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Square Meal Review of Barrafina Soho ?

It’s pretty obvious that this teeming, no-bookings tapas joint was modelled on Spain’s finest bars (Barcelona’s Cal Pep is the obvious influence) and the details are spot-on – from the marble counter and paper serviettes to the authentically long wait for a seat (“well worth it”). But, judging by the way tiny Barrafina is performing these days, we reckon it could teach its Spanish progenitors a thing or two about cooking great food. Most of its many regulars give the menu barely a glance, instead homing in on specials of soft white asparagus with nutty romesco, salt cod brandade with squid-ink sauce or impeccable ‘carabineros’ prawns, before throwing in some “old-school” favourites for good measure – perhaps prawn tortilla or perfect ham croquetas. Indigenous grapes and “fabulous sherries” take the succinct, all-Spanish wine list to another level, while staff are “true Spaniards who know what they’re talking about” according to one impressed visitor.

Wine List Of The Year Finalist

Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year 2014The Hart Brothers’ wine list is suitably compact and no-nonsense. A dozen whites, 12 reds, a rosé, three cavas and six sherries is your lot. But nearly all the wines are available by the glass, and for such a short list there’s an impressive mix of ‘safe’ and ‘cutting-edge Spanish’, particularly in the whites. Clear, accurate, supremely easy to navigate and spot-on for its purpose.

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  1. Published : Tuesday, 6 November 2012

    Saying it straight :: Barrafina. Simple. Perfect.

    I was happy that I had finally made it after months of near misses. Greeted by a plate of crispy deep-fried prawns, the recruitment consultant whose guest I was, had chosen wisely. They were incredibly fresh. I’m glad that I hadn’t noticed them earlier, opposite, in the iced display. They were so fresh that they were still actually moving. Not only moving, some of them were actually doing kamikaze dives off the side of the counter. It was a little piece of theatre that I wasn’t quite expecting...
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  1. Published : Friday, 21 March 2014

    Frenchy love food :: BARRAFINA

    Last week as a birthday gift, I visited Barrafina on Frith Street for the first time. Restaurant doesn't take reservations, to be sure we could get a table, we went there a little bit before opening times.
    I walked past the restaurant many times but I always thought there was an extra room somewhere! Now I understand why you should get there early to get a seat, restaurant is around 20 seats around the massive L-shaped bar.

    Probably one of my favourite spanish dish is croquetas, Barrafina's croquetas were perfect, I could have eaten both of them, but my friend is really into we share everything...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 6 August 2014

    Nomface :: Barrafina, London

    Every time we walk past Barrafina on Frith Street in Soho the queue seems to be out the door. With limited counter seating and a couple of tables there are constant waits of over an hour. We decided to brave the wait one Saturday night and were pleasantly surprised when it whittled down quite quickly, from out of the door to seated in under half an hour. Perhaps we were lucky to join the queue when a raft of diners were coming to the end of their meals. The patience of the staff needs to be commended as at least twenty people stormed in expecting to be seated oblivious to the waiting diners along the wall bar, each...
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  1. Published : Thursday, 28 February 2013

    the dinersaur :: barrafina

    A couple of friends and I headed to Barrafina for a quick dinner earlier this week. Situated on Frith Street in the heart of Soho, Barrafina is a small tapas bar that I've heard endless praise about.

    I have in fact been meaning to try it for quite a while, except every time I visit I've been met with a queue all the way to the door (and beyond!) and have been told that the wait would be at least an hour. As has become the trend here in Soho, Barrafina is strictly 'no reservations'...
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  1. Barrafina in Soho is one of those places I'd been to several times and then hadn't been for a good few years. It's still considered one of, if not THE BEST places to go to in London for tapas. Even today still has people queuing, sometimes for a good hour, from 12pm till late evening.

    As Mr D isn't a lover of Tapas, I jumped at the chance of seeing my cousin, Mr H whom is a fan. Barrafina was one of our top choices and he arrived around 11:50am on a Friday, and was already third in line (they open at twelve). By the time I arrived at 12pm a small snake was forming. Tapas gets such a mixed reputation amongst...
    More from S.W. Foodie »

  1. Published : Sunday, 14 July 2013

    Drifting Epicure :: Barrafina

    Barrafina is a modern Spanish tapas bar in the heart of Soho. The restaurant has been around for a while and built a reputation of reliably well-made Spanish tapas. In terms of location it perfectly blends in among the mix of bars and restaurants in the area being a mix of both itself. Barrafina only has 23 bar stools and a few tables outside when the weather allows. Seating is based on a first come first serve policy, no reservations taken. This means that on a hot summer evening queuing time easily surpasses 1 hour. I can already say now before going into details that it’s worth the wait...
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  1. Published : Thursday, 6 February 2014

