This post is brought to you by Tapas Journey, the new 10-day tapas festival where select Toronto restaurant will be offering 3 tapas items plus an Estrella Damm for just $20. Running from August 14th to the 23rd, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to try some of Toronto’s best tapas restaurants!
Tapas have been all the rage for quite some time, and the fervor for small plates shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Estrella Damm and Post City Magazines are jumping on this trend and offering Toronto foodies ten days of tapas indulgences with the new Tapas Journey Festival. From August 14th (that’s today!) until August 23rd, 20 of Toronto’s top restaurants will be offering foodies a special tapas menu that includes three items plus one Estrella Damm beer, all for just $20. You’ll be receiving a “tapas passport” and collecting stamps as you go. To add to this sweet deal, there’s an even better incentive to try as many restaurants as you can and score stamps: Estrella Damm is giving away a trip to their gastronomy conference in Miami, featuring tapas legend Ferran Adrià. Hello tapas heaven.
In honour of the Tapas Journey, here are Vv Magazine’s five favourite tapas restaurants in Toronto—lucky for you we love Spanish pintxos, so we totally know what we’re talking about. You can thank us later.
Not only is Barsa Taberna a contemporary homage to a European city rife with centuries of cultural growth, the restaurant itself restores a piece of Toronto’s storied past to new school glory. The mix of cold, hot, and fried tapas lends itself to a social dining experience, though a small yet thoughtful selection of larger plates will woo selfish foodies who prefer to keep their forks and knives on their own plates.
Chef Stuart Cameron, executive chef for all Icon Legacy restaurants, never disappoints at the helm of famous Spanish eatery Patria, as well as hot spots Weslodge, Byblos, and NAO Steakhouse. His incredible talent has made Patria one of the city’s best Spanish tapas restaurants with authentic offerings ranging from the 36 Month Acorn-Fed Black-Hoof Jamón Ibérico to Pan Con Tomate. The essence of Spain is truly felt at this bustling brasserie.
By now, everyone has heard of Bar Raval, which opened earlier this year. Chef Grant Van Gameren is the talent behind both Bar Raval and Bar Isabel and while the latter produces top-notch tapas, it’s Bar Raval that wows Toronto with authentic yet creative Spanish tapas. With flavours straight out of Barcelona, you can expect to the full Spanish tapas experience here.
Carmen is a Queen West gem where the modern Spanish tapas are spectacular and full of flavor. The vibe is vibrantly colourful, making you feel like you stepped out of Toronto for the evening. Chef Luis Valenzuela is charming and although from Mexico originally, makes a mean Spanish paella. While the paella is well worth the 30-minute wait, it’s the tapas that drive the locals to this Spanish eatery a few times monthly. A return guest usually means a satisfied one.
No, Spanish tapas doesn’t come to mind when we think of Portland Variety as they produce a global offering of a variety of tapas. From the French cheese puffs to the Spanish patatas bravas to the daily variations of pintxos, these guys put out quality food in a very cozy yet cool setting. Service is mostly great and the vibe makes you want to settle in and never leave.
Did we miss any of the best tapas restaurants in Toronto? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.