With a strong Spanish contingent living across the capital, it’s no surprise that the London Spanish food scene is one of the most sought-after in the country. From acclaimed dining destinations for celebrating special occasions to intimate spots for romantic dates, diners love to reminisce over memories from recent trips to Spain by chatting over tapas and sipping on regional wine.
From a stunning rooftop terrace in vibrant Shoreditch serving shareable paellas to a cosy tapas joint in elegant Mayfair, the capital is home to a dazzling array of Spanish gems.
Read on for the best Spanish restaurants in London and book your table on OpenTable now.
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For a homely, traditional meal at one of the best Spanish restaurants in London – visit El Pirata of Mayfair in Mayfair
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Mayfair, this acclaimed spot has served customers for more than three decades. Offering a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, diners feel instantly at home. Boasting an expansive tapas menu, which features a mix of classic and contemporary favourites, El Pirata of Mayfair is as close as you can get to traditional Spanish cuisine without hopping on a plane. Whether you dine in the eclectic upstairs area or the atmospheric downstairs cellar, the surroundings are more akin to Madrid than Mayfair. If you’re new to Spanish food, try the Introduction to Tapas menu, which offers popular dishes including padron peppers, Spanish chicken croquetas and crunchy patatas bravas. Wash down your meal with a glass of wine from the impressive wine list, which has over 100 options to choose from, such as the Enrique Mendoza chardonnay or the Azevedo Reserva albariño.
For a celebratory paella at one of the best Spanish restaurants in London – check out BiBo Shoreditch by Dani Garcia in Shoreditch
For casual lunches and spirited dinners, look no further than BiBo Shoreditch by Dani Garcia. Sit down and enjoy the lively urban space and vibrant cuisine brought to you by head chef Dani Garcia. The menu, much of it celebrating Andalusian flavours, will transport you to southern Spain in the blink of an eye. Go there for the shareable paellas, from roasted chicken to octopus, seafood or vegetarian, or explore some Spanish favourites such as the tuna brioche with quail egg, grilled Iberian pork, pulpo a la gallega (octopus with olive oil and smoked paprika) and the roasted chicken cannelloni. If you are a vegetarian, rest assured that you still have plenty of options to choose from: from a classic Spanish tortilla to a BiBo grilled avocado, there’s something for every dietary preference. Add to that an extensive wine list, offering roughly 120 Spanish and international wines, and it’s not hard to see why this is such a Spanish classic in hip east London.
When it comes to the best tapas restaurants in London, LOBOS Meat & Tapas in Borough and Soho is a strong contender. An exciting tapas bar focused on prime cuts of Spanish and British meat, this restaurant offers a short and sharp list of vibrantly traditional dishes. Sourcing ingredients locally, every meal at LOBOS is as fresh as they come. With the menu evolving throughout the seasons and based on whichever ingredients are available, you always get the opportunity to try something new. Some of the top tapas choices are the ham, chorizo and smoked bacon croquettes, the grilled artichokes and the prawns in garlic, reunited in a great sharing platter. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss out on the dessert menu, with a diner-favourite being the double chocolate and pistachio cake.
📍 Borough — Check availability
📍 Soho — Check availability
For a family-run Spanish restaurant – don’t miss Meson Don Felipe in Waterloo
With a rich history dating back to 1987, many consider family-run Meson Don Felipe to be the first tapas bar established in London. This family business local gem serves top-notch and budget-friendly in the Waterloo area. A chef special at Meson Don Felipe is the emapanda Gallega – the traditional food carried by pilgrims of Santiago – a delicious pastry filled with rich tuna, tomato, pepper and onion (the Spanish equivalent of the UK’s very own Cornish pasty). Pair it with the fresh flavours of a bottle of Protos Rueda white wine, made with the vibrant fruit of the Verdejo grape. Round off your meal with some churros con chocolate, a classic Spanish dessert dripping with thick chocolate sauce. With a cosy interior as well as an outdoor terrace with heaters and parasols, diners can enjoy a delicious meal here whatever the weather.
For a vibrant culinary fiesta at one of London’s best Spanish restaurants – check out Camino in King’s Cross, Monument and Shoreditch
Another of the best tapas restaurants in London is Camino, located in King’s Cross, Monument and Shoreditch. Capturing the real essence of Spain, this is the ideal venue to transport yourself to the lively bars and hidden terraces of Madrid or Barcelona without having to leave London. With a mouth-watering menu, it’s easy to find a selection of dishes that are sure to be a treat for your taste buds. The arroz negro (a flavoursome creamy black rice with cuttlefish and squid ink) and the gambas al ajillo (succulent prawns cooked in garlic and chilli) are the perfect sharing combination. For a delightful dessert, check out the baked Basque cheesecake, which is baked at a high temperature to give a scorched exterior and a gooey interior. Finish off your meal as the Spanish do with a café solo, a specialty coffee of the country. Open every day for lunch and dinner, two of the most popular events are the Spanish breakfast during the week and happy hour during the weekend. Add to that a buzzy bar that has a live DJ on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and you’ve got yourself a full-on fiesta.
