New York City is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, and one of the most beloved types of food in the city is tapas.
These small plates of food are perfect for sharing and allow you to try a variety of flavors and dishes in one meal.
Whether you are looking for a traditional Spanish tapas experience or a fusion of flavors, there are countless tapas restaurants throughout the city.
From cozy neighborhood spots to trendy rooftop bars with stunning views, there is something for everyone.
As a local, I have had the pleasure of exploring the tapas scene in New York City and have discovered some hidden gems that I am excited to share with you.
In this blog post, I will be highlighting the best tapas restaurants in the city, each with their unique ambiance, flavors, and overall dining experience.
So, whether you are a New Yorker looking for a new spot to try or a visitor looking to explore the culinary scene, this guide will help you navigate the best tapas restaurants in New York City.
Get ready to indulge in small plates of deliciousness and experience the vibrant food culture of the city that never sleeps.
1. EZ Paella & Tapas
EZ Paella & Tapas is a must-visit for anyone craving delicious Spanish and Latin American cuisine.
With a cozy and family-oriented atmosphere, the restaurant offers an extensive menu of mouth-watering tapas, paella, and vegetarian options.
Their Caribbean chicken paella is a standout dish that is both flavorful and filling. The sangria and tres leches are also highly recommended.
The service is exceptional, with friendly and attentive staff that make you feel welcome. EZ Paella & Tapas is a hidden gem that is definitely worth checking out.
2. La Nacional
La Nacional is a tapas restaurant that serves authentic Spanish cuisine. The food is delicious and reasonably priced.
The restaurant has a nice ambiance, and the staff is polite and friendly.
The outdoor seating area is comfortable and well-heated, making it a great spot for a winter meal.
The paella and octopus are particularly noteworthy, and the sangria is a must-try. La Nacional is a great place to enjoy traditional Spanish food and wine in a laid-back atmosphere.
Nai is a tapas restaurant that offers a contemporary take on Mexican cuisine. The menu features a variety of dishes that are both creative and delicious.
The chef takes the time to explain the story behind some of the dishes, which adds a personal touch to the dining experience. While there are few vegan options, the restaurant does offer good vegetarian options.
The staff is attentive and the service is excellent. The interior decor is cute and the vibe is laid-back. The restaurant can get busy, so reservations are recommended.
Prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and service justifies the cost. Nai is definitely worth a visit for those looking for a unique and enjoyable dining experience.
4. Plado Tasting Bar
Plado Tasting Bar is a cozy tapas restaurant that offers an amazing Italian/Spanish fusion menu.
The dishes are creative, fresh, and bursting with flavor. The service is friendly and attentive, making the dining experience seamless.
The restaurant also offers a great selection of wines and specialty cocktails. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, perfect for a romantic evening or a night out with friends.
If you're looking for a fun and delicious tapas bar, Plado Tasting Bar is a must-visit.
5. Counter & Bodega
Counter & Bodega is a hip Pan-Latin tapas bar with a funky atmosphere. The restaurant serves modern Latin fare including Sunday brunch, paired with signature cocktails.
The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the service is impeccable. The menu offers a wide range of Latin and Spanish dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options.
The drinks are creative and tasty, and the bartenders are skilled at mixing them. The outdoor seating is limited but well-spaced out. The empanadas and arepas appetizers are a must-try.
The pernil is juicy and flavorful, and the Pernil mofongo is huge and delicious. The steak is also very juicy and packed with flavor. Counter & Bodega is a gem that caters to different Spanish cultures and is definitely worth a visit.
Debajo is a hidden gem of a tapas restaurant with an open-concept kitchen and a relaxed, friendly vibe.
The small and selective menu is well-executed and features interesting flavor combinations.
The P-C-T (pan con tomate) and pulpo are must-tries, and the milk gelato is a perfect dessert.
The service is spot on, and the outdoor seating has heaters for chilly nights. If you're looking for some of the best Spanish food in town, don't miss out on Debajo.
7. Buceo 95
Buceo 95 is a hidden gem of a tapas restaurant that offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. The restaurant has a great selection of interesting tapas, including some excellent vegetarian options.
