Cigala is a small neighbourhood Spanish restaurant found at 54 Lamb's Conduit Street in London’s Bloomsbury area. At such a location, Cigala is frequented by legal and publishing professionals. Celebrities are (not) spotted there having incognito drinks and tapas. Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster would go there if they weren’t otherwise occupied. But why? Cigala isn’t flashy. And that’s it – Cigala discreetly offers some of the most authentic Spanish food around, made using the best ingredients, often imported directly from Spain. Then there’s the wine.
- Monday 12:00 - 22:45
- Tuesday 12:00 - 22:45
- Wednesday 12:00 - 22:45
- Thursday 12:00 - 22:45
- Friday 12:00 - 22:45
- Saturday 12:30 - 22:45
- Sunday 12:30 - 21:45
Cigala’s owner is also Cigala’s chef. Jake Hodges, formerly of Moro in Clerkenwell,
has created a haven for lovers of authentic Spanish food and wine that is modest in
manner. An unostentatious oasis in the heart of busy Bloomsbury, Cigala is a haven
for the media types (and, yes, celebrities) who frequent the area. But don’t make the
mistake of thinking that Cigala is exclusively for London’s elite. Far from it, Cigala’s
affordable prices means that at 54 Lamb's Conduit Street, infamous tapas, paella
and more are well within reach.
The incredibly well-researched, informative wine list is a strong contender for being the most extensive Spanish selection around Bloomsbury or indeed in London. At Cigala’a 54 Lamb's Conduit Street premises, lesser-known Spanish whites are lined up against the reds you’d expect – plus a handful you wouldn’t – and the list runs through to cava, sherries, rosado, brandies and liqueurs. Deserving of our thanks, Cigala has also efficiently whiled away the years developing an in-house list of Spanish cocktails, should the wine selection prove just too intimidating.
Excellent food, service and environment as ever. We had a selection of tapas, which were very delicious especially the calamari and the black pudding. Highly recommended.
This is a wonderful Spanish restaurant with fabulous tapas as well as main meals. The wine and sherry is well priced and selected. Good value in a smallish restaurant with friendly staff and good atmosphere.
This is my third time at Cigala and, for this occassion, I brought a former colleague from Sweden and his wife. They loved the atmosphere and the food and it is situated on such a lovely street. Thanks, Jeanne
Relaxed service, welcoming atmosphere, great food. We were here for a friend's birthday, at the end of a long week, soaked from the rain. The restaurant was warm and busy but yet relaxed. There was no rush, in the service, or in the flow of people. As far as I could tell, all the tables lingered over their food and drinks, generally unwinding. Highly recommended.
Cigala is a lovely space, set in a great location, serving excellent food. Service is relaxed, friendly and efficient and the menu offers a wide range of tapas and a great selection of main courses. There's a fabulous wine bar opposite for an aperitif and a superb pub with a range of ales a little way down the street. That said, Cigala's drinks menu is great as well, with some nice wines and a good selection of sherries to complement their Spanish dishes. The pan con tomate is consistently and mouthwateringly good and the coliflor frita (served with aioli) is a stand-out dish.
The food at Cigala is excellent. Good ingredients, well cooked, elegantly and simply presented. The tapas are great, they also have a set menu lunch and dinner and a la carte. I had the grilled calamare a la plancha with mojo verde - nicely caramelised and beautifully presented, Bacalao fritters with aioli, Ensalata primavera and Chicken livers sauteed in Pedro Ximenez sherry - sweet, rich and unctuous. Pudding - a very rich dark chocolate and almond cake/tart thing was delicious. Good house red. Bread and olive oil was very nice but a £3 extra. Cost and service let the occasion down a bit. Over £50 for tapas seems a bit much to me and then they add on "discretionary service" daring you to take it off. I may have been unlucky with the lad who was looking after me - he seemed new and nervous. Aside from dropping things, he seemed to forget a lot of things - his bill pad twice, to take the order , to get the water, to bring a bill. Either service is a fixed cost in which case it is non discretionary - fine, lets just be clear about that. Or it is genuinely discretionary for good service - in which case don't presume to put it on the bill.
