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Spanish Tapas

Hilary Aug 5, 2009 06:27 AM

My husband and I just returned from a Mediterranean cruise which left from Barcelona. We had the chance to spend one day there before the cruise. We were lucky enough to discover tapas and had two opportunities to enjoy it.

Needless to say, I am now craving Spanish tapas and cannot find anything that even comes close to what we had in Spain.

We live on Long Island, but can travel to Queens, Manhattan etc if it worth our while. Can anyone help?

Thanks (Mucho Gracias)

  1. k
    kim e Aug 11, 2009 02:24 PM

    I had the SAME problem!! My husband and I lived in Barcelona for 4 months and when we got back, we went everywhere looking for authentic Spanish tapas. I've been to about all the places that people have suggested. My 2 faves are Tia Pol and Las Ramblas. Tia Pol is not the most authentic (but still delish!) and a little nicer/pricier. Las Ramblas might be the closest you'll find, although nothing in Manhattan will compare. La Nacional had some pretty authentic dishes, but I prefer the ambience at either Tia Pol or Las Ramblas more.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kim e
      Hilary Aug 12, 2009 05:14 PM

      I am glad to have found someone who knows what I am looking for, not to say that the others don't and aren't being helpful. On our short stay in Barcelona, we went to a restaurant called Tapas 24. It was only a few blocks from our hotel Condes de Barcelona, which was walking distance from Las Ramblas and Tapas 24. It was not for tourists, and it was fantastic. Not only was the food amazing, but I think we were the only tourists, an amazing dining experience. Seats at the counter and pointing to dishes going by. The soft chocolate dessert with fruity olive oil and sea salt was too amazing to describe, as what they called little fried fish (sprats). Better than french fries. Keep me in the loop if you find anything else, also..I live on Long Island...anything out here? Thanks again.

      1. re: Hilary
        kathryn Aug 12, 2009 05:41 PM

        Did you go to Inopia in Barcelona? I liked Inopia more than Tapac 24...

        In any case, I haven't found anywhere in NYC yet that gives me that wonderful Barcelona tapas high that we had at Inopia or Quimet i Quimet or Paco Meralgo or Bar Pinotxo!

        IIRC Tia Pol is is supposedly more Madrid style (eclectic) than Barcelona...

        1. re: kathryn
          Hilary Aug 13, 2009 12:16 PM

          Sadly, we only had one day in Barcelona before boarding a ship for a Mediterranean cruise. After walking Las Ramblas during the day and having lunch there, our hotel, The Hotel Conde des Barcelona (very nice) recommended Tapas 24 and were very happy with it, being our only experience.

    2. l
      Lucia Aug 9, 2009 05:17 PM

      casa mono

      1. thew Aug 5, 2009 05:31 PM

        two places i like are euzkadi (obviously a basque place) on east 4th st, and and bar carrerra on 2nd ave and 12th st.

        my yelp reviews:


        1. s
          simetrias Aug 5, 2009 05:04 PM

          I think Fonda del Sol (right near Grand Central) has the most authentic pulpo that can be... and I should know, since I am in Galicia all the time. I liked all their tapas there.

          1. sukekiyo Aug 5, 2009 04:17 PM

            I know next to nothing about tapas, but I've been to Txikito and I loved it. I'll also echo the general appreciation for Despana - I can't walk by that store without wandering in. :)

            Actually, I'm curious about Euzkadi in the East Village. Has anyone been?

            1. c
              crovito Aug 5, 2009 02:59 PM

              I still really like Boqueria (both locations although the one in Soho is more low-key); Bar Jamon (extensive Spanish wine list and very fresh and well made tapas); and Casa Mono. I recently went to Tia Pol (it was not memorable) and Sala One Nine (too expensive and very disappointing). Good luck!

              4 Replies
              1. re: crovito
                kathryn Aug 5, 2009 03:10 PM

                What didn't you like about Tia Pol? From what many Chowhounders say, it's the best in the city.

                1. re: kathryn
                  crovito Aug 5, 2009 03:39 PM

                  The first time I went (2 years ago I believe) I actually liked it much better. I think the menu is VERY standard and while nothing was 'wrong' with any dish we ate, it was all average. The four of us agreed we wouldn't go back for a tapas fix. Let me know if you eat there and think otherwise!

                  1. re: crovito
                    Simon Aug 5, 2009 07:50 PM

                    i love Tia Pol...so far, it's the only tapas in NYC that i like...i usually get: the marinated fish, the fried chickpeas, the asparagus, the ham/manchego/artichoke triangles (forget what they are called), the various seafood salads, and the suckling pig special if they have it..

                2. re: crovito
                  serious Aug 10, 2009 05:06 AM

                  Boqueria has very good scallop tapas. Friendly place, good service.

