The word "tapas" comes from the Spanish verb tapar, which means "to cover". And safe to say, Sydney is well and truly covered with share plates from the Iberian peninsula.
It's not hard to see why. Eating tapas is fun. There's usually something for everyone: patatas bravas are basically incognito hot chips; jamon and chorizo tick all of the cured-meats boxes; and olives, meatballs, fried squid and sardines will round everything out. Tapas is a great way to be adventurous and try new things. If you don't like what you've ordered, there's only a small plate of it, and you've hedged things by ordering a healthy amount of classics.
Traditionally, tapas in Spain are served with alcohol. Whether that is to curb drinking or facilitate more of it is uncertain. But the places in this guide hew pretty close to custom. That's why many of the best tapas places in Sydney work double time as some of the best small bars you can find in the city too.