Pura Vida Tapas & Bar

★★★★☆
Central and South American flavors infuse traditional Spanish dishes in this quaint, stunning all-tapas bistro.
33.7723 -84.3527
Map and Directions to Pura Vida Tapas & Bar

404-870-9797

656 N Highland Ave NE

Atlanta, GA

30306

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About Pura Vida Tapas & Bar

Hours
Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm Fri 5:30pm-11pm Sat 5:30pm-11:30pm

Food

Food
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Okay, so we all know that the food is good here. I do believe that the sangria is the most underrated thing on the menu. Good friends, good food, and a couple pitchers of the sangria make for a great evening!

4
★★★★☆

Okay, so we all know that the food is good here. I do believe that the sangria is the most underrated thing on the menu. Good friends, good food, and a couple pitchers of the sangria make for a great evening!

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.

I went here once and will go back. Great tapas, service is quick. Try the sangria, very yummy. I also love the fried broccoli. Later in the evening it gets really busy and fun.

4
★★★★☆

I went here once and will go back. Great tapas, service is quick. Try the sangria, very yummy. I also love the fried broccoli. Later in the evening it gets really busy and fun.

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Pura Vida means the "Good Life" in the Latin culture and that's what Chef Hector Santiago has managed to bring to Atlanta. From the unique and revolving menu to the wonderful paintings on the wall. The atmosphere is set for you to do a little Salso ieven if you really never have.

5
★★★★★

Pura Vida means the "Good Life" in the Latin culture and that's what Chef Hector Santiago has managed to bring to Atlanta. From the unique and revolving menu to the wonderful paintings on the wall. The atmosphere is set for you to do a little Salso ieven if you really never have.

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Latest reviews from Citysearch.

.

PERFECT LIVING THE GOOD LIFE AT PURA VIDA\r
\r
This city is loaded with stellar chefs and many have settled into their culinary niche, but not Chef/ Owner Hector Santiago of Pura Vida. Always searching for intriguing tastes to uplift the

6
★★★★★

PERFECT LIVING THE GOOD LIFE AT PURA VIDA\r
\r
This city is loaded with stellar chefs and many have settled into their culinary niche, but not Chef/ Owner Hector Santiago of Pura Vida. Always searching for intriguing tastes to uplift the

.

I love this place! The food is so good!

6
★★★★★

I love this place! The food is so good!

.

I had a great experience here in Pura Vida Tapas and Bar The service is great and the crew is very helpful and kind

6
★★★★★

I had a great experience here in Pura Vida Tapas and Bar The service is great and the crew is very helpful and kind

.

I loved the food, the ambiance and the service. Everything was just so right in this place. I am always satisfied every time I leave this restaurant. Two thumbs up!

4
★★★★☆

I loved the food, the ambiance and the service. Everything was just so right in this place. I am always satisfied every time I leave this restaurant. Two thumbs up!

.

Taking up storefront space adjacent to San Francisco Coffee Co. on N. Highland Avenue, Pura Vida offers up expertly crafted Spanish/Latin tapas concocted by head chef Hector Santiago. It's cozy, romantic vibe makes it an excellent pick for date three (and-beyond). Dishes meant to be shared like charred mushrooms in butter or local trout ceviche go excellent with the spot-on sangria. Toss in some flirty conversation and the night is yours.

5
★★★★★

Taking up storefront space adjacent to San Francisco Coffee Co. on N. Highland Avenue, Pura Vida offers up expertly crafted Spanish/Latin tapas concocted by head chef Hector Santiago. It's cozy, romantic vibe makes it an excellent pick for date three (and-beyond). Dishes meant to be shared like charred mushrooms in butter or local trout ceviche go excellent with the spot-on sangria. Toss in some flirty conversation and the night is yours.

Pros: Delicious, creative tapas with an artistic flare

Cons: Avoid the dishes that appear to be American- Latin fusion

.

I loved this place. I was seeing people of all kinds here. Out of town, family, friends, first dates....good people watching. Great place to meet up. Easy to find. You can tell that they care. The staff has fun but the real WOW factor is in the freshness of the ingrediants. You can just tell that everything is hand picked and super fresh from the beans and produce to the meet. Really authentic and the best part is you can afford it!

5
★★★★★

I loved this place. I was seeing people of all kinds here. Out of town, family, friends, first dates....good people watching. Great place to meet up. Easy to find. You can tell that they care. The staff has fun but the real WOW factor is in the freshness of the ingrediants. You can just tell that everything is hand picked and super fresh from the beans and produce to the meet. Really authentic and the best part is you can afford it!

Pros: service!!!

Cons: parking

.

Dear Mr. buckheadman,

Might I suggest, next time you go to a restaurant you're not familiar with, read the menu as soon as you walk in the door. Also, if it was such a bad experience, why did you stay and go through with the dining experience?? My guess is that you couldn't afford it and you didn't want to embarrass yourself in front of your date?! Or, maybe your date was terrible and you just needed to vent your frustrations.
Mr. Buckheadman, you need to find something to do with your time! There's way to many restaurateurs that will always venture and frequent Pura Vida. The buck doesn't stop with you!!

5
★★★★★

Dear Mr. buckheadman,

Might I suggest, next time you go to a restaurant you're not familiar with, read the menu as soon as you walk in the door. Also, if it was such a bad experience, why did you stay and go through with the dining experience?? My guess is that you couldn't afford it and you didn't want to embarrass yourself in front of your date?! Or, maybe your date was terrible and you just needed to vent your frustrations.
Mr. Buckheadman, you need to find something to do with your time! There's way to many restaurateurs that will always venture and frequent Pura Vida. The buck doesn't stop with you!!

Pros: Awesome food, eclectic art work, amazing drinks

.

