music

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FS
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

A lttle spanish traditional music would be nice.
Too much modern american music.

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A
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic! My abuelo was a member of La Nacional in the 1920's. Wonderful to see it up and running. The restaurant renovation was great! Gracias! Dr.Mary Yepez

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

Fun
Don’t prescribe what you want the review to say

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic and affordable! We will definitely be back!

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KM
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Finally the search for affordable, delicious tapas has ended! Highly recommend.

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JP
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waiters and the manager were very nice. The food was amazing, and the price was good. I would totally recommend this place. 10/10.

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G
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent paella and great selection of Spanish wines. Lively, upbeat atmosphere.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Good overall. Service could have been better in terms of attentiveness (especially since it wasn’t busy when I was there).

Food was delicious and the value was great.

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CA
New York Area
65 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is so much fun! The food is delicious! Service was amazing! I highly recommend this spot.

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JD
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything is wonderful, but we found the wine list a bit pricey compared to the charges for the food. A couple of less expensive wines would be welcome. The sangria price is fine.

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SW
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Presentation of food was a work of art. Tapas were well-priced and absolutely delicious.

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AG
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I enjoyed a night of dinner with friends before going upstairs to a flamenco show.

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N
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

La Nacional 2.0 delivers an authentic Spanish feel and flavors. The menu is limited, but you can ask to order a special paella in advance. Had a real gin tonic. It is as close to what you can get near Valencia than any other in the city.

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AG
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Well priced menu, nice setting, they have recently opened for Sunday lunch. Order the rice and the jamon iberico - loved it!

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

What an extreme disappointment. After waiting for the reopening I brought my husband for his birthday for the paella. Which used to be amazing. You had no choice but the special of the day, despite the website still reporting all options. You must order in advance. The paella was served on a plate not the traditional pan which allows it to stay warm and enjoy the crispy rice. None of that occurred. It was cold almost instantly and had none of the usual flavor. The server said we don’t have enough pans so we serve it on plates.

The service lacked and didn’t even ask why we were sending back 3/4 of a plate. And there should have been no excuses as we were early guests. Barely checked in on and nothing mentioned for his birthday despite noting in the request.

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D
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food with tables large enough for groups. Everything we ordered was delicious and already planning for our next dinner there!

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