Most tapas bars in London are actually just Spanish-themed restaurants serving small plates, but Jose is the closest you’ll get to an actual tapas bar. Like in Spain, everything arrives on little plates, it’s always packed, and you’ll either eat standing or sat on a bar stool. The atmosphere is one reason that it’s been one of the best and most consistent Spanish restaurants in town since opening back in 2011, the other being that the food is fantastic. The menu’s simple but everything you eat - from croquetas to a plate of jamon or anchovies - will always be of the highest quality. While it’s still not as insanely rammed as it used to be, it still gets busy, so try to get there early.
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Flour & Grape
Flour & Grape is another member of the we-just-invented-fresh-pasta club, and it’s worth the trek over to Bermondsey when Padella is rammed.
Village East is one of the best spots in Bermondsey for brunch, and it works for a group dinner or low-key date too.
Bar Tozino is a tiny Spanish tapas bar at the end of Maltby Street, serving excellent jamon and lovely wine.
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Plenty of restaurants in Shoreditch have a gimmick, but Popolo doesn’t need one. This place serves up pastas and incredible small plates.
Llerena is a straightforward but excellent tapas spot in Islington, serving products direct from the family farm in Extremadura, southwest of Madrid.
Pizarro is a Spanish restaurant in Bermondsey with excellent wine and tapas. Get the Iberico Presa and croquetas.
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Barrafina is a legendary Soho tapas restaurant that’s always crowded but always worth the wait.
Maltby Street Market
Welcome to one of the best food markets in all of London - Maltby Street Market is so good that we even come in the middle of winter.
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