RestaurantsLondonSohoW1

Breaking news

Post-lockdown, Barrafina opened with bookings for the first time.

survey result

Summary

£70
  £££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“It’s a great show to watch the chefs at work”, perched on a stool at the counter of the Hart Bros’ “incredibly busy and buzzy” bars – their hyper-successful homage to Barcelona’s Cal Pep. “The tapas is always first rate” with “succulent grilled seafood all prepared in front of your very eyes” a highlight. “Staff are friendly and efficient and take such pride in the dishes and their presentation”. (In April 2023, executive chef Angel Zapata Martin left the group after six years, leaving Antonio Gonzales Milla minding the central Barrafina locations, and Francisco Jose Torrico in charge of Coal Drops Yard and Borough).

Summary

£70
  £££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Sights and smells of Spain sitting at the counter” provide “heaven on a stool” at the Hart Bros’ faithful recreations of Barcelona’s Cal Pep: still, after 15 years, one of the most-mentioned groups in our survey. The “extraordinary tapas is full of fresh ideas” – there’s “always something new to try on the menu” (created by their chef/director Angel Zapata Martin) – and it “still deserves top marks, particularly the seafood” (which is the only option nowadays at the WC2 ‘Mariscos’ outlet). A meal is “not cheap” mind you (in fact, even fans can find prices “crazy”) but the overall verdict? “Worth the queue, and the bill!” (In July 2022, they added a new, fifth branch to the group, in SE1’s Borough Yards developments).

Summary

£65
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“As brilliant as ever… and being able to book is a big bonus!!” – the Hart Bros’ recreations of Barcelona’s Cal Pep are “still going strong”; and with the Drury Lane branch – Barrafina Mariscos – now dedicated to seafood. “Sitting at the bar is just so intimate”: “it’s fun to watch all the prep” and “watching the chefs at work simply makes you want to order more of the superb tapas”. “This is the food that made lockdown so hard. The food you can’t cook yourself… the courgette flower a crispy, yet unctuously delicious, dirty cheesy and honey- dripping delight, and the oh so, so, so oozingly fabulous tortilla with prawns and peppers”. And “the people watching is fabulous” too. One warning flag though. The ratings slipped a fraction this year, alongside the odd comment that “while it’s very good on a good day, consistency can be an issue”; or that “what once seemed almost impossibly daring now feels more familiar and comfy”. Still, for most folks, it’s plain “terrific”. Top Tip – at all branches, not just Mariscos, “the fish is fantastic”.

Summary

£59
   ££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The tapas is perfection and the equal of Cal Pep in Barcelona” at the Hart Bros’ “vibrant” chain of small (typically 30 covers) no-bookings bars, which its vast fanclub acclaim as “the best tapas in London or in the UK or perhaps even in Europe north of the Pyrenees!”, with “delicious, ultra-fresh seafood” a particular highlight. The preparation at the counter is “still a great piece of theatre” and – buoyed by its “exceptional, friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff” – helps create a feelgood experience. The queue used to be part of the ritual, although the ability to book is one silver lining of Covid-19. The Pandemic has also led to the reformatting of the Drury Lane branch as ‘Barrafina Mariscos’ with a seafood menu and waiter service.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Barrafina?

Restaurant details

Yes
No dress code
23

Barrafina Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Barrafina Restaurant in W1, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Barrafina restaurant.
Nick G
Still great fun but keeps losing its lustre...
Reviewed 4 months, 10 days ago

"Still great fun but keeps losing its lustre - I've been almost every year since it opened (in 2008?) and the last 3 visits have disappointed vs the super high quality of the past. Still great fun, still pretty good"

Report this comment
S R
As always everything on a level you can’t...
Reviewed 6 months, 27 days ago

"As always everything on a level you can’t top. Fair priced wines. "

Report this comment
S R
As always everything on a level you can not...
Reviewed 7 months, 17 days ago

"As always everything on a level you can not top. Fair priced wines. "

Report this comment
S R
Best Tappas in town...
Reviewed 9 months, 20 days ago

"Best Tappas in town"

Report this comment
S R
We really loved it. Sitting outside in summ...
Reviewed 10 months, 17 days ago

"We really loved it. Sitting outside in summer with this quality of food and wine…it doesn’t get better than that. Best bar food in London."

Report this comment
Have you eaten at Barrafina?
Post your own review of Barrafina and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review
Opening hours

lunch noon - 3 pm, dinner 5 pm - 11 pm
Last orders: 11 pm, Sun 10.30 pm

Best Spanish restaurants nearby

10 Greek Street
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
£70
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
Maresco
Spanish restaurant in Soho
£81
 ££££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
Tapas Brindisa Soho
Spanish restaurant in Soho
£68
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Chotto Matte
Japanese restaurant in Soho
£73
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
10 Greek Street
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
£70
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
The French House
British, Modern restaurant in Soho
£72
  £££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional