Compared to the wave of slinky, sexy tapas bars that has washed around Soho of late, Café Espana is a major throwback. The decor is basic & cramped, the menus not only laminated, but guilty of offering dishes that are more Magaluf than Madrid. Spag bol or chips with your tapas, anyone? Die-hard fans defend the place, saying it’s ‘what it says on the can – a Spanish café’, with ‘no fancy restaurant trimmings’ & ‘ridiculously good value for the West End’. All the regulars (patatas bravas, tortilla, calamari) are here, & though the flavours aren’t always up to scratch, at least portions are generous. Of the larger dishes, ‘try the garlic chicken with a glass of Marqués de Riscal’, counsels one reader. Nostalgia aside, this old-timer’s real strength lies in its staff: all Spanish & ‘exceptionally friendly’.
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