Throughout the past decade, Liverpool has seen a mushrooming of tapas joints opening up all over the city, adding many colours, textures and flavours to its already diverse culinary scene. Whether you're in the centre or in the trendy Baltic Triangle and Ropewalks districts of Liverpool, tapas bars and restaurants are ready to tempt you with an exciting selection of small plates – perfect for nibblers as well as for those who like variety. Tapas may have originated from Spain but it's celebrated all over the world today as a cuisine of its own. Tapear, the Spanish word that describes bar-hopping for tapas and drinks is very much a thing in Madrid as it is in Barcelona, so why not follow in the Spaniards' lead by doing the same across Liverpool? Tapas is certainly one of the best ways to experience the life of the city, as you will soon discover, and we're here to get you started by introducing you to the best tapas spots in Liverpool.
You might have heard of a few different theories about how tapas came into existence, and we're here to share our favourite ones. The most well-known legend dates all the way back to the 13th century when Castilian king Alfonso the 10th ruled. Word has it that he became ill and kept up his energy levels between meals with small portions of snacks and wine, which led to him passing a most unique law after his recovery – he decreed that all taverns had to serve small snacks along with alcohol, setting the foundation for how tapas is consumed in Spain today. Others believe that the origins of tapas didn't date so far back, but only before the 18th century, when innkeepers used to offer samples of dishes to their mostly illiterate guests atop a tapa (the Spanish word for ‘pot cover'). These small plates of ham or olives often doubled up as a lid, or tapa, which effectively kept dust or bugs away from drinks, giving rise to the birth of tapas culture. Find your nearest tapas restaurant in Liverpool and book a table now with Quandoo to savour the best of this amazing cuisine.
Among the most popular spots for tapas in Liverpool, Neon Jamon comes away as the winner with two convenient locations at Smithdown Place and on Berry Street. Known for its delectable Catalan-inspired dishes in a combination of small plates tapas and charcuterie, Neon Jamon was born out of a genuine passion for Spanish tapas and wines – and it ups the ante on this classic cuisine by oozing slick appeal through its edgy interiors and groovy soundtrack. Just when you think you've seen all the tapas restaurants in Liverpool, Roja Pinchos surprises you with its array of pintxos (Spanish for ‘spike') typical of the Basque region in northern Spain. Different to tapas, pintxos often comprise a small piece of vegetable, seafood or meat held together with a small piece of bread by a toothpick. With the wide assortment of tapas in Liverpool on offer, why not treat yourself to something new tonight? ¡Buen provecho!
First time having tapas and need advice on what to order? We generally suggest getting three to four small plates, although you may like to order more to try out different types if you're coming with a group. Together with aceitunas (‘olives'), the tortilla española (Spanish egg and potato omelette) makes for a great starter, after which we highly recommend the chorizo al vino, or classic chorizo sausages cooked in wine, as well as the gambas al ajillo (garlic-sauteed prawns). Wash them all down with a jug of sangria and you're set for a wonderful night out of delightful bites and merry conversation. Sounds like a plan? Look up a tapas restaurant in Liverpool now with Quandoo and get your reservation in – we promise you won't regret it!