El Parador

Restaurants, Spanish Camden Town
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
4 Love It
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A London tapas institution with a loyal following, El Parador is a low-key restaurant that won’t necessarily change the way you think about tapas, but will certainly have you coming back for more. Tables are small and close together, and the terracotta decor has a slightly faded, homely aesthetic. Service was a bit patchy when we dropped by, as the little venue has a family-restaurant feel where the staff aren’t necessarily trying to impress.

The tapas style enables one individual ingredient to be the star of each dish. Hence sea bream was served simply with fennel; merguez sausages were grilled with onions; and broad beans had been whipped into a purée with rosemary and confit garlic. With over 40 tapas to choose from, the menu can seem overwhelming, but the large selection does mean that vegetarians are well catered for – beyond the predictable offering of tortilla. As it happens, the tortilla is very good, with balanced seasoning, a comforting gooey middle and slight sweetness from the onions.

To finish, tarta de santiago was a tad dry, but orange-infused crème caramel provided an enjoyably aromatic detour from a classic Spanish flan.



Venue name: El Parador
Address: 245 Eversholt Street
Opening hours: Tapas served noon-3pm, 6-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-3pm, 6-11.30pm Fri; 6-11.30pm Sat; 6.30-9.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Mornington Crescent
Price: Tapas £4.80-£8.60
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening
Avatar for StephDye

I spend a lot of my time in Camden and whether I am in need of a full blown meal or am just a little peckish, El Parador is my first port of call. Admittedly, it's not particularly flash or particularly fancy, however the emphasis here is on delicious, well cooked tapas (one of my favourite types of meal to eat.) It is not hugely cheap, however tapas in London never really is, though I have never spent over £30 on a meal with a bottle of wine and service. 

Top tips: if you get the opportunity (in the summer months) try to get a table outside in the charming little courtyard out the back of the restaurant, or if the garden is closed, in the first floor of the restaurant. I personally find the basement a little cramped and normally reserved for large groups, so generally quite noisy.

Top dishes: Whilst everything I have tried on the menu is great, there are a few dishes that I personally recommend. First of all, the bread with fresh aioli is delicious and completely moreish. If you can, save some bread for mopping up the juice of the other dishes! Calamares a la Romana is a large, juicy tentacle grilled and served whole - perfect if you have a love of seafood whilst if you are a meat lover, go for the Salteado de solomillo, fried strips of delicious fillet steak. You also can't go wrong with the tortilla or the grilled, salty padron peppers. Pure heaven!

Avatar for Laura B

This has certainly covered the 'shabby' in 'shabby chic' but sadly lacks the chic part. Tables and customers are packed in teetering on the verge of discomfort and I am disappointed to say that writing this review 6 weeks after my visit I cannot recall a single dish. I know we would have had chorizo, prawns, calamari but sadly none of it at all memorable. I have no desire to revisit and refresh my memory with so many other options available in London. Shame, love a good bit of tapas. 

Avatar for Hungry H

Very disappointed.

I rang and wanted to book tables, was told they don’t accept booking for 2 people, as long as you get there for when they open (6:30pm) should have no problem getting a table, fair enough.

Turned up at 7:00pm and soon as we got through the door someone rushed over to us and practically barred our way telling us there were no tables left. We pointed out that we could see some empty tables, he said they were reserved. We said but tables for two could not be reserved he said they were for a large party and would be pushed together.

It seemed clear that no matter what we said, we were not getting in. We eventually left and found a really nice Thai restaurant further down the road.

Later on we passed back by el paradour and there were still some empty tables.

Not sure what was going on here but my advice is, unless you like your Spanish food with a side order of implicit snobbery, washed down with some full-bodied rebuff, avoid this restaurant. 

Avatar for Ida

Amazing food. The Time Out review is right, there are great dishes for vegetarians. Although, I eat fish and the fish dishes are amazing. I would highly recommend this place.

Avatar for Paul

Gosh, what a lovely treat it was to stumble upon this place a couple of weeks ago. Fantastic food, with plenty of dishes to choose from so hopefully everyone will be catered for. Our personal favourites had to be the delicious baby squid with chilli or the succulent (and decadent) belly of pork. The waitress recommended an excellent bottle of house rioja which complemented the meal perfectly. We found eight dishes between the three of us to be just the right amount, whilst still leaving us tempted enough to look at the dessert list (try the house made cheesecake!). The service was very friendly and fast, despite the place (deservedly!) being very busy, and the atmosphere was great. I can't wait to go back again!

Avatar for Amy

Absolutely excellent. This is the best tapas in London and very reasonably priced. I feel like I'm on holiday dining here.

Avatar for lucy

Fantastic restaurant- delicious food, lovely staff and sweet surroundings. I don't agree with Timeout's review- spice roulette! You can tell the staff exactly how you want your food done, spicy or not, and they will pass it on to the kitchen! I love this place and will keep coming back again and again!

Avatar for CT

Better tapas than in Spain. It is consistently good and we go on a regular basis with clients for business. Can get busy but always worth dropping in.

Avatar for AbeC

Absolutely excellent food, all of it. Rather nice little sherry to start. Very noisy and hot though (November,) so if you find that hard - try to go at a quieter time because the food is quite excellent.

Avatar for sarah h.

I am shocked at timeout's review.. I love this place, I have been coming for years and would never describe the food as bland or lacking flavour! Great, inventive tapas, lovely staff and simple surroundings. Can't go wrong! Guess the reviews not all bad, maybe it will put some people off, so i have more of a chance of getting a table!

Avatar for Sarah

this place is brilliant... I have been coming here for years and love the great food, lack of pretension and friendly, easy-going staff. its so nice to go to a restaurant that serves amazing food, but doesn't have snooty staff! simple and homely decor which suits the understated menu. the only thing is, it's getting too popular! you often have no chance of eating there unless you book in advance...