I have been a devoted fan of Hector Santiago for years. I have never had a bad experience at Pura Vida. This restaurant has something that is so important yet lacking in so many restaurants and that is consistency. Also, chef Hector deserves the utmost respect for using fresh local ingredients and supporting our local farmers and small businesses. I went in today to try their acclaimed brunch menu which was what I expected, nothing less than spectacular. I originally wanted to write about all of the great items we tried but am choosing instead to use my words to respond to the incredibly rude and INACCURATE review written by jerkoffman, excuse me, I mean buckheadman. Sir, you sure sound like an awfully miserable person. I pity you for that. I'm sorry that your life is so lousy and dull that you have nothing better to do with your time than try and trash a local business and it's hard working chef. Hector Santiago is extremely talented and your hateful ranting is completely fallacious and ridiculous. If you've ever eaten tapas, like you claim you have, you would know the portions and prices there are average. There is a reason Pura Vida has won NUMEROUS awards and the chef is one of only 3 Atlanta chefs who are semi finalists for a James Beard award. Since you obviously don't appreciate creative and innovative cuisine, I'm sure you'd be a much happier person if you stuck to the boring cookie cutter restaurants in Buckhead, or maybe try a Happy Meal at McDonalds. Better yet, why don't you just cook for yourself? And what exactly should Pura Vida be ashamed of? Receiving the first honored AJC Restaurant of the Year? Star Chef award? Or maybe making the best of tapas list year after year in Creative Loafing and Atlanta magazine? You sir, are the one who should be ashamed for wishing failure on an established restaurant and it's dedicated employees. I am appalled that during these difficult financial times someone would say something so malicious.

5
★★★★★

I have been a devoted fan of Hector Santiago for years. I have never had a bad experience at Pura Vida. This restaurant has something that is so important yet lacking in so many restaurants and that is consistency. Also, chef Hector deserves the utmost respect for using fresh local ingredients and supporting our local farmers and small businesses. I went in today to try their acclaimed brunch menu which was what I expected, nothing less than spectacular. I originally wanted to write about all of the great items we tried but am choosing instead to use my words to respond to the incredibly rude and INACCURATE review written by jerkoffman, excuse me, I mean buckheadman. Sir, you sure sound like an awfully miserable person. I pity you for that. I'm sorry that your life is so lousy and dull that you have nothing better to do with your time than try and trash a local business and it's hard working chef. Hector Santiago is extremely talented and your hateful ranting is completely fallacious and ridiculous. If you've ever eaten tapas, like you claim you have, you would know the portions and prices there are average. There is a reason Pura Vida has won NUMEROUS awards and the chef is one of only 3 Atlanta chefs who are semi finalists for a James Beard award. Since you obviously don't appreciate creative and innovative cuisine, I'm sure you'd be a much happier person if you stuck to the boring cookie cutter restaurants in Buckhead, or maybe try a Happy Meal at McDonalds. Better yet, why don't you just cook for yourself? And what exactly should Pura Vida be ashamed of? Receiving the first honored AJC Restaurant of the Year? Star Chef award? Or maybe making the best of tapas list year after year in Creative Loafing and Atlanta magazine? You sir, are the one who should be ashamed for wishing failure on an established restaurant and it's dedicated employees. I am appalled that during these difficult financial times someone would say something so malicious.

Pros: tapas, drinks, service

Cons: Can be a wait, go during "off" times

.

I'm completely baffled as to how people can give excellent reviews for this place. In addition, to whomever wrote the citysearch review saying that the tapas plates are a steal, WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING??? Give me whatever you're smoking because this place is a complete rip off. It is SEVERELY overpriced and SEVERELY underportioned for even TAPAS CUISINE. Yes. Duh. I know this is not a place to gorge or pig out at and that is why I capitalized tapas cuisine. For that specific standard, it is still outrageously subpar.

I will never recommend this place to anybody. I will exert all effort to persuade people to steer absolutely clear of this place. Pura Vida should be ashamed of themselves, and they have earned themselves a customer who will try with all his power to negatively affect this restaurant. STAY AWAY and I hope they go out of business.

2
★★☆☆☆

I'm completely baffled as to how people can give excellent reviews for this place. In addition, to whomever wrote the citysearch review saying that the tapas plates are a steal, WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING??? Give me whatever you're smoking because this place is a complete rip off. It is SEVERELY overpriced and SEVERELY underportioned for even TAPAS CUISINE. Yes. Duh. I know this is not a place to gorge or pig out at and that is why I capitalized tapas cuisine. For that specific standard, it is still outrageously subpar.

I will never recommend this place to anybody. I will exert all effort to persuade people to steer absolutely clear of this place. Pura Vida should be ashamed of themselves, and they have earned themselves a customer who will try with all his power to negatively affect this restaurant. STAY AWAY and I hope they go out of business.

Pros: None.

Cons: Price/Ambience/Value

.

I've been to Pura Vida a few times, and they are always doing something new and exciting. Their brunch menu is unique and delicious... especially the pineapple french toast. It is equisite. The deconstructed spanish omelet is one of my favorites as well! Pura Vida now has $3 tapas specials on the weekdays that are a great deal. They usually have about 8 or so, and we typically wind up ordering almost all of them. It's one of the best deals in Atlanta. The staff is very knowledgeable, and helpful. I went to a birthday party with a large group this week, in one of their private dining rooms. The food was delicious... the mussels are some of the best in the City and the mofongo (fried mashed plantains with slow cooked goat) is one of my favorites. Chef Santiago is amazing!

5
★★★★★

I've been to Pura Vida a few times, and they are always doing something new and exciting. Their brunch menu is unique and delicious... especially the pineapple french toast. It is equisite. The deconstructed spanish omelet is one of my favorites as well! Pura Vida now has $3 tapas specials on the weekdays that are a great deal. They usually have about 8 or so, and we typically wind up ordering almost all of them. It's one of the best deals in Atlanta. The staff is very knowledgeable, and helpful. I went to a birthday party with a large group this week, in one of their private dining rooms. The food was delicious... the mussels are some of the best in the City and the mofongo (fried mashed plantains with slow cooked goat) is one of my favorites. Chef Santiago is amazing!

Pros: Great Food, Great Prices

Cons: may have to wait

.

I have been to many of the tapas restaurants in Atlanta. Pura Vida is serving up some unique items. Had no idea that they did so many weekly events. I am looking forward to Mojito Monday when the weather gets better!!! This was my first time there. I love Virginia Highlands and there are a few places to choose from, but this seems to have a much more social atmosphere. Try the Shrimp CEVICHE. Haven't had any this good in Atlanta yet!! I looked at the Brunch menu and will have to check it out!

5
★★★★★

I have been to many of the tapas restaurants in Atlanta. Pura Vida is serving up some unique items. Had no idea that they did so many weekly events. I am looking forward to Mojito Monday when the weather gets better!!! This was my first time there. I love Virginia Highlands and there are a few places to choose from, but this seems to have a much more social atmosphere. Try the Shrimp CEVICHE. Haven't had any this good in Atlanta yet!! I looked at the Brunch menu and will have to check it out!

