10 of the best tapas restaurants in Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 22 March 2016 | UPDATED: 18:20 22 March 2016
In Yorkshire, various excellent restaurants have gone out of their way to prove that small really is beautiful by creating some tantalising tapas. Here are ten you might like to try
You probably pride yourself on the tapas you make when you invite your friends around, put out a bowl of olives, some mixed cheese and slices of chorizo and pull the cork on a nice Rioja, writes Tony Greenway. But tapas is so much more than that. These days, it’s an entire cuisine: meatballs, pork and bean stew, deep-fried squid or whitebait, mussels, sausages in wine, bite-sized omelettes, mushrooms in garlic, Iberico ham, battered prawns, aubergine fritters... the list really does go deliciously on and on. Tapas can be served in individual small dishes, or as a shared platter.
It’s also very popular. So popular, in fact, that Spain’s tourist agency, Turespaña, recently announced that the third Thursday of every June will henceforth be known as — wait for it — World Tapas Day. ‘It is representative of our cuisine in miniature, is the focus of our most innovative chefs and because tapas is a word that is recognised in all major languages,’ explained Turespaña. But why wait until June? We reckon every day should be tapas day.
1884 Wine & Tapas Bar, Hull
Could tapas be big in Hull next year when the city becomes 2017 UK Capital of Culture? It already has a great tapas bar: 1884 Wine & Tapas, a sister venue to the hugely acclaimed 1884 Dock Street Kitchen. 1884 Wine & Tapas has been open less than a year, but already it’s a finalist in the Remarkable Restaurant category at the REYTA (Remarkable East Yorkshire Awards). I can’t tell you if it won, however: the winner was announced in mid-March, just after we went to press. Whatever happens, for 1884, the future looks bright — and tapas-shaped.
Ambiente, York and Leeds
Tim Sinclair, owner of the wonderful Ambiente tells me that his restaurant will (by the time you read this) have a Shared Shelf book club in place — something Ambiente used to do when it was based in Malton. Ambiente has three locations: two in York (on Goodramgate and Fossgate) and one in Leeds (on Calls Landing). Did I mention the tapas? It’s excellent. ‘Plus we’re sherry specialists here — and Spanish vermouth, too,’ says Tim. Get booking...
Elbareto, Chapel Allerton
Set in the lovely village atmosphere of Chapel Allerton, Leeds, Elbareto serves up authentic tapas — and it even runs a Spanish class, too. Olé. It’s like a little bit of Spain in the heart of Yorkshire.
La Oliva, Harrogate
Contemporary, comfortable and stylish, La Oliva in Harrogate can rustle you up some fabulous sharing boards: Spanish Iberian ham, chorizo and mixed cheese. Then there’s the chorizo in cider and the Salmorejo rabbit...
Ricci’s Tapas & Cicchetti, Halifax
You might know Dean Clough in Halifax as the place to see great art (that’s because it has a number of rather fine galleries) or theatre (it’s the home of Barrie Rutter’s Northern Broadsides) but you can also get excellent tapas there, courtesy of Ricci’s (aka Huddersfield-born Michael Ricci). Giles Coren, food critic of The Times came here last year, and thought it rather special and it does get glowing reviews. Although what’s Ciccheti, you might ask? They would be Venetian side dishes. Delicious.
The Kings Head, Barmby, Howden
Pub-style tapas including smoked duck breast, candied walnuts and redcurrant dressing or Anna’s sausages in honey, chilli & Henderson’s Relish
Lacasita Tapas Bar, Ilkley
Based in the town’s Victorian Arcade with a contemporary Spanish tapas accompanied by Flamenco guitarist Samuel Moore. Try it and report back to us.
Viva Cuba, Leeds
This Cuban themed tapas restaurant boasts a variety of awards alongside a vast menu including favourites such as Cuban bean stew, Mussles and Jalapeno peppers filled with cream cheese. The restaurants reputation combined with authentic atmosphere created by Cuban jazz violinist, Omar Puente, makes Viva Club one not to be missed.
Meson La Pepa, Huddersfield
Based in the gastro quarter in Huddersfield, this award winning restaurant has perfected the art of laid back traditional Spanish dining, with a menu featuring an array of both hot and cold tapas, Meson Le Pepa is a favourite place amongst locals to go for a traditional Spanish tapas meal.
Established for over 25 years, serving authentic Spanish tapas and fresh seafood on a short and concise, yet perfectly formed menu, Mediterranean restaurant possesses a Certificate of Excellence award for 2013.
Tapas Revolution, Sheffield
I’m going to stick my neck out with this one and say it’s worth a visit — even though, at the time of writing, it... er... hadn’t actually opened (although it will have done by the time you read this). Tapas Revolution is an all-day tapas bar in Meadowhall, Sheffield, and the brainchild of TV chef Omar Allibhoy (Masterchef, Sunday Brunch, The One Show, etc), who has opened other Tapas Revolutions in Birmingham and London. So, you may ask, why are we recommending a chain? Well, Allibhoy was trained by Ferran Adrià of the legendary (now closed) El Bulli, which was once the most acclaimed restaurant in the world and the proud owner of three Michelin stars; plus the man from The Guardian said: ‘I can’t recommend Tapas Revolution highly enough’.