Searching for some enticing Spanish restaurants in London? From tapas to more traditional Spanish food, here are the best restaurants in London offering authentic Spanish cuisine. Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.
The best Spanish restaurants in London
Any preconceptions about tapas bars being pleasant but unmemorable places with routine menus are dispelled by this slick offshoot of Fitzrovia’s Fino. The tapas, supplemented by larger specials, are truly exceptional. Careful sourcing of impeccable ingredients, especially seafood and Spanish cold meats, is the key to quality here...
Barrica brings Fitzrovia's media crowd a taste of laidback Spain, and despite the playful decor, the drinks menu is serious: 16 sherries, all served by the glass, ranging from the intensely sweet to the bone-dry and salty. There's a wine list too: around 30 Spanish vinos picked by the bar's oenophile owner. You don’t go to Barrica to get legless – it's a smart bar on Goodge Street - so order a few of the brilliant tapas dishes to keep things civilised.
The traditional and the contemporary combine to fine effect at this newbie Brixton tapas joint. The menu offers modern twists on tapas such as enjoyably slimy aubergine cannelloni, and a parsnip crisp-topped roast pork dish rendered stunningly refreshing by a little ball of lemon sorbet melting into a pool of apple sauce....
Tucked away in Regent Quarter, you’ll encounter the sprawling Spanish hotspot that is Camino. The menu provides various options – tapas, platters, a tasting menu and at weekends, tempting brunches with a Spanish twist. The informal, fun atmosphere makes Camino a great place to come with a group for a lively night out...
Like sister restaurant Barrica, the tapa-sized dishes venture admirably off the well-trodden tapas path. Dishes like empanadillas de carne and aubergine stew with tahini and mint show how well the tapas concept translates across cuisines. Puddings are diminutive, so you don’t feel like you need to be winched out post-meal. You’re encouraged to have several little glasses (copitas) from a well-informed list of Spanish wines and sherries. Service is fast and friendly, making this a valuable find in the heart of Soho.
Don’t be fooled by this Basque-style tapas bar’s rough-and-ready look: Donostia’s street food background makes it a slick outfit. Food – the type that makes you gesture to your companion with your mouth full – arrives without fanfare. There’s always somebody to refresh your drink, but you’re never made to feel like you’ve outstayed your welcome. Expect Ibérico pork cheeks, glorious Patatas bravas and for dessert, honey-drizzled leche frita, a traditional milk-based dessert.
A looks-like-a-cocktail-bar-acts-like-a-tapas-bar kind of a place, with 22 seats, Duende is small but perfectly formed. Shiny copper counters offset dark floors and dark ceilings and there’s premium spirits plus independent gins behind the bar. It’s a slinky, intimate setting for some modish tapas; think trio of fried oysters and daringly pink lamb chops, seasoned with a blob of heady aioli. Staff are enormously charming and the music is moody and sophisticated. Simply put, Duende is the good kind of hybrid.
El Ganso attracts a healthy amount of Spanish-speaking customers and the rustic restaurant aesthetic - exposed bricks and Moorish tiling – suggest equally classic tapas. Dishes are served beautifully in a way that defies expectation, even the patatas bravas at our neighbouring table came pimped up in a mini frying basket. Seafood is excellent across the board and we left this neighbourhood tapas joint as if we were basking in the heat of the Med.
This no-frills Soho jamonería is just big enough for a slicing counter, display cabinets and simple seating. Discover the best Spanish jamón ibérico here, which has been air-dried for up to three years. Splash some cash for the finest 'ibérico de bellota' - free-range pata negra (black foot) wild pigs that feed mostly on acorns. A sandwich may not be a massive meal, but you won’t mind when you taste that sweet, nutty, buttery ham.
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Ordering dishes was simpler in the old days. Proper menus had starters, main courses, then desserts. Only children, the infirm and johnny foreigner ate small portions. But now, every restaurant in London has a ‘small plates’ menu. Urban sophisticates no longer go out for a slap-up three-course meal; they head to filament-bulb-lit hangouts to graze as they text, tweet and take selfies. How did this happen? As the British of the pallid hinterlands supersize themselves with ready-meals eaten in front of ‘MasterChef’, Londoners are going to the other extreme, nibbling and foraging and table-hopping like rabid bunnies. The small plates menu is, however, nothing new. The Spanish call it tapas; the Turks call it mezze; we all call it yummy. It’s not often you see an Italian chef embrace small portions, but that’s exactly what Neapolitan Eduardo Tuccillo has done at this charming little Marylebone restaurant. Rather than stick to southern-Italian dishes, he’s mixed it up a bit with Spanish and other Mediterranean influences. The freshly-made pasta was perfect – firm and unevenly shaped fettuccine perfectly slathered with a creamy mushroom sauce heady with truffle. Seafood is a strength, with fat and juicy prawns cooked the Spanish way, a la plancha, with chilli and garlic, then served on a purée of jerusalem artichoke – an inspired combination. Squid was char-grilled but still pert, a dash of its ink painted on the plate. There are also Spanish and Italian cheeses and charcuterie