Possibly one of the best creations out there because of its versatility, these small servings of flavour bombs, better known as tapas, are a great option whatever the time of day it is- plus you can order as many plates as you want. Luckily for us, we needn’t have to travel far to get a bite of Spanish cuisine as Liverpool is filled with some incredible restaurants serving tasty tapas. From crunchy croquetas to heavenly jamón, moreish Manchego cheese to perfect patatas bravas, there’s plenty to choose from and you certainly won’t be leaving these tapas restaurants in Liverpool hungry.
1. El Gato Negro
Founded by Harvey Nichol’s former executive chef (very fancy indeed!), chef Simon Shaw opened El Gato Negro after being inspired by a trip to Catalonia. At El Gato Negro, guests will find vibrant yet decadent décor, with soft red seating and cosy warm lighting – with an open kitchen providing a real neighbourhood kitchen experience for diners. Combining both modern and traditional Spanish flavours, guests can enjoy dishes such as truffle salami, salt cod croquetas and braised ox cheek. The restaurant is a real social space, even including an outdoor terrace overlooking Exchange Flags, which almost feels like you’ve been transported to the bustling city of Barcelona.
El Gato Negro, Unit 2, Walker House, Exchange Flags, L2 3YL
Whether you want picky bits and bobs such as cheese, olives, charcuterie and moreish snacks or fancy a Spanish-style bottomless brunch, Bobo is your place. Served every Saturday and Sunday, 12pm-3pm, you can sip on unlimited sangria, frosty beers, caipirinhas or prosecco for 90 minutes whilst nibbling on a selection of Iberian delights. You can expect charcuterie boards, bocadillos (sandwiches), ham and aioli rolled bites, cheese boards, potato tortillas, olives and house pickles, as well as sweet treats like pastel de nata, churros and fresh pastries. Bobo also has lunch offers, a wine club and paella terrace event so there’s always an excuse to get your Spanish fix.
Bobo, 46 Castle Street, L2 7LA
Open since 2010, having run a stall at North West Food Festivals for two years, Lunya is a deli, restaurant and bar delivering some of the best Catalan and Spanish food to Liverpool. You can expect classic tapas dishes such as patatas bravas, padrón peppers, tortilla, gambas pil pil (chilli and garlic prawns) and albondigas (meatballs) as well as deli platters filled with cheese, charcuterie, dips, olives and snacks (with some suitable for vegans and vegetarians). Lunya also has a croqueta special and you can even upgrade your patatas bravas with the addition of a Catalan dip, chorizo, cheese and crispy onions. Plus, the tapas restaurants serves up a dish where Liverpool meets Catalunya with Lunya’s very own unique version of Scouse made with chorizo and morcilla (blood sausage).
Lunya, 55 Hanover Street, Liverpool One, L1 3DN
4. Neon Jamón
Bringing a slice of Spain to Smithdown Place since 2013, the popular tapas restaurant, Neon Jamón, had to sadly close its doors in February 2020. Famed for its Catalan-inspired dishes, the Liverpool restaurant reopened its doors after two years, just a short walk away on Smithdown Road. Neon Jamón offers an array of tapas dishes for diners to feast on as well as serving the classic Spanish drink of sangria alongside cava-based cocktails (think sparkling wine mixed with orange liqueur, cherry brandy, fruit and fizz). Guests can tuck into a range of charcuterie like Iberico ham, cheese platters, as well as meaty small plates like chargrilled chicken skewers, Basque beef cheek cooked in Rioja wine for eight hours, classic Catalan meatballs in a tomato sauce (albondigas) and slow-cooked Iberico pork ribs with rosemary, quince and honey.
Neon Jamón, 336-338 Smithdown Road, L15 5AN
5. Tapas Revolution
Opening in Queens Square in October 2021, Tapas Revolution serves up traditional tapas favourites including paellas packed full of flavour. Vegans can enjoy calabaza asada- roasted butternut squash served with chickpeas, oyster mushrooms, piquillo peppers, and baby spinach. While the menu stays true to traditional, authentic tapas, the new look and concept is reminiscent of airy, modern day Barcelona or Ibiza. The venue features a Spanish-style terrace for over 100 people to drink and dine al-fresco at, meaning there’s no need to book a flight to experience the real deal.
