Dublin can be heaven in the sunshine but we always crave something a little more
There's something about the paired-back simplicity of Spanish food that keeps us wanting more- and we flocking to the hot spots of España in our thousands. Few things are nicer than, kicking back with a glass of warming Spanish wine languidly nibbling on some small plates.
From Rioja reds to Verdejo and Albarino whites, and also Sherry and Cavas, here are our 10 favourite spots to get some awesome tapas and an unreal glass of wine:
10. 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. 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.
27 Richmond Street, more info here
No two visits to Viva wine bar in Portobello are quite the same, the dynamic team is this little affordable little Spanish oasis with vivaciousness and panache. Their menu is simple, with all the tapas standards made to a high quality. The best thing about Viva is its gorgeous outside terrace surrounded by little potted plants and bench seating. They have a large Spanish wine list, with some fantastic whites, especially the Albariño, they even have some cava cocktails which are fun.
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, with the chance to grab some truly exciting numbers by the glass.
7. The Seafood Bar
Blessington Street, more info here
Bringing a slice of Barcelona to Blessington Street, the team behind the Wood Fire Café have brought us The Seafood Bar. The combination of great quality Irish seafood and classic Iberian cooking methods is difficult to go wrong. While their wine list could do with a bit of tightening, the small plates on the menu are the stars of the show.
6. 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.
St Andrew's Street
One of Dublin's old grand dames, the spot on St Andrew's Street 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 two to three dishes per person).
4. 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.
3. 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 staff and owners are so friendly too, and really know their stuff: if they recommend something for you, trust them.
South William Street more info here
Tucked away down the laneway (which used to operate as the old smoking area for 52 South William rip), the spot operated by Mercado 52 has actually been a thriving part of the Dublin foodie scene since last September. We can think of nothing better than an evening spent in front of a table filled with tapas y pintxos and a jug of sangria.
1. La Gordita
Montague Street more info here
Not too far from its older sibling Las tapas de Lola, this new kid on the block has been making quite a splash since it opened back in the Spring. 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.
Did we miss any? Let us know on [email protected]