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Donostia Social Club - CLOSED

Restaurants, Spanish Brixton
5 out of 5 stars
(20user reviews)
 (© Matt Hickman)
1/7
© Matt Hickman
 (© Jamie Lau)
2/7
© Jamie Lau
 (© Jamie Lau)
3/7
© Jamie Lau
 (© Jamie Lau)
4/7
© Jamie Lau
 (© Jamie Lau)
5/7
© Jamie Lau
 (© Jamie Lau)
6/7
© Jamie Lau
 (© Jamie Lau)
7/7
© Jamie Lau

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.

By: Nicola Arencibia

Posted:

Details

Address: Pop Brixton
49 Brixton Station Rd
London
SW9 8PQ
Transport: Tube: Brixton
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Users say (20)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:17
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|20
1 person listening
tastemaker

Super delicious pinxtos!! I only went to their popup with Campo Viejo event, but it's definitely a legit place for pinxtos! 


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.

Tastemaker

After several months from my initial visit I've came back to enjoy this restaurant again and I have to say I wasn't disappointed.

First thing to note is that it is based within Pop Brixton which alone is also a great venue to go and enjoy a few drinks and of course amazing food.

Having lived in Spain for many years I have to say that the quality here is very good and the service very friendly.

Tastemaker

Be careful not to miss this place as it is actually above the entrance to Pop Brixton - on entering if you don't turn around you won't see it and it is one not to be missed!

This tapas place has a little upstairs outdoor seating (lovely for a summers day however when I was there it was waaaaay too cold) which provides a great view of the rest of Pop Brixton down below as well as inside where there is long wooden bar with stools where you are seated and served from behind the bar.

The place has a cool vibe and an amazing looking menu! I only tried a taster given our during an event - a huge creamy wedge of goats cheese, a little leaf with a strawberry and balsamic glaze on top - which was really really good and will mean I definitely return for a proper meal.

The menu ranges from £3.50 (for a scallop) to £7.50 (lamb rump) and everything sounds incredible. What a great find!

Tastemaker

I utterly ADORE this place. Really. I cannot fault it. It excels on every single level, from the atmosphere (for a venue which is basically a pimped up shipping container, it has such a brilliant buzz!) to some of the friendliest staff (the owner has a huge passion for what he does, some great chat and is just a nice guy who actually gives a shit about what he's doing) and the best valued food I think i've ever had. The cheese, the main reason you should visit this place (though their specials ALWAYS look incredible) is simply divine. £12 for a platter of 5 cheeses and a selection of meats, capers, bread and mini bread sticks is just ridiculously good value, and it is all fantastic (whilst being a gluten intolerant vegan's nightmare!) For me it's a toss up between the blue cheese and the creamier of the two goats cheeses as to which is the best... please don't make me choose between them because I can't. A platter is more than enough for 2 people, meaning if you have a budget of £20 for your dinner you'll have more than enough for a bottle of their gorgeously fruity house red, some crispy broad beans, olives, extra bread and a generous tip. It's a great date location, or a place to go out with your girlfriends like I did. Nothing says girls night better than wine and cheese, amirite??

Tastemaker

I actually came across Donostia when I hired them to cater a private event, they were fantastic throughout the whole thing and everyone raved about the food!  I then found out about there permanent residence in Pop Brixton and got down there as soon as possible.  The food was once again incredible, the staff were so knowledgeable and happy to offer guidance on ordering and explained each dish as it came out to us.  Can't wait to go back again. love. love. love



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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