Pros: Easy Parking during the week.

Cons: Busy, short wait but worth it

.

I don't understand the complaints about portions being too small. I mean they're tapas, they're meant to be small. I spent some time in Spain, where tapas originated, and they're even smaller over there. And some of the tapas we ordered were huge, like the pizza. The empanadas were quite big and filling too. And mmm, the plate of mussels were big too and SO DELICIOUS! I recommend getting extra bread for the yummy leftover sauce. Our server was great at helping us with the menu and recommending things for us.

4
★★★★☆

I don't understand the complaints about portions being too small. I mean they're tapas, they're meant to be small. I spent some time in Spain, where tapas originated, and they're even smaller over there. And some of the tapas we ordered were huge, like the pizza. The empanadas were quite big and filling too. And mmm, the plate of mussels were big too and SO DELICIOUS! I recommend getting extra bread for the yummy leftover sauce. Our server was great at helping us with the menu and recommending things for us.

Pros: food, drinks, service

Cons: ?

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The food tastes good. No argument there. But I would be embarrassed to serve such tiny portions for $7 to $10. The marginal cost of putting another dollop on the plate is negligible. It just sends a message that making money is more important than centuries-old traditions of hospitality and graciousness. Even our server was surprised that, thanks to a heavy hand on the ice, the pitcher of sangria meant to fill six glasses was empty after filling four. Why so parsimonious with the portions? I guess I'll never find out---I've been there six or seven times and I'm done with it.

2
★★☆☆☆

The food tastes good. No argument there. But I would be embarrassed to serve such tiny portions for $7 to $10. The marginal cost of putting another dollop on the plate is negligible. It just sends a message that making money is more important than centuries-old traditions of hospitality and graciousness. Even our server was surprised that, thanks to a heavy hand on the ice, the pitcher of sangria meant to fill six glasses was empty after filling four. Why so parsimonious with the portions? I guess I'll never find out---I've been there six or seven times and I'm done with it.

Pros: Good food, artfully presented in most cases

Cons: Eensy weensy portions that can't be shared easily (which is the point with tapas, no?)

.

Love this place. The food and service here have always been great. The ambiance is very romantic in a casual way -- great place for a date! I love getting a pitcher of sangria. Instead of putting ice in the pitcher, they serve it with glasses of ice so you can drink it as fast or as slow as you want and you don't have to worry about it getting watered down. One of my favorite dishes is the ceviche de hongitos. It's a subtle yet delicious melange of delicately flavored ingredients that play off of each other so well - mushrooms, celery hearts, salty aged cheese, and spicy yet fruity peppers. Mmm.

5
★★★★★

Love this place. The food and service here have always been great. The ambiance is very romantic in a casual way -- great place for a date! I love getting a pitcher of sangria. Instead of putting ice in the pitcher, they serve it with glasses of ice so you can drink it as fast or as slow as you want and you don't have to worry about it getting watered down. One of my favorite dishes is the ceviche de hongitos. It's a subtle yet delicious melange of delicately flavored ingredients that play off of each other so well - mushrooms, celery hearts, salty aged cheese, and spicy yet fruity peppers. Mmm.

Pros: Great for a date, awesome food

Cons: Narrowing down what you want to eat :)

.

i just wanna say to the person w/ 'do not go there for just drinks.'..its not just there, don?t go anywhere and get a table if ur not eating especially in a Saturday night ..im a waiter and spoiled people like you that make our life miserable, we d rather go home if we re making no money so if u cant get a damn spot by the bar or you are on a budget go somewhere else or for god sake stay home and order a pizza...

5
★★★★★

i just wanna say to the person w/ 'do not go there for just drinks.'..its not just there, don?t go anywhere and get a table if ur not eating especially in a Saturday night ..im a waiter and spoiled people like you that make our life miserable, we d rather go home if we re making no money so if u cant get a damn spot by the bar or you are on a budget go somewhere else or for god sake stay home and order a pizza...

.

We made an 8:45pm reservation and were seated promptly towards the back of the restaurant in a quite and secluded room. Everything we ordered was delicious, including the amazing margaritas and mojitos. This restaurant was very romantic and would be the perfect place for a first date, to bring out-of-town friends or to celebrate something special. We absolutely loved it. The service was also excellent. Will definitely return.

5
★★★★★

We made an 8:45pm reservation and were seated promptly towards the back of the restaurant in a quite and secluded room. Everything we ordered was delicious, including the amazing margaritas and mojitos. This restaurant was very romantic and would be the perfect place for a first date, to bring out-of-town friends or to celebrate something special. We absolutely loved it. The service was also excellent. Will definitely return.

Pros: Delicious food, great service, romantic, unique

Cons: can't think of one!

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I went with a group of friends for drinks a few Saturdays ago. It was after 10pm, and the bar was full, so we asked if it would be possible to get a table. We told the hostess we would mainly just be ordering drinks, but she said that was fine since they weren't on a wait. After we got seated, the server came by to take our order and upon learning we would mainly be ordering beverages, she became excessively rude. She told us we weren't allowed to sit at her table and not order food. When we told her the hostess said it was all right for us to sit there, she just walked away to complain to managers who told her that we were fine to sit there. She came back and wouldn't even make eye contact with us as she asked for our drink order. That was enough for us. We told her nevermind, we were leaving, and we walked out. The whole experience was embarrassing and demeaning. I will never through the doors of Pura Vida again.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I went with a group of friends for drinks a few Saturdays ago. It was after 10pm, and the bar was full, so we asked if it would be possible to get a table. We told the hostess we would mainly just be ordering drinks, but she said that was fine since they weren't on a wait. After we got seated, the server came by to take our order and upon learning we would mainly be ordering beverages, she became excessively rude. She told us we weren't allowed to sit at her table and not order food. When we told her the hostess said it was all right for us to sit there, she just walked away to complain to managers who told her that we were fine to sit there. She came back and wouldn't even make eye contact with us as she asked for our drink order. That was enough for us. We told her nevermind, we were leaving, and we walked out. The whole experience was embarrassing and demeaning. I will never through the doors of Pura Vida again.

.

