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23rd Feb 2024

The top 11 places in Dublin to get a kick-ass tapas and Spanish wine combo this weekend


Spanish tapas wine dublin

The sunshine is creeping out more and more, and it’s got us in the mood for something a little more Mediterranean.

2023 was the year Spanish cuisine really took off in Dublin, and we think it’s going to be a go-to for 2024 too. Small plates are on the never-ending rise, and if you’re looking for the OG small plates aka tapas, there are plenty of Dublin restaurants to accomodate that need.

There’s something about the paired-back simplicity of Spanish food that keeps us wanting more, obvious when every summer we flock to the hot spots of España in our thousands. Few things are nicer than kicking back with a glass of warming Spanish wine and languidly nibbling on jamón serrano or gambas pil pil or padron peppers.

From Rioja reds to Verdejo and Albarino whites, and also Sherry and Cavas, here are our 11 favourite spots to get some awesome tapas and an unreal glass of wine:

11. La Bodega Tapas

Ranelagh, more info here

When La Bodega Tapas announced they were shifting focus and closing in 2021, their loyal customer base were not best pleased to be losing the 11-year-old restaurant, so much so that in 2022, they changed their minds and decided to revive their old spot. The Ranelagh tapas bar pride themselves on versatility, with something on the menu no matter your dietary requirements or preferences, whether you’re coeliac, vegetarian, pescatarian, or eat it all.

You can expect all the classics – albondigas, padrón peppers, calamari, Spanish omelette, plus entire charcuterie boards for sharing purposes. La Bodega also has a terrace perfect for those Irish summer evenings, that may not be as warm as Spain, but still lend themselves to a glass of vino and some nibbles.

This tapas restaurant features classic Spanish artwork, set in a traditional-style cottage, and aims to arouse nostalgia from all those trips to Spain you experienced growing up.

10. TAPA

Stepaside, more info here

If you’re willing to venture a little out of the city centre for your dinner out, then TAPA in Stepaside village is a great little spot for food and wine. Taking over Raffaele’s, the gourmet ice-cream bar, they had big shoes to fill, and boy have they filled them, with their authentic menu, and Spanish wine list that promotes small producers and growers.

TAPA aims to imitate a Spanish wine bar from the Costa de la Luz region in the south, serving the finest sherry and small plates, such as warmed stuffed peppers, croquettes, and the classic must-order patatas bravas.

Plus if you’re into a bit of music with your food, then TAPA boasts live music every Thursday evening. A true gem in this southside village, this is a spot that should make the notes app list.

9. Market Bar

Fade Street, more info here

Though also a great pub at night, this is your stop for daytime tapas. The old building that houses The Market Bar is high-ceilinged, bright, and for some reason has walls lined with shoes. That doesn’t detract from it being a great spot for a leisurely afternoon lunch though; there are lots of tables, lots of space and lots of light, and though it does tend to be pretty noisy when it’s busy, they have a very refreshing no-loud-music policy.

The tapas at Market Bar tend to be on the pricier side (hovering around the €13.50 mark) but these small plates are bigger than your average tapas, so that does impact the cost.

8. Viva

27 Richmond Street, more info here

No two visits to Viva wine bar in Portobello are quite the same; the dynamic team slings tapas and vino at this affordable little Spanish oasis with vivaciousness and panache. Their menu is simple, with all the tapas standards made to a high quality, using traditional techniques curated by owner Ramiro’s mother. Unlike other tapas spots in Dublin, Viva has a hint of Irish influence here and there on the menu too.

The best thing about Viva is its gorgeous outside terrace surrounded by little potted plants and bench seating, giving serious Mijas vibes when you’ve been traipsing along the hot tiles for hours and are in desperate need of some shelter.

They also have a large Spanish wine list married with Irish, with some fantastic whites, especially the Albariño. They even have some cava cocktails, which is ideal if you’re in the mood for something a little more fun.

7. Piglet

Temple Bar’s Cow’s Lane, more info here

While not strictly a Spanish spot, Piglet has a great small plate Mediterranean menu populated with some Spanish splashes. They also have one of the most extensive Spanish wine lists in the city, where the vinos are sourced from small artisan producers when at all possible, and it’s the kind of spot where you plan to go in for just a glass, but inevitably finish the bottle.

When this happens, the menu is designed for sharing, as with most small plate restaurants, and can be easily adjusted for the diners whether they’re looking for nibbles, your classic basket of focaccia, or olives, or truffle devilled eggs, or a full three-course meal, with a plate of cacio e pepe, beef tartare, and tonka bean creme brulee for dessert.