What initially seemed like a quiet little understated venue turned out to be an excellent Spanish restaurant with a cool buzzy feel. Steeped in an overall authenticity to the cuisine and the surroundings, it was my first visit to Cigala but not my companions who were very happy to return when I told them of my booking it. We shared a number of tapas plates with Sherry and Red Wine accompaniments. After devouring everything we moved on to a heavenly mixed platter of deserts. I am sure I'm late to discovering Cigala on one of London's coolest streets - Lamb Conduit, but I'm glad I've found it now.
This was our second visit to Cigala, and even more pleasant than the first! We came with a friend who was born and grew up in Malaga, Spain, and who enjoyed the food. The four of us were very happy with our shared tapas, with the excellent and friendly service, and with the relaxed atmosphere. We wish we could return one more time before flying back to the US, and we will be looking forward to returning to London--and especially to Cigala! Thanks!
We ate at 8 PM on a Saturday, so were not expecting peace and quiet. But it was very raucaus, to the point where the meal was spoilt. The restaurant badly needs to soften the interior walls and ceiling, both of which are hard surfaces. Nothing to be done about the glass walls, of course. So be warned this is not a relaxed venue. The two servers were polite and only got one dish wrong, tho to be fair another server was badly needed, either that or a table clearer, which job the servers were also doing. The food was mixed in quality - with the salads being tasty and creative. Excellent Spanish wine list. Give Cigala a try if you like for lunch during the week, but definitely avoid crowded times. It would also help if certain patrons could be mindful of their own contribution to the noise level; one table of well-dressed 20 somethings were hooting like they were in a pub on a Friday after work.
Cigala is one of the most delightful restaurants which I know. The staff are so welcoming, which, when combined with the perfect Tapas (which is what we always have), makes for a relaxed and celebratory atmosphere. The cooking is wonderful, and a real sense of fresh, home cooking. There's no where in London where you can get better Spanish cuisine; we were there to celebrate an anniversary, and it was lovely.
We had a lovely dinner at Cigala. The atmosphere was lively and the place was packed so we were glad we had reservations. We had the octopus, the grilled squid, the crab, the razor clams, the aubergine and the lamb meatballs. Everything was very tasty and well prepared. My only (small) gripe is that the service was not particularly attentive. No one ever came to our table to take care of us spontaneously. Instead we had to flag a waiter/waitress down for everything - menu, extra tapas order, check. However, once we did flag someone down they took care of what we needed quickly.
Pleasant restaurant with authentic Spanish food and atmosphere. We picked it because it was not yet another Tapas bar. We had Jamon Serrano and Manchega cheese with some an excellent glass of Rioja and some Bacala fish cakes to start with. The Jamon was"OK" but bearing in mind the price, it was good value and we did not go for the Jamon Iberico which is obviously better but you pay £25 for it. It's not cheap in Spain either ! The bacalao fish cakes were very good. The Paella de Mariscos was pretty good; perhaps a bit overcooked. Have had better in Spain and you'd expect that but I thought it was very good at least by English standards. The Spanish bread and Olive oil were both excellent. The service was extremely good. The wines were very good. We were happy !
Cigala was recommended by a work colleague as a good place to take my parents, now in their 70s. It was great, a super menu with a good choice of wines but still accessible for people with more traditional tastes. It was busy, but not excessively so - still able to comfortably hold a conversation and on a lovely street. Good value too. A definite go again.
Maybe I was just lucky - it was a warm day and I met an old friend at an outside table. The waiter was not the fastest, but I didn't care. His attitude was friendly and cheerful, he recommended exactly the wine that touched the spot with both of us, the simple menu delivered things that were prepared to perfection. I had a marinaded chicken kebab to start, and then sea bass (said it was simple). I stayed a long time, and there was never a hint that I should pay the bill and move on. Works for me.
