Best tapas restaurants in London

If you fancy a change from classic British cuisine, then why not dabble in a spot of tapas tasting at one of the best tapas restaurants in London? If you’re craving some patatas bravas or chorizo, then pick from our selection of London’s best tapas restaurants. When it comes to finding tapas restaurants in London, look no further than right here. If one dish at dinner simply isn’t enough, you’ll find plenty of choice at these London tapas restaurants. 

Updated on 24 August 2018

Check out London’s top tapas restaurants with Squaremeal’s carefully selected list of the very best tapas restaurants in London. The Spanish created the tapas concept, small individual portions of food that are perfect for sharing with friends or family, and typical tapas dishes are wide and varied. From meatballs to garlic prawns and stuffed piquillo peppers to calamares, tapas offer the possibility of sampling a while range of Spanish delicacies.

A sociable experience as well as an exciting culinary experience, tapas restaurants are highly popular on the London dining scene and the capital is packed with great tapas bars. Squaremeal’s guide to the very best tapas restaurants in London features only the very best tapas restaurants London has to offer. Choose from a great choice of Spanish restaurants in London, ranging from the cool and contemporary to the traditionally rustic, each serving their own particular tapas menus.

Every one of the tapas restaurants featured in Squaremeal’s list of London’s top tapas restaurants have been tried and tested by food critics and our own customers so check out the reviews and book a table online with Squaremeal today. As well as the restaurants on this page, we have listings for tapas restaurants in the West End, including Covent Garden and Soho and tapas restaurants in the City along with tapas restaurants in many other areas of London. Each Squaremeal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from diners, together with unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.

Camino Bankside

Camino Bankside

5 Canvey Street, The Blue Fin Building, London, SE1 9NA

The life and soul of España oozes from every pore of this reliable mini-chain, which promises genuine vibes, gutsy food and authentic drinks. Camino is Spanish for ‘road' and the tapas menu here roams the country's regions – think platters of artisan charcuterie, Mallorcan cheese fritters with tomato jam, or potted crab with ‘chapata’ bread. Other good calls include duck stew, and hand-dived scallops with samphire and ‘ajo blanco' sauce, while an imported charcoal grill lends its smoky tones to everything from chicken livers and Basque steaks to presa ibérica (pork shoulder) with roasted aubergine purée. Imbibing is taken seriously, too, with sherries aplenty and wines from a long list of bodegas, plus jugs of sangria, beers and zingy cocktails. A Spanish brunch menu for the weekends is promised for this Southbank location, which is billed as a more casual tapas bar and includes an open kitchen, takeaway jamón counter and large outdoor terrace.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Morito Exmouth Market

Morito Exmouth Market

32 Exmouth Market, London, London, EC1R 4QE

‘Orange is the New Black’, as they say on TV, which makes the chosen colour for the dinky offshoot of big-hitting Moro totally on-trend. Morito is a tiny spot and it fills up fast (bookings are only taken at lunchtime), but we guarantee you’ll love this immensely stylish little joint. Once you’re in, get stuck into small plates with a decidedly rustic Spanish flavour: salt cod croquetas, Padrón peppers, jamón Ibérico, patatas bravas and other tapas classics are all here, but keep an eye out for the specials too – perhaps pork belly with mojo verde or deep-fried rabbit shoulder flavoured with rose harissa. The plancha turns out lamb chops spiced up with cumin and paprika, while desserts might include a divine chocolate and olive oil mousse. The enticing all-Iberian wine list features some splendid sherries and watch out for Morito’s annual ‘seafood and sherry’ festival.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Barrafina Adelaide Street

