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Santaella

Certificate of Excellence
$$$$
Caribbean, Seafood, International, Puerto Rican
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219 Calle Canals | La Placita de Santurce, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico (La Placita de Santurce)
Stop #19. Bus lines: A5, B21, M3, B16
787-725-1611
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Today
6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Tue - Fri 11:30 am - 11:00 pm
Sat 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Chef Santaella transforms what used to be his catering workshop into an...
Chef Santaella transforms what used to be his catering workshop into an architectural acclaimed space committed to offer a menu full of flavor using many local ingredients sourced fresh from a farmer’s market only feet away. The space is one full of history where green, brown and wood tones décor the place. An interior garden full of native plants and trees such as papaya and ornamental bananas serves as the focal point of the main dining room. Offering a 75-seat dining room and a a 16-seat bar designed for guests to eat in, Santaella celebrates the roots of the island's comida criolla, and incorporates techniques, flavors and fusions from around the world into its food.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 326 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 231
    Excellent
  • 68
    Very good
  • 17
    Average
  • 5
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Best Food at an unassuming location!

Right off of La Placita is this very low key building that locals say is one of the best restaurants in the area. I didnt believe them until I walked in and was pleasantly surprised by the awesome decor and later the awesome food ... the popcorn chicken and Scallions wrapped in bacon are a must try... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 19, 2015
Farreno F
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326 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

Right off of La Placita is this very low key building that locals say is one of the best restaurants in the area. I didnt believe them until I walked in and was pleasantly surprised by the awesome decor and later the awesome food ... the popcorn chicken and Scallions wrapped in bacon are a must try ... Great Food... More 

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Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

Excellent food and service, just need to make sure you make a reservation because demand is high, and waiting in line is not always an option.

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Anguilla
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

After experiencing sublime cocktails and tapas at the bar on a previous visit to the La Placita area I've been mad keen to dine at Santaella and it didn't disappoint. My spainish octopus with heavenly lentils followed by shrimp with garlic cream sauce and mouthwatering monfongo was outstanding. What you cant see it the beauty of the well designed restaurant,... More 

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Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
302 reviews
199 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2015

I have been to Santaella on numerous trips to PR. Unfortunately I was never able to get a table and just had drinks. On this occasion I made reservations a week in advance and now I understand why that is necessary! The food and service was outstanding with menu choices just as diverse. I started with a bowl of roasted... More 

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Hialeah, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2015

Second visit to Santaella. Both times the food was outstanding.Service is slow and although we asked twice for a celebratory birthday recognition....it was forgotten. Slightly disappointing .

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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
130 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2015

There were some epic successes and close misses on this menu, but overall I would come again. We started with several appetizers - the sliders felt like there were too many flavors competing so those were probably the weakest dish. We also had morcillo (weird fried presentation but with a true flavor) and the most amazing g empanadillas (chorizo, cheese... More 

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Wichita
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2015

Santaella was our 2nd dinner on vacation to San Juan over July 4th, 2015. We'd tried going there the year before without a reservation, that didn't happen. This year I got smart and made a reservation. We got there and were seated right away, early actually. The food is to die for. We decided to split appetizers, salad, main entrée.... More 

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San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2015

Santaella is a must if you are visiting Puerto Rico. The ambiance is wonderful, the food is consistently great, and it is a pleasure every time I go. Jose Santaella, the owner -chef has created a world class restaurant that shines as brightly as any of the best in New York, Washington , Philadelphia and many places around the world

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Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2015

This restaurant is in the lively La Placita which is pumping on the weekends. We went at almost 10 in the evening but all the tables were still all packed and the bar was also buzzing with people. We had croquetas to start which were yummy but could have done with a little something sweet like a jam to cut... More 

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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2015

Have been to this place 5 times in the last two years – not exactly regulars but for non-residents, I believe we are still frequent patrons. Made a reservation for Thur night for 7:30 and arrived at 7:55. The place was packed but mostly in the bar, I know this place gets busy for dinner after 9 pm. I was... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 219 Calle Canals | La Placita de Santurce, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico
    (La Placita de Santurce)
  • Public Transportation: Stop #19. Bus lines: A5, B21, M3, B16
  • Location: Caribbean  >  Puerto Rico  >  San Juan
  • Phone Number: 787-725-1611

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 25 - 100
  • Cuisine: Caribbean, Seafood, International, Puerto Rican

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining

Description

Chef Santaella transforms what used to be his catering workshop into an architectural acclaimed space committed to offer a menu full of flavor using many local ingredients sourced fresh from a farmer’s market only feet away. The space is one full of history where green, brown and wood tones décor the place. An interior garden full of native plants and trees such as papaya and ornamental bananas serves as the focal point of the main dining room. Offering a 75-seat dining room and a a 16-seat bar designed for guests to eat in, Santaella celebrates the roots of the island's comida criolla, and incorporates techniques, flavors and fusions from around the world into its food.
Open Hours
Tuesday
11:30 am - 11:00 pm
Wednesday
11:30 am - 11:00 pm
Thursday
11:30 am - 11:00 pm
Friday
11:30 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday
6:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Santaella staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?