Don't listen to Jimmy - this was by far the best night of dining our group has had. Out table ordered one of everythiing on the menu - yes a bit pricy - but we were on a quest. Everything I put in my mouth was delicious. The combinations of flavors and textures are a reflection of the genius of the owner/Chef - Hector Santiago. If you want a whole tuna - then I would suggest you go else where. The staff was courteous, knew the ingredients of all items on the menu and how they were cooked. They were able to make excellent suggetions of wines and drinks to accompany the dishes. Overall our dining experience was phenomenal. Maybe Jimmy doesn't understand what TAPAS means. It DOES NOT MEAN AN ENTIRE PLATE OF FOOD. Look it up in the dictionary while you're eating at Chili's.

5
★★★★★

Don't listen to Jimmy - this was by far the best night of dining our group has had. Out table ordered one of everythiing on the menu - yes a bit pricy - but we were on a quest. Everything I put in my mouth was delicious. The combinations of flavors and textures are a reflection of the genius of the owner/Chef - Hector Santiago. If you want a whole tuna - then I would suggest you go else where. The staff was courteous, knew the ingredients of all items on the menu and how they were cooked. They were able to make excellent suggetions of wines and drinks to accompany the dishes. Overall our dining experience was phenomenal. Maybe Jimmy doesn't understand what TAPAS means. It DOES NOT MEAN AN ENTIRE PLATE OF FOOD. Look it up in the dictionary while you're eating at Chili's.

.

I have not been disappointed and left with a feeling of being cheated out of my money like I was at Pura Vida during a recent visit. It was our first time there and after waiting 20+ min (when we could see multiple empty tables) we were finally seated. Every tapas plate is $8-10 and for tapas the portions were SO SMALL! We paid $10 for a tuna plate where the tuna would have barely added up to 1/3 the tuna found in a piece of sashimi! Every other plate was equally disappointing. Save your hard-earned money and try someplace else. We ended up getting a frozen pizza on the way home since we were still so hungry (and we're thin people!). The sangria was pretty terrible as well. Avoid!

1
★☆☆☆☆

I have not been disappointed and left with a feeling of being cheated out of my money like I was at Pura Vida during a recent visit. It was our first time there and after waiting 20+ min (when we could see multiple empty tables) we were finally seated. Every tapas plate is $8-10 and for tapas the portions were SO SMALL! We paid $10 for a tuna plate where the tuna would have barely added up to 1/3 the tuna found in a piece of sashimi! Every other plate was equally disappointing. Save your hard-earned money and try someplace else. We ended up getting a frozen pizza on the way home since we were still so hungry (and we're thin people!). The sangria was pretty terrible as well. Avoid!

Pros: Um, the Water Wasn't Too Bad...

Cons: Very Tiny Portions and Extremely Expensive for Tapas

.

Pura Vida is purely amazing! This is, hands down, the best tapas I've ever had in Atlanta (and I've had a LOT!), the service is knowledgeable and accommodating, and the ambiance is cozy and festive. The aspect I love most about Hector Santiago?s menu is that he dares to create dishes that are not typical and safe. Even the most familiar dishes are punched up with unique and unexpected ingredients, lending to the most tantalizing marriage of flavor combinations in each bite. My date and I went all out for dinner and ordered quite a few small plates between the two of us, including the yucca croquettes, chicken picadillo empanadas, hanger steak pinchos, poached shrimp cocktail, and salmon ceviche. Our favorite, by far, was the salmon ceviche. Unlike traditional ceviche, the salmon came ?wrapped? in a thin layer of jicama (sort of a cross between a radish and an apple), providing a great contrast in texture in taste, and enhanced with passion fruit basil seeds. So refreshing and delicious! The drink menu is also extensive, with a great wine list consisting of many Spanish, Chilean, and Argentinean wines, as well as their signature versions of traditional Latin cocktails (their mojitos, sangrias, and capirihnas are all wonderful). If you are looking for a great tapas place to try out, you MUST VISIT Pura Vida! I don?t think I could go anywhere else!

5
★★★★★

Pura Vida is purely amazing! This is, hands down, the best tapas I've ever had in Atlanta (and I've had a LOT!), the service is knowledgeable and accommodating, and the ambiance is cozy and festive. The aspect I love most about Hector Santiago?s menu is that he dares to create dishes that are not typical and safe. Even the most familiar dishes are punched up with unique and unexpected ingredients, lending to the most tantalizing marriage of flavor combinations in each bite. My date and I went all out for dinner and ordered quite a few small plates between the two of us, including the yucca croquettes, chicken picadillo empanadas, hanger steak pinchos, poached shrimp cocktail, and salmon ceviche. Our favorite, by far, was the salmon ceviche. Unlike traditional ceviche, the salmon came ?wrapped? in a thin layer of jicama (sort of a cross between a radish and an apple), providing a great contrast in texture in taste, and enhanced with passion fruit basil seeds. So refreshing and delicious! The drink menu is also extensive, with a great wine list consisting of many Spanish, Chilean, and Argentinean wines, as well as their signature versions of traditional Latin cocktails (their mojitos, sangrias, and capirihnas are all wonderful). If you are looking for a great tapas place to try out, you MUST VISIT Pura Vida! I don?t think I could go anywhere else!

Pros: Great food, drinks, ambiance, music

Cons: Parking

.

I popped into Pura Vida on a Thursday night by myself...(its been on my list of places to go but my boyfriend and I never seem to get there) and was pleasantly surprised! Jacob, the bartender and the rest of the staff were extremely friendly, service was impeccable, and the food was stunning! I started with a glass of house-made white sangria and their version of a cuban sandwich and ended up staying for several more selections, leaving only when I thought I would burst at the seams.

5
★★★★★

I popped into Pura Vida on a Thursday night by myself...(its been on my list of places to go but my boyfriend and I never seem to get there) and was pleasantly surprised! Jacob, the bartender and the rest of the staff were extremely friendly, service was impeccable, and the food was stunning! I started with a glass of house-made white sangria and their version of a cuban sandwich and ended up staying for several more selections, leaving only when I thought I would burst at the seams.

Pros: friendly service, great menu, excellent cocktails

Cons: not open for lunch

.

We have been a number of time to Pura vida and the food and service has always been exceptional! Very romantic and yet good for groups as well. Have never had a bad meal there!

5
★★★★★

We have been a number of time to Pura vida and the food and service has always been exceptional! Very romantic and yet good for groups as well. Have never had a bad meal there!

Pros: Great food and atmosphere!

Cons: Parking can be hard to find, but is worth it!