Barrafina Adelaide Street

10 Adelaide Street, London, WC2N 4HZ

London’s three branches of “buzzing” Barrafina can hold their own against Spain’s finest, and Barrafina Adelaide Street, on a corner site in theatreland, is no exception. Each has its own personality and style, although the no-bookings policy, marble and glass interiors, long bar and attentive, enthusiastic staff are common to all three. As ever, dishes range from the dainty (little shells of zingy, sweet scallop ceviche) to the gutsy (gorgeous, creamy milk-fed-lamb’s brains breadcrumbed and served with a punchy olive and tomato sauce) – not forgetting the Harts’ lauded tortilla laced with spicy morcilla and piquillo pepper. “There’s always something new and wonderful to try”, and two of our favourites are hits from the daily specials board – grilled John Dory lathered in a silky olive oil, garlic and parsley sauce, and Josper-grilled baby vegetables atop romesco sauce. To drink, sniff out the owners’ hand-picked sherries, or pick something suitable from the carefully sourced Spanish wine list. If you’re used to Spanish pinxtos prices, you’re in for a shock – but then again, a trip to Barrafina Adelaide Street is cheaper than a flight to Valencia. 

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Copita

Copita

27 D'Arblay Street, London, W1F 8EN

Part of a wave of traditionally breezy Spanish eateries that turned the West End into a rather delicious barrio, Copita is as accomplished and popular as ever. The name translates as ‘little glass’, but with numerous sherries and affordable Spanish wines to sample, the ethos here is ‘little and often’. Such an offering cultivates a congenial mood as punters perch on wooden stools amid tile-clad walls and glowing candles. A daily changing list of tapas might include anything from crisp, gooey mushroom croquetas or pizza-style coca bread layered with soft roasted peppers and duck egg to scallops dolloped with cauliflower purée and chorizo. In similarly trendy vein, you might also find bao buns, playfully stuffed with silky Ibérico ham and spiced pepper sauce. To finish, nibble on a caramelised custard tart – paired with a copita of light Moscatel, naturally. Service is smiley and prices are fair, making this a welcome pit stop.

£30 - £49
Spanish
Capote y Toros

Capote y Toros

157 Old Brompton Road, London, SW5 0LJ

Sister site to the grown-up Cambio de Tercio next door, Capote y Toros is everything you’d expect from a younger sibling – louder and boozier, but with all the same quality in its DNA. Prepare for an Andalusian assault on the senses, courtesy of the pink and yellow colour scheme, the wall of framed bullfighting pictures and the swinging hams. This highly animated dining room becomes a flamenco-soundtracked chapel to ham and sherry as the evening gets going. Grab a table or hover under the wall-mounted barrel ends, and pick from a line-up of 125 sherries: from straw-coloured and salty manzanillas through crisp, boozy amontillados, to glasses of sweet Pedro Ximénez. In contrast to Cambio’s envelope-pushing cuisine, the menu here plays it straight. Expect classic tapas dishes such as Spanish omelette with chorizo; lamb shoulder casserole with oloroso; the speciality homemade cod sausage with Padrón peppers – and, of course, a mouth-watering choice of killer ibérico hams.

£30 - £49
Spanish
Escocesa

Escocesa

67 Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16 0AR

From the team behind Bar Esteban and with several ex-Barrafina chefs behind its steel dining counter, this Stokey slice of España is of top-quality calibre. Escocesa, Spanish for ‘Scottish’, claims to hijack Scotland’s finest seafood before it reaches Spain; specials on the moderately priced tapas menu might include Ullapool mussels a la plancha, or Shetland razor clams. Sit at the curved entrance bar or retreat to the compact, stripped-back dining room, which brims with a casual, local crowd. Our meal contained hardly a dud dish: sobrassada sausage baked in honey was the highlight, a lively blend of chewy meat and almost treacle-like sweetness. Rocket salad with Manchego is also given a sweet lift – via quince and Pedro Ximénez – while salt-cod croquetas are crisp and creamy. More substantial dishes, such as octopus with potato, sometimes suffer from too many ingredients: best stick to lighter bites, paired with a Rebujito cocktail (La Goya Manzanilla sherry with lemonade, lime and mint). Service can be haphazard but is incredibly charming, which sums up Escocesa rather well.