The wine selection is mostly Spanish and includes sherries. The staff provides excellent service and the cocktails are unique.
The seafood paella is a must-try dish, as are the bacon-wrapped dates and the pork belly. The restaurant is open late, making it a perfect spot for a late-night dinner.
The sidewalk dining area is lovely and the atmosphere is cozy and warm. Buceo 95 is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for a quality tapas experience.
8. Dali NYC
Dali NYC is a tapas restaurant that offers amazing food and a great selection of specialty cocktails.
The stunning decor and great music add to the overall atmosphere of the place. The Spanish tapas are spectacular, with the meatballs being a standout dish.
The drinks are original and delicious, making it a great place to start or end your night. The staff is friendly and accommodating, making for a pleasant dining experience.
If you're looking for a great tapas restaurant with a lively atmosphere, Dali NYC is definitely worth checking out.
9. Castamar Restaurant
Castamar Restaurant offers an exceptional tapas dining experience.
The food is delicious and the staff is friendly. The creative cocktails are a must-try.
The atmosphere is fun and sexy, with art and music adding to the ambiance.
The market-driven cuisine is fresh and the craft cocktails are superb. This is a great spot for brunch or dinner.
10. Rincon 50
Rincon 50 is a tapas restaurant that serves outstanding Spanish cuisine. The dishes are cooked to perfection and presented beautifully.
The wait staff is knowledgeable and helpful, and the wine list is wonderful.
However, the cost is on the high end for tapas and the neighborhood. Vegetarians should be careful as some menu items contain unexpected meat.
Despite this, Rincon 50 is a must-visit for anyone looking for an exceptional tapas experience.
11. Bazar Tapas Bar & Restaurant
Bazar Tapas Bar & Restaurant is a cozy and rustic-chic spot that offers eclectic tapas, charcuterie, and mains.
The food is delicious and perfectly prepared, with standout dishes such as the paella, lobster Mac and cheese, and lamb chops. The drinks are on point, and the service is great.
The atmosphere is fun and lively, with a DJ playing music on the weekends. The only downside is that there is an extra fee for paying by card.
All in all, Bazar Tapas Bar & Restaurant is definitely worth a visit for those looking for tasty tapas in a cozy setting.
12. Cafe Riazor
Cafe Riazor is a time-tested Spanish restaurant that serves up delicious tapas and paella. The cozy cafe has an old-world feel that adds to the overall experience.
The food is fresh, homemade, and bursting with flavor. The menu offers a great selection of Spanish dishes, including chorizo, chicken with rice, and mussels in sauce.
The sangria is a must-try and the wine selection is good, albeit a bit overpriced. The staff is friendly and efficient, making the dining experience enjoyable.
Cafe Riazor is a hidden gem in the Chelsea area that is definitely worth checking out.
13. Lamano West Village
Lamano West Village is a trendy tapas restaurant that offers a variety of delicious small plates and specialty cocktails.
The cozy and welcoming ambiance makes it a perfect spot for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner.
The staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the menu, ensuring that every dish is perfectly paired with a drink.
The paella and churros are highly recommended, and the sangria is a must-try. Lamano West Village is definitely worth a visit for those looking for a modern take on traditional Spanish cuisine.
14. Boqueria W40th
Boqueria W40th is a tapas restaurant with a great selection of dishes. The food is delicious and the presentation is impressive.
They have a good variety of cocktails and wines to choose from. The service is friendly and attentive.
The atmosphere is lively and perfect for a night out with friends or a date. The restaurant can get crowded, so a reservation is recommended.
The outdoor seating area is a nice touch. Prices are a bit high, but worth it for the quality of food and experience.
15. Tio Pepe
Tio Pepe is a lively tapas restaurant that offers a great variety of Spanish and Mexican dishes.
The freshly made guacamole is prepared right in front of you and is a must-try. The paella and sangria are also excellent choices.
The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience. The restaurant has an old-fashioned charm to it, adding to its overall ambiance.
Whether you're looking for a romantic dinner or a fun night out with friends, Tio Pepe is definitely worth checking out.