.

my husband and i love to stop in every once in awhile for a few bites at the bar. the chef is always doing creative things with food and isn't afraid to make things a little spicy. last time we had the most delicious dish with garlic flavored mashed potatoes and an egg. we ordered a second helping. don't miss the daily special ice creams, that's where they first won me over--avocado ice cream with a warm chocolate sauce, sounds a little crazy, but so delicious i sometimes call just to see if they have it.

4
★★★★☆

my husband and i love to stop in every once in awhile for a few bites at the bar. the chef is always doing creative things with food and isn't afraid to make things a little spicy. last time we had the most delicious dish with garlic flavored mashed potatoes and an egg. we ordered a second helping. don't miss the daily special ice creams, that's where they first won me over--avocado ice cream with a warm chocolate sauce, sounds a little crazy, but so delicious i sometimes call just to see if they have it.

.

This little spot in the Highlands is still good for Pan-Asian tapas and drinks. The more sophisticated Tapas Crowd has moved on. We still like coming here, for the homey atmosphere and service. The small plates, are just that, and tend to seem overpriced these days, but are still tasty. The pitchers of Sangria, make us want to get up and dance. And after several, we usually do. Still better than middle of the road Tapas joints around town.

4
★★★★☆

This little spot in the Highlands is still good for Pan-Asian tapas and drinks. The more sophisticated Tapas Crowd has moved on. We still like coming here, for the homey atmosphere and service. The small plates, are just that, and tend to seem overpriced these days, but are still tasty. The pitchers of Sangria, make us want to get up and dance. And after several, we usually do. Still better than middle of the road Tapas joints around town.

Pros: Reliable Small Plates & Drinks!

Cons: Food Value Seems To Be Declining!

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Even for tapas this place serves you the bare minimum. For $10 you get probably 5 bites of tuna ceviche for example. The rest is similar. The service is very nice and food good quality but we will not go back because the value is not there. Also the sangria was so watered down that we had to send it back.

3
★★★☆☆

Even for tapas this place serves you the bare minimum. For $10 you get probably 5 bites of tuna ceviche for example. The rest is similar. The service is very nice and food good quality but we will not go back because the value is not there. Also the sangria was so watered down that we had to send it back.

Pros: tasty food

Cons: very small portions; no value

.

As mentioned, Pura Vida is not a good place for a large group. At first the reservations we made were for 20. We arrived on time...every member of our party, however, did not arrive all at once. And you cannot be seated until EVERYONE gets there. We thought, we would just get a drink and wait at the bar. Not exactly. The restaurant is so tiny, instead we were almost brushed aside and forced to loiter outside "middle-school-style."
I informed the manager that we only had 16 people; she said now we could sit at one table. Excellent, I thought.
An extra person ended up showing up, and that EXTRA chair meant our party HAD TO be split into TWO different tables...in TWO different rooms!
Everyone was quite annoyed. Everyone was thirsty. And everyone was hungry. We ordered drinks and many plates. We were surprised when most of our tapas came out about 25 minutes before the drinks! (our server even warned us about the sluggish bartender).
This was the second time I had ever had tapas and I will say that the steak and the duck were great, everything else was ordinary. The portions were barely visible and the average price was $8. At the end of the meal our server insisted that we use a calculator as if we were unable to add or divide.
The manager recognized everyone's disappointment and apologized to me, but stated that I should not have been surprised when our party was split into TWO different rooms. She said this was discussed from the beginning. IT WAS NOT. She also apologized for the food coming out before the drinks but didn't know anything about it until i told her!
When there is a party that large, she should have been doing what she does worst...MANAGING!
Overall not a good experience at all. I will not be back.

2
★★☆☆☆

As mentioned, Pura Vida is not a good place for a large group. At first the reservations we made were for 20. We arrived on time...every member of our party, however, did not arrive all at once. And you cannot be seated until EVERYONE gets there. We thought, we would just get a drink and wait at the bar. Not exactly. The restaurant is so tiny, instead we were almost brushed aside and forced to loiter outside "middle-school-style."
I informed the manager that we only had 16 people; she said now we could sit at one table. Excellent, I thought.
An extra person ended up showing up, and that EXTRA chair meant our party HAD TO be split into TWO different tables...in TWO different rooms!
Everyone was quite annoyed. Everyone was thirsty. And everyone was hungry. We ordered drinks and many plates. We were surprised when most of our tapas came out about 25 minutes before the drinks! (our server even warned us about the sluggish bartender).
This was the second time I had ever had tapas and I will say that the steak and the duck were great, everything else was ordinary. The portions were barely visible and the average price was $8. At the end of the meal our server insisted that we use a calculator as if we were unable to add or divide.
The manager recognized everyone's disappointment and apologized to me, but stated that I should not have been surprised when our party was split into TWO different rooms. She said this was discussed from the beginning. IT WAS NOT. She also apologized for the food coming out before the drinks but didn't know anything about it until i told her!
When there is a party that large, she should have been doing what she does worst...MANAGING!
Overall not a good experience at all. I will not be back.

.

Finally I had the oportunity to visit Pura Vida, I heard a lot of good comments about this restaurant, and what a surprise I had. The food was amazing....Actually, my friends and I decided to let the server to pick all the tapas for us..We had about 15 different plates from which around 10 were just amazing, and the others were really good. We loved the tuna, palms, duck empanadas, fried duck, and that bikini was just out of this world..The staff was so friendly and they knew what they were selling..our server was able to explain most of tapas with such as detail and besides the flavors of the tapas the presentation was just lovely. Drinks are really good ....specially that aged mojito....We will be back for Tango....

5
★★★★★

Finally I had the oportunity to visit Pura Vida, I heard a lot of good comments about this restaurant, and what a surprise I had. The food was amazing....Actually, my friends and I decided to let the server to pick all the tapas for us..We had about 15 different plates from which around 10 were just amazing, and the others were really good. We loved the tuna, palms, duck empanadas, fried duck, and that bikini was just out of this world..The staff was so friendly and they knew what they were selling..our server was able to explain most of tapas with such as detail and besides the flavors of the tapas the presentation was just lovely. Drinks are really good ....specially that aged mojito....We will be back for Tango....

Pros: great food, good prices, great place

Cons: Parking is a little bit confusing

.

