We’ll admit, when the tapas craze began to sweep Ireland a few years back, we were sceptical. Now, however, we can’t get enough.
What’s not to like about going out and experiencing about five (at least) different meals at once?
It’s even better if you go witha big gang as there’s never a shortage of food and drink to discuss.
Below, for your reading pleasure, we’ve compiled some of our favourite tapas joints around the country.
Which one will you be crossing off your list first?
1. Cava Bodega, Galway
A firm favourite for any Galwegians in the know. Cava offers the freshest local produce, with over 50 regional tapas to choose from on their menu.
2. Picaderos, Maynooth
A popular destination with courting students from the nearby university. The Argentine and Spanish-themed menu is highly recommended.
3. Las Tapas, Greystones
The chorizo and chicken paella is a must-try but there’s plenty more on the menuto keep everyone happy.
4. The Olive Tree, Waterford
You’ll get serious attention to detail in every single dish at The Olive Tree. Combining local delicacies with some of Spain’s best tapas, the menu is as diverse as it is massive. Their ‘Tacos Bravas’ are the clear winner, however – a taco fries take on patatas bravas topped with manchego cheese. Unbelievable scenes!
5. Black Cat, Salthill
What more could you want than tapas and jazz by the sea? One of Galway’s best kept secrets, Black Cat have a wide range of tapas with everything Greek to Mediterranean as well as Irish tapas and a heavy emphasis on seafood. Amazing presentation in this place – the plates look so pretty you almost don’t want to eat the stuff, almost.
6. Il Padrino, Cork
Technically an Italian restaurant but they also do some mean Spanish and Mediterranean tapas. Amazing calamari, and a goat’s cheese salad that has far more cheese than green bits – always a winner!
7. The Port House, Dublin
Along with its sister restaurants in Temple Bar and Dundrum, this South William Street haunt is almost compulsory if you’re visiting the capital.
Don’t dare leave with out trying their signature churros for desert.
8. Las Rada Wine & Tapas Bar
You can expect whopper portions at Las Rada. They’ve put an Irish spin on some more traditional Spanish tapas dishes for anyone feeling adventurous. Try the scallops with Clonakilty black pudding or the roasted red peppers stuffed with salmon and crab for something a little different.
9. Pimento, Carlow
If you’re in the town just as well but if you happy to be driving across the Leinster with a fierce hunger, this placeis ideal to break up your journey. Great service and even better food.
10. Knox, Sligo
This O’Connell Street joint possesses an ideal atmosphere for a night out with family or friends. Plenty on the menu for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.
11. Jacques, Cork
This snug little restaurant serves up perfect tapas and Mediterranean sharing plates. They’ve been in the business for over 30 years so there’s no messing around here, just great food at brilliant prices.
Jacques Cork Meatboard on tapas menu tonight.. Yum!! pic.twitter.com/SldKXf8dnL
— Eithne Barry (@eithnebarry) April 22, 2014