Best Spanish Restaurants and Tapas Bars in London

The past five years have seen an explosion in Spanish restaurants in London, from swanky Soho joints to hipster hangouts in Shoreditch. We’ve chosen the ten best spots for drinks, tapas or an evening meal of fine dining, which span the range of Spanish cuisines from Basque to Catalan.


This recently-opened tapas bar is owned by brothers Sam and Eddie Hart, who are making a splash on the London restaurant scene (the brothers also own Fiztrovia-based restaurant Fino, see below). The pair take a dim view of bookings, so it’s first come first served, and Barrafina’s central location means it’s sometimes tricky to get a table. Once you’re inside, it’s worth the wait, with a great selection of Mallorcan and Catalan dishes including a mean coca Mallorquina (Mallorcan pizza) and wine list filled with Spanish favourites. The layout brings you up close and personal with food prep, with seating looking into the open kitchen and racks of fresh vegetables and fish.
Barrafina, 54 Frith St, London, UK, + 44 20 7813 8016


Housed behind a glowing white shopfront in upmarket Marylebone, Donostia serves Basque twists on classic dishes. Its interior is stripped back and modern, with white and blue tiling, a marble counter, low wooden chairs and barstools looking onto the open kitchen. There’s also a terrace outside for alfresco summer dining. On the menu are cold platters of meats and fish and a large tapas collection. Try the crispy cod cheeks with black squid ink aioli, or the octopus in traditional Basque marinade. The desserts are as authentically Basque as the mains, and include torrija (bread soaked in milk and spices, then fried in egg) and txokolatea (a chocolate and orange mousse).
Donostia, 10 Seymour Pl, London, UK, +44 20 3620 1845

Bar Tozino

Bar Tozino’s entrance under the red brick arches of Maltby street is framed by heavy velvet curtains at the sides, and impressive display of hanging hams from the ceiling. Inside, its dim lighting and functional decor bely the delicious Iberian delicacies on offer.The restaurant started as a stall at the Maltby Street Market, and eventually expanded into the bodega-like archway location it occupies today. The menu is small, but perfectly formed: sample one of the five perfectly carved ham selections with a bottle of Moritz, a native Catalan beer, or a selection of the tapas of the day.
Bar Tozino, Lassco Ropewalk, Maltby St, London, UK


Copita’s soft lighting, chocolate brown exterior and outdoor tables make it the perfect spot for a romantic drink or summer dinner. Located in the centre of Soho, it serves up exquisite small plates of unconventional tapas — from sherry-braised pig cheeks to duck-egg yolk with piquillo and white truffle or an aubergine stew. The restaurant is named after the word for a small wine glass, and accordingly has an impressive Spanish wine and sherry list. Desserts match the tapas tone, coming in small portion sizes which encourage you to try a few; the custard tart and rosewater ice cream both come highly recommended.
Copita, 26 D’Arblay St, London, +44 20 7287 7797


José is a sherry and tapas bar occupying a street corner on Southwark’s trendy Bermondsey Street. It’s a busy, casual spot with a chocolate-brown interior, atmospheric lighting and high bar stools ranged around high tables. On the menu are a wide range of tapas, from the standard (patatas bravas) to the more adventurous (pisto with crispy duck egg),classic Iberico ham and a changing list of daily specials. There’s a wide selection of sweet or dry Spanish sherries and the atmosphere matches that of an authentic Spanish tapas bar: customers pop in for a drink or have some tapas plates while standing round the barrels provided to aid standing diners.
José, 104 Bermondsey St, London, UK, +44 20 7403 4902

Salt Yard

This high-class charcuterie bar and restaurant focuses on the sourcing and skill put into their meats. Don’t expect the hustle and bustle of other Spanish joints in London – with its cream coloured upholstery and elegant glass lampshades, Salt Yard is a far cry from the busy atmospheres of Bar Tozino or José. Salt Yard’s signature dish is delicate battered courgette flowers stuffed with cheese and flavoured with honey, but even the basics are a cut above — from the lightly charred bread to the Nocelleria olives. Then even release one of their recipes each month so you can replicate their signature cuisine at home.
Salt Yard, 54 Goodge St, London, UK, +44 20 7637 0657

Image Courtesy of Boqueria

Named after a market in Barcelona, Boqueria has a simple interior, with long rows of tables and a cheerful blackboard announcing the day’s specials. Situated in Clapham, a friendly area south of the river, the restaurant serves tasty tapas plates with a contemporary twist. Traditional tapas favourites like croquettes and Iberian ham are joined by suckling pig with parsnip and apple sauce, hake with prawns and mussels, and cod loin on ratatouille. For dessert, try the traditional Santiago almond cake with ice cream. All meals here are artfully presented with garnishes and swirls of sauce, fitting the modern aesthetic of the restaurant’s decor.
Boqueria, 192 Acre Ln, London, UK, +44 20 7733 4408


Brindisa are, first and foremost, a food importer, bringing hams, cheeses and other mainstays of Spanish cuisine to London. Their restaurant in foodies’ haven Borough Market showcases Brindisa’s produce and traditional recipes in a cosy environment, complete with photographs of the Spanish countryside and cheerful red walls. The ham, by itself or doused with olive oil and pomegranate seeds, is divine, and their chicken liver on toast combination is perfectly juicy and crunchy. They don’t take bookings, so come early to avoid queueing — this is one of the best dining spots in London’s best and most popular markets.
Brindisa, 18-20 Southwark St, London, UK, +44 20 7357 8880


Fino is one of the older kids on the block — it was launched in 2003 by brothers Sam and Eddie Hart. It has a fashionable, stripped-back air, with comfortable booths and upholstered chairs, and sits just off Oxford Street in the city’s centre. On the menu are unusual tapas dishes like arrocina beans, clams, or sherry and ham served in a copper pot, all at reasonable prices for central London. Simple, classic dishes like tortilla are cooked to perfection: tender and non-soggy, in this case. Choose from a list of 25 sherries, all sold by the glass, to accompany your meal.
Fino, 33 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London UK, +44 20 7813 8010


Camino, which has locations in King’s Cross, Blackfriars and Monument, prides itself on authenticity, and to prove their credentials sends staff members for reconnaissance trips to Spain twice a year. Head chef Nacho del Campo has created a menu inspired by the diverse culinary culture of his home country, which he presents in a modern style with an emphasis on punchy flavours and full bodied presentation. Highlights of the King’s Cross menu include Cornish monkfish wrapped in pancetta with leek gratin and a rich romesco sauce, and pigeon breast served on creamy pearl barley with Torta de la Serena cheese. For braver patrons there is a whole roasted Segovian style suckling pig, which can serve up to twelve people, and requires 48 hours’ notice. The Full Spanish Breakfast meanwhile proves that Spain does brunch better than almost everyone, whilst the many late night events offer opportunities to enjoy Camino’s extensive cocktail menu. Camino King’s Cross also features London’s first sherry bar, Bar Pepito, which has revitalised interest in this classic Andalusian tipple.