Always like Cigala...but I should have stayed with the tapas... the paella was too filling and a little too salty and I would have preferred coming away feeling hungry (slightly) rather than worn out and unable to move. But that said I still enjoyed it and, as ever the staff were pleasant and welcoming. Nice glass of sherry too.
Service was slow and the atmosphere was non-existent. They also do this awful thing of adding the service charge on the bill as standard. I know a lot of restaurants do this but come on, at least make sure 1) your service is not slow 2) your waiters/ waitresses know what the food on your menu is like (my waitress couldn't advise on a dish) 3) your restaurant offers a pleasant atmosphere (no music in the place, bare walls with no decor) 4) you actually welcome us when we enter your restaurant Food was very good but sick and tired of restaurants expecting a service charge when the service is nowhere near deserving this.
A very relaxed lunch time. Five tapas between two of us served us very well at lunchtime and they were all as good quality as ever. Cigala is always a good lunchtime choice and has a level of authenticity that makes for a great experience.
It was a very busy Saturday night, and it was clear the staff were struggling to cope. However, we chose from the Xmas special tapas menu, and enjoyed some excellent new dishes. Cigala remains one of our favourite restaurants in the heart of Bloomsbury.
Wonderful food. Delightful services and atmosphere. In reverse order, aromatic coffee, evocative leche fritta, perfect lentils, fragrant stuffed artichokes, toothsome deep-fried fennel ... you get the picture; the kind of Tapas, where every dish is a world to itself. This is one of the great London restaurants. But don't go if you want glitz, glamour, or some kind of pretentious eating experience. This is pure food, and it's like being at home .
Very lovely evening at Cigala again. Had the tapas selection and enjoyed a great variety of textures and flavours. Only downside was being a bit too close to the door which wasn't great on a freezing evening. Mainly though, lovely.
Cigala was for many years one of my favourite restaurants and although the food is still excellent, since the recent change of ownership, the service is utterly shocking. This is my third visit in the past month ; I am obviously a glutton for punishment and the service has got worse each time. It too 2.5 hours to serve us one course and I had to ask for coffee three times before it was served. The manager offered some compensation by not charging for the coffee or bottled water but it was still a very disappointing evening.
The food was excellent save from a small amount of shell in the crab and scallop dishes. It was a Christmas lunch but drunk guests exacerbated the poor acoustics. My guess is that this level of noise is flying in the face of health and safety for the staff but many restaurants seem to suffer from it. Our host has tinnitus which was difficult. Having said that I'd certainly go back at a quieter time.
We went to La Cigala to celebrate our daughter's birthday and all four of us really enjoyed the evening: great and unpretentious atmosphere, fantastic food, friendly and unfussy service. Highly recommended.
I haven't been to Cigala in over 10 years but have recommended it to colleagues and it continues to delight! Quality food and attentive service makes this establishment worth visiting !
The service was amazing, friendly and warm. The starters were also good but the seafood paella was a bit disappointing (as a Spanish person I have high standards, so I cannot expect the same quality I know). However the weekend menu deal is great! Deserts are amazing, tried Almond cake and Walnut cake and they were both super yummy! Would recommend it and would like to try A la carte dished next time!
With a pleasant atmosphere and eclectically good Mediterranean Spanish food, this restaurant offers a rustic and provincial Spanish cuisine that few other places provide. Decor is plain and you'll look hard to find any of the usual Iberian kitsch. Combined with a striking wine list that reaches beyond the usual rioja-a-go-go, you're in for a culinary delight. All that keeps it short of perfection is that the service could be a bit sharper.
The food was fresh as it was lunchtime, no feeling of reheated food. Inventive and filling. I strongly recommend Cigala. Also Lamb's Conduit Street which is one of London's best and most secret shopping streets.
First, full marks as they were v helpful as I booked the wrong week, but they squeezed us in anyway! Have been here on and off for many years, since it opened, being close to my former work. Lots of things for a piscatarian and full vegetarians. We had one of each. We had tapas, which suited. Interesting wines from the Basque region. Not too expensive. A very successful evening.