£30 - £49
Spanish
Lobos Meat & Tapas Bar

Lobos Meat & Tapas Bar

14 Borough High Street, London, SE1 9QG

Lobos ('wolves' in Spanish) is a new tapas joint in the heart of Borough Market, created by a team who met while working at renowned Spanish food group, Brindisa. Situated in a cramped railway arch, its two storeys manage to incorporate a bar (with views out to the market), kitchen and cave-like dining area. Our tip: grab a cosy mini booth for two and start with the pan con tomate, and ham, chorizo and smoked bacon croquetas. The menu has a clear emphasis on meat (mostly sourced from Borough Market); we sampled a rib-eye topped with exquisite foie gras, a rack of lamb with a herbaceous crust and a gloriously fatty secreto ibérico (the hidden cut between the pig's shoulder and loin) with homemade crisps. A generous selection of cava and sherries also helps make Lobos a fun addition to London's ever-growing list of on-the-money tapas venues.

Under £30
Tapas
Spanish
Social Wine & Tapas

Social Wine & Tapas

39 James Street, London, London, W1U 1DL

It might feel like London is full of Jason Atherton’s Socials, but James Street was sorely in need of a restaurant that prizes quality as well as conviviality, and this is it. Customers enter through a wine shop and tasting area dedicated to executive sommelier Laure Patry’s eagle-eyed finds, then head down to the cellar bar where wine is everywhere – even, via a recorded soundtrack, in the toilets. It’s dark and masculine, but service is warm, and the food is a mixture of trad tapas and elevated ideas. Creamy piquillo croquetas and sweet, oily pan con tomate are difficult to beat, though crispy duck egg with artichoke and grated truffle comes close. Readers also recommend the “awesome” lamb fillet with char-grilled celeriac, cucumber and yoghurt, “genuinely mouth-watering” char-grilled broccolini with chilli, pear and air-dried tuna shavings, and the crisp-crunchy Szechuan-fried chipirones with togarashi and squid ink aïoli. Puddings run from elegant to nostalgic – a cornet of soft-serve salted caramel ice cream with butterscotch sauce, for example. Fans (ourselves included) “can’t wait to go back”.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Wine Bars
El Pirata

El Pirata

5-6 Down Street, London, W1J 7AQ

A favourite with Mayfair's Spanish community and converts to the new Iberian cause, El Pirata may not be as trendy as some of the young tapas upstarts in the capital, but it does the business by offering speedy service, authentic flavours and very fair prices into the bargain (note the set lunch deal for around a tenner). Staples such as albondigas, kidneys in sherry, grilled sardines and patatas bravas are supplemented by more enterprising daily specials including grilled pressa (shoulder of Iberian pork) or chicken breast wrapped in serrano ham with capers and Albariño jus – perfect with a bottle of Mahou beer, a tot of sherry, or something from the well-spread Spanish wine list. Eat in the lively ground-floor room surrounded by mirrors and Picasso prints, or bag a table outside when the weather's kind.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
£30 - £49
Tapas Brindisa Borough

Tapas Brindisa Borough

18-20 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TJ

Given its prime location right by Borough Market, it’s no wonder that tables at well-respected Tapas Brindisa are much in demand, though the roadside location isn’t to everyone’s liking. You can’t book, so be prepared to join the scrum at the bar or – if the weather’s more Margate than Marbella – wrap up warm and sit outside. Brindisa is one of the UK’s best-known importers of Spanish produce, so it’s no surprise that the cheeses, breads and charcuterie (including hand-carved serrano and ibérico de bellota hams) take centre stage. Half-a-dozen seasonal dishes using ingredients from the market supplement tapas staples such as tortilla, freshly made croquetas, grilled chorizo and Padrón peppers, and the all-Spanish wine list is divided in to categories like ‘smooth and soft’. Service can sometimes creak under the weight of Brindisa’s unerring popularity.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
José

