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Jun 15, 2007 09:21 AM

Best downtown Spanish restaurant?

Of the downtown Spanish restaurants--Don Quixote, La National, El Faro, La Paella, Sevilla, etc. etc., which is the best? I'm looking for a fun (i.e., not stuck up, staid, good for groups, not crazy-expensive) place for next Friday night to celebrate a birthday. Thoughts?

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  1. If the food is of any importance, I would suggest you change your parameters. There aren't any good downtown Spanish restaurants. (Not counting Casa Mono, which I don't love but which is at least better than those mentioned in a completely different style.)

    1. We liked Sevilla. We went as a group, including some young children, and really enjoyed the food and good service. They attached tables for our group. Since we discovered Sevilla, we hardly made any trip to Newark, NJ for Spanish food.

        1. La Nacional is very good. The decor is very bare bones, so I'm not sure it would meet your celebration needs, but the restaurant is certainly casual and good for groups.

          1. Sevilla has gone steadily downhill over the years. I was there recently and the mariscada was tasteless and awful. Both the paella and the tapas at La Paella are pretty bad. I had some very nice tapas at La Nacional, but I found the paella rather mediocre. I can't comment on the current state of El Faro since I haven't been in at least 5 years, but they used to be quite good. The best Spanish food I've had recently (outside of tapas) was at Casa Vasca in Newark.

            Bear in mind that El Faro doesn't take reservations, and waits on weekends can be deadly (I tried to go on a Saturday a couple of years ago and there was a 90-minute wait). La Nacional is definitely a relatively staid atmosphere.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Peter Cherches

              Spain on 13th Street between 6th and 7th Aves. Check Chowhound for past threads.