We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“What a gem”
Review of Santaella

Santaella
Reserve with OpenTable
Santaella is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #23 of 1,074 Restaurants in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: Caribbean, Seafood, International, Puerto Rican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: La Placita de Santurce
Transit: Stop #19. Bus lines: A5, B21, M3, B16
Description: 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
Reviewed January 28, 2014

First time in PR and after reading the reviews we decided to try it. Cab ride from the hotel was interesting, shady neighborhood but when we pulled up top notch service right from the start . We had a reservation and for escorted right to our table. Our waiter was so friendly, and very helpful. I wish I could remember his name , he was outstanding. The way he described the food was just as it tasted, delish.
We went because the drink menu looked amazing & the watermelon mojito & their new drink professor something. soooooo good.
The pace of our meal was perfect, not rushed at all. Started with baby octopus ( never had it before , wasn't for me ) but the chickpeas & chorizo , with crusty bread amazing.
Dinner , my husband has the sea bass, great , I had the filet , best Brussels sprouts & fingerling potatoes I have ever tasted.
Save room for dessert, our handsome waiter suggestion , the coconut , almond thing, ( tasted just like a warm Italian almond macaroon ) with vanilla ice cream . The whole staff works as a team , ( all so handsome & always smiling ) when leaving they called a cab for us & without wait one was waiting, highly recommend this gem .

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jennyj74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Thank you so much for a great review and recommendation! We look forward to having you back here at Santaella for some more 'Cocada'! (the coconut and almond thing).

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (614)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

431 - 435 of 615 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2014

Went to Santaella because of the reviews and this place looks more like a bar to me. Waited for my table around 35 minutes and couldn't wait at the bar because it was full. The bar space is very small. The food was ok but nothing wow! The service terrible. Drinks took like 20 minutes to get to the table and seems that if you are not a local you would NOT get the attention of the staff. To finish my night we waited for the car another 20 minutes!!! Terrible Terrible experience!! Wont go back again.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank chef726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Thank you for your review. We are very sorry your experience was not up to expectations. We are currently reviewing the issues brought up in your review and look forward to being able to correct them.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

Santurce is a gritty San Juan neighborhood that is attracting students, artists, and restaurants in search of low rents. Santaella is a funky, youthful restaurant with industrial and tropical touches of decor, a pleasant wait staff in jeans and sneakers, and an innovative cuisine that features the freshest ingredients and intense flavors. The crab meat I had there was the freshest and most favorable that I have ever had. Many of the dishes have a subtle sense of humor. Go for a visit to find out what that means.
My wife and I rated this restaurant second only to Marmalade in San Juan.

Thank WCTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Thank you for a great review! We look forward to having you back here at Santaella for some more crab.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2014 via mobile

If you are a foodie you must visit Santaella. It was probably the best food we had in our 2 week holiday in PR. Try to go Thursday- Saturday, as the plaza is livelier and you can walk around. We were there on a Tuesday and the restaurant was busy but it was dead outside. Dont miss it! Its a great break away from mofongo! :) RSVP.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Io A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Thank you for a great review. We look forward to having you back here at Santaella.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

Chef Santaella has delivered a masterpiece. Quality, creative cousine surrounded by a trendy and inviting atmosphere. Full house on most days, be sure to make your reservations and arrive early. Must do.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank albert0san
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ktoro, Owner at Santaella, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Thank you for a great review and recommendation! We look forward to having you back.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Santaella also viewed

San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
 
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
 
San Juan, Puerto Rico
 

Been to Santaella? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing