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Looking for places to eat in London that serve authentic Spanish food? Then you're looking for a Spanish restaurant, London. Sharing small plates of delicious food with your friends, colleagues and family not only eradicates the food envy beast that often rears its ugly head when you’re dining out in London. Being able to sample the same dishes as your dining companions stimulates conversation, provokes a buzz, and stops you from over eating (most of the time). Why try one dish when you can have many. Pull up a pew and get ready to enjoy some of the best tapas dishes that London’s restaurants have to offer.
Tags: Cuisine types
Jose Tapas & Sherry Bar
London Bridge & Bermondsey / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Tapas
Erstwhile Brindisa head chef, Jose Pizarro, had a good year in 2011, opening two venues in a 12-month period. This is our favourite, and sees Jose continuing the small plate trend in a simplistic environment with a menu based primarily on market offerings (and whatever takes his mood). 2011 was the year when sharing plates kicked off and this was no exception, with tapas such as jamón Ibérico de bellota, hake fried in light batter, and calamari alla plancha marinated in tomato providing some of the more popular and exciting dishes. Be warned though, this is no restaurant; this is a tapas and sherry bar, and should be respected as such (you MUST, therefore, sample the libations).
The Port House
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
On a cold March day complete with obligatory drizzle, The Strand is more of an endurance test than a pleasure. But put down that umbrella and smell the sunshine (because if sunshine had a smell it would smell like tapas). Cave-like and cosy, with teeny tealights nestling in the walls, The Port House is most definitely a port in a storm. We loved the port and sherry menu, the gin cocktails, the salt and lemon whitebait and the mussels. We equally loved the Iberico ham and the churros and chocolate sauce. Great for post-work warmth. Kind of romantic too, so one for the date calendar.
Battersea / Restaurant / Cuisine: Tapas
Take a trip to Spain without ever leaving London. Boqueria in Battersea provides a lively afternoon or evening filled plenty of great freshly-made food, fine wine and excellent service. This modern retreat in south London is a place to sit back, relax and order from the huge small plates menu (each around £5-£8). The only tough decision you have to make is what to order. With a lexicon of choice, Boqueria Tapas caters for all foodies preferences. Best dish: suckling pig.
Soho / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
Although not technically a tapas restaurant, this Venetian wine bar or bacaro has proved to be a real Soho gem with its sharing Italian cuisine that the style alone is worthy of inclusion. Polpo is housed in an 18th century townhouse, which artist Canaletto used to rent. Perhaps in keeping with the artists' simple tastes, wine is served in rustic jugs and poured into tumblers while Venetian small plates are divided on the menu into cicheti, pizzette, breads, meatballs, fish, meat, vegetables and sweet things, everything costing less than £10 per item.
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Tapas
Popular with the Soho media clientele at lunchtimes, a queue has usually formed even before Barrafina, the Spanish tapas bar, has even opened. For a small restaurant, it has a huge following. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to chat about the quantity and quality of the menu which includes snacks for the table, Spanish cold meats, tortilla, vegetables, salads, seafood and other meats. Barrafina operates a first come first serve rule so hurry up and join that queue!
The Little Taperia
Tooting / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Tapas
The Little Taperia is a glamorous Spanish tapas bar and restaurant in Tooting specialising in delicious tapas, wine and cocktails. There's a front room with a beautiful long marble bar where customers can sit at the bar, as well as a cosy back room with an open kitchen where you can eat while you watch the chefs work their magic. There's a garden for drinks and private parties. The restaurant serves authentic staples such as croquetas and salt cod fritters alongside innovative dishes such as our signature Morcilla Scotch Eggs - tiny quails' eggs wrapped with tender Spanish black pudding and served with piquillo peppers.
Mayfair / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Now entering its 20th year of business, El Pirata is a Mayfair institution and tapas tour de force hidden away in a little street off Piccadilly. The popular al fresco terrace leads to the lively main room, while down the central wrought-iron stairwell, the basement area provides a quaint and intimate setting for lunch or dinner. The Spanish-style tapas - available via very affordable set menus - are fantastic, especially the albondiga meatballs, gambas prawns and stuffed peppers, while the excellent wine selection and friendly clientele (including the odd celeb or two!) are all part of the immensely enjoyable experience.
Hackney / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
El Ganso 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 yet buzzing 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. One for the cool kids in town.
Hammersmith / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Spanish
Toro Gordo (meaning 'Fat Bull' in Spanish) is the first Spanish tapas bar on bustling King Street, located in-between Hammersmith and Chiswick. Open daily, serving dinner and drinks from 5pm till late, Toro Gordo offers authentic tapas and a bar serving Spanish wines and fiery Latino cocktails. The menu offers authentic flavours and ingredients. Head Chef Daniel Blanco trained at the prestigious La Consula in Malaga, and specialises in Spanish cuisine. Signature dishes include Chorizos al Diablo (chorizo sautéed in wine, chilli and paprika) and Tataki de Atun (marinated tuna, wasabi mayonnaise), plus a selection of salads and sides.
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