6. The Seafood Bar

Blessington Street, more info here

A trailblazer of the revived tapas trend is The Seafood Bar, a relatively new restaurant to Dublin 7.

Bringing a slice of Barcelona to Blessington Street, the team behind the Wood Fire Café have brought us this bar in 2023, doing a combination of great quality Irish seafood and classic Iberian cooking methods which makes it difficult to go wrong. The wine offering comes from the likes of Spain, Italy, France and New Zealand, delicious to be sure, bur the small plates on the menu are the stars of the show.

The gambas – which are a top seller – will arrive sizzling in a cast-iron pan doused with oil and thinly sliced garlic, which continues to cook as you mop everything up enthusiastically with the fluffy, lightly fried bread that accompanies. The prawns are juicy, and buttery, becoming caramelised at the bottom as time passes, it’s a dish that you won’t forget in a hurry.

This is a small but mighty space, and during the summer you might struggle to nab one of the coveted bar stools by the window, but if you manage it, we promise you it’s all vibes city. The Seafood Bar feels more like a place you’d stumble upon on a Valencian side street than at the intersection of D1 and D7.

Spanish tapas wine dublin

5. The Port House Pintxo

Temple Bar’s Eustace Street, more info here

If Market Bar is your daytime spot, Pintxo is your late-night one: dark, candlelit and moody, the atmosphere here is fantastic, and a tad romantic – great for long, slow evenings with a glass or two of wine. It’s part of the Port House restaurant group, but one of the most interesting of them in terms of its decor and ambience. They have a huge menu, including the style of dishes that gives the restaurant its name: pintxos are a type of tapas from the Basque region, often served on bread.

Any of the Port House restaurants deserve to sit proudly on this list, but for the sake of choosing one, it’s got to be their going-through-a-phase sister in the heart of Dublin’s tourist trap.

4. Salamanca

St Andrew’s Street, more info here

Andrew Street is known for more than just Molly Malone pushing her cockles and mussels, it’s also home to one of the best spots for a tapas feast, from Salamanca.

One of Dublin’s old grand dames, the spot has a certain mystique circulating its orange and red walls. Salamanca is bright and warm, and always a good bet whatever your mood, with a menu that can verge on the pricier side, but with good-size portions (expect to get at least two to three dishes per person).

3. Mr. Croqueta

Camden Street, more info here 

Tucked in the back of the Taste of Spain on Camden Street, is a little spot that serves food ‘Como en casa’ just like home. Set up like a Spanish tavern, the team serve traditional Basque tapas, pinchos, beer and wine. Solid-sized portions, and friendly staff who create a relaxed atmosphere, it’s tough to fault this place. Not to mention, they do some of the cheapest tapas in the city, with price points that reflect the size of the portions beautifully. They even have glasses of wine starting from €6.50 – unheard of in Dublin these days.

Spanish tapas wine dublin

2. Las Tapas de Lola

Wexford Street, more info here

Hailed by reams of online reviews as the best tapas in Dublin, who are we to argue with the masses when it comes to Las Tapas de Lola. The spot on Wexford Street is owned by a half-Spanish, half-Irish duo, who brought their creative tapas recipes from Barcelona. Clean plates of simple but extremely tasty food at extremely reasonable prices, the wide and varied menu means there are plenty of small plate options for fussier eaters, with dreamy desserts for devouring with two spoons too. The staff and owners are so friendly too, and really know their stuff, so don’t be afraid to ask them for a recommendation on what vino to go for, or what their favourite plate is.

De Lola also has a lovely covered outdoor area that feels pretty secluded while also boasting a great view of the throng of Wexford Street.

1. La Gordita

Montague Street, more info here 

Not too far from its older sibling Las Tapas de Lola, this relatively new kid on the block has been making quite a splash since it opened back in the spring 2023. It made it to number one on our list of the very best new openers from last year, and was also awarded a place on the Michelin Guide back in December, a mere nine months after launching.

With a phenomenal menu that makes you want to trawl, and welcoming and knowledgeable staff, this is a special little spot that you won’t want to pass up. While dishes may vary at La Gordita, they have all your classic categories such as carne (meat), pescados (fish), pica pica (nibbles) and curados y conservas (cured and preserved). With huge cuts of meat designed for sharing, eating with your hands is not only more efficient but encouraged, with no disapproving looks of judgement.

The wine list is ever-evolving, made up of French and naturally Spanish vinos to help wash down your sharing plates.

La Gordita’s more mature flavours have lived up to the hype set for them by their sister restaurant, expertly settling into the Dublin hospitality landscape, like they have always been there.

Spanish tapas wine dublin

Did we miss any? Let us know on [email protected]


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