Sometimes, Yelp is on point.
A rather unassuming- looking West Village haunt I found online, Café Espanol is by far one of the best places for tapas in NYC. It’s not flashy, and nothing on the menu has a “twist”; it’s just really quality, homemade Spanish cuisine. The place is nestled between possibly 785 other bars and restaurants, and the entrance is itty-bitty, but it opens up to a wonderfully-sized place with a couple different rooms to diffuse the chatter.
Order half a pitcher of sangria, because that’s all you’ll need. You can go traditional Spanish and order tapas, which is my favorite, or do a full meal. Mondays are Lobster night, but on my most recent visit, my friend and I still did tapas. My personal favorite is the gambas al ajillo, (just make sure you’re well-acquainted with your friend across from you, because the garlic sauce is no joke). There’s also a combination plate of jamon serrano, chorizo and manchego that’s not to be missed, and an enormous plate of patatas bravas that’ll definitely clear your sinuses (and also make a great base for all the leftover garlic sauce from the gambas al ajillo, just saying…) Three tapas for two people to split to too few, and five is too many, so I’d shoot for four (Or you could just go ham, no pun intended, and order basically everything, whatever works!). Plus, Café Espanol leaves the bread out on the table for you when you arrive, with the undoubtedly the best homemade Spanish olive oil in existence for you to drown it in.
Your relentless search for quality tapas has now ended. Seriously, it’s addictive (Thank me later).
172 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012