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Five of the best tapas restaurants in the North

3 years ago

Tapas joints in the UK have had a bad rap over the years. While there have always been excellent examples here in the North, diners are more discerning now than ever. Not content with cheap and cheerful chains offering generic dishes, it’s all about authentic regional specialties and playful interpretations these days. Whether it’s Catalan, Basque, Portuguese or upmarket Manc-Spanish fusion that’s your jam, it’s all covered in five of our favourites.

  • El Gato Negro, the much-praised Spanish restaurant on King Street, Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    El Gato Negro Manchester


    El Gato Negro is an upmarket Manc-Spanish fusion restaurant that really, really works. Originally from Yorkshire, chef Simon Shaw has created an indulgent, three-storey church to his passion for the best in Spanish food and wine.

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  • Outside dining at Porta Altrincham - a tapas restaurant recommended by Confidential Guides

    Porta Altrincham

    Restaurant - European

    Spanish small plates and a menu that really delivers. Porta Altrincham might be another tapas place – but this one is a smash hit serving excellent food and fine wines.

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  • Tapas at Lunya, a Catalan restaurant and deli in Liverpool.
    Liverpool City Centre



    World-class Catalan deli and restaurant Lunya is a wonderful place to hang out, with tapas and full-bodied meals on offer. Just don’t expect predictable options in a venue known for signature dishes like Catalan Scouse (morcilla and chorizo stew), or croquetas with oxtail and horseradish mousse.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Evuna Manchester Deansgate

    Bottle Shop

    October 2003 saw the first of the four Evunas open, grabbing a prime position on Deansgate and a reputation for being a go-to place for Spanish cuisine. Plenty of exposed brick, wine-lined walls and low, dark lighting all add to the atmosphere, perfect for cosying up over those authentic small plates.

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  • Bruschetta at El Rincon de Rafa, a Spanish restaurant in Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    El Rincon de Rafa

    Restaurant - Spanish

    This Manchester institution was a much-respected destination for Spanish food long before tapas became a common sight in the city centre.

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  • Tapas dishes at Evuna, a Spanish restaurant in Knutsford, Cheshire
    Book Now Knutsford

    Evuna Knutsford


    Evuna Knutsford brings together playful Spanish tapas dishes and an excellent wine offering.

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