José

104 Bermondsey Street, London, London, SE1 3UB

José Pizarro began his London career working for Spanish food importer Brindisa before launching his Bermondsey flagship Pizarro, then this little tapas bar down the road. So it’s no surprise that London’s best-known Spanish chef also knows his produce: the hams, cheeses and everything else here are exemplary. There isn’t a great deal of space and it’s standing room only much of the time, but that doesn't stop the tiniest of preparation areas (‘kitchen’ may be too grand a word) from turning out “amazing” croquetas, grills and assemblies. Beyond the patatas bravas, tortilla and Padrón peppers, we’re very partial to the cured tuna with almonds, baby chicken with potatoes and romesco sauce, chorizo al vino and figs with sheep’s cheese and honey dressing. A few little plates and a glass of wine or sherry is sufficient to set most people off in a good mood for the rest of the evening. It’s perennially packed, but the accommodating staff are as expert at dealing with crowds in confined spaces as Spanish bus conductors.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Cigala

Cigala

54 Lamb's Conduit Street, London, London, WC1N 3LW

While the bar for London tapas has been mightily raised in recent years, it’s done nothing to dent the popularity of old-time stalwart Cigala. Wines built for long lingering lunches are a big reason for its success, with bags of choice on the Spanish-led list and the sort of kindly mark-ups that are never likely to go out of fashion. Gleaming linen and cream walls lighten up the corner site, while Jake Hodges’ kitchen dishes up reliable renditions of grilled sardines in garlic, parsley and lemon, Basque-style baked crab, or squid blasted furiously on the plancha with mojo verde and guindilla peppers. Regional hams and olives, paellas for two and a compact selection of mains (perhaps hake with prawns and cockles in green sauce) complete the menu, although there’s no sign of the titular langoustine. Functional service gets the food delivered, but you’ll be glad of straight-talking wine notes.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Under £30
Barrafina Dean Street

Barrafina Dean Street

26-29 Dean Street, London, London, W1D 3LL

It might be modelled on Barcelona’s legendary tapas bar Cal Pep, but well-travelled readers reckon Barrafina Dean Street surpasses the original. The Barrafina chain is a homage to the traditional tapas bar, refracted through a very London vibe – a feeling enhanced by this handsome space (all steel, marble and mirrors) which takes up most of the ground floor of Quo Vadis. Classic croquetas, garlic prawns and grilled sardines are done to tapas perfection, deep-fried courgette flowers combine fragility with a hot spurt of grassy goats’ cheese, octopus is rendered meltingly soft and sticky from the hotplate, and Barrafina’s made-to-order tortillas, bound with barely set egg yolk, are the finest you’ll eat anywhere. To drink, an excellent choice of all-Spanish wines includes own-label Manzanilla and plenty by the glass. However, serving such “delicious and exciting” Michelin-starred food does have its downside: you need to turn up at Barrafina Dean Street before 6pm to guarantee a place at the counter, and even then you could face an hour’s wait – although it’s no hardship with a glass of rosé cava in one hand and a plate of ham croquetas in the other.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
One michelin star
Barrafina Drury Lane

Barrafina Drury Lane

43 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5AJ

The West End is slowly becoming a Barrafina barrio with this 23-cover site joining Barrafina Soho and Adelaide Street – and as far as we’re concerned that’s no bad thing. Siblings Sam and Eddie Hart have sprinkled Michelin stardust over the former site of Osteria Dell’Opera, replacing Italian with their trademark Spanish tapas, red leather bar stools and marble-topped counters. Choose from new dishes such as piquillo croquetas alongside the Barrafina favourites, and a daily specials selection. Highlights on our last visit included pan de coca generously layered with intense slices of anchovy and sweet roast pepper, soft morcilla topped with golden-yolked pheasants egg and the crab bun – soft brioche stuffed with moist buttery crab meat in a bisque-like sauce; so good you’ll want to order another one straight away. Spanish staples such as chorizo tortilla are flawlessly executed, while a short wine list boasts the Hart brothers’ own brand of manzanilla sherry, as well as a cracking Spanish selection that’s pretty much all available by the glass. As ever, expect to queue for those first-come, first-served seats. The private dining room, with room for 28, is one option for those who hate to wait.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Morito Hackney

