The 7 Best Spanish Restaurants in NYC You Need to Try

Spanish restaurants may be known for their tapas, but NYC's best purveyors of Spanish cuisine go much deeper. The following spots have their share of small platees, sure, but they also specialize in rioja wine, huge dishes of paella, and lesser-known Spanish traditions like pasta and marinated anchovies. Sample them all at these seven standout Spanish restaurants in New York City.


Lamano NYC

Lamano is an intimate Spanish tapas and wine bar with its menus from consulting chef Jose Fuentes, of Madrid’s renowned Kulto restaurant. They lean into classics from throughout Spain as well as offering more modern dishes. The mission? To immerse people in a culture that will pass along a love for the drinks, food, and music of a region half a world away. Some nights you'll get the sensation you're transported there, too. Chelsea and West Village locations. Chelsea, 265 W. 20th Ave.. 212-741-2398; West Village, 39 Christopher St,, 212-243-3200,



Salinas enchants Chelsea diners seeking a more upscale ambiance with their tapas. The back room is an exotic wonderland, with its retractable roof, teal velvet banquets, and a fireplace, too. As for the fare, Chef Luis Bollo’s mix of tapas, rice, and pasta dishes are sure to delight. Definitely sip a glass of wine or two if you select a rice dish, like the Llauna with duck, foie gras sausage, and wild mushrooms. They're all made to order. Salinas also serves a splendid cheese and charcuterie tray, as all the ingredients are imported from Spain. 136 9th Ave., 212-776-1990,

Casa Mono & Bar Jamón

Sitting adjacent to one another on Irving Place, Casa Mono and its sister restaurant Bar Jamón are nestled in the Gramercy Park and Union Square neighborhoods. Bar Jamón is the more casual and boisterous sibling; Casa Mono is the Michelin-starred destination dining spot. Both restaurants share a chef in Andy Nusser, as well as an exhaustive wine list. You'll find Casa Mono excels with tapas like crab/chorizo croquetas and sausage with honeycomb and quince marmalade. They also offer more substantial plates made with sustainable proteins like goat, served confit with avocado queso, scallion ash and pistachios. At Bar Jamón, you'll find the same creativity at work on the small plates, just a smaller bill at the end of your meal. 52 Irving Pl., 212-253-2773,

La Vara

La Vara

Honored with a spot on the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list, La Vara is the result of a team effort from the chefs who put the now-departed El Quinto Pino on the map. Raij and Montero are cleverly using La Vara in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn to delve into the Jewish and Muslim flavors found in numerous Spanish dishes. Surefire delights include small plates like eggplant with honey and melted cheese, grilled chicken hearts with lime-date vinaigrette, salt cod carpaccio on za’atar bread and suckling pig with rose petal quince sauce and chimichurri. Once again, they're setting foodies' fancies alight. 268 Clinton St., 718-422-0065,

Sala One Nine

Sala One Nine has been serving solid Spanish fare from its Flatiron locale since 2004. Their menu is definitely tapas-centric, but the small plates are divided down the middle: and Raciones are their larger, shareable dishes; Pinchos are smaller bites. The Octopus is always a winner here, and you're sure to love the mussels cooked in saffron and white wine as well as the fried goat cheese with honey and housemade bread. There’s also a terrific happy hour during the week that features selections from the house’s Spanish-only wine list. All that, plus flamenco performances on Monday nights! 35 W. 19th St., 212-229-2300,


For a Basque take on Spanish dining, head to the East Village. Like Sala One Nine, the bill of fare at Huertas presents its small plates as both pintxos and raciones. Enjoy a refresco, or Spanish wine cooler, with Huertas’ daily croquetas alongside. Follow that with a seafood dish like anchovies with quail egg and piquillo peppers or more filling items like the saffron fried rice with shrimp, bacon and aioli. Their unassuming dining room and helpful staff will put you in your happy place, Spanish style. 107 First Ave., 212-228-4490,



You'll find a respectable happy hour at each of these spots, but Boqueria has the unique distinction of being in four places at once: That means a  tapas-and-wine happy hour is always close by with four locations across Manhattan. There’s the dependable sangria and vermouth cocktail with orange and soda on the beverage side, and delicious discounted tapas (like the pan con tomate and patatas bravas) for a snack as you sip. Come for dinner and tuck into the seafood paella, bacon-wrapped dates and pork shoulder a la plancha. Locations in Midtown West, Flatiron, SoHo, and Upper East Side,

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About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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