Time Out says
A permanent venue from the Spanish tapas and pintxos street food operation.
Please note, Donostia Social Club has now closed. Time Out Food editors, May 2018.
Walking through the barriers, past the security guards and into Pop, with its pumping music and tribes of selfie-ready twentysomethings, feels so rock ’n’ roll that the restaurants and bars squashed into this collection of shipping containers make those in nearby Brixton Village Market look staid.
Most visitors hop between Pop’s eateries until they’re too full to move on. Such crawls take place nightly in Spain’s gastronomic capital, San Sebastián (known locally as Donostia). Fitting, then, that this Basque-style tapas bar has taken up residence here. Plus, its location on the upper level allows you to enjoy the energy of the crowds below without taking a beer to the face.
Don’t be fooled by its rough-and-ready look: Donostia’s background in street food makes it a slick outfit. Plates of food – the type that make you gesture to your companion with your mouth full – arrive without fanfare. There’s always somebody to refresh your drink, but you’re never made to feel like you’ve outstayed your welcome.
We stayed for a full meal and found food could hold its own in Donostia itself. An Ibérico pork cheek was tender to the point of collapse, its rich gravy counterpointed with a dash of lemon oil. Patatas bravas – usually a filler – was glorious. For dessert, we gobbled up wobbly cubes of battered, honey-drizzled leche frita, a traditional milk-based dessert that’s humble yet divine.
We would have happily stayed and shared a bottle of txakoli (one of many attractions on a keenly priced wine list). Others did come in just for a drink – little did they know how much they were missing.
49 Brixton Station Rd
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Users say (20)
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
- 5 star:17
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Reluctant to let you into the secret but it's not just Brixton! Donostia Social Club also are the most amazing event caterers. We were all blown away by the fantastic food last night at the City of London distillery. Mouthwatering morcilla and fried quail's egg to mention just one of the fabulous Pinxhos......
Incredible food amazing value and fabulous service - my favourite restaurant in London not just Brixton!
Wonderful food served with passion and great value. Perfect for a quick bite and or meal. Do have scallops, lamb cutlets and of course grab a cider. Paul is a fantastic host , ably supported by a committed crew.
Superb food and service with a lovely relaxed and friendly atmosphere, I recommend you visit now if you haven't yet.
I'm so excited that Donostia Social Club will be a permanent fixture of Brixton. The food is phenomenal! It's amazing what can be done with such a small space. I wanted to try everything on the menu and I'll be visiting often enough to achieve it. The people running it are friendly, so knowledgable and completely non judgemental when we kept ordering more plates. Brilliant food, brilliant atmosphere!
Best tapas food in London... and probably the world! Great hosts with witty banter and a great taste and eye for cheese and wine. Wonderful experience that never gets old.
The only way to experience this place is at the bar and watching the world go by. It probably only holds about 20 people inside which only adds to the personal feel you get, Paul is such a delight and a very entertaining host, his food s simple yet imaginative, combining all the flavours of northern Spain yet with generous portions at very reasonable prices, this place hits the spot! I can still taste his slow braised pork cheeks.
One of my favourite neighbourhood restaurants right now, food is authentic to San Sebastian, very good value with great drinks and service to match. Start with a Gin Marie and let them keep bringing you the dishes!
Amazing food, great atmosphere and ethos. The owner and staff could not be more friendly and accommodating. The kind of place you would be happy to pop by and hang out at every day of the week.
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