Chef José Santaella has trained with some of the best chefs in the world, including Ferrán Adriá, Eric Ripert, and Gary Danko. His apprenticeships and successful catering career paved the way for Santaella, his signature restaurant in Santurce's La Placita Marketplace. The decor is rustic yet elegant, with exposed walls, Edison light fixtures, an interior garden, and a sparkling bar. Chef Santaella fuses local and international ingredients to perfectly execute Puerto Rican nouvelle cuisine. The menu is dominated by tapas, which you can easily make into a meal. Favorites include the ahi tuna skewers, goat cheese quesadilla, 'alcapurrias' topped with crab, and foie gras terrine with fruit jelly . The cocktail bar is one of the best on the island, so don't leave without trying one of the concoctions by Santaella's mixologists. -Fodors
San Juan, PR 00907
Puerto Rican, Caribbean, Latin / Spanish
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday – Friday 11:30am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday – Thursday 6:00pm – 10:30pm
Friday and Saturday 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
La Placita de Santurce
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
For Caterings, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.josesantaella.com
Santaella has valet parking ($7) and there are also two public, paid parkings nearby.
Stop #19. Bus lines: A5, B21, M3, B16
Chef José Santaella
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Please inquire within.
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Santaella Ratings and Reviews
We sat at the bar tables which are very crowded into a tight space next to the actual bar. People standing (at the bar) behind my chair were spilling their martinis on me when other people would bump into them.
Our waiter, Alejandro, was over the top excellent! Food was good, the place was packed with the "see & be seen" crowd. We will be back (this is a favorite place for our Puerto Rican friends), but will sit in the dining room - not bar table next time.
Glad I finally made it to Santaella. The food and combinations are outstanding! We went there to celebrate my birthday. Service was friendly, and our server made some great recommendations, but the beginning was a bit slow. It improved as dinner approached. Loved the creative touches!
Incredible, romantic dinner!! Santaella was some of the best food we've had in Puerto Rico since we moved here. The service was great. We ended up making friends with the folks sitting next to us and stayed longer than anticipated but never felt pressure from the server to flip the table. We may be coming back as soon as this week :)
Everything was delicious except for my main course, the veal cheeks. The richness of the dish needed with a bit more pop to bring it up in terms of balance, gremolata, or just some lemon zest would've done the trick. Despite eating less than half of my dish and letting our courteous waiter know why I wasn't happy with it, it remained on the check.
Everything else was lovely.
We had a reservation for two at 6:30 PM and were seated timely. The ambience and good service is a constant at this restaurant. The food is good but for the price is not spectacular. They do have several appetizers that are different but there are other quite simple for this type of restaurant. In summary, Santaella's location is quite appealing since it is next to La Placita, service is always excellent but the food is not at the level the pricing suggests.
Place is nice, good set up and ambience. Liquor at the bar, excellent selections all types.
Service was not on par for the price of the restaurant.
Food was prepared and served ok , nothing out of this world.
Looks like a trendy place to go, not a place I would have to go back to when going back to Puerto Rico because of the memorable food.
Wasn't thrilled with the food for the price paid. The goat cheese quesadilla was the best thing I ate. Other than that everything fell flat. The shrimp mofongo dish didn't wow me and the lamb chops were OK. The bread pudding ended the meal on a better note but by then I was already less than thrilled with the dining experience.
Go where the locals that know go ...this is the place. The service was excellent. the wait staff knowledgeable. The food was delicious. Strongly encourage you to try the lamb...lollipops perfectly cooked.
Don't forget to save room for an after dinner drink or dessert.
We were recommended to try this restaurant by our hotel staff. It was a busy Friday evening, lots of locals and a very cool vibe. The food was SPECTACULAR, but our service was terrible. We sat at the table for an hour before we got our appetizer (the server forgot to put it in). He was not attentive at all. The server offered to buy us drinks after we finished our bottle of wine since he neglected us, and when we ordered these drinks he charged us anyway. Great food, not great service.
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