The Best Tapas Joints In London

Where to find the finest flavours of Spain right here in the capital

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Best For A Weekday Lunch: Dehesa
A small but classy spot that feels refined and detached from its frenetic surroundings off Carnaby Street. The menu is small, specialising in charcuterie, but there are some excellent vegetable sides on offer too including the signature courgette flowers stuffed with goats-cheese and drizzled with honey. Order that alongside the acorn-fed Jamón ibérico and you won't go far wrong. Dehesa, 25 Ganton St, London W1F 9BP, 020 7494 4170

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Best For A Quick Bite: Pix Bar
Adopting the San Sebastian Pinxto philosophy of miniature tapas (complete with coded cocktail stick system which is then used to add up your bill) Pix bar is a fun and atmospheric spot for a glass of wine and a tasty – mainly bread-based – morsel (like figs and goat's cheese or tuna pipperade on crusty bread) which you pick up from the counter whenever you're peckish. Prices are a little less San Sebastian, however, so if you're hungry those cocktail sticks can quickly add up, especially when they're this moreish. Pix Bar,16 Bateman St, London W1D 3AH, 020 7437 0377

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Best For Sitting At The Bar: Barrafina (above)
Now with three sites in London, brothers Sam and Eddie Hart (who also run Quo Vadis) have found a winning combination of ambience, service and beautifully simple dishes big on flavour, inspired by the famous Cal Pep tapas bar in Barcelona. Arrive early or be prepared to queue. Either way, it'll be worth it.Barrafina, 54 Frith St, London W1D 4SL

Best For A Meal With Friends: Brindisa
Known for importing its ingredients directly from producers in Spain, you won't find a shortage of quality on Brindisa's menu of tapas classics. With more of a restaurant feel than some other joints, it's a good bet for bigger get togethers. Its Borough Market and Brixton shops are also very good on stocking up for your own kitchen. Brindisa, 46 Broadwick St, London W1F 7AF, 020 7534 1690

Best For An Intimate Rendezvous: Copita
With its low lighting, relaxed atmosphere and tucked away location on quiet D'Arblay Street, Copita is something of a Soho haven for a secret lunch, afternoon drink or drawn out dinner. And judging by the amount of couples that fill out the benches, it also makes it very popular as a date spot. The dishes are tasty and interesting but you'll need quite a few to fill up. But then most diners have other things on their minds. Copita, 27 D'Arblay St, London W1F 8EP, 020 7287 7797

Best For A Blow-out: Salt Yard
Nearly 10 years old now, it could be said that Salt Yard was something of a forerunner of London's current tapas joint generation, and it remains one of the best. With a menu influenced by Italy as well as Spain but sourcing UK ingredients, it's always crowded for a reason. From the presentation through to the wine list, these guys really know what they're doing and a night here is always well spent. Salt Yard, 54 Goodge St, London W1T 4NA, 020 7637 0657

Best For A Good Time: Lobos (above)
This quirky new opening has taken a site under the railway arches next to Borough Market and tables and chairs are packed into every eccentric nook and cranny of its oddly industrial two-floor layout. It probably shouldn't work but it really does. Run by three friends who met while working at Brindisa, it's a real passion play where the owners' sheer commitment to you having a good time rubs off on everyone in the vicinity, creating a real buzz fuelled largely by a love of pork, sherry and red wine. Just be sure to order the Iberico selection (above), cooked authentically pink. Trust us on that one at least. Lobos,14 Borough High St, London SE1 9QG, 020 7407 5361

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