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Miami- What is the best Tapas bar?

I am looking for a Tapas place with great tasting tapas. Atmoshpere is of secondary importance....I am looking for great food! Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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  1. My hands down favorite - and it fits the bill to a tee - is El Carajo. Talk about great food, no atmosphere. It's in the back of the Citgo gas station at 17th Street and US1. Order the piquillos stuffed w/ bacalao and topped with a squid ink sauce.

    I have heard good things about Xixon on Coral Way but have not tried yet.

    There's another place on Giralda between LeJeune and Ponce whose name I can't recall (I believe it has Bodega in it).

    Untraditional but sort of fun is Canela Cafe on Biscayne Blvd. around 50th St.

    El Carajo International Tapas & Wine
    2465 SW 17th Ave, Miami, FL 33145

    2101 SW 22 ST, Miami, FL 33145

    5132 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137

    4 Replies
    1. re: Frodnesor


      Went today to El Carajo for the second time. I asked about the piquillos with the squid ink, they told me they no longer made them. I had their piquillos (simply served with piquillo sauce) last time and they were good but I wonder how they compare to the ones recommended. Overall the tapas are very good, better than what I can get in SoBe, but I really wish we had gone when I first read about it because we overheard a waitress explaining to a disappointed customer on our first visit that the chef had changed and I remember reading somewhere on the board that the two brothers had had some problems. I wonder if the talent left to the other location...

      1. re: yomyb

        That's awful news. I'll have to go find the South Miami place and see if that's where the talent went.

        1. re: Frodnesor

          Where is the South Miami place located?

          1. re: jessicam29

            I think this is it..

            1180 SW 57th Ave
            West Miami, FL 33144

    2. I really like Casa Juancho on 8th street. They have authentic tapas and a full bar with music on the weekends.

      Also really good tapas but not a bar Delicias de Espana intersection of bird and red near Coral Gables. Delicias serves wine and beer (they have an extensive wine collection) but it is a brightly lit grocery store type of place with no music.

      1. Thanks for all of your suggestions!

        1. Xixon on Coral Way and 18th/19th (around there) is very good and authentic.
          the Garbanzos fritos are amazing. Also try the bacalao fritters.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jessicam29

            I liked my serrano ham bocadillo I had at Xixon.

          2. I like Tu Tu Tango in the Grove. Their menu is diverse and they always have good specials. Sitting on the outdoor deck while eating, drinking, and listening to the buzz of the Grove is a good time.

            1. Casa Panza on 8th Street. Catch a flamenco show, and drift away to Spain.

              1. I personally like Tapas de Rosa on Little Havana's Calle Ocho near I-95. It's been a while since I've been, but I found the food to be good.

                Has anyone found out if the Citgo's El Carajo chef moved to the other El Carajo location on Red Road?

                Also, while I was eating out on Coral Way, I noticed there's a new tapas place (new to me at least) called Taberna La Vecchia Bottega. It's next to Tutto Pizza and is located at 1763 SW 3rd Avenue. Has anyone tried that one yet? There's a market inside, and it looks good. They stock pimientos rellenos in the market and mussel paste/pate/spread (which I have not seen elsewhere - but maybe because I haven't been looking for it in other places).

                The owner told me, if I understood him right, that his tapas bar has only been open for 2 months and a half.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mialebven

                  I'm not sure if there has been a change of chef at the Red Road location of El Carajo, but that's my particular choice. For some reason I haven't liked the one at the Citgo station much the couple of times I've been there. I have actually noticed a difference in the taste of the food, although I believe they're owned by the same people.

                  1. re: GA578

                    I have heard that the chef at the Citgo station left. I've been meaning to try the Bird Road location.

                2. Copas y Tapas (Miracle Mile one block west of Douglas) is good, really nice atmosphere like a trendy restaurant in Spain. Taberna Giralda has very good food too and is hopping at night. Live music and people dancing between the tables.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: moonsea

                    I like Copas y Tapas but find the selection sorely lacking - mostly sandwiches, very few actual tapas (unless they've changed the menu since I've been). It also strikes me as a lot more rustic than trendy. It's basically a little market and wine shop with a few clunky wood tables and chairs. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't see the comparison to a trendy restaurant in Spain.

                    I've only been to Taberna Giralda for lunch, when it's pretty quiet, but I did see that they have live music in the evenings - glad to hear it gets busy, it's a charming place.