Since the late 80s, Holloway’s El Molino has been ahead of the curve when it comes to the current craze for Spanish tapas that has only recently achieved real prominence in London. Located up Holloway Road, El Molino does everything Spanish, from tapas to mains, always using only the finest and freshest ingredients, and always at prices that suit everybody’s budgets. As veterans, El Molino can afford to quietly offer up some of the best Spanish in London.
El Molino has long been a default destination for Holloway locals looking for an after-work drink with a Spanish twist, or with students seeking out good eats at prices that won’t break the bank. El Molino has been on Holloway Road since the 80s, and is one of those restaurants that is simply integral to the local landscape. The fare is unpretentious (a blessing in the current tsunami of trendy tapas bars in London) and authentically Spanish. Rustic meat and fish dishes sit comfortably alongside steaming paella, proper tapas crafted by the head chef, and a standalone vegetarian menu that does Iberian wonders to the freshest produce available.
Besides the wide-ranging regular menus, El Molino’s chef’s specials are of particular note. There’s simple, Spanish-tinged T-bone steaks, grilled seabass, and lamb shanks, plus an extra-special dish called lenguada mar y terra. This last takes fresh Dover sole and submits it to a distinctive Spanish treatment involving mushrooms, garlic, and wine. Proper Spanish cuisine, and tapas, is deceptively simple, and it’s this rustic approach, plus welcoming premises along Holloway Road, that has made El Molino’s name in London’s Spanish dining scene. Something of a Holloway institution by now, El Molino is also a popular spot for private hire, be it for birthdays, weddings, functions, or even a Christmas feast (perfect for injecting a little bit of Spanish sunshine into our annual midwinter proceedings).
Very friendly welcome and attentive staff through the evening. We did not feel rushed with our food. Food was amazing as always we went for a mix of tapas, all came out hot and very delicious. We have been coming to El Molino for the last 9 years and plan to continue to bring our friends and family for many years to come. There is a lovely relaxed atmosphere making everyone feel welcome.
Excellent tapas - the croquettes de Bacalao (cod) were particularly good. Warm atmosphere. Pleasant staff. Would certainly come again (as a pre-match lunch or early dinner)
El Molino special tapas starter was perfect for two. The patatas bravas were excellent and cheese delicious. The steak was tender and the sauce flavoursome. The lamb chops well done. The torta de Santiago was perfect and we loved that there was Cruzcampo. Will definitely go again. Aiming for Christmas Day.