Cigala is always an excellent place for lunch - the tapas or set lunch is perfectly sized, meaning that you eat well (and very authentically) but emerge well-set for the afternoon. Good, straightforward Spanish cooking.
We have been to Cigala a few times now, the food excellent as always, the staff are polite very friendly. Would highly recommend. Look forward to our next visit.
Decentish food. Mrs Y had the set menu which came with the rarest lamb I have ever seen. Don't get me wrong, I like my meat rare but bleating on the plate is a bit too much even for me. My tapas was decent. Pud was abut minimalistic to say the least. Dense Almond cake with a sniff of cream - tasty but not earth shattering. Overall a decent place but compared to Mancunian outlets knocking out top notch Spanish grub- barely comparable- sorry to say!
Really enjoyed our Tapas at Cigala. Excellent, swift service- every plate was delicious, with really good Cava and wine. We shared a cheese platter and a pudding between the five of us. Highly recommended
Cigala is always pleasantly busy, food is great, wines too and staff is friendly, knowledgeable and the whole experience makes you want to coma back again real soon!
Cigala was a really great place to stay. We did enjoy the tapas party with great atmosphere and nice cocktails! Bet we will go back later on.
Our table pushed into corner, difficult to get in and out without pushing and pulling and none of us large! We asked for all (various from all sections) to come together, but the Dover sole came 25 mins later, was not gutted and was uncooked; it came back reassembled, patched up, cooked but still not gutted. The apology was circumspect. A pity as most of the food was entirely delicious. Spoiled by the bad cooking of the expensive sole
Great food. All dishes were tasty and filling,despite only ordering a couple of starters each. LOVED the spinach. The only issue is that as it's Dry January having only sweet fizzy drinks or water available was a tad disappoint. A zero alcholhol beer (that the Spanish do so well) would have been great. BUT the food is lovely and that's the main thing.
My fifth visit to Cigala and another lovely paella. I have only been disappointed with this restaurant once, and that time I didn't have the paella!
We had wonderful time at Cigala. Best paella had in London so far and very good portion, especially the black squid paella that is so delicious!
I love this place and have dined here often. This last occasion did not disappoint. Tasty and authentic food, great sherries and wines from Spain, excellent service and a good atmosphere combine to make this a go to. Good value for money in my view. I will be back again and again.
Cigala is a eeal gem. Excellent food, friendly service, great place. We all really enjoyed ourselves. The wine was fantastic too. We would definitely go again.
Have eaten at Cigala several times. Always have experienced great food and service, reminds me of some very special meals in various parts of real Spain.
Service could be better, but then they always seem short-staffed in Cigala. Food was delicious and very filling. The tapas is over-priced and the bread portion seems to have been cut.
I hadn't been to Cigala since I worked in the area over 5 years ago. If anything the food is better than I remembered. Fresh, authentic and tasty. Highly recommended.
The starters are generous and very delicious. You could almost just order a selection of them and feel full but then you would be missing the astounding paella. On this occasion we were too full for pudding which was a shame but there is always next time! Lovely service too.
Excellent food as always, good list of interesting Spanish wines, and friendly service. Cigala remains on my "must dine" list every time I visit London.
Cigala is a lovely neighbourhood restaurant where service is relaxed yet assured, and the food is always good. I only wish it was my neighbourhood!
As ever, we had a lovely evening at Cigala. A really comfortable, relaxed environment, with excellent, attentive (but not overbearing) service and consistently great food.
The tapas was fresh, interesting and presented well. There was also a good selection of desserts. In summary it was a very enjoyable meal. I would certainly recommend Cigala.
The service was great - knowledgeable and pleasant. The food was really terrific. Two things stopping it getting a 6, were the high cost of a small carafe of wine, and it was small, and the general lack of evening atmosphere. Great place to eat when you are visiting the Curzon Bloomsbury. I shall definitely go back.
Our party of 4 enjoyed all the tapas that we ordered. It was well cooked, hot and well seasoned. The service was good although a bit slow at times but the restaurant was busy. I would certainly go back again to try the set menu. JB