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Best Spanish Food in Manhattan


I am trying to find a good Spanish place (as in food from Spain) to take some family from out of town. They are real foodies so I am hoping to wow them a little. I have gone to Boqueria and liked it but wanted to see if anyone has other suggestions? Does Casa Mono, for example, trump Boqueria? How does the recently NY Times reviewed La Fonda del Sol measure up? Are there any other dinning gems out there I haven't thought of? Thanks!

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  1. tapas: Tia Pol
    paella: La Nacional

    1 Reply
    1. re: Simon

      had dinner at tia pol for the first time thursday night. cozy bar, good wine selection. food at the tiny two-top was very good: sweet breads in a delicious tomato and sweet corn sauce, head-on shrimp, wonderful patatas bravas, razor clams with cockles, croquetas and a killer suckling pig. cava before the meal and a wonderful evodia (bottle) with the meal. jorge ordonez dessert wine went with the pera.

      staff was pleasant and helpful. we'll be back.

      1. Señor Swanky's

        Just kidding.

        I'm partial to La Nacional. Otherwise, Tia Pol, La Rambla and Boqueria all do good job.
        I've been in Pamplona/Barcelona/Cadaques for the last two weeks FWIW.

        1. Yes--IMO Casa Mono does indeed trump Boqueria. While I have enjoyed the food at Boqueria, I think of Casa Mono as less of a party spot and more of a true food destination. The fact that Casa Mono is tiny and has a different kind of vibe probably adds to that impression, but I also think that food there is just more creative and special.

          1. Another vote for La Nacional.
            I love the atmosphere there, and the food is very good (not to die for but always good)
            The atmosphere is what sets it apart

            2 Replies
            1. re: NellyNel

              What is the atmosphere like? I have business associates coming in from Australia and want to eat at a Spanish restaurant. Would La Nacional be a good choice for this?

              1. re: binkis

                Hmm - well it's different - you do get the feeling you are dining in Madrid . When you approach the address you have to do a double-take - there is no restaurant front, you have to walk into a hallway, and then into a big "social club" room. Paneled walls, tv's and card tables, the only thing missing these days is the smoke. It's quite brilliant, but then they show into a tiny very lovely and cozy room, with rustic wood tables. Be sure to reserve to make sure you get a seat in the dining room; on the weekends and busy nights, the "social club" room is filled with diners as well.
                I would have to say yes, I would reccommend it for your associates. It would be a unique NY experience.

              1. re: kathryn

                I love Degustation - and highly recommend it for the "wow" factor....but I didn't feel the menu was Spanish - not even Spanish influenced other than the tortilla amuse.
                Here is my report - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602291

                1. re: NellyNel

                  I think Degustation well represents contemporary Spanish food, as opposed to nostalgic reproductions of old-fashioned Spanish food or average reproductions of the tapas concept. It probably is the best Spanish food in Manhattan right now - although I understand that some might not notice that it's Spanish.

                  1. re: Wilfrid

                    Either way Degustation is a wonderful expeience!

                    It is such modern food, and the Spanish influence so subtle that yes, it was very hard to connect, but thinking about the ingredients, I understand what you are saying.

                    1. re: NellyNel

                      I'm no expert in Spanish food, and certainly not Catalan food (I've been to Madrid, Toledo, La Coruna, and Santiago de Compostela, but not yet to Barcelona), but I think of Degustation's food as modern tapas.

                1. For tapas I prefer Sol e Sombre in UWS on 82nd & Amsterdam. It is reasonably priced.

                  1. La Fonda del Sol is great for both tapas and a full meal. near grand central. The pulpo (octopus) is 99% as good as in Galicia (Spain), where I just came back from.

                      1. I really like Sangria 46. It's on 46'th street (I think.) The atmosphere was nice, but it wasn't so fancy. The food I thought was very good. If you don't mind leaving the city, there is a town called Larchmont which is not too far from NYC. It is in Westchester County. There there is a very nice spanish restaurant named España, which is fancy. They have delicious tapas there. If you have young children in the group though, I would make sure they like spanish food.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: TheIceCreamMan

                          I went to Sangria 46 for a wine tasting and liked it. As a pre-theater restaurant in a rush it is ok, but I don't think you can compare it to the other restaurants on this site. I thought La Nacional was wonderful. Tia Pol is great, but the waits are too long. Soccarat also - we went very early once and got the front table, but who wants to eat at 6?

                          1. I wouldn't miss Txikito. Original chefs from Tia Pol and the food has been stellar every time I've been there. Good wine list too. Fun.

                              1. I just ate at Socarrat for the first time and it was AWESOME. Great sangria, too.


                                1. Solera.

                                  Tapas and cooked food. As good as anywhere and nice looking to boot.

                                  Alcala is very good with a nice garden in back.