The Top 10 Places In Dublin To Get A Kick-Ass Tapas And Spanish Wine Combo This Weekend

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World Tapas Day is just around the corner – and we couldn't be more excited about it!

And of course, if you're going to be partaking in the tapas festivities on Thursday October 22, you're going to need some Spanish wine to go with it. 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. Viva

Viva wine bar in Portobello call themselves a ‘family-run Spanish oasis’: their menu is simple, with all the tapas standards made to a high quality. The best thing about Viva is their gorgeous outside terrace surrounded by little potted plants and bench seating.

They also do a great lunch deal for either €8 (one dish and wine/drink), or €12 (two dishes and wine-drink), and they stock real Spanish hot chocolate, so it’s worth staying for dessert.

Recommended food and wine combo

Pimientos de Padrón, a mix of spicy and sweet fried peppers, with their Tinto de Verano red wine spritzer

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9. La Bodega

La Bodega on Ranelagh Rd has some serious chops when it comes to the provenance of their chefs. From all over Spain, the restaurant’s three chefs cover tapas styles including Bilbao, Barcelona and Córdoba, meaning their menu is authentic and traditional, with monthly specials from these areas adapted for the availability of ingredients and to the Irish palate.

A bodega is a Spanish wine cellar or wine bar, so you know you’re in good hands with the quality of your wine too.

Recommended food and wine combo

Fabes con verdures (bean and vegetable stew from northern Spain), with a Catalonian Renaixenca Cava.

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8. Zaragoza

A busy city-centre spot with more of a café- than tapas bar-ambience, Zaragoza’s cuisine is a fusion of contemporary and traditional Spanish.

You’ll find plenty of innovative dishes here, as well as a few slightly less adventurous ones, such as chicken in wine sauce, which are great if you’re trying tapas for the first time. Their fish (which comes from Wrights) is super high quality and really delicious.

Recommended food and wine combo

seafood cassoulet with scallops, prawns, calamari and mussels with tomato sauce, perfect paired with a Verdejo from Rueda, a dry white wine.

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7. Market Bar

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 clogs. 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.

Recommended food and wine combo

peixinhos de horta, with a light and dry Casa Maria Verdejo Spanish white wine from Rueda.

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6. Pintxo

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.

Recommended food and wine combo

Berenjena con Queso de Cabra (fried aubergine and goats cheese sandwich, with a Vina Cartin Albarinio

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5. Salamanca

When you mention tapas in Dublin, the first place that most people think of will be Salamanca, which is fast becoming the default go-to-spot for tapas. Salamanca is bright and warm, and always a good bet whatever your mood.

Their menu is slightly on the pricier side, but with good-size portions (expect to get two to three dishes per person). They do have a good value early bird though, and keep an eye on their Hot Deals for €10 lunches, or selection platters with free sangria for a little less than €20.

Recommended food and wine combo

Secreto Iberico al Grill (Iberian pork marinated in miso paste with rocket, cress and traditional apple sauce), with sangria!

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4. Havana

Havana claims to be the instigator of the tapas ‘revolution’ in Dublin, as it established the very first tapas bar in the city in Camden Market in 2000. It has since moved to its permanent location on George’s Street, where it continues to be one of the best spots for a quick bite and of course a game of Jenga.

One of the best things about it is its value: the dishes are very reasonably priced, and they have excellent student deals as well as a 20%-off early-bird and paella Mondays, Lamb Tuesdays and Mojito Wednesdays.

Not only are these cheap days for the special dishes, but if you check in on Facebook, you get a further discount!

Recommended food and wine combo

Chicken and chorizo paella, Tempranillo Riscal red wine from Rioja

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3. Las Tapas de Lola

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. Lola 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.

Recommended food and wine combo

Bomba de la Barceloneta (spicy Barcelona meatballs) with Can Paixano sparkling pink

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2. Boqueria

Stoneybatter’s Boqueria is inspired by the municipal market of the same name on Las Ramblas, the bustling tourist street in Barcelona. The view over Stoneybatter is maybe not quite the same, but the restaurant is pretty successful in capturing the Spanish vibe and energy, as well of course as flavours.

The menu is small but unique, with dishes you’re unlikely to find in any other tapas restaurants in the city, such as the mysterious-sounding Seven Sauce Squid, or their strawberry and basil soup dessert.

Recommended food and wine combo

Blowtorched tuna with pepper, pistachio and mango, with a sweet Garnacha Langa Calatayud red from Calatayud.

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1. Tapas Trail

Why choose just one tapas restaurant when you can take a walking tour and visit them all? The Dublin Tapas Trail brings you to three restaurants, with a full sample of dishes and a glass of wine in each, including authentic Spanish as well as fusion restaurants.

The tours need a minimum of six people, but can cater for 18, so you’re guaranteed to meet a few like-minded foodies on it too.

And what’s more, it’s perfect if you want to make a day of it – they have a kayaking-and-tapas package.

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Written By

Lovin Dublin

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