Where to find the best tapas in NYC
Spain’s culinary tradition of serving small plates to be eaten at the bar is not lost on New York City. Countless restaurants have a menu devoted to tapas encouraging diners to eat, drink, and be merry. After all, the best culinary experiences are those where the food and conversation linger long after the meal is over. From upscale and intimate to quaint and lively, here is a list of eateries for some of the best tapas in NYC.
El Quinto Pino, 401 W 24th St
Hailing from the Basque country, husband and wife team Alex Raij and Eder Montero shine light on how Spain’s tapas tradition brings people together at their Chelsea restaurant. On any given night, you’ll find lively revelers catching up over small plates and bottles of wine at El Quinto Pino. While all items on the menu are worth sampling, we suggest the Moorish spiced lamb skewers, anchovies with vanilla butter, and potatoes with spicy aioli.
Tertulia, 359 6th Ave
Chef Seamus Mullen opened Tertulia after being introduced to sidrerías – local cider houses – found throughout Northern Spain’s Asturias region. Evoking the atmosphere of a Spanish taverna, this West Village restaurant is marked by a rustic brick, wood, and tile interior and open-hearth kitchen. Satisfy your tapas craving with delectable offerings such as the grilled octopus with hearts of palm and sunchokes, Berkshire pork short ribs with charred sweet potato, and grilled and pickled cauliflower.
La Vara, 268 Clinton St
After conquering Manhattan, Alex Raij and Eder Montero opened La Vara in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood. The food philosophy here is the same – people socializing over small plates inspired by traditional dishes from Spain’s Basque country. Must-try items include the spiced fried chickpeas, fried artichokes with anchovy aioli, house-cured salt cod, and the cucumber and herb salad.
Casa Mono, 52 Irving Place
Inspired by the food he ate growing up in Spain’s Costa Brava, chef Andy Nusser has created a menu that offers a modern take on tradition at his upscale, Michelin-starred restaurant. Located on Irving Place, Casa Mono boasts an intimate interior where small-plate lovers gather over mouthwatering dishes such as the razor clams a la Plancha, bone marrow and sweetbreads. Round out the Casa Mono experience by ordering from a curated selection of nearly 600 wines that celebrate Spain’s wine world.
MyMoon, 184 N 10th St
Housed in a boiler room dating to the 19th century, this Williamsburg restaurant is decked out with original brick walls, reclaimed wood furniture, and industrial décor. Once weather permits, diners take their meals to the spacious multi-level outdoor patio. Enjoy a sound offering of tapas with highlights that include fried calamari with aioli, zucchini flat bread, and chorizo with lemon aioli.
Boqueria, 260 W 40th St
Boqueria has established itself as one of the city’s mainstays when it comes to serving up tasty small plates in an inviting setting. Channeling the energy of Barcelona’s renowned food market El Mercado de la Boqueria, it offers a solid menu sure to please any tapas craving. Try the blistered shishito peppers with course sea salt, baby squid with white beans, artichokes, and spices, and dates stuffed with almonds and blue cheese wrapped in bacon. Be sure to check out Boquerias other locations in the Flatiron, Soho, Upper East Side, and Brooklyn.
La Vara photo by Jess J. via Yelp. Boqueria photo by the restaurant.