Santaella

4.8
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1830 reviews
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$31 to $50
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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
What 1830 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
4.7
Service
4.8
Ambience
4.5
Value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BS
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined 20 hours ago
Overall5Food5Service3Ambience5

Food was excellent

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall1Food5Service2Ambience3

The restaurant was very nice, but

E
Caribbean
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food and drinks. Will go again

JS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

The menu is diverse and the food delicious! We loved everything from fried “Asian” calamari, trifungo, and Brussel sprout salad to start followed my a perfect filet and the best sea bass we’ve ever had. The servers teamed to be very attentive, but it took a while for our server to come back and take our main course order so there was a bit if a lag in the meal between apps and dinner.

MB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food, ambience. Sophisticated yet casual. After dinner you can walk to one of the most happening Placita’s in PR.

MB
Miami
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always a great place to eat or just have a drink. Service is impeccable and food is consistently great!!

OT
Caribbean
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4Food5Service3Ambience5

Excellent Food and deserts. The ambient is super good for business.

j
Cincinnati
112 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great food. Great service. Best restaurant we have visited in San Juan.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Superb! Extraordinaria la calidad de la comida. Pedimos la lubina y los camarones. El aperitivo de cazuela con púlpitos y chorizos no nos impresionó, pero eso no desmereció lo estupendo de los platos principales. Muy orgulloso de comer tan bien en un restaurante local.

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M
Caribbean
2 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Do yourself a favor and please order the goat cheese quesadilla served with an arugula salad on top. Perfectly delicious comfort food. Chef Santaella’s creative genius is out of this world. Mike & Johnny at the bar make the best cocktalis in Puerto Rico, hands down. The ambience from the music to the decor to the lighting. It was perfectly beautiful.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food and great service.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent food and great cocktails. Rafael’s service to our party of 6 was exceptional. I highly recommend going here.

R
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

One of the Best restaurants in Puerto Rico

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Espectacular!!

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GM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Superb!!Hands down the best in San Juan!!!!

DS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We have really enjoyed coming here. Santaella has excellent craft cocktails and the food is amazing. Think we’ve tried everything on the menu and we’re particularly fond of the pork shank and the whole red snapper. Their empandillas are always really good too. The whole menu is infused with traditional Puerto Rican flavors. After dinner you can even venture out and take in the sights and sounds of la placita.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Classy and elegant, a superb meal. Try the goat cheese quesadillas and the pork belly, both amazing. Sea bass was also excellent.

NA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent service. Attentive staff. Outstanding food.

RO
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

No other words except beyond amazing!!!! Everything about this place was top notch! HIGHLY recommended! My new favorite place in PR

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall3Food3Service5Ambience4

OK experience and overrated

NT
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Perfectly paced dinner for 8... we were seated right away after arriving 15 minutes early for our 8 PM reservation. Drink orders were taken, and it was worth trying different cocktails, all were inventive and delicious, incorporating Caribbean fruits and flavors. First course orders were next, and these arrived a bit afterwards. They showcase traditional Puerto Rican food with a modern twist. Main course orders were not taken until the first course had arrived. We enjoyed the 3 hours at the restaurant and never felt rushed (or hungry). We had time to savor our drinks and dinner, as one should. Mostly a smartly dressed crowd, of all ages, a mix of locals and tourists. The dining room is beautiful with traditional and modern touches. Background music was well chosen, lively but not crazy loud... decibel level was high, as it was, but we were able to chat, and it all contributed to the festive atmosphere. Overall, we had a wonderful evening. Kudos.

S
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5Food5Service3Ambience4

Delicious delicious !! We would definitely go back because there was so much back we wanted to try!! Service was slow the night we were there but it was crowded .

OT
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Everything was AMAZING! Truly one of the best meals my friend and I had in PR

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food is amazing

BB
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall3Food2Service4Ambience5

Cramped, loud, average food, average service. Similar to an mid-tier steak house. Dessert was pretty good. Nothing special overall.

SB
Milwaukee
14 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great local cuisine and outstanding service
Craft cocktails were excellent
This restaurant is outstanding

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great ambiance and great food

DC
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Certainly, our visit to Santaella was a fantastic experience. I love the Lubina.

PF
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

From the moment you drive up to the restaurant you know you will be delighted. Lively neighborhood and friendly people. The bar was packed with locals and tourists. The bartenders provided ample pours at reasonable prices.
From the appetizers to desserts we were thrilled.
Whole Snapper, Skirt Steak, Pork Belly, Bread Pudding. Alejandro was an amazing host to our experience. Definitely recommend.

GC
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

Xmas Eve dinner. Service was a bit slow, but overall a good experience. Nothing is really good value in San Juan, as far as I'm concerned, but this was pricey. It's an upbeat, hip venue - not really what I expected. But enjoyable non-the-less. Food was excellent.

R
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

Santaella is a great location for excellent food! Fresh ingredients, creative dishes, great mix of flavors! So good we’re headed back today!

FH
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Definitely eat here! Three of us each had different appetizers and main entrees and everything we put in our mouths was delicious. To top it off our drinks were also exceptional. The wait staff was welcoming and upbeat. I would highly recommend this restaurant. If you go on a weekend the atmosphere outside the restaurant is fun too;live music, bars, and dancing in the streets.

SB
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Celebrated my wife's birthday at Santaella during our vacation to Puerto Rico. Everyone on the staff, especially Rafael, went to great lengths to take care of us during our visit, including bringing my son to the kitchen. Food was outstanding, service was fantastic, and can't recommend this restaurant highly enough!

OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

Every morsel was amazing. Our daughter is lactose intolerant and they accommodated her diet to the dishes. The best sliders we’ve had and red snapper. The vegan sliders were also amazing! I highly recommend this place.

N
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great as always!

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing ! Food was delicious

MS
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We love this place, it has a wonderful vibe and is always busy so make a reservation. This restaurant is very popular with locals, and not just tourists so this is a sure sign the food is excellent! The menu is imaginative, offering tapas plates, as well as full meals. We love the eclectic flavors, the wait staff are very attentive. It’s buzzing especially at weekends and can be noisy but that’s all part of the atmosphere of this wonderful restaurant!

OT
Palm Springs
5 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing as always! A Puerto Rico must ! What a treat!!

BL
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

Delicious! Would go back again many times over. Food was great, drinks were to die for.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Wooooooooooooiooiooioooooo

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