Spanish Restaurants in Soho
1. Barrafina Spanish restaurant in Soho 26-27 Dean Street - W1
“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. “Don’t be put off by the queuing – it’s part of the fun: sipping on Cava and nibbling on Jamon as you snake your way to the front of the line!”. This year, the group added a “slick outfit in the new Coal Drops Yard development” – “it lacks a bit of the charm and vibe of those in Soho and Covent Garden, but the edibles are still very edible!”
2. Ember Yard Spanish restaurant in Soho 60 Berwick Street - W1
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. Rambla Spanish restaurant in Soho 64 Dean Street - W1D
“A good find for tapas” in “the heart of Soho” – this “good-value Spanish” two-year-old is “ideal for a pre-theatre meal” or a “casual meet-up, rather than somewhere for a relaxed evening”. Barcelona-born chef Victor Garvey has opened and closed a quick succession of ventures – Encant, Sibarita and Barullo, the latter of which only lasted two months earlier this year – with Bar Jaleo scheduled to launch in late 2019.
4. Dehesa Italian restaurant in Soho 25 Ganton Street - W1
Especially “on a rainy night, snuggled up in the window by candlelight”, this small modern tapas restaurant off Carnaby Street can still be a valued haunt. But its ratings have dropped sharply in the past two years as the Salt Yard Group changed hands. “The food used to be really delicious: the ideas are still good” – the “brilliant inclusion of Italian elements in the tapas” – but the realisation nowadays can be “mediocre”.
5. Tapas Brindisa Soho Spanish restaurant in Soho 46 Broadwick St - W1
“Authentic and delicious tapas… if you can get a table” has made the bustling, original branch of this Hispanic food importer’s chain a well-known feature of Borough Market, and “at busy times, it feels rushed”. It has spawned a number of spin-offs over the years, which are generally high quality, if not as vibey as the original: most recently opening in October 2018 in the new Battersea Power Station development.
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