Country Cuisine Tour - Spanish
It's time to once again hop-on our tour of London's best country cuisines... and in this edition, we look at the top Spanish restaurants in the capital, delicioso!
Experience a taste of laidback Spain in the frantic setting of Soho with a visit to Barrica! The authentic tapas bar with its colourful decor makes you feel like you're on a holiday in Barcelona as you tuck into all your best Spanish nibbles from pastries, to olives, to fried potatoes, to prawns and clams. However, it's not just the yummy food that Barrica is known for, as they have an extensive and impressive range of drinks, indicating that it's just as important as the food. With a bespoke, temperature-controlled drinks cabinet for their wines they have around 30 Spanish vinos on their list as well as 16 sherries on offer. Each has been chosen to reflect the Spanish culture and diversity, so cheers to that!
With restaurants in both Brixton and Battersea, Boqueria is a traditional tapas setting offering fresh, modern menu options with a chilled vibe and a stylish spot-lit bar area. You will think you've stepped into a Spanish wonderland with flamenco music, photos of Spanish market scenes on the walls, knowledgeable Spanish waiting staff and real-deal Iberian ingredients. Everything you'd expect food wise from a tapas bar is delightfully available to you with a plate of tomatoes, garlic, parsley and olive oil to start and then you can tuck into mains varying from seafood, to cured hams and a vegetarian option. If all that isn't enough and you still have room for dessert, you can try a chocolate, or caramelized, or ice-cream treat!
Camino in King's Cross is hidden behind a courtyard and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so for all the Spanish food fanatics out there, you could spend the entire day there! With live DJs playing the best Latin, house and party music until late, you're sure to feel like you've been treated to a very Spanish night out. The tapas offerings combine the classics (croquetas de jamón, meat platters, patatas bravas) and the more adventurous (squid-ink rice with cuttlefish, Austrian bean stew or black pudding). The true social Spanish spirit comes through when you sip on the best beers, finest licores and cocktails Spain has to offer. As we know, Spain and wine come hand in hand, and this dynamic wine region is fully catered for within the bar area with wines from every Spanish area. So for a vibrant Spanish style evening out, this one is for you!
Donostia Social Club is a Basque inspired tapas foodery serving up Spanish street food in the slick, edgy and dynamic Pop Brixton. You might think being in a pop-up environment that you might not be treated to high-quality and carefully crafted tapas, but you couldn't be more wrong. With a menu dedicated to tapas and another to nibbles, you get a different feel and taste of Spanish cuisine than you'd get in a sit-down restaurant, making it the perfect place to visit if you're passing by or need a quick food fix. If street food isn't enough for you, drinks are available for you to enjoy and range from white & red wines, cava's, sherries, spirits and the very best Spanish liqueurs. This pop-up is definitely one to experience for an alternative night out!
Tucked away in a quiet residential street between Piccadilly and Park Lane, and close to the historic site of the bawdy fair that gave Mayfair its name, El Pirata is proud to give its customers exactly what they want. One things for certain, you won't be looking at the menu struggling to find something you like, if anything, there is too much choice! There's more than 60 dishes for you to tuck into on the menu including restaurant specials cochinillo a la traditional (roast suckling pig with potatoes) to tapas classics including boquerones (anchovies in vinegar), patatas bravas (deep-fried potatoes in a chilli and garlic sauce) and pescados y mariscos fritos de rape (deep fried medallions of monkfish). Visiting when the weather is slightly colder means you can take-in the picturesque indoor decor, whilst a spot of summer Spanish eating means you can bask in the sun on their outside tables. El Pirata isn't one to be missed if you love your wines, with more than 140 so there is no doubt you will be a wine connoisseur once you've visited!
The Little Taperia has a simple aim: delicious, innovative tapas made with really good ingredients and served in gorgeous surroundings. The charm of The Little Taperia is the rustic look with a 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. You won't be disappointed with the tapas on offer, with fish tasting like it has been freshly caught from the sea and put straight on your plate. An extensive drinks list from sherries, to wines, to brandies, to whiskies is on offer for you to complete your Spanish adventure in Tooting!
Based in Clerkenwell, the magnificent Morito offers you one of the warmest atmospheres in London with everyone pleased to be there amongst a buzzing and lively environment! A cosy feeling provides visitors with a menu of 40-strong dishes, from the very simple (tomato toast & lip-tingling pádron peppers) to old faves (patatas bravas topped with a thick, spicy tomato sauce and dollop of mayo) and regional specialities (grilled Galician tetilla cheese, with membrillo and walnut halves, and sizzling Palamós prawns with allioli). Desserts include a first-rate crema catalana (large enough for two), but the rich, boozy baklava ice-cream floating in a pool of Pedro Ximénez – the result of a happy kitchen accident, apparently – takes some beating. To drink, there are cocktails, sherries and an all-Spanish wine list, available by the glass, 375ml carafe or bottle. So pop-in to sample some culinary Spanish delights if you're passing by the area!
Salt Yard in Fitzrovia was one of the pioneers of the capital's new Spanish food scene, and remains one of the best in the capital. The handsome, but small venue, maintains a pleasant vibrancy all evening with an Italian twist on the Spanish classics. The menu is regularly changing with minor variations on dishes meaning there's always something different to enjoy. When you visit you'll experience all the unexpected cuisine on offer, from their classic tortilla, to potato and beetroot salad with nettle pesto, to a scallop carpaccio. If you don't have time for food, Salt Yard is happy to accommodate you if you require just a glass of red, or martini, so you can wine, dine and be merry Spanish style!
Based in Borough Market as far back as the 1990s, Tapas Brindisa is a bustling tapas bar and has become the go-to place for Spanish food in London. With such an iconic location you won't be let down with the amazing food on offer, with cured hams, cheeses, classic tapas dishes and seasonal favourites on the menu for you to enjoy. So get involved at one of the capital's best known Spanish eateries to engage with the Mediterranean culture!