Tapas bars are one of the best ways to enjoy a group night out, with their spirit of sharing and community. Skip large meals for a delicious variety of exotic and tempting nibbles, all paired with great wines and cocktails. London is hooked on tapas-style dining, and you’ll find plenty of great places around the capital where you can enjoy a perfect, sociable evening indulging in plenty of small plates packed with big flavour.
From more relaxed, low-key tapas bars for a casual night out to sophisticated spots that are worth visiting when you want to make an impression on someone, there are plenty to choose from. You’ll find great restaurants near Finsbury Square as well as further afield around London. Read on for details of some of the best around.
Barrafina has a number of outlets across the city, including in Covent Garden, and a more recent location in King’s Cross. Serving up a glamorous and Michelin-starred taste of Spain in the city, its tapas dishes are widely renowned. Wherever you head to, you’re bound to experience lengthy queues as they do not take reservations ahead of time, but the food is well worth the wait. With rave reviews from past customers, it’s a great place to go to, whether you plan on simply popping in for drinks and a snack before your main event, or whether you plan on staying longer for a full dinner.
There are plenty of tempting dishes on the menu to sample, from delectably crispy anchovies and classic tortilla, and delicious wine available by the glass. While the dishes are small and pricy, it is a fabulous place to head to for an indulgent night out. With lots of fantastic London hotel packages on offer right now, it’s the perfect time to plan a special trip with some people you truly love.
A great place to head if you’re staying at the Montcalm Hotel Shoreditch, Camino is a colourful, vibrant tapas bar, with a charming Spanish vibe. The menu features plenty of delectable treats, including octopus, Spanish cheese and jamon, as well as an ample variety of cocktails. There are a good selection of seafood, meat and vegetarian options, keeping everyone happy, but if you’re planning a serious meat feast, you might want to consider their epic roasted suckling pig.
Alongside their Shoreditch branch, you’ll also find them at four other locations around London, and they will often feature site-specific specials, so it’s worth checking them all out.
A great place for pre-theatre drinks and nibbles, Copita is an understated but stylish tapas bar, right in the heart of Soho. The restaurant is small, so large groups might struggle to find enough space, but if you fancy enjoying a more intimate night out, this might be perfect.
Great music and a delicious range of cocktails set the tone for the bar, and their sumptuous range of tapas dishes never disappoints. Their pig cheeks are especially renowned, and their desserts simply too good to pass up on.
For a stylish but laid back north London tapas treat, make your way to the lovely space of La Farola. Located in Islington, La Farola serves up a pleasurable mix of both contemporary and classic dishes, while the large, bright windows and cosy nooks make it a warm and inviting place to enjoy an afternoon or evening with friends in.
La Farola is a popular place for locals, so expect it to be busy, whenever you visit. Don’t miss out on favourites such as their excellent charcuteria, featuring the delicious Jamon Iberico.
Bringing a taste of Mediterranean sunshine to East London, Brindisa is a must-visit destination when you’re staying at the Montcalm Hotel Shoreditch. A lively contemporary atmosphere, coupled with plenty of authentic Spanish dishes and wines, and the live theatre of the kitchen unfolding before you, all ensure a great experience.
Alongside great drinks and tapas dishes, leave room to check out their delicious paella. It’s also worth trying to get a seat at their outdoor terrace if possible – it’s heated during colder months, making it a wonderfully scenic spot to dine.
Alongside great restaurants near Finsbury Square, you’ll also find a few other locations around the city, including Soho and London Bridge, so you’re never too far from their popular menu.
Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
The name might be a serious mouthful, but as the first destination outside of Spain for the legendary thrice Michelin-starred chef, Juan Mari Arzak, it comes with a high reputation.
Expect beautiful and delicate dishes, expertly presented, with plenty of innovation on the menu. With a modern take on classic Basque cuisine, the food might be pricy, but delivers a memorable experience.
For a relaxed and stylish tapas experience, this lovely bar in St Katherine’s Dock serves up generous amounts of contemporary flair, with a friendly ambience. Perfect to head to whether you simply want a great spot to enjoy delicious food, or plan to have a more festive celebration for a special occasion. If you can, aim to get a waterside view, for wonderful dockside ambience.
Bravas Tapas has a wide selection of creatively presented tapas dishes that are as equally pleasing to look at as they are to savour. Check out their exceptional sliders for a mouth-watering meaty treat.
You’d expect nothing but exceptional food for a tapas bar founded by the former head chef of Brindisa, and you won’t be disappointed in coming here. Head to Bermondsey Street for a charming and authentic taste of a rustic Spanish tapas bar. Perch on a stool while being surrounded by the rough and ready décor of plain brick and timber, and enjoy exceptionally prepared classic tapas dishes to indulge joyfully.
José is not about flashy innovation – you’ll find familiar classics done beautifully, including marvellously creamy croquetas and succulent pan-fried seafood. An excellent wine list is the cherry on the cake for this genuine city gem.