Lunyalita may be the baby sister to Lunya but you can still get the same tasty tapas and a big flavour punch with the addition of a view across the water, differentiating it from other tapas restaurants in Liverpool. Located at Royal Albert Dock, guests can enjoy sensational small plates both indoors and al fresco, bringing us that little bit closer to the continental dream. Not only does Lunyalita offer waterside views but it also has lunchtime tapas menu where you can enjoy three tapas of your choice for £16.95 and a breakfast menu brimming with Catalan creations. Start your day with typical ingredients in tapas dishes such as chorizo, piquillo peppers, morcilla (essentially a Catalan black pudding), marinated pork loin, tortilla and more packed into the likes of a roll or served as part of a Spanish-style fry-up.
Lunyalita, Britannia Pavilion, Royal Albert Dock, L3 4AD
7. Salt House Tapas
From the team behind Bacaro and French bistro Bouchon, Salt House Tapas is the hospitality group’s Spanish eatery serving top notch tapas in the centre of Liverpool. Dive into the likes of prawn croquetas with orange aioli; smoked paprika chicken wings coated in ‘nduja honey butter; pan fried cod with sautéed piquillo peppers, chorizo and cauliflower purée; or deep fried goats cheese with orange blossom honey and crostini. Salt House Tapas also have an extensive selection of charcuterie featuring Serrano ham, Iberico chorizo, salchichón (Spanish sausage), and acorn fed Iberico ham, all perfect to savour on with slices of Manchego cheese, Gordal olives and a glass of sangria or cava from the bar’s cellar.
Salt House Tapas, Church House, 1 Hanover Street, L1 3DN
8. Esto Es España
Translated as ‘This is Spain’, Esto Es España is exactly that. Serving authentic tapas that is the epitome of what Spain is all about when it comes to this leisurely ritual of picking at small dishes over drinks with friends and family. Tapear (yes, there’s even a verb for ‘to tapas’ in Spanish) on four different types of croquetas (chicken, ham, cod or veggie), Galician-style octopus, chorizo slow cooked in cider, and pork loin with caramelised onion and the restaurant’s special homemade sauce. Eso Es España also serves up a bottomless brunch on Sundays which consists of either a choice of three tapas or patatas bravas and paella. Be sure to save room for dessert as the Liverpool tapas restaurant has volcan de chocolate (chocolate fondant), churros with chocolate and a homemade cheesecake on the menu.
Esto Es España, 32 Hope Street, L1 9BX
Another Hope Street establishment offering terrific tapas is Trunk. Plus, if you’re after a taste of Spain on a budget get yourself down there on a Tuesday for their three for two deal on tapas dishes, with your cheapest tapas dish being free. Or go on a Thursday and bag five tapas dishes with a glass of sangria or wine for £20 per person. You’ll find your classics like patatas bravas, gambas pil pil, Spanish tortilla, honey glazed chorizo and Iberico ham croquetas as well as other stand-out dishes. Gorge on a 4oz fillet steak with either a white wine and mushroom sauce; fried potatoes and creamy blue cheese sauce; fried potatoes and garlic butter; or seabass with black olive tapenade, cauliflower steak, calamari and boquerones.
Trunk, Federation House, 88 Hope Street, L1 9BW
10. La Finca Eivissa
Cancel that flight to Ibiza and get yourself down to La Finca Eivissa. Providing lovely fusion tapas dishes, chilled vibes and banging beats, you can feel like you’re on the Balearic island without having to endure airport queues and security- sounds like bliss to us. La Finca Eivissa boast a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian tapas dishes such as halloumi sticks with a red pepper dip; patatas bravas with a mix of potato and sweet potato; and grilled goats cheese bruschetta with balsamic marinated cherries. Non-veggies can enjoy pea wack croquetas with ham; Italian fennel and chilli sausage quesadilla; and baja fish tacos with hake, jerk and mango curry sauce. And if you’re after a boozy Ibiza experience, La Finca Eivissa offers a bottomless brunch with unlimited prosecco, sangria, Aperol spritz or cherry mimosa for 90 minutes.
La Finca Eivissa, Arthouse Square, 14 Back Colquitt Street, L1 4DE