Morito Hackney

195 Hackney Road, London, E2 8JL

North African Moro has perched atop Exmouth Market’s food chain since 1996, and is celebrating 20 years of rave reviews with the opening of this second little sister in Hackney (following Morito Exmouth Market). The capacious, concrete-chic space (oh-so east London!) generates much noise, best suiting it for fun, casual meals – and the vegetarian-leaning menu doesn’t disappoint, offering trademark vibrancy in small plates such as cheese fritters with thyme honey or a generous green salad with figs and sesame brittle. Former Moro head chef Marianna Leivaditaki provides the twist, adding her Cretan heritage to the mix: think delicately fried aubergine drizzled with date molasses and leavened by runny feta. Another highlight for us was the char-grilled lamb chop, perfectly pink and glistening in anchovy butter – great value at under £5. Don’t miss the mango and yoghurt ice cream with crumbled pistachios, but be warned: lingering is discouraged on busy nights. Try migrating to the large, curved bar for light, fruity cocktails, a sherry or perhaps Tempranillo on tap. 

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
El Parador

El Parador

245 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1BA

“A lovely tapas restaurant”; “fantastic food at great prices” – you’ll rarely hear a bad word spoken about El Parador, where classic flavours, effervescent vibes and rustic good looks combine to make one seriously seductive Spanish venue. With so much garlic and verdant extra-virgin olive oil on the menu, it’s hardly surprising that everything tastes so good. All the classics are here, alongside a few “interesting extras”: boquerones, calamares and albondigas share the billing with, say, bacalao al piquillo (baked salt cod with piquillo peppers, shrimps, garlic and wine) or panceta con cidra (rolled pork belly braised in cider). Vegetarians are treated to some big, bold flavours too, from textbook tortilla to grilled courgettes with spinach and sunflower seeds, while everyone can indulge in sweet treats of orange crème caramel or Santiago tart. El Parador also boasts a beautiful courtyard garden – “perfect for alfresco lunches in summer”.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Salt Yard

Salt Yard

54 Goodge Street, London, W1T 4NA

It’s easy to see why Salt Yard’s genuinely shareable, sensibly paced small plates are loved by Londoners, because its “consistently great food” is leagues ahead of your average tapas. In fact, its top dishes wouldn’t be out of place in a far more formal setting than this bar-like amalgam of bare wood, brown banquettes and brass lampshades. Just consider gooey and crisp smoked eel croquetas on precise dabs of vivid pink beetroot purée, hake fillet and baby artichoke with foaming ajo blanco or rosy slices of Ibérico presa and calcot-style grilled onions with a ruby romesco sauce like pure silk.

Cream stools are comfy, but it’s the sharp cooking, keen pricing and ever-changing menu that keep in-the-know regulars perpetually hooked. “Lovely staff” buy into the concept and advise with confidence; we certainly appreciated their suggestion of a classy chocolate mousse with mini-churros and cherries for dessert. The cracking Mediterranean-leaning wine list is strong on by-the-glass options.

