Tapas: a variety of snacks or small plates, they could be cold (like a cheese or olive plate) or warm (like calamari) and they are meant to be enjoyed socially and easily shared. Derived from the Spanish verb, tapar which means “to cover”, the original tapas were served in Spain; a slice of bread as an accompaniment to wine and cover the glass between sips. Before long meat and cheese were being served as well and that expanded into a small plates options that varied depending the region. In Spain lunch is typically the big meal of the day and dinner is customarily eaten between 9 and 11pm so tapas or smaller sized portions are a popular option for this meal.
Tapas style restaurants have spread to the United Sates serving Spanish cuisine as well as American and Asian themed small plates. Usually offering a generous wine and/or cocktail menu and a hip atmosphere, tapas restaurants and bars have become trendy hot spots.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite Tapas spots around the country:
New York – Pipa 38 E 19th St. 212-677-2233
Los Angeles – Tasca Wine Bar 8108 W 3rd St. 323-951-9890
San Francisco – Cha Cha Cha 1801 Haight St 415-386-5758
Chicago – Twist 3412 N Sheffield Ave. 773-388-2727
D.C. – Cork 1720 14th St NW 202-265-2675
So whether you’re looking for a late night snack, a cool place to have a sophisticated gathering for friends, or have a small bite while enjoying drinks, tapas might be just what you’re looking for. Fair warning though, small plates don’t necessarily mean small prices, so whenever possible take advantage of the happy hour.
- Tapas (Take One) (thegrassskirtblog.com)
- Toro Lounge – Tapas in Downtown Bremerton (silverdale-revealed.com)
- Recipe for Tapas Salad with Grilled Bell Peppers, Olives, and Capers (kalynskitchen.com)
- Review Zarautz Taberna Vasca in Barcelona, Spain (friendseat.com)