Best Tapas in Sydney

Updated 8 months ago


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.

  • The sister venue to Lennox Hastie’s Firedoor is a celebration of the vibrant pintxos bars of northern Spain. The menu offers Australian ingredients with Basque-inspired touches, a taste of Spain via imported jamon iberico, and a drinks list that’ll change the way you feel about sherry.

  • Inside the Norfolk Hotel’s former sports bar is a vibrant wine nook inspired by the Barcelona suburb it’s named after. Expect a range of vermouths, plus mussels and chips, crackers topped with Cantabrian anchovies, and skewers cooked over a flat grill. From the team behind Love, Tilly Devine.

  • Housed behind one of Enmore Road’s most iconic facades, the Porteno Group’s beautiful tapas and wine bar draws inspiration from all over Europe, most notably Spain. Take a seat in the stunning mid-century space for house-cured snacks, charcoal-grilled meat and seafood, and plenty of Sangria.

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  • Bodega has joined up with Wyno, together the venue is now known as Wyno x Bodega. There’s a bigger focus on vino, a smaller menu and fan favourites, the fish fingers and banana spilt, are still available.

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  • At this late-night tapas joint inside Coogee Pavilion, you can walk in off the beach for seafood cooked on the plancha, buffalo mozzarella on lemon leaves, and cured meats paired with vermouth cocktails. One more of everything, please.

  • Jamón, morcilla schnitzel, brunch omelettes and Spanish wine by Tapavino.

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  • A surprisingly relaxed spot for a sophisticated vino.

  • Spanish cured meats, traditional cheeses and tapas.

  • This isn't strictly a tapas menu, but the range of Mediterranean-influenced share plates is spiritually close enough to be included here.

  • Eighty sherries and well-executed Spanish food to match.

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  • Boisterous and quiet. Modern and traditional. This Spanish restaurant is a beautiful dichotomy.

  • A standing-room-only tapas bar with mini cocktails and Spanish snacks.

  • The restaurant in Angel Place has whole rotisserie beasts, daily cheeses, an enviable wine list and charcuterie.

  • Cured meats, Spanish wine and tapas – you'll find all three at this spin-off to the long-standing Pitt Street restaurant of the same name.

  • The team behind some of Sydney’s best Mexican restaurants have swapped their usual schtick for Spain at this sumptuous wine and tapas bar. Flit around a menu that includes roasted scallops in saffron butter, and cheesy croquetas, and dip into a wine list championing NSW growers and women producers.