£50 - £79
Tapas
Spanish
José Pizarro Broadgate

José Pizarro Broadgate

36 Broadgate Circle, London, EC2M 1QS

Hot on the heels of his Bermondsey debut, José Pizarro’s City outlet is part of Broadgate Circle’s “egalitarian crescent of on-trend restaurants”. Dark brown chairs, “clean metallic lines” and slate-grey walls give the place a distinctly warm and relaxed vibe, while the menu mixes pitch-perfect renditions of the tapas classics with more “enterprising” contemporary ideas: we recommend the spicy chicken skewers, the house croquetas and the sugar-cured salmon with PX, lime mayo and capers, but don’t miss the carved-to-order jamón ibérico or the “close to perfect” octopus a la plancha. If something bigger is required, go for the “full-flavoured” rabbit stew, hake with green beans and dry sherry sauce or something veggie (perhaps a goats’ cheese pastry with parsley oil), before rounding off with apricots in cava or “fluffy” cinnamon fritters. With cracking breakfasts, lunches to go and an all-weather terrace figuring in the mix, José continues to impress the Square Mile.

£50 - £79
Tapas
Spanish
Bravas Tapas

Bravas Tapas

St Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AT

It may be softened by candelabra and fresh flowers, but the robust, artfully faded brick-and-iron marina setting is unlikely to put anyone in mind of Spanish sunshine, almonds and piquillo peppers. Nevertheless, Bravas Tapas lives up to its name, even though it beats to a vaguely avant-garde drum. Artisan snacks are what you’d expect (pickles, anchovies, Ibérico ham), but the interest builds as the kitchen rolls out its specialities – perhaps foie gras ‘crema catalana’ with cherries and Bellota ham, Malaguena salad with pineapple, fennel and sherry or blue cheese croquetas with pickled carrot salpicón. BT’s seafood speaks of wider, cleaner waters than the Thames, but dishes such as grilled octopus with toasted garlic and olive oil feel just right. Whipped-to-order alioli has been a signature since day one, as have the tongs with which you’re expected to pick everything up – not recommended with the caramelised brioche pudding and passion fruit sorbet.  

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
The Port House

The Port House

417 Strand, London, WC2R 0PD

Iberian tapas served in a restaurant owned by an Irish brewery sounds unlikely, but just wait till you step through the door. Part of a small group with outlets in Cork and Dublin, The Port House works to a tried-and-tested formula that brings together a gin bar, regional cooking and a cracking list of port and sherry – with warm hospitality and a cosy, candlelit setting thrown in. Start with a balloon glass of ‘gintonic’ before roaming the Basque-influenced menu with a crisp fino or mellow Rioja to hand. Star turns include generous pintxo skewers (intense morcilla with mustard sauce and crispy onion, for example), exem-plary jamón croquetas, and garlicky elvers with prawns in chilli. Impeccably sourced cheeses and charcuterie add further appeal, while Portuguese custard tarts and sugary churros seal the deal. Bookings are only accepted for groups of six or more.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Ember Yard

Ember Yard

61 Berwick Street, London, W1F 8SU

“Cool but not too expensive”, this casual spot deals in Spanish and Italian food with a “smoky twist”. The two-tiered space is suitably clad in wood, with assorted seating upstairs, more intimate corners and a large bar in the basement. A succinct small-plates menu is great for groups, from Ibérico pork fat chips or smoked burrata with zingy heritage tomatoes to morsels of “wonderfully rich and juicy” hot-smoked Gloucester pork belly served with smoked apple and cider – all given the treatment over single-species charcoal from Kent.

The menu is also peppered with trendy extras such as whipped jamón butter, brown crab alioli and chorizo ketchup, while a range of Spanish lagers and intriguing cocktails (acorn liqueur, anyone?) refresh the palate after all that smoke. Ember Yard delivers the goods, whether you’re after a beer and some buttery barbecued flatbread or a full-on celebration; meanwhile, “enthusiastic staff” add the final gloss to this “smoking” venue.

