Spanish Restaurants in Soho
1. Tapas Brindisa Soho Spanish restaurant in Soho 46 Broadwick St - W1
“Delicious tapas with a view of the River Thames” from “a large open terrace” is going down a storm at the instantly popular, new Richmond branch of the well-known chain (occupying the prominent site that was formerly Jackson & Rye, RIP). Backed by the firm of wholesalers of the same name, the group has steadily grown from its Borough Market origins over the last 10 years, and fans feel “it’s exactly what you would expect from a place run by Spanish produce importers”. On the downside, though, there is a school of thought that “while the food’s done decently, it’s serviceable but unexciting”.
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
“Delicious” Spanish and Italian tapas and “a great choice of wines by the glass” win plaudits for this “romantic candlelit restaurant”, “tucked away conveniently behind Liberty just off Carnaby Street”. However, since its fabulous debut 15 years ago, it is undeniably “less superb than it used to be”, but “that’s partly due to standing still while everyone else continues to press forwards”.
4. Barrafina Spanish restaurant in Soho 26-27 Dean Street - W1
“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).
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
“A little bit of San Sebastián in the heart of the West End” – “grab a seat at the counter and watch the magic unfold in front of you” at Nieves Barragan and José Etura’s tapas bar (ground floor) and ‘Asador’ (first floor), an “all-time-favourite” which – despite the travails of the era – “just goes from strength to strength as one of the strongest Spanish restaurants in London”. “Top-notch Iberian food is served with élan” – “heart and soul-filling, happy and warm, tear-inducing dishes” – and service is “so lovely and welcoming”. “Limited bookings mean that there is always a queue to get in from when the doors open at lunch” and “the queue can be long”. But “it’s pleasing to hear that there are now bookable small tables upstairs”, as many feel that “the Asador has got better now they have replaced the sharing benches with a proper arrangement”. Top Tip – Asador means BBQ of a complete animal, and “if you crave suckling pig, this is the place!”
7. Arros QD Spanish restaurant in 64 Eastcastle Street - W1W
“Good food, but not great value” is a common verdict on this Spanish venture north of Oxford Street – the London outpost of chef Quique Dacosta, whose Alicante restaurant has three Michelin stars. It certainly looks impressive, with an open kitchen dominated by a six-metre woodfired stove, at which choice cuts of meat and fish are grilled alongside a dozen rice dishes cooked in the pan. But while it is praised for its “perfect paella”, it is also often cited as diners’ “most overpriced meal of the year”.
8. 10 Greek Street British, Modern restaurant in Soho 10 Greek St - W1
“As good as ever” – this modern and understated Soho wine bar favourite provides “good food, if in rather cramped and noisy surroundings”. A key feature is its handwritten ‘Black Book’ which lists the fine wines available each day.
9. Cakes and Bubbles Spanish restaurant in Westminster Hotel Cafe Royal, 70 Regent Street - W1B
“Extraordinary” and “visually stunning” – the desserts and cakes at this café on a prime site in Regent Street come sprinkled with Adrià family magic (patron Albert is the brother of Catalan genius Ferran Adrià, and worked as pastry chef at his world-beating restaurant El Bulli, RIP). However, even those who feel “the desserts are really exceptional” can also note that “they don’t really deserve the price tags”. Still, “once at least you should give it a try, especially with all London’s Christmas lights aglow”.
10. Mountain Spanish restaurant in 16-18 Beak Street - W1
Open June 2023 on the former site of a Byron, in the heart of Soho, Brat chef Tomos Parry is set to open a "wood grill and wine bar" inspired by his travels across Spain suppled by farmers and fisherman in Wales and Cornwall. Whole roast bream will be a feature as will lamb chops, and Anglesey lobster – all will emerge, as at Brat, from an open kitchen and the venue will incorporate a good deal of counter seating.
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