                3. financialdistrictresident Aug 5, 2009 01:43 PM


                  1. n
                    notsochubbychubette Aug 5, 2009 07:22 AM

                    tia pol

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: notsochubbychubette
                      sushiman Aug 5, 2009 07:38 AM

                      The tapas scene in NYC is unfortuantely hit or miss. No one place is great.

                      Tia Pol is the best. And for Basque style got to Txikito. Txikito is the new restauarnt of the former chef of Tia Pol.

                      Boqueira is really not that good anymore, but I hear the downtown location is better.

                      Surprisingly, Solera on the UES is really good.

                      Casa Mono is great, but is not tapas. I would love it if their plates had LESS food on them.

                      1. re: sushiman
                        AimeeD Aug 13, 2009 02:27 PM

                        I had dinner last night at Txikito and we had a wonderful salad with grilled anchovies. They were delish. It was a special, but they also had different anchovy preperations on the menu.
                        I've eaten at La Nacional, Tia Pol, Casa Mono, and Mercat- and Tia Pol is my hands down favorite.

                    2. MMRuth Aug 5, 2009 06:34 AM

                      There are a number of good places in Manhattan, but the only ones I've been to are Boqueria (fabulous mushroom croquettas) and Casa Mono, which I think actually serves "raciones" (larger portions) rather than tapas, per se. I'm sure others will post in about their favorites - Tia Pol is another oft mentioned place.

                      Also, there is a fabulous Spanish food market (that also has tapas, actually) on Broome Street in SOHO called Despana - you could nibble on somethings there and/or bring things home. They also have a location in Queens that is primarily wholesale - I'm not sure if it is open to the public or not.


                      7 Replies
                      1. re: MMRuth
                        Hilary Aug 5, 2009 06:40 AM

                        Thanks for your help. In Barcelona my husband and I discovered small fried fish (sprats) that were yumy, grilled sardines, anchovies-not canned, ocotpus, paper thin egg omlets filled with potatoes/onion/sauce and topped with a thick garlic sauce--to die for. We had a chocolate dessert that was topped with fruity olive oil and sea salt that was amazing...these are the types of things we are looking for.

                        All help is welcomed and appreciated. Even larger portions of these amazing foods would be find.

                        Thanks again.

                        1. re: Hilary
                          MMRuth Aug 5, 2009 06:43 AM

                          Casa Mono usually has grilled sardines, and also tortilla, though I don't think their's is paper thin.

                          1. re: Hilary
                            MMRuth Aug 5, 2009 06:45 AM

                            It might help you to peruse some of these threads as well:


                            1. re: Hilary
                              JungMann Aug 5, 2009 06:48 AM

                              Sprats are not as popular here as they are outside the US. I believe Casa Mono has whitebait, as do some Japanese and Chinese restaurants, but I can't recall any Spanish restaurants with it. Boquerones are available in many places, from Despaña to Fairway to Boqueria. The Pulpo Gallego at La Nacional is incredibly tender, though underseasoned. Tortillas are available at most places, though I particularly like the ones at Despaña. It would be difficult to find paper thin tortillas, as they are usually filled with plenty of vegetables, sauces, etc.

                              1. re: Hilary
                                susiederkins Aug 9, 2009 05:51 PM

                                I've been to quite a few Tapas places, but I think a good start for you would be Las Ramblas on West 4th, just off 6th avenue. Las Ramblas serves Barcelona style tapas, which is different from other regional tapas.

                                They definitely have the tortilla espanol (egg & potato mixture), grilled sardines and the octopus. I think they also have the small fried fish - smelts on their menu.


                                Mercat - I quite like this place, but it's quite different from barcelona style tapas
                                Casa Mono - fantastic, but it's Spanish inspired, so not authentic.
                                Sala Bowery / 19 - Decent, but nothing to write home about
                                Tia Pol - very flavorful and the food is very good, although it's probably more inventive and less representative of a typical tapas restaurant, but it can get very crowded and popular. I don't know exactly what style it serves, but it's not Barcelona style
                                Euzkadi - Pass. I live a few doors away and found it to be decent, but nothing special.

                                And Despana is a great place to check out for some jamon to take home for later.

                                1. re: susiederkins
                                  Hilary Aug 10, 2009 10:18 AM

                                  Hi, Thanks for your input and Las Ramblas. This place looks amazing and their menu is the closest I have seen to what we had in Barcelona. Next time we are in the city and are looking for a place to eat, this will be the one. Now, if they only had that amazing soft chocolate dessert . Soft, almost fudgy like but not quite-better, formed into balls with a fruity olive oil drizzled on top and finished with a sprinkle of sea salt. Simply amazing. I can't wait to try this place, thanks so much.

                              2. re: MMRuth
                                kathryn Aug 5, 2009 02:41 PM

                                Casa Mono is not as traditional as places in Spain but the food is delicious. Boqueria is more traditional but the food is not quite as delicious, sadly.

                                Despana is amazing. They make their own chorizo. I love that store! But watch our for your pocketbook... things can add up quite quickly.

                                There's lots of debate re: tapas here:

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