£30 - £49
Spanish
Ibérica Marylebone

Ibérica Marylebone

195 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PS

Spanish powerhouse Ibérica has moved tapas on from a tick list of ordinary nibbles to specialities worth toasting with a glass of vintage cava. The group’s executive chef Nacho Manzano (winner of three Michelin stars) directs the kitchen, reprising his own signature dishes and putting them alongside some new-century tapas. Current Ibérica classics range from a gazpacho of red berries, beetroot and anchovy to spring onion tempura with lemon aïoli and soy, an oxtail ‘sandwich’ with potato cream, and near-legendary chorizo lollipops with pear aïoli, while the selection of cheeses, cured meats and preserved fish honours Spain’s centuries-old gastronomic traditions. Meanwhile, set menus and sharing dishes (including various paellas) provide another way in to the experience. Drinks cover the spectrum of Spanish booze from beer, cider and sangria to bespoke G&Ts, vermouths, countless sherries and sparklers by the glass.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Sabor: The Counter

Sabor: The Counter

35 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BS

Nieves Barragán Mohacho was the breakout star of Barrafina, winning a Michelin star for the group’s original outpost and, by devising different menus for each successive branch, helping to transform Londoners’ attitude to Spanish food. She’s now taken that development even further with her first solo restaurant, Sabor, which while looking like a tapas bar – a long, L-shaped eating counter surrounds an open kitchen decorated with colourful Andalusian tiles – serves the sort of Spanish-accented small plates you won’t find anywhere else in the UK.  

Some of them involve tweaking the familiar. Oil-soaked pan con tomate is topped with a vivid ruffle of cured meat, piquillo croquetas are dusted with a fine shaving of Manchego cheese, while garlic prawns have a wobbly, barely cooked texture and arrive atop a squelch of saline-heavy seaweed. But there is much that tastes completely new, including a superbly cooked piece of presa Ibérica served with a mojo verde so fragrant with coriander it tastes almost Indian. The biggest surprise is that the best dish is left until the very end: bombas de chocolas, a trio of doughnuts dolloped with a sticky mess of chocolate and coffee sauces so sinfully rich they taste like the most grown-up profiteroles imaginable.  

Not all of it is so accomplished – the wild mushroom croquetas taste like deep-fried soup – and there will doubtless be diners who long for the straightforward comfort of chorizo and calamares. But we applaud Mohacho and her front-of-house partner José Etura for not simply Xeroxing the Barrafina formula. If you don’t want to queue for a seat, come early in the week for lunch, or book the upstairs Asador, specialising in lamb cutlets and suckling pig cooked in an open kitchen and served at communal tables.

£30 - £49
Spanish
Dehesa

Dehesa

25 Ganton Street, London, W1F 9BP

Like its big brother Salt Yard, light-footed Dehesa flits between Spain and Italy, embracing the best of both worlds. The selection of “dreamy little small plates” allows for a magpie approach, and diners can zigzag their way across the Med, taking in tortillas and pork rillions (“naughty as hell”), then maybe tender ricotta and spinach malfatti, before alighting on zesty ‘nduja croquetas with guindilla alioli. Charcuterie pits Spain’s acorn-fed finest against Italy’s famous Parma, while desserts feature deep-fried milk with cinnamon (“a revelation”). The regional wine list makes inspired reading, but don’t miss the “crazy Salvador Dali brandy in a melting bottle” urges one fan. Dehesa’s corner site is pretty – and well-positioned near Liberty’s; it also wins friends by taking bookings.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Boqueria

Boqueria

192 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5UL

“Top-notch tapas”; “simply the best”: readers continue to rave about this hugely popular joint on the Clapham/Brixton border. Named after Barcelona’s most famous food market, it provides a snapshot of that city’s classic tapas – from patatas bravas and pulpo a la gallega (octopus with paprika) to top-quality hams, artisan cheeses, properly made paella and black rice. Also look out for on-trend ideas including sea bass on wheat risotto with scallop cream or suckling pig with sweet-potato crisps, apple sauce and lemon sorbet. What sets Boqueria apart is the accuracy of the cooking, pinpoint presentation and the can-do attitude of the “really attentive” staff. Although it’s cramped and tables are packed close together, there’s also something infectious about the garrulous, noisy vibe – and it’s “really cosy” in winter. The all-Spanish wine list is bolstered by plenty of sherry and cava at affordable prices.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Donostia

