London’s best tapas

Tapas in London is good. Very good. If you avoid the La Tasca chain, anyway. But there are London tapas places that do it better than everyone else. Some that even rival the Spanish food in Spain. Here are my top Europe travel tips for finding the tastiest tapas in London. And of course, the best sangria.

Salt Yard, Fitzrovia, London by Ewan_M

Maison del Felipe: The Cut, Waterloo

Regarded by many as the best tapas in London. And it’s excellent. You’ll have trouble getting a seat, and you’ll often see the queue coming out of the door. But it is worth the wait. Go earlier in the week (and earlier in the evening) and you’ve got more chance to grab a couple of seats at the bar. Then just enjoy. Order whatever takes your fancy, try and speak Spanish to the friendly waiters (actually, don’t do that – they laugh at you) and listen to the live music.

Rebato’s: South Lambeth Street, Stockwell.

This is my personal favourite. Not just my favourite tapas place, this is my favourite restaurant in London. I adore it here. I’ve worked my way through the entire menu now and everything is good. It doesn’t matter how much you eat here, the bill never seems to be over £20 a head. The sangria is excellent, and you have to try the lamb chops and Mediterranean prawns. Just make sure you try the door if it looks closed, it very rarely is.

Salt Yard: Goodge Street, Fitzrovia

This place is more upmarket, but it’s also one of the best tapas restaurants in the area. You’ll pay more for your little plates, so it’s worth going for a special occasion (or going for lunch and putting it on office expenses). But you do get what you pay for. Make sure you get the pork belly, and enjoy a couple of glasses of wine.

Barcelona: Lime Street, Bank

Yes, this is a chain. But if it can keep my Spanish friends happy, that’s good enough for me. It’s tucked away down a tiny little street so make sure you’ve got a map. Their set meals make everything simple. You’ll pay £15 for enough food to keep you happy. If there’s a large group of you, get the paella as well. This place probably won’t change your life (if, indeed, you think tapas can change you life), but it’s a good little spot to remember.

Barrafina: Frith Street, Soho

If you’re in Soho and you’re looking for Spanish food, this is where you come. You’ll have to wait, but then you get to sit at the bar and watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen. This is a fancy place with a trendy crowd. And honestly, it’s worth the wait. Freshly prepared ingredients and amazing seafood. And, alas, a price tag to go with it.

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