    The Hungry Porker :: Barrafina

    There’s a reason for the no-reservations here. It’s part of that authentic Spanish tapas bar experience. Seats around the L-shaped bar remain as difficult to get as when it first opened. Turn up as the doors open and you’ll still somehow find yourself behind a crowd of people. If you don’t get a seat, you’re invited to form an orderly queue along the back bar. But worry not, the waiters here are so good, that you’ll have a glass of wine in your hand in no time. And the wine here is really good, and really drinkable. I’ve lost count of the times that I have promised not to drink more than a glass, and then have finished...
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  1. Published : Saturday, 8 September 2012

    FoodiesOnTheProwl FoodiesOnTheProwl :: Barrafina, Sept 2012

    Sunny Saturday afternoon, what better time for Spanish tapas at Barrafina. We’ve been there many many times, but not in the last 2 years or so. So it was a perfect occasion to retry Barrafina.

    A few years ago Barrafina was one of the very few modern tapas places in London. It received great reviews across the board and since then many other good modern Spanish tapas restaurants have popped in London (think Pizarro, Donostia and Opera Tavern). In fact the head chef of Barrafina moved to Donostia and is creating some tasty dishes over there...
    More from FoodiesOnTheProwl FoodiesOnTheProwl »

  1. Barrafina is on Firth St which is now quite the foodie street with Koya and Cerviche as its neighbours. It is tiny with bar seats only. I was there for an early lunch and was lucky to score a seat. Otherwise one would have stand behind the seated customers and have your tapas standing while you wait.

    I am a big fan of bar seats as it allows me to watch my food being prepared and to observe the seamless action that goes on in a bustling kitchen. In this case the bar seat was so close to the action that I could feel the heat from the hot plates in use...
    More from London Chow | Where to eat in London »

  1. Published : Thursday, 16 January 2014

    Munch My Way :: Barrafina, Soho

    Barrafina is a small 20-odd seats tapas bar serving Spanish specialities in small plates..

    Barrafina is the sister restaurant of Fino, a already critically acclaimed restaurant in London which also competed in Ramsay’s Best Restaurant tv show...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 12 June 2013

    vialaporte :: Barrafina // Soho // London

    Tapas, are a great way to catch-up with friends after a busy day. Barrafina has one of the best reputations in London for the Spanish snacks, so how does it stack-up?

    Large, this restaurant is not and you’ll likely have to queue as they don’t take bookings. As a result you end-up with a glass of crisp sherry in your hand, lining-up on the wall behind the dinners. On a busy day, you will feel a bit like you’re crammed-in on the Central Line (with the extra obstacle of your glass) but at least the atmosphere is jovial, which helps while you wait.

    If you’re in a larger group, you won’t get the chance...
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  1. Published : Monday, 26 January 2015

    KOJO London :: KOJO London: Barrafina: Worth the wait

    Before I left London for a few months, Barrafina had long been on my list. I had heard amazing things about the top-quality tapas from other bloggers so I knew that when I was back in London, Barrafina would be the first place to visit.

    After visiting the Christmas markets in South Bank with my equally quirky companion, I headed back to Soho with great haste in order to get there early. You may be thinking, "why would I want to get to a restaurant early?" One possibility is that I may be rushing to attend some event. The other possibility is the combination of a no-reservation policy and a small seating...
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  1. Published : Monday, 2 February 2015

    Eat With Steph :: Barrafina * | Eat With Steph

    Being around since 2007, Barrafina was one of the newly awarded Michelin star restaurants in September 2014. Unconventional, there aren’t many Spanish tapas bars around with a Michelin star rating, and despite what you might think, a restaurant awarded with a Michelin star rating isn’t a decision factor for me at all when it comes to reviewing a meal. This was a restaurant sought out by word of mouth and therefore a visit was beckoning…

    With a semi-open kitchen, Mallorcan and Catalan tapas dishes flood the menu, dishes are exquisitely laid out to perfection. Forget the prices and focus on the taste. It’s...
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  1. I went to Barrafina with a couple of friends for lunch over the weekend. We arrived at 12.40, not realising it didn’t open until 1pm on Sundays, but there were already some people checking out the menu. They left and we wondered whether we should do the same. Barrafina has been on my list of places to try for the longest time and I had heard good things about it, so I was keen on waiting. It was good we did because it wasn’t long before more and more people started arriving and taking their place in the queue. We were the first in the door and as Barrafina only has 23 seats, an unlucky few who were queueing ended...
    More from Half a Slice of Toast »

Essential Details for Barrafina Soho

  • Address: 54 Frith Street, London W1D 4SL
  • Telephone: 020 7813 8010
  • Website:
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 5-11pm Sun 1-3.30pm 5.30-10pm
  • Cuisine: Spanish Tapas
  • Area: Soho
  • Price: £44.00
  • Wine: £19.00
  • Champagne: £65.00

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