I've eaten at Pura Vida many times, and they recently changed their menu. Lots of my old favorites are still there including the mussels and the chicken empanadas, which are served with a very tasty hot-vinegar sauce, and the delicious shrimp cocktail. I tried several of the new items, and they are as good, if not better than some of my old favorites. The goat & green banana mofongo with coconut broth is out of this world! The new celery ceviche with mushrooms and cheese is great! I read one of the reviews posted that said the ingredients are "wierd". Well... if you want burgers and fries this is not the place for you. If, however you want to experience food you cannot try elsewhere - truly creative food- at an exceptional price - then try Pura Vida. What other restaurant in Atlanta sells shrimp cocktail for $8 or Foie Gras for $10? Not only is there a glossary on the menu, to translate the Spanish to English, but the staff is very knowledgible and can help you navigate the items you might be unfamiliar with. And the mojitos rock!

3
★★★☆☆

I've eaten at Pura Vida many times, and they recently changed their menu. Lots of my old favorites are still there including the mussels and the chicken empanadas, which are served with a very tasty hot-vinegar sauce, and the delicious shrimp cocktail. I tried several of the new items, and they are as good, if not better than some of my old favorites. The goat & green banana mofongo with coconut broth is out of this world! The new celery ceviche with mushrooms and cheese is great! I read one of the reviews posted that said the ingredients are "wierd". Well... if you want burgers and fries this is not the place for you. If, however you want to experience food you cannot try elsewhere - truly creative food- at an exceptional price - then try Pura Vida. What other restaurant in Atlanta sells shrimp cocktail for $8 or Foie Gras for $10? Not only is there a glossary on the menu, to translate the Spanish to English, but the staff is very knowledgible and can help you navigate the items you might be unfamiliar with. And the mojitos rock!

Pros: great creative food, great price

Cons: busy... make reservations or be prepared to wait

.

Took an old friend on a date at Pura Vida and was totally suprised that the menu had changed. It was awesome. The food was innovative, cutting edge, and most importantly delicious. I do miss some of the old favorites (like the salmon ceviche) but totally respect the chefs right to try new things. i mean, who wants to cook the same stuff for years on end. Hector Santiago's food is the "high art" of tapas. Eclipse de luna and Fuego are McDonalds in comparison - good if you're jonzing for the same old stuff. The Pato Frito - fried duck - and Malanga pasta were excellent. Our favorite comfort food, the chicken empanadas, are still on the menu and a great compliment to the new, more upscale dishes. The wine selection was wonderful and the wait staff was friendly and helpful. The ingredients may be foreign to the average diner, but the translations provided and great waitstaff make it quite easy to understand. Will definitely be back!

5
★★★★★

Took an old friend on a date at Pura Vida and was totally suprised that the menu had changed. It was awesome. The food was innovative, cutting edge, and most importantly delicious. I do miss some of the old favorites (like the salmon ceviche) but totally respect the chefs right to try new things. i mean, who wants to cook the same stuff for years on end. Hector Santiago's food is the "high art" of tapas. Eclipse de luna and Fuego are McDonalds in comparison - good if you're jonzing for the same old stuff. The Pato Frito - fried duck - and Malanga pasta were excellent. Our favorite comfort food, the chicken empanadas, are still on the menu and a great compliment to the new, more upscale dishes. The wine selection was wonderful and the wait staff was friendly and helpful. The ingredients may be foreign to the average diner, but the translations provided and great waitstaff make it quite easy to understand. Will definitely be back!

Pros: great atmosphere, innovative food

.

Pura Vida is awesome. The service is the best in town. I have been there several times and each time the server knows anything about everything. The food is just as good as the service too. Highly recommend this restaurant. Try the goat!!!

3
★★★☆☆

Pura Vida is awesome. The service is the best in town. I have been there several times and each time the server knows anything about everything. The food is just as good as the service too. Highly recommend this restaurant. Try the goat!!!

Pros: Service, Food

Cons: Need to make a reservation

.

Despite the recent negative reviews, I thought to give this place a try considering the high 9.2 rating. While the restaurant is not bad, I would say Eclipse di Luna or Loca Luna are better tapas restaurants. The dishes are good but not outstanding; the menu is complicated (weird ingredients), but fortunately there are definitions and descriptions of some of the foods.

The portions are quite small...yes, small for tapas. I ordered this one dish with some kind of "hearts of palm" and it was gone in two forkfuls. Prices of the dishes are twice as much as Eclipse for half the serving. The presentation of food is quite appealing however (I guess that is really what you are paying for). Drinks are a bit weak and watered down.

Our server was really really nice and informative. Fast service. Simple, and charming decor (hey, if that helps!). But I probably won't be back; if you want great tapas for a better $, head to Eclipse.

3
★★★☆☆

Despite the recent negative reviews, I thought to give this place a try considering the high 9.2 rating. While the restaurant is not bad, I would say Eclipse di Luna or Loca Luna are better tapas restaurants. The dishes are good but not outstanding; the menu is complicated (weird ingredients), but fortunately there are definitions and descriptions of some of the foods.

The portions are quite small...yes, small for tapas. I ordered this one dish with some kind of "hearts of palm" and it was gone in two forkfuls. Prices of the dishes are twice as much as Eclipse for half the serving. The presentation of food is quite appealing however (I guess that is really what you are paying for). Drinks are a bit weak and watered down.

Our server was really really nice and informative. Fast service. Simple, and charming decor (hey, if that helps!). But I probably won't be back; if you want great tapas for a better $, head to Eclipse.

Pros: Service, Food Presentation

Cons: Parking, Small restaurant, tiny portions

.

I've never left a review before, but felt the need to do so for this specific restaurant. I had heard a number of good things about Pura Vida and went there on a Saturday night with a small group of 4. The first problem was that despite having a reservation, we were told we needed to wait 30 mintues for a table, and then told we couldn't wait anywhere except right by the front door (it was 20 degrees out) because there was a private party at the bar and we weren't allowed to stand nearby. Finally we were seated and ordered some sangria. Nothing but watered-down wine. Then came the tapas. Extremely small portions, even for tapas...we actually mentioned that to our server who agreed. Nothing stood out as tasty or enjoyable. It was all extremely average at best. Amongst the group, we even discussed not what was best, but which dish was the worst. I feel rather confident that I will not return to this place and in fact I feel angry for having gone even once. Guess you gotta try new places, but I don't recommend this one at all.

