The Best Tapas Restaurants
Ah tapas, the ying to the stuffy dining of yesteryear's yang. If a tapas bar gets it right then there are few better delights than settling in for a lazy session of little plates and carafes of Spanish wine. London didn't used to be particularly good for tapas but there's been something of a reappraisal of Spanish cuisine in recent years. And that's resulted in a whole host of really rather excellent tapas restaurants opening right on our very doorstep.
Morito
32 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4QL
With its brilliant big brother (Moro) right next door, this very popular little tapas restaurant was always likely to do well. It's basic enough to be one of those places that 'lets the food do the talking', and talk it does - very eloquently. Try the chiccarones (pork belly with cumin) - it's to die for.
Our rating
****-
Capote y Toros
157 Old Brompton Road, Earls Court, London, SW5 0LJ
This fascinating place in Chelsea could almost be called a sherry bar, such is the quality and selection of the options available. However, that would be doing the fantastic food a disservice, as it plays just as big a part. The hams are - as expected - exquisite, but it's the carpaccio of duck liver with a Pedro Ximenez reduction that will have us coming back for years, we fear.
Our rating
*****
Jose
104 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, London, SE1 3UB
The man behind this eponymous tapas bar in Bermondsey, Jose Pizzaro, is one of the capital's favourite Spanish imports, and with his first solo London venture, it's easy to see why. Jose boasts a daily changing menu of exquisite tapas dishes, and the man himself is usually behind the counter, often tweeting to his adoring fans about what they can expect when they pop down.
Our rating
*****
User rating
*****
8 reviews
Barrafina
26-27 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3LL
Sam and Eddie Hart's Soho tapas restaurant divides opinion somewhat but for us, it's a definite winner thanks to some incredible sourcing. The cured meats (especially the iberico chorizo) are excellent but if you fancy something a little heartier you have to try the chicken thighs with romesco sauce. You'll be hooked in no time.
Our rating
****-
User rating
*****
8 reviews
Opera Tavern
23 Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5JS
For tapas purists, this might be pushing it a bit as there are elements from Italy on the Opera Tavern menu. The Spanish options are still phenomenally good though, so don't let the pedants put you off. The iberico burgers are things of London legend - and quite right too. They'll undoubtedly be some of the best things ever to pass your lips.
Our rating
****-
Tapas Brindisa
18-20 Southwark Street, Borough, London, SE1 1TJ
Such is the dearth of really, really good tapas joints in London, those that are a cut above the rest get incredibly busy and this longstanding spot by Borough Market is certainly that, with queues regularly snaking well down Southwark Street. It's all about the produce, much of which is imported from some of Spain's best known suppliers, and the quality is obvious. Some excellent, regional charcuterie is your best bet, but make sure you save some room for the similarly impressive cheeses. Well worth the wait.
Our rating
*****
User rating
****-
7 reviews
Iberica Marylebone
195 Great Portland Street, Marylebone, London, W1W 5PS
With venues in Marylebone and Canary Wharf, and rumours of more to come, this small chain prides itself on the quality of its ingredients - and it shows. The Marylebone venue is proud recipient of a Bib Gourmand but if some of London's best tapas at some of London's best prices isn't enough then you can peruse their artwork, pick up one of their books or take home some bits from their delicatessen - many of which are only available at this very fine little spot.
Our rating
****-
User rating
*****
1 review

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