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Here in London we are lucky enough to have plenty of Spanish restaurants to choose from: restaurants serving simple tapas dishes while you sip on a beer; restaurants that serve sangria so delicious that you’d go there for that alone; restaurants serving paella dishes big enough to swim in; and restaurants serving elaborate tapas where every dish looks like a piece of art. There’s so many decisions to make when it comes to eating Viva L’Espana, but don’t worry, we’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff for you. Fans of Spanish cuisine and Spanish wine will be pleased to find that there are plenty of Spanish restaurants in London.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Steve Slater (Wildlife Encounters)
Tags: Cuisine types
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
If it seems surprising to find a central London Spanish restaurant serving innovative, modern takes on traditional Spanish home cooking, it might help to know that the chef at aqua nueva worked for years at the legendary El Bulli in Spain. Alberto Hernandez?s style is more accessible than at the famous temple to molecular gastronomy, but retains the capacity to surprise and delight all the senses. Aqua nueva also boasts a smart but informal tapas bar, the counter looking on to the open kitchen allowing diners to watch as their food is prepared.
Kings Cross / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
I know I'm onto a good thing when I go to a Spanish bar/restaurant and it's full of its natives. Camino is a lively night out as well as a decent place to grab a bite to eat. Tucked away in a Victorian courtyard - often used for live music and big screen sports, especially if Spain are competing - Camino also has a restaurant (make sure to book ahead of time) that boasts an extensive tapas menu. I often follow that with a shared jug of sangria with friends at the bar.
Iberica Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Canary Wharf - One of our journalists returned from a holiday in Spain recently. We sent her to this Spanish bar and restaurant in Canary Wharf and she returned saying, "It was like a neater, cleaner version of the places I frequented during my holiday and it seemed to rid me of any Spanish withdrawal symptoms." This might have something to do with the Spanish posters and wine bottle installation on the wall, the Spanish staff, or the spacious, high ceiling interior. Or something to do with the authentic Spanish menu (we recommend leaving room for the whisky cake with almonds, honey and ice cream). This would be a great venue for entertaining clients, lots to talk about.
Fitzrovia / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Goodge Street - This is not a restaurant, this is a tapas bar, and the owners are quick to point this out. It's a laid-back place to hang out, drink wine by the glass, play chess, and chat over small plates of traditional Spanish tapas, such as artisan cured meats and cheeses, or pork & oxtail albondigas meatballs. We recommend a seat at the intimate high table. The hanging hams and marble topped bar help to lend it authenticity. Service: questionable, but it fits the vibe.
Clerkenwell / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Clerkenwell - Serving traditional Spanish dishes with an Arabian twist, Moro is located in the increasingly popular area of Clerkenwell, bang on Exmouth Market. The restaurant attracts an eclectic crowd united by their love of Spanish food. The restaurant?s cuisine has its roots firmly planted in Spain and the Muslim Mediterranean. These two regions are linked historically by the Moors? 700 year occupation of Spain. Two great culinary traditions were drawn together, in what is often known as the marriage of saffron and cinnamon. Today you will find a wide range of tapas available at the bar as well as more unusual main courses in the restaurant.
Bloomsbury / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Salt Yard near Goodge Street is Spanish cuisine with a strong Italian twist. Jamon croquetas with manchego sits alongside saffron Arancini with seafood and a chili alioli, and the menu is also complemented by charcuterie and cheese boards. Desserts are a smorgasbord of flavours with homemade ice cream as well as lemon and cinnamon doughnuts on offer. Popular with tourists and business workers alike, this central London restaurant is busy at lunchtimes and during pre-theatre rush.
Hackney / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
El Ganso (The Goose) is a Spanish restaurant brought to you by experienced restaurateur Ihsan Tuncay and renowned Spanish chef Marcelo Sánchez Cabrera. El Ganso on Broadway Market in Hackney, East London, is an intimate restaurant offering modern Spanish tapas using the finest ingredients available. The chef embraces fish and shellfish, loves olive oil and is inspired by Japanese and South American food. The wine list is predominately Spanish and Colonial, inspired with some real old classic flavours as well as new exiting wines and winemakers.
City of London / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Restaurateur Bal Thind and chef Victor Garvey launched Bravas, a contemporary Spanish tapas restaurant, in the vibrant St Katharine Dock in the City of London, close to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Ceviches include seabass with avocado, rocoto pepper and taro chips and Iberian tuna tartare. Premium sashimi grade tuna is dressed with olive oil and citrus zest, topped with organic Rio Frio caviar and accompanied by a ponzu sauce infused with Valencian orange and Mojama, a traditional Spanish cured tuna. Bravas is located right on the dock, with a spacious terrace overlooking the marina, perfect for the summer months.
Borough & Southwark / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
An afternoon spent wandering the southern side of the river along the Southbank and Bankside provides plenty of inspiring opportunities - Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe, Southbank Centre, London Dungeon, National Theatre, Borough Market - but in amongst all that you'll need to escape Central London for a few moments. So step on Spanish soil and enjoy a cold Mahou beer, some chorizo tapas, some Iberico ham, and some Manchego cheese.
Mas Q Menos
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Mas Q Menos in Soho was created to bring Spanish gastronomy to everyone at affordable prices in a laid-back and friendly atmosphere, combining traditional flavours with the comfort and speed required today. The ethos of these family-run restaurants is all about quality and authenticity of ingredients, priding themselves in leading the field in providing first class regional produce.
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