Sydney used to have a Spanish quarter on Liverpool and Pitt streets in the city. There was a club and a good selection of restaurants. It’s almost all gone now but one restaurant, the best of the lot, Encasa, has lived on.

This half-deli, half-tapas bar in Lane Cove is Encasa’s north-side sibling. On the deli side you’ll find bocadillos, cured meat, canned fish and coffee. Behind it there’s a thin alley of wooden tables, share plates of home-style cooking, and, right at the back, the restaurant’s own Spanish wine bar. Here it’s strictly what you’d find in a Spanish home or a neighbourhood tapas bar.

If you’re here for the latter, settle in for tapas dishes including pork and beef meatballs swimming in tomato sauce; lightly battered calamari with a rich squid-ink aioli; beef cheeks soft enough to warrant the use of a spoon; and bravas, fried potato smothered in aioli and spicy salsa. All of the imported jamon, cheeses and anchovies sold out front are available too.

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Updated: March 8th, 2023

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