There is no foodstuff that instils the joys of summertime and childhood-holiday nostalgia quite like a mini terracotta bowl of patatas bravas (I don’t recall happier times as a child than the realisation I’d be served a snack with my glass bottle of pop as standard). So whether you’re on the hunt for London’s finest Iberico ham joint, a sherry sipper, or are simply down with the sharing vibes, you won’t find any better than these Spanish restaurants in London.
1. Copita Book Copita
Teaming rustic backstreet charm with gourmet excellence (the site holds a much-coveted Michelin Plate), Copita embraces the traditional tapas bar trend for dining standing up, or seated at high stools (it’s good for keeping the vibes upbeat, dontcha know). They consider food ‘a matter of life and death’ (our kind of guys) and are known for their daily changing menu (though you’re likely to find the London-wide-famous ajo blanco is a constant.)
2. Ametsa Book Ametsa
A big hitter on London’s Spanish restaurant circuit, Ametsa is renowned for its trailblazing approach to Basque cuisine. Guiding this groundbreaking venture is undoubtedly the innovative and artful playfulness of the menu: dishes include ‘mackerel on wood’ and Iberian ham on a bread pillow.
3. Barrica Book Barrica
Sister-restaurant of aforementioned Copita, Barrica is another award-winning Spanish restaurant in London: also holding a Michelin Plate. This outpost is heralded as a ‘labour of love, born out of many trips to Spain’, and has the similar casual vibe of its sister restaurant: think the sort of place you can enjoy a feast of gourmet Spanish delicacies, or sit with a crossword and sip on a glass of sherry (for vocab inspiration, of course).
4. Sabor Book Sabor
Translating as ‘flavour’ from Spanish, Sabor is a Michelin star-winning restaurant tucked away on Heddon Street. Family values and home cooking is at Sabor’s core, branching through Andalucia’s tapas bars, and the seafood spots of Galicia. The space comprises 3 areas: a relaxed counter, bar, and the El Asador.
A traditional Spanish tapas bar serving regional specialities from seafood to cold meats, tortillas and more. This Spanish mini-chain is spread throughout the city, with 4 restaurants dotted across Soho, Covent Garden, and King’s Cross. Boasting open kitchens and counter-top dining, diners can enjoy their small plates, Spanish wines and cava from red bar stools.
6. Ibérica Book Ibérica Farringdon
Bringing a cosmopolitan twist to Spanish food in London, Ibérica currently boasts a tally of 5 restaurants in the capital, with more on the cards. Each site has its own original flair, with original features and quirky-clashy interior design mixed with artisan produce, wines and gourmet delicatessen goods. Multi Michelin-starred chef and founder, Nacho Manzano, ensures his traditional menu is ever-evolving.
7. aqua nueva Book aqua nueva
Set within the old Dickins & Jones department store, aqua nueva’s sleek & chic interior takes inspiration from the old-school chequerboard flooring and copper Jerez-style sherry casks. Along with some fierce cocktails, Alberto Hernandez presents re-imagined versions of Spanish favourites in small-plate form, like pigeon & chicken rice, or crispy pork skin with chilli-lime salsa.
8. La Fabrica – Crouch End Book La Fabrica
The ultimate neighbourhood tapas bar, La Fabrica in north London’s Crouch End is a rustic taverna-style hideaway, serving traditional, timeless Spanish recipes. Things are kept traditional here, with a flavour-bursting menu of paella, croquettes, cheese and charcuterie, including the token Iberian ham joints, which are suspended from the ceiling.
9. José Tapas Bar
Influenced by the markets of Barcelona and the authentic tapas bars in Andalusia, expect traditional cuisine alongside the finest Spanish sherries in a cosy setting. This quaint tapas and sherry bar is set right in the heart of Bermondsey and serves an ever-changing menu of fresh finds from the market that day, including Chorizo Ibérico, croquetas and fried goat’s cheese and honey.
10. Eneko – Basque Kitchen & Bar Book Eneko
Holder of a Michelin Plate, this stylish eatery in One Aldwych Hotel offers a relaxed setting for diners to sample Basque cuisine. From acclaimed chef Eneko Atxa, Eneko – Basque Kitchen & Bar serves his innovative take on traditional dishes. Expect the likes of hake in tempura with red pepper sauce or slow-cooked oxtail on milk bread, while complementing the menu is an impressive list of Spanish wines and Basque-inspired cocktails.