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The Little Tapería

Restaurants, Spanish Tooting
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(33user reviews)
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
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© Luana Failla
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
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THe LIttle Taperia (© Luana Failla)
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The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
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© Luana Failla
The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
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The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
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The Little Taperia (© Luana Failla)
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© Luana Failla

A Spanish tapas restaurant in Tooting.

It’s a lovely feeling when you study a menu and want to order everything. It’s even lovelier when you notice the reasonable prices, and realise you could do exactly that without having to raise a mortgage first. Yet talk of mortgages surrounded us at this tapas bar in Tooting, as the area’s seen a huge influx of new-to-London renters and first-homers. This demographic of up-for-it flatshares and the newly-coupled is creating a surge in fun, affordable places to eat and drink in SW17.

Why did Soho House’s Chicken Shop cross the road? To get to La Tapería, on the adjacent street corner. Over the road is Honest Burgers; around the corner is Mud, an Aussie-style brunch place and café. Geronimo Inns is currently converting a huge local landmark, The Trafalgar Arms, into a trendy wine bar. No wonder Tooting’s been called the new Shoreditch.

Yet La Tapería’s charm is more homespun than the bigger operators. A side passage and yard at the back have been covered with corrugated plastic roofing to make a beach shack-style extension; a marble-topped bar at the front dispenses simple but good cocktails; and a long corridor-like series of rooms connects the two, with an open kitchen halfway along. Sit near it and you can admire cool artistry in a very hot kitchen, as the chefs work with wordless concentration.

The menu’s the sort of thing you might find in Spain – if you’re lucky. Big prawns tasted as if they’d just been lifted out of the sea, then sautéed with chilli and garlic. Salt cod fritters arrived fresh from the fryer, perfectly seasoned and crisp with a fresh alioli. These are classic tapas, yet so often the simplest things are hardest to get right. A simple pan con tomate, sourdough bread rubbed with garlic and spread with crushed fresh tomatoes, relies on prime ingredients, and the version here matches anything we’ve eaten on the Iberian peninsula.

A few dishes show more invention, such as baby squid stuffed with Spanish black pudding. The appearance is striking, and the metallic taste of the filling adds an earthy edge to the seafood; textures and flavours of sea and land meet on a plate.

Little Tapería was lively and filled with smiles on our Friday-night visit. Despite not taking reservations, the staff were able to squeeze us in. As we left, good-tempered lines had formed both here and at the adjacent and equally modish Chicken Shop. Who would have thought that Tooting Broadway would become a place to pasear the time?

By: Guy Dimond

Posted:

Venue name: The Little Tapería
Contact:
Address: 143 Tooting High St
London
SW17 0SY
Cross street: Nutwell Street
Opening hours: 5-11.30pm Mon-Thur; 5-12.30pm Fri; 10am-12.30pm Sat; 10am-11pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: Tooting Broadway
Price: Meal for two with wine and service: around £70.
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:26
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|33
3 people listening
Tastemaker

I'm giving an extra star here because the staff was very friendly, it's a nice setting and they allowed me to get takeaway even though "technically" it's not done. I got only 2 veg tapas as the prices seem a bit high for me otherwise. I got the Catalan spinach with chickpeas and the escalivada. The spinach was sadly extremely oily and that's about the only flavor I picked up. The escalivada mixture was delicious: I detected aubergine and tomato amongst the sautéed veg and the rich garlicky flavour stood out. The sourdough though was just too bland.


Went for a friend's 40th there and food was delicious. Especially the lamb cutlets, fantastic and such a cute place. 

tastemaker

This has a super food menu with plenty of authentic dishes to choose from with great flavours. Their cocktails are delicious and they make a cracking Negroni. The only reason for not quite getting the 5th star is that it's a big pricey, especially for Tooting Broadway. Definitely worth a visit.


Fantastic tapas in a cozy, authentic setting.... never had a bad meal here....highly recommend!


This is one of the best restaurants in Tooting, always really busy even early on in the week all the dishes are so tasty. Great for a lunchtimes with their 2 for £7 dish deal, the cocktails are also fantastic.


This is simply my favourite restaurant in Tooting. The food is simple, outstanding and varied. Madeleine who is one of the owners has created a gem of a restaurant with friendly staff, an eclectic bar and best of all a chef who's culinary touch is awesome!!


An absolutely brilliant find - some of the best Spanish food I've tasted outside Spain. You have to book in the evenings but this is a rising star in Tooting's renaissance!!!


The dishes are unusual and delicious, and the staff are all friendly. This place has an amazing buzz to it, and I've loved it every time I've been for dinner there.


Consistently delicious food at an affordable price. I could eat there every day.


Delicious! Can only hope they will start doing brunch again but in the meantime their tapas are amazing.


Great atmosphere with fresh food and changing menus and authentic Spanish tapas plus a great cocktail menu. Delish!

Tastemaker

I went here for after work tapas as I had heard great reviews. Although the food was very tasty and affordable I wasn't blown away by it. Due to a busy time we were seated at the bar, which was fine but a difficult place to navigate for the staff when very packed. I feel like maybe we were there on an off day as my friend said it had always been nicer before. Still a pleasant experience that didn't break the bank.

Tastemaker

I love the Little Taperia, having been quite a few times and can also, after this morning, confirm its the best brunch in tooting! A small but fantastic selection, our party of six had 4 full Spanish's (egg your way, chorizo, Serrano ham, Rosemary fried potatoes, vine tomatoes, mushrooms & sourdough), a fried Manchego & Serrano ham sandwich, smashed avocado & double poached eggs with vine tomatoes & a couple of sets of churros, and every single item was perfect!

Cannot wait to go again, my only (mild) disappointment, was the absence of any morcilla!


Some of the best tapas I've had in London, ever. Great staff and a comfortable atmosphere too.


Great service, delicious food and cocktails and amazing atmosphere! All you could ever want on your doorstep.


Amazing food. Great atmosphere. A wonderful place for a special evening out without having to go into the big city. Love it!


Food, atmosphere and staff all fantastic. Feel lucky to have this place as my local.


Great food and cocktails at really reasonable prices but get there early to bag a table as it's very popular!


Delicious, interesting food. Lovely, fun, social atmosphere. Just what you want from a great local spot!

Tastemaker

I miss the independant pet shop The Little Taperia replaced, it's true, so begrudgingly joined pals there during Tootopia. Have to say, it won me around with lovely staff, reasonably priced bubbles (always a winner), pretty darn decent paella and a live Spanish band whipping the locals up into a Latin frenzy. How do you fit all this in to a restaurant the size of a postage stamp? No idea, must have Tardis tendencies, but I left feeling uplifted and very, very full.

Tip: Try speaking Spanish and if not, join in the chorus anyway, you'll feel like a Latin local in no time.


Such delicious food. Feel so lucky having it close by. Drinks are also good!

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