📍 King’s Cross — Check availability
📍 Monument — Check availability
📍 Shoreditch — Check availability
For award-winning Spanish gastronomy at one of London’s best Spanish restaurants – try Hispania Restaurant in Bank
Spread across more than 9,000 square feet of the ground floor of the historic Lloyds Bank building, Hispania Restaurant in Bank is a must-visit. Designed by the well-known Spanish antique dealer and interior designer Lorenzo Castillo, the stylish decor immediately sets the scene for your meal. Add to that a menu created by head chef Marcos Moran (his family won the National Gastronomy Award in Spain) and you’re in for a meal you’re not likely to forget in a hurry. Popular signature dishes at the restaurant include the crujientes de quesos, a toffee-flavoured pastry filled with a range of Spanish cheeses, and the pulpo con patata revolcona, paprika mashed potatoes accompanied by octopus. Perfect for sharing or for enjoying as an individual main meal, the menu offers something for every occasion. You’ll also find an extensive drinks selection that includes a selection of red and white wines, sherry, cocktails, spirits, beers and ciders.
For meat and vegetable tapas with a modern twist – check out Bravas Tapas in Tower Hill
For a classic tapas experience with a modern twist, head to one of London’s best Spanish restaurants, Bravas Tapas in Tower Hill. Ideal for meat eaters and vegetarians alike, Bravas Tapas offers a wide range of dishes to suit every taste. Amongst the meat and poultry tapas dishes, diners have raved about the roasted Iberian pork belly. From the fish and seafood tapas menu, meanwhile, a firm favourite is the seared Mediterranean seabass fillet. Alternatively, from the vegetarian menu, why not try the crunchy spinach croquettes? Top your meal off with a torta de Santiago, a cherry-flavoured dessert. On warmer days there’s an extensive terrace, where you can dine al fresco and pretend – just for a moment – that you’re actually in Spain.
For top-notch tapas at a buzzy Spanish hotspot – visit Tendido Cero in Kensington
If it’s first-class tapas you’re after, based on traditional and modern recipes from Spain, then look no further than Tendido Cero in Kensington. A busy hotspot awash with vibrant colours and a fiesta feel, it’s the perfect location for a celebration. With the menu designed for sharing, Tendido Cero is ideal for a romantic date or a catch-up with friends. Popular picks on the menu here include the famous ham croquettes, the breaded and fried chicken marinated in sherry and the chorizo cooked with fino sherry. There’s a vegan tapas menu too, for those who prefer to keep things plant-based, including the wonderful Galician padron peppers. You can also enjoy a wide range of Spanish wines and aperitifs during your meal, which are sure to get the conversation flowing in no time.
For traditional Spanish tortillas, seafood and steak plates – book a table at Tapajax in Clapham
A traditional Spanish restaurant serving freshly prepared tapas, Tapajax is without doubt one of London’s best tapas restaurants for a group feast with friends, colleagues or family. For light tapas, the freshly made traditional Spanish tortilla is a must-try, whilst the lightly battered baby squid accompanied by aioli sauce is the top pick for seafood lovers. Meat eaters shouldn’t feel left out, though, with the fillet steak served with piquillo pepper sauce being the go-to dish on the menu. Delicious desserts, such as the Basque cheesecake served with blueberry puree and vanilla ice cream, are the cherry on top of this delectable menu.
For a luxurious dining experience at one of London’s best Spanish restaurants – book a table at El Norte in Mayfair
Head over to Mayfair to find El Norte, a romantic Spanish restaurant that sets the tone for a memorable date night. Here the chefs bring together an array of classic Spanish dishes and add their own modern twist. The ideal spot for an intimate date, located in London’s chicest neighbourhood, this restaurant is as classy as its menu. Signature dishes such as the truffle tortilla, creamy croquettes and Joselito Iberico ham are some of the most popular options on the menu. Pair your meal with a specially selected wine to enhance your dining experience and make it one to remember. From the Spanish white wines list, go for the tempranillo blanco fincas de Azabache Rioja. For a Spanish red, you can’t go wrong with the pago de los Capellanes Ribera del Duero. Complete your meal by heading up to the bar and ordering a Spanish-crafted cocktail or a jug of fruity sangria for the table.
As the UK is no stranger to Spanish cuisine, there are a lot of restaurants to choose from when looking at the best tapas restaurants in London. With it being as much about the experience as it is about the meals, Spanish food is often a go-to for hungry diners in London. Whether you’re a connoisseur of Spanish cuisine or trying it for the first time, the best Spanish restaurants in London have a table for you. Find your perfect restaurant now and enjoy a culinary journey to remember.
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