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Santaella

4.8
2161 Reviews
$50 and over
Puerto Rican
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

Support Santaella during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Diner temperature check required
  • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
What 2161 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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RH
vipRobyH
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love love love this place! The food (most important), the service, the ambiance, it is fantastic.

Started out with EMPANADILLAS DEL DÍA which where filled with a succulent beef and herbs, the BERKSHIRE PORK BELLY BUNS' which were good but not great so far as flavor, the TACOS DE TARTAR DE ATÚN: sushi grade tuna that with its accompaniments was to delicious, I wanted to just eat this all night. For entrees we had LUBINA ASADA SOBRE PURE DE BATATA CON VINAGRETA DE ALCAPARRAS Y PIMIENTOS DE PIQUILLO, which I have to say was one of the best sea bass dishes I have had in ages. Light and fresh with flavors that were so subtle I needed to have another bite as fast as possible to get them back. And we had the CACHETES DE TERNERA EN FRICASÉ CRIOLLO SOBRE PURE DE YAUTIA. If you haven’t had veal cheek, don’t freak, you wouldn’t know it from any other cut, could have been rump roast or short rib except the flavor and tenderness were unbeatable.

If you’re in San Jose for one night… go here. You won’t be disappointed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The restaurant was recommended by our Uber driver so we made a reservation for our daughter’s birthday dinner. The restaurant was packed solid that night and we were seated right away. Food was good but the service was unmatched. One of the most attentive, engaging and friendly staff we’ve ever encountered. Would definitely recommend and will return on our next visit to PR for sure.

ML
MonicaL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food, drinks and service were great! Prices a little high not unreasonable though.

SD
SusanD
Caribbean
19 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service and amazing atmosphere!! Love going to Santaella… my favorite place in Puerto Rico. Just was sad they didn’t have the tuna sticks or the tuna tacos. Next time!!

MG
MayleenG
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always fantastic, always consistent.
My favorites are the ceviche and the goat cheese and honey quesadilla. The drinks are amazing and the service is the best.

MS
MaruchiS
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding!
I ordered the Lubina and mashed sweet potato, which was a beautiful blend of flavors
The alcapurrias and white crab meat were fantastic as well as my special guanábana cocktail with dark chocolate!

m
vipmicaela
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always excellent

j
vipjacquelinec
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The goat cheese quesadilla and tuna skewers were amazing. Service was ridiculously fast. Great experience

LM
LM2019
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience1

We were first sat beside a loud group of drunks by the bar. Our entrees were great in flavor, but our fish was raw after eating 1/4 of the serving. Very disappointed, no one cared.

MO
vipMOME2017
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

All good. My only suggestion is to expand the knowledge about wines to the waiters. They offered the cocktails many times. Since I prefer wines, I would have appreciated a bit more attention on the wine offering. Thanks.

SM
SharleneM
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

excelente food and service

JC
vipJuanCarlos
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an excellent dinner party. The food and service was amazing. It is a restaurant you must go.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food / bar - drinks experience.
A must return.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Extremely expensive for the place

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

The tomato and olive oil ice cream salad was to die for

OT
OpenTable Diner
Caribbean
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent restaurant, good environment with and amazing service

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
5 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome as always!

PS
vipPSPS
San Diego
26 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This intriguing restaurant attracts all foodies. There's something for every palate. We started off with the ahi tuna, goat cheese quesadilla, and escargot. The goat cheese quesadilla combines honey with a light, flaky dough. Because the dough is sliced thin, this creates a lighter finish. It reminds me of sea salt caramel. The ahi tuna is reminiscent of kebabs and is served as such. It's light and seasoned reminiscent of ceviche. The escargot was served traditional style with bread. A classic, yet still yummy.

We opted for lighter dishes for our entrees due to having a late lunch. That was our mistake. I had the salmon ceviche., my husband had the cauliflower. The ceviche is drenched in lime juice. Which creates a hefty, acidic flavor. Steer clear if you don't enjoy lots of lime or lemon. The cauliflower is a blend of butternut squash and Indian spices. Surprisingly, this was not regrant as we're used to most Indian spices being strong in the nose. The feta cheese helped break up intended blandness of the dish.

Keep in mind, the entrees are large in portion. Several guests ordered seabass and ended up taking half of it home.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, great service - we made a second reservation right after we ate here.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was outstanding! Amazing place!

C
Cass
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic drinks, delicious food, great atmosphere... you can't go wrong with Santaella! Highly recommended.

n
vipnicholase
London
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food and service

OT
OpenTable Diner
Wilmington
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in San Juan!

Report
e
etonrise
Miami
8 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal. Wonderful service. Excellent drinks.

C
Corey
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner at the Bar. Johnny and Pedro kept us entertained and our glasses full! Veal Chop was out of this world. 10/10 would recommend.

MB
MosheB
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, great atmosphere, and good service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Caribbean
2 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, the staff was corteous and made us feel at home. The cocktails were super and so were the appetizers and main course. The fried chillo with tostones was superb! Thanks for the tuna skewers! I highly recomend a visit

RM
vipRolandoMacias
Denver
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is amazing and the waiters are the best

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

We came here for dinner on our honeymoon and had the most amazing experience. Wonderful food and wine in the most beautiful little restaurant! The red snapper and shrimp was delicious but the tuna and ceviche tapas upstaged the meal. Incredible!

L
Lauren
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and food. Great ambience.

MT
MaritzaT
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience3

Quality of food was sufficient I asked for pork la on… got a piece of ham. The quality of the food doesn’t justify the price. Menu has changed after the pandemic. The quality of the meats and the description doesn’t adjust to what they offer. The had pinchos de tuna. It was just raw tuna squares on a stick, not cooked or seasoned.

Q
Quiksilverpr
Caribbean
8 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

I decided to bring my friends from Washington DC and we had the best meal ever. To my surprised one of my friends is a huge wine lover so he was very impressed by the wine selection. The staff was amazing. Thank you Chef and his team for an amazing evening

l
luvgoodfood
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing experience at Santaella.
The atmosphere, service, cocktails and the food were all top notch. Do yourself a favor and make it a point to dine at Santaella while visiting San Juan.

R
Ryan
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Food was fantastic, absolutely amazing. The restaurant is way too loud to talk normally without yelling. The fix would be fairly easy by covering the available walls and entire ceiling with 2-3” of PET fiber (1000gr/sq meter) and covering the fiber with stretched fabric (<100 Pa) specific air flow resistance. Add a glass partition on to the half wall up to the ceiling. There are other useful decorative options that would reduce noise buildup even more. The food was so good I’ll be back with my noise canceling headphones! Possibly one of the best meals I’ve had in the last five years.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excepcional as always!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Caribbean
3 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and courteous service.

H
Hec1979
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food service our waiter was excellent and knowledgeable. Wish I remembered his name so he could be acknowledged.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

It was really nice. Very private and respected personal space. 10/10 experience

OT
OpenTable Diner
Caribbean
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

By reducing us our table was ready in seconds. The waiter who served us knows the menu very well and was able to make some recommendations. This allowed a pleasant experience. The quality of the food was excellent as was its taste. I was fascinated by the “Pinchos de Tuna” as well as the garlic escargots.

JR
vipJohnR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience5

Food was good. I’ve had better service in a fast food restaurant.