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“A little piece of foodie heaven” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Santaella

Santaella
219 Calle Canals | La Placita de Santurce, San Juan 00907, Puerto Rico
787-725-1611
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Ranked #9 of 628 Restaurants in San Juan
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Caribbean, Seafood, International, Puerto Rican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: La Placita de Santurce
Transit: Stop #19. Bus lines: A5, B21, M3, B16
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.
Charleston, South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“A little piece of foodie heaven”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We spoke with someone at our hotel and they suggested Santaella. Needless to say, the suggestion was spot on! Luis, our server, was just a down to earth guy. Being a Yankees fan didn't hurt either. I ordered the sea bass and my wife normally doesn't do sea bass, but she thoroughly enjoyed it. We filled up on the hummus and unfortunately had no room for desert. The atmosphere is fresh and geared for the foodies!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
Thank you for a great review and recommendation. We look forward to having you back here again soon and hopefully you'll have space for dessert. ¡Gracias!
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232 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    169
    46
    12
    1
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent place all around.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013 via mobile

Where do I begin: fresh, creative, full of flavor. Amazing mixology. The white tuna tartare with ponzu sauce was incredible and so was everything else on the menu. Really cool ambiance with a clever interior decor. Love, love, love it!!!! I want to eat at this place every day.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
Thanks for such an amazing review. We look forward to having you back here for some more Tartare. ¡Gracias!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Excellent Service and Great Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

This was the best dining experiences I have had in San Juan. I went with a couple of friends on Thursday (May 16) because my friend wanted to have a nice birthday dinner. We were able to make reservations on opentable earlier that day so our wait was only 15 minutes (they had to clear the table after another party stayed a little longer than expected). I chose Santaella because my friends told me that we would have to wait hours to be seated at other popular restaurants La Placita de Santurce. Once we were seated we had great service (waiters/servers were friendly and attentive). The food was great and filling (my friend and I shared the fried chicken and an appetizer...the bday girl had the tuna tartar). The restaurant has a cool crowd/ambiance. We thought the prices were reasonable (although it would have been a little pricey had we ordered more drinks...we were drinking cheap driniks in La Placita before dinner). Definitely worth a trip.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Thank you for a great review! We're glad you had a lovely time and we look forward to having you back soon. ¡Gracias!
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Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Food is very good, but service need improvement”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

The place is near "La Placita", where weekends is almost impossible to get there. I went for lunch on a weekday and it was easy to get to the place. The restaurant is considered one of the best for executives. The food was really good. Tried the tuna as appetiser and then had a Sea Bass. Both plates where very good. Services was extremely slow, even with the place fairly empty. Services was not very professional either when serving the clients (for a high end restaurant).
Wine selection was nice and easy to review since they have wine list on a digital tablet.
The place is ok, nothing spectacular.
If services is not an issue for you, I would recommend the place for its food.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Thank you for your review! We're looking into the service issues you have mentioned above and look forward to providing you with a much better and professional service next time you visit. ¡Gracias!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Worth the trip to Puerto Rico”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

One of the best meals ever. The drink menu is superb and the dining menu is off the charts. Every item we ordered was spectacular. Many of the other reviews have mentioned the individual items by name and they are all fantastic. The service was attentive but not at all overbearing. This is a busy, crowded restaurant and there's no point in just stopping by. Make reservations and enjoy!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Thank you for a great review! We look forward to having you here again soon. ¡Gracias!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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