Spanish Restaurants in Soho
1. Tapas Brindisa Soho Spanish restaurant in Soho 46 Broadwick St - W1
The tapas bar operated by this Spanish food importer greets arrivals at the main entrance to Borough Market – and “on a bustling summer day, sitting outside with a glass of simple red, a table full of tapas on the go, chatting convivially with friends, it’s great – just what one would expect”. The newer branches around town match the quality, and can be a little easier to nab a table. The group is scheduled to open its sixth site in Richmond – the first located in the suburbs – in late 2021 (it will be on the striking riverside site that was formerly Jackson & Rye (RIP) complete with 150 covers and a 60-seat outside terrace).
2. Ember Yard Spanish restaurant in Soho 60 Berwick Street - W1
2021 Review: Up-and-down reports on this “lovely” Soho haunt, specialising in wood-fired, Mediterranean, grilled dishes – part of Salt Yard Group (all of which was absorbed into the Urban Pubs portfolio in November 2018). Fans applaud the “delicious tapas from this ever-reliable family” but quite a few reports express disappointment: “maybe there’s a sense it isn’t quite what it was”.
3. Dehesa Italian restaurant in Soho 25 Ganton Street - W1
This “lovely little” spot with an “atmospheric terrace” off Carnaby Street has a strong reputation for its interesting combination of Spanish and Italian tapas. Ratings have slipped since its sale by the Salt Yard Group a few years ago – it’s “not quite what it once was, having lost its edge among a sea of Spanish excellence – but not bad!”.
4. Barrafina Spanish restaurant in Soho 26-27 Dean Street - W1
“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”.
5. Aqua Nueva Spanish restaurant in Soho 240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll St) - W1
2019 Review: The Spanish neighbour to Aqua Kyoto shares all the characteristics of this roof-top operation – terraces, clubby decor, dazzlingly central location – and generates even less feedback that its sibling! Such as there is however paints it in a good light this year.
6. Sabor Spanish restaurant in Mayfair 35 Heddon St - W1B
“Seats at the bar provide both theatre and delicious bites” at Nieves Barragan and José Etura’s smash hit, tucked off Regent Street, which is now four years old. You can also eat on communal tables upstairs in the ‘El Asador’ dining room. The “superb, modern tapas” (“focussed on seafood, with some Spanish-sourced specialities”) are “heavenly”, it’s well-known for its suckling pig, and the “atmosphere is energetic and warm”. (A shout-out also to their Dine At Home nationwide delivery: “the most innovative during lockdown” for numerous reporters.)
7. Arros QD Spanish restaurant in 64 Eastcastle Street - W1W
He has three Michelin stars back in Alicante, but Quique Dacosta’s two-floor two-year-old just north of Oxford Street is a more middle-market affair, with an extensive menu of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes whose most obvious Hispanic features are a large collection of paellas. Feedback was mixed this year, though. Some reporters had wonderful meals, but others found it “just too pricey for what it was… lovely interior, but the dishes fell a bit flat”.
8. 10 Greek Street British, Modern restaurant in Soho 10 Greek St - W1
“The food is one star turn” (the wine is the other) at this “small and spartan” Soho wine bar, frequented by wine-trade insiders. There’s an “interesting menu, short but imaginative”, with “beautiful combinations of textures and flavours that make a very special meal”. Ask the “knowledgeable front-of-house staff” for tips on the day’s handwritten ‘Black Book’ list of fine wines.
9. Cakes and Bubbles Spanish restaurant in Westminster Hotel Cafe Royal, 70 Regent Street - W1B
“I love the signature cheesecake… if only it came in a bigger size!”. Albert Adria (pastry chef at one time at his brother Ferran’s famous El Bulli) is the name behind this swish café on Regent’s Street (now with an outside terrace too). For a blow-out sweet and glass of fizz, it’s not cheap but well-rated.
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