2
★★☆☆☆

I've never left a review before, but felt the need to do so for this specific restaurant. I had heard a number of good things about Pura Vida and went there on a Saturday night with a small group of 4. The first problem was that despite having a reservation, we were told we needed to wait 30 mintues for a table, and then told we couldn't wait anywhere except right by the front door (it was 20 degrees out) because there was a private party at the bar and we weren't allowed to stand nearby. Finally we were seated and ordered some sangria. Nothing but watered-down wine. Then came the tapas. Extremely small portions, even for tapas...we actually mentioned that to our server who agreed. Nothing stood out as tasty or enjoyable. It was all extremely average at best. Amongst the group, we even discussed not what was best, but which dish was the worst. I feel rather confident that I will not return to this place and in fact I feel angry for having gone even once. Guess you gotta try new places, but I don't recommend this one at all.

.

I have to agree with the previous reviewer?my most recent experience at Pura Vida was disappointing. Pura Vida was one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta and definitely my favorite tapas bar. Well, I went last evening for a friend's birthday, and we were all saddened to see that our favorite dishes were gone. I have raved about Pura Vida to numerous people, citing specific delicious dishes (the calabaza rings were a definite favorite). I can understand swapping out items to keep things fresh, but I do not comprehend abandoning so many great items. Naturally, we tried the new dishes, but we were not impressed at all. Previously, we could order anything on the menu because we knew that every dish would be phenomenal. Sadly, this is not the case now. Also missing were the delicious specials! That was a big letdown, too. I know I'll give Pura Vida another shot-- simply because it WAS so good. I hope I am not disappointed again.

2
★★☆☆☆

I have to agree with the previous reviewer?my most recent experience at Pura Vida was disappointing. Pura Vida was one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta and definitely my favorite tapas bar. Well, I went last evening for a friend's birthday, and we were all saddened to see that our favorite dishes were gone. I have raved about Pura Vida to numerous people, citing specific delicious dishes (the calabaza rings were a definite favorite). I can understand swapping out items to keep things fresh, but I do not comprehend abandoning so many great items. Naturally, we tried the new dishes, but we were not impressed at all. Previously, we could order anything on the menu because we knew that every dish would be phenomenal. Sadly, this is not the case now. Also missing were the delicious specials! That was a big letdown, too. I know I'll give Pura Vida another shot-- simply because it WAS so good. I hope I am not disappointed again.

Pros: Sangria, deserts

Cons: Food quality has taken a nose dive

.

I have been eatting at Pura Vida since it opened in 2003 and this restaurant has been one of my favorites in the City for quite some time. My husband took me to Pura Vida for our first date so this restaurant will always be a special place to us. Last night we decided to go out for Tapas and decided to go to Pura Vida as we had not been in a month or so. As soon as I opened the menu I noticed that it looked different...after taking a closer look I realize that MOST of the menu had changed (including prices) and that none of our favorite tapas were available. I understand updating your menu, this is something that is important to stay on top of the Atlanta restaurant scene...but changing it COMPLETELY-I do not get. We tried several of the new tapas and were disappointed with each dish. They were complicated with too many ingredents and came off pretentious. Last year AJC raved that Pura Vida was one of the best restaurants in the city, and it was, but I think all the success has gone to Hector Santiago's head. He re-vamped an already excelent menu, that had gained many fans and accolades, with small, over the top and overly priced dishes. In short, I used to recommend this restaurant to everyone but I will no longer do so and I doubt my husband and I will be back.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I have been eatting at Pura Vida since it opened in 2003 and this restaurant has been one of my favorites in the City for quite some time. My husband took me to Pura Vida for our first date so this restaurant will always be a special place to us. Last night we decided to go out for Tapas and decided to go to Pura Vida as we had not been in a month or so. As soon as I opened the menu I noticed that it looked different...after taking a closer look I realize that MOST of the menu had changed (including prices) and that none of our favorite tapas were available. I understand updating your menu, this is something that is important to stay on top of the Atlanta restaurant scene...but changing it COMPLETELY-I do not get. We tried several of the new tapas and were disappointed with each dish. They were complicated with too many ingredents and came off pretentious. Last year AJC raved that Pura Vida was one of the best restaurants in the city, and it was, but I think all the success has gone to Hector Santiago's head. He re-vamped an already excelent menu, that had gained many fans and accolades, with small, over the top and overly priced dishes. In short, I used to recommend this restaurant to everyone but I will no longer do so and I doubt my husband and I will be back.

.

I absolutely love this place. food, service, and atmosphere are wonderful. I went this past week and loved everything I tried. the food is so unique and flavorful and our server was so knowledgable. you must try the hangar steak, the shrimp and the mussels. My friends were so impressed! Will be back!

5
★★★★★

I absolutely love this place. food, service, and atmosphere are wonderful. I went this past week and loved everything I tried. the food is so unique and flavorful and our server was so knowledgable. you must try the hangar steak, the shrimp and the mussels. My friends were so impressed! Will be back!

Pros: food, service atmosphere

Cons: parking

.

The setting was nice, although I expected the place to be a little bigger. We had a large group of 16 and there is only one table in the restaurant that can accommodate that many people. The food was pretty good, although with a large party and everyone ordering a few different things to try we consistently had to ask "what is this" as the plates were set on the table and the server disappeared leaving us to juggle the food. I would be willing to overlook all of the above, until that is we got our check. We were informed that they can't split the bill for parties of 8 or more, so they gave us a calculator, told us how much tax is on the $6 order of tapas and told us to figure it out. Slightly annoyed at this point we started trying to divide up the bill. Well with a large party, everyone having a couple of drinks by that point, math was not our best subject, not the mention half the table couldn't even hear what they're supposed to do. The hostess proceeded to approach the table several times as we were "figuring it out" and asking us to move to the bar, as another party was waiting for the table. She was neither apologetic, nor willing to help. We insisted that if we have to do this ourselves, we're not going anywhere. The whole ordeal probably took about 45 minutes. And the promised DJ didn't start the music until after 10:00pm. The people waiting on our table were understandably upset and so were we. Surely there is a better way to handle such situations, and we plan on sticking to the places that know how from now on.

3
★★★☆☆

The setting was nice, although I expected the place to be a little bigger. We had a large group of 16 and there is only one table in the restaurant that can accommodate that many people. The food was pretty good, although with a large party and everyone ordering a few different things to try we consistently had to ask "what is this" as the plates were set on the table and the server disappeared leaving us to juggle the food. I would be willing to overlook all of the above, until that is we got our check. We were informed that they can't split the bill for parties of 8 or more, so they gave us a calculator, told us how much tax is on the $6 order of tapas and told us to figure it out. Slightly annoyed at this point we started trying to divide up the bill. Well with a large party, everyone having a couple of drinks by that point, math was not our best subject, not the mention half the table couldn't even hear what they're supposed to do. The hostess proceeded to approach the table several times as we were "figuring it out" and asking us to move to the bar, as another party was waiting for the table. She was neither apologetic, nor willing to help. We insisted that if we have to do this ourselves, we're not going anywhere. The whole ordeal probably took about 45 minutes. And the promised DJ didn't start the music until after 10:00pm. The people waiting on our table were understandably upset and so were we. Surely there is a better way to handle such situations, and we plan on sticking to the places that know how from now on.

Cons: service, parking

.

Thought this place was just wonderful! I didn't try one tapa I didn't like. Service is friendly and informative, make sure and ask for suggestions! And don't forget to try the ice cream of the day. Want to go back for a salsa Friday, heard they're a lot of fun.

5
★★★★★

Thought this place was just wonderful! I didn't try one tapa I didn't like. Service is friendly and informative, make sure and ask for suggestions! And don't forget to try the ice cream of the day. Want to go back for a salsa Friday, heard they're a lot of fun.

Pros: food & drinks, service

Cons: parking can be difficult on busy night

.

The atmosphere was nice but the food was average at best. This place was too fu-fu for us. I personally prefer Eclipse Di Luna because the atmosphere is comparable and the food is quite a bit better.

3
★★★☆☆

The atmosphere was nice but the food was average at best. This place was too fu-fu for us. I personally prefer Eclipse Di Luna because the atmosphere is comparable and the food is quite a bit better.

Pros: Ambience, Drinks

Cons: Food, portions, service

.

I have been going here for a while now and always have a great time. Just noticed last night a few things changed on the menu. The new items I tried were wonderful! I was shocked to see such bad reviews about the "new" menu. Oh well, I guess not everyone is open to change and trying new things. I will definitely keep going back- not just for the food but for the mojitos!

5
★★★★★

I have been going here for a while now and always have a great time. Just noticed last night a few things changed on the menu. The new items I tried were wonderful! I was shocked to see such bad reviews about the "new" menu. Oh well, I guess not everyone is open to change and trying new things. I will definitely keep going back- not just for the food but for the mojitos!

Pros: Service, food & drinks

.

tapas is good, but not as good as I had been told. I would go back and try it again, New to the neighborhood and working my way throught the intown, Midtown, Highlands

Thought even for tapas, that some portions were too small for the price.Fuego is also good for tapas

4
★★★★☆

tapas is good, but not as good as I had been told. I would go back and try it again, New to the neighborhood and working my way throught the intown, Midtown, Highlands

Thought even for tapas, that some portions were too small for the price.Fuego is also good for tapas

Pros: drinks, scene

Cons: parking awful

.

Out favorite tapas place in town...make sure to try the mussels, they are the best item on the menu, although the duck is also outstanding. Fantatic place to drop in for a Mojito at the bar as well, they are as good as any around.

The place is small though - so be prepared to wait a while without a reservation!

5
★★★★★

Out favorite tapas place in town...make sure to try the mussels, they are the best item on the menu, although the duck is also outstanding. Fantatic place to drop in for a Mojito at the bar as well, they are as good as any around.

The place is small though - so be prepared to wait a while without a reservation!

.

Great place for a special occasion for just a great meal.

5
★★★★★

Great place for a special occasion for just a great meal.

.

We come here for my birthday and for anniversaries or other couple-type events and it has never been less than outstanding. I would melt if a first date brought me here. The duck is the best duck dish I've ever had, and I think we've tried everything on the menu by now with delicious results. We order 6 tapas for 2 of us, then 2 desserts and 2 drinks, and get out for about $60. You can't beat that! The service has always been great. You must try the chocolate flan with the chilis!! So good! Make reservations.

5
★★★★★

We come here for my birthday and for anniversaries or other couple-type events and it has never been less than outstanding. I would melt if a first date brought me here. The duck is the best duck dish I've ever had, and I think we've tried everything on the menu by now with delicious results. We order 6 tapas for 2 of us, then 2 desserts and 2 drinks, and get out for about $60. You can't beat that! The service has always been great. You must try the chocolate flan with the chilis!! So good! Make reservations.

Pros: Best tapas in town, Reasonable price, Fantastic ambiance

Cons: Not open for lunch, Bad parking

.

Great spot for a quiet dinner out, perhaps a marriage propasal or just a get together with close friends. The wait staff is impecible from the Matre de to the dishwasher. I have traveled all over Europe and Asia. The food and atmoshere will be hard to match anywhere. We will defintely return.

5
★★★★★

Great spot for a quiet dinner out, perhaps a marriage propasal or just a get together with close friends. The wait staff is impecible from the Matre de to the dishwasher. I have traveled all over Europe and Asia. The food and atmoshere will be hard to match anywhere. We will defintely return.

Pros: Food, Service, Special consideration

.

Great food - Prompt service -Very loud music that forces you to yell at your dining partner.

3
★★★☆☆

Great food - Prompt service -Very loud music that forces you to yell at your dining partner.

Pros: food , service , surrondings

Cons: music volume, parking

.

The tapas were rather mediocre in quality - salad dressing was gloppy & lettuce was still wet, patatas were bland, etc. In short, there are other choices in Atlanta that are far better!

3
★★★☆☆

The tapas were rather mediocre in quality - salad dressing was gloppy & lettuce was still wet, patatas were bland, etc. In short, there are other choices in Atlanta that are far better!

Pros: Service (great), Ambience

Cons: Food quality, Wait on weekends

.

Be sure to order at least 4-5 plates for 2 people. The wine pairings that they have are fun to try. Great Mojito. And be sure to make reservations, espcially on the weekends.

5
★★★★★

Be sure to order at least 4-5 plates for 2 people. The wine pairings that they have are fun to try. Great Mojito. And be sure to make reservations, espcially on the weekends.

Editorial from

A native of Puerto Rico, chef-owner Hector Santiago has grown his restaurant over time in a small corner of an early twentieth-century strip center in Poncey-Highland. As his wife Leslie manages the front of the house, Hector presents a…

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