Donostia

10 Seymour Place, London, W1H 7ND

This “marvellous” Basque kitchen has always served the food and drink of San Sebastián and its environs against a backdrop of purest white, with touches of grained wood and marble – although it’s now reaping the benefit of a 2016 refurb. The food doesn’t need much flattery, even if the act of pouring natural Basque cider from great heights does add a certain ceremony to the experience. Excellent charcuterie dominates the selection of cold plates, while pintxos could be foie gras with walnuts and PX vinegar, jamón croquetas or tempura prawns with ham and mango. Bigger tapas dishes give meat and fish a starring role, as in Ibérico pork shoulder with romesco sauce, crispy-fried cod cheeks with squid-ink aïoli or marinated quail with spinach, pancetta and truffle oil. There are classic extras including blistered Padrón peppers and masterfully made tortilla too. Donostia’s owners started out in the wine import trade, and there’s quality in every glass.

£30 - £49
Spanish
The Little Taperia

The Little Taperia

143 Tooting High Street, London, SW17 0SY

The team behind award-winning drinking den The Little Bar has spread its wings to the other side of Tooting, bringing a burst of vibrant Spanish flavour to the curry mile. Although there is a bar – serving knock-out Negronis, local craft brews and Aperol Spritz – the emphasis in this buzzy joint is very much on food. And what food… Not a single dish disappointed on our visit, from simple pan con tomate or courgette tortilla (with a deliciously melting middle) to stuffed baby squid on pisto or chubby chorizo bombs simmered in red wine. We seriously swooned for the photogenic morcilla Scotch egg with a perfectly soft-yolked quail’s egg: destined to be the star of Instagram accounts right across SW17. Tapas staples from jamon to patatas bravas are also on offer, backed by a Spanish wine list with some great sherries, including en rama manzanilla. As at Little Bar, you’ll a big welcome in a bijou space; yes, it’s small, but with seating at both the bar and kitchen, you shouldn’t have to wait too long for a table.

Under £30
Tapas
Spanish
Navarro

Navarro's

67 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4PH

Navarro’s was peddling bodega vibes, peasant tapas & glasses of sherry long before the whole shebang became part of in-vogue Fitzrovia, & it still has a special charge – complete with occasionally ‘mañana’-esque service. In a setting of tiled walls, stencilled white furniture & ceramics, you can pick from an all-embracing menu that keeps it traditional with a vengeance. Among the treats on offer might be ham & chicken croquetas, slices of jamón ibérico, grilled sardines, pickled white anchovies & fresh-from-the-fryer calamares, plus veggie favourites such as homely patatas bravas & salted green Padrón peppers – although some find it all a touch ‘too greasy’. The exclusively Spanish wine list comes complete with helpful tasting notes. Note: tables on the ground floor are preferable to those in the overspill basement.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Barcelona Tapas Bar y Restaurante - Middlesex Street

Barcelona Tapas Bar y Restaurante - Middlesex Street

1 Middlesex Street, London, London, EC3A 7DT

EC3 may be all suits and briefcases, but this branch of Barcelona Tapas is a far cry from minimalist, corporate style. Summoning up the spirit of Las Ramblas, the space is decked out with gaudy mosaics and colourful tiles, while a flamenco soundtrack strums away in the background. The long tapas menu covers all bases, moving from charcuterie and cheeses via ‘los classicos’ small plates and the odd modern riff to more substantial items for sharing. Albondigas (meatballs), patatas bravas and crispy deep-fried baby squid with salsa romesco keep it familiar, while generous helpings of morcilla de Burgos with roasted peppers, skewers of spice-infused lamb or pans of paella are perfect for large groups. A fistful of desserts includes the usual crema catalana and Santiago tart, while the vast drinks list encompasses sangria, Spanish-style G&Ts and regional wines. Takeaways and local deliveries too.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish