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5.4 /6 Excellent 164 Reviews

Mar I Terra

Southwark Spanish, Tapas ££ +100
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About Mar I Terra

Please contact the restaurant directly for bookings of more than six people.

London’s craze for Spanish tapas is in full flower by now, but Mar I Terra is a rare spot down Southwark’s Gambia Street where you can indulge in the delectable, shareable Iberian small plates within easy distance of public transport (Southwark tube station and Waterloo East), and a whole host of the capital’s cultural landmarks: the Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre, the Imperial War Museum. That said, many find that a prelude to sightseeing spent at Mar I Terra turns into a long, languorous afternoon during which Spanish wine and tapas tend to trump plans for a walking tour. You’ve been warned.

Opening Hours

  • Monday 12:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 22:30
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 22:30
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 22:30
  • Thursday 12:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 22:30
  • Friday 12:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 22:30
  • Saturday 18:00 - 22:30
  • Sunday Closed
Mar I Terra, 14 Gambia Street, SE1 0XH London

Further Information

Classic tapas, postres y queso, vinos. The first is famous, and needs little introduction. The second translates to desserts and cheeses, another coup for this rather special Southwark Spanish tapas bar, while the third is our familiar friend wine. Starting with Mar I Terra’s wine is a very good place to start indeed, and here, tucked away down London’s Gambia Street, just south of the river, you’ll find a fully annotated wine list referencing a cellar amply stocked with fantastic vintages from suppliers that know Mar I Terra’s proprietors – and diners – well. Add to this an equally informed selection of authentic Spanish brandies and liqueurs and you’ve got liquid refreshment covered.

And Mar I Terra’s boutique offering just keeps on giving, with a renowned cheese board laden with aged Manchego, Picos Azul and the Catalan goats’ cheese Carat, served with crackers, grapes, membrillo (a quince jelly), fig and almond bread, and intended – as for tapas – to be shared amongst friends and family. Lest we forget the main event at this Southwark tapas bar, Mar I Terra’s small plates offer a comprehensive picture of Iberian cuisine – starters, meat and fish dishes that are liable to change with the season, just as we like it. A highlight is undoubtedly the specially imported jamon Iberico, a lightly salted, long-aged (for up to three years) ham made from free-range, acorn-foraging black foot pigs in the hinterlands of Salamanca. It’s silky texture and complex, nutty flavour is unlike anything we’ve yet sampled in London’s many tapas bars.

CHEF'S CHOICE

164 Reviews

5.4 /6 Excellent 164 Reviews
Waiting Time: no waiting time
Food: heavenly
Noise: quiet
Quality/Price: cheap
Atmosphere: excellent
Service: extraordinary
87 6
56 5
16 4
2 3
2 2
1 1
1 review so far 6
21.05.2017 05:34

as ever, an excellent restaurant in terms of food and ambience. no hesitation to recommend. the chorizo and kale is probably my favourite dish - stiff competition though!

1 review so far 6
23.04.2017 18:42

A Warm welcome and an authentic menu. We were Very well looked after. The decor is clean and not over-polished. A little gem that I'm glad I found.

1 review so far 6
18.03.2017 08:09

Authentic Spanish cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. The staff were attentive without hovering, the food was reasonably priced, and the background music was perfect. I Would definately reccommend this restaurant.

1 review so far 6
04.03.2017 07:51

Lovely place. Great food and service. We always go here after an evening at the Tate Modern which is five minutes. Well priced for all budgets.

1 review so far 5
15.08.2015 23:54

Excellent food, attentive service, great atmosphere. Mar I Terra serves authentic Spanish tapas in a great little restaurant with a family run feel. The only let down was the sangria that tasted like sherbert, presumably due to an overload of sugar but every dish we had, which was about half those on the menu, was great. Will definitely return here next time we're in Southwark. Only a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the Southbank, Tate Modern & Globe Theatre but so different in atmosphere from the chain outlets near them. Truly a hidden gem set as it is in a quiet little side street.

2 reviews so far 6
08.10.2015 11:56

A real find! I met my son and daughter for a delightful lunch of tapas in this little restaurant tucked away in a back street near Southwark Tube station. We were warmly welcomed by Rafa and his team. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, but the service was very good. And, without exception, every tapas dish we ordered was delicious. I will definitely definitely be going to Mar I Terra regularly from now on.

1 review so far 6
08.11.2016 13:24

Mar I Terra; cosy and friendly, with superb food --- but reasonable prices. The tapas selection is really very good. This is an excellent local family restaurant. There used to be lots like this in London forty years ago, but I thought they had all gone now. How glad I am to be wrong!

1 review so far 2
23.06.2015 09:56

Had so many people recommend this restaurant and so with expectations of smooth service, fabulous tapas and place for a family celebration I headed for a great meal. What I got for the money I paid was average, sorry guys at Mar I Terra, but maybe 'back in the day' your reputation was deserved but it's a once only experience for me. Food was OK but nothing to blow you away - portions were small but at the higher price level and service was again OK but not worth the tip I paid, as often I was left straining my hand like a kid at the back of the class, seeking the teachers attention - understandable if it was busy but the place was empty - that should have been a clue. My view is if you want a bottle of wine after work and something to nibble then probably OK, if you want an authentic tapas experience you'll be disappointed!

1 review so far 5
23.10.2016 09:26

Our first visit ( even though the restaurant has been going for 17 years!). Only a few tables occupied when we arrived just after 6pm on a Saturday for an early dinner after the theatre but soon filled up resulting in a lovely buzzy atmosphere. All the staff seem to be Spanish, friendly and efficient. Good selection of tapas and a couple of daily specials - all reasonably priced in our view. Not as upscale and 'trendy' as Brindisa and Barrafina ( of which we are big fans) but in a way all the more enjoyable for that. It genuinely felt like being in a Spanish tapas bar. This will definitely be on our regular list from now on.

1 review so far 6
28.01.2017 23:35

We discovered the place by accident...... and now keep going back and going back..... the food is great, people are very friendly, atmosphere is like being at home (but you don't have to do the cleaning up)...... A huge thank you to everybody at Mar I Terra!!!!!

1 review so far 5
18.02.2016 10:47

A great, simple little restaurant slightly off the beaten track, serving basic tapas dishes cooked very well. A very interesting wine list with a lovely personal introduction at the start explaining the ethos behind their wine choices. I took great pleasure in perusing this for 10mins while I waited for my friend to arrive. The service was a little erratic (they forgot a couple of our dishes) but otherwise very pleasant and attentive. I'll definitely be returning, and hope to make this place a regular haunt.

1 review so far 6
05.07.2016 18:05

I think Mar e Terra is as good a tapas place as there is in London. The decor is basic but the tapas has more flavour and substance than anywhere I have been in the UK (try the Rabbit or Octopus - fantastic )and the wine list is brilliant for Spanish reds. Given that the service is great and genuinely Spanish (from Valencia I believe) it gets my vote.

1 review so far 6
30.01.2017 16:05

Returned to Mar i Terra after quite a while (moved offices) to find the food as excellent as ever; informal relaxed ambience, excellent range of tapas, including some good regional dishes, an extensive Spanish wine list and some very good puddings. Apparently (owner said) now very quiet at lunchtimes, but buzzing in the evenings. Nice place which has maintained a good standard, as a friendly family run place.

1 review so far 2
18.11.2015 08:26

The food and ambient were good until the waiter came to our table with 9 people to say that they needed that corner and asked us to move table or sit at the bar. We had already asked for the bill, but we're still eating our dessert and drinking our wine. The restaurant is not that spacious, so those 9 people were in the middle of the place starring at us and Mae the whole situation very uncomfortable for us and for them. They were a bit early for their booking, but it was not their fault as they were brought in to the restaurant by the waiter. We felt really bad and that we didn't even finished our dessert and finished our wine standing at the 'bar'. We spoke to the waiter and said that this was not the best way of conducting the situation as we had already asked for the bill, he just brought the card machine over for the payment to be made. Wish we had remembered to ask them to remove the 12.5% service charge, but all happened so quickly and made us feel very awkward. It was such a shame, terrible ending to a very nice meal.

3 reviews so far 6
10.08.2016 12:16

Perfect lunch experience as always, helped on this occasion by beautiful weather and a table in the courtyard at the back! We had and heartily recommend the gambas al ajillo, pulpo a la feria, croquetas de pollo, Tortilla Española and habitas con jamon. And it would've been rude not to have had sherry and sangria alongside it! Decadent for a weekday lunch but worth it.

2 reviews so far 6
23.08.2016 12:28

I love the atmosphere here. I've been coming here for 8 years with my girlfriends, but not as often as we would like, but when we do come the service is perfect, as well as the food and ambiance. Also the house wine is extremely good too. I wonder why we leave it so long to go back? We are just disorganised, that's all...

1 review so far 6
20.08.2016 11:22

The food was delicious- traditional Spanish tapas. We had sardines, which were incredibly fresh and tasty, ham, patatas bravas, prawns in garlic which were outstanding and a few more dishes. We shared a dessert and were both stuffed, and had a £30 bottle of delicious Rioja- came to £100 altogether. We thought that was actually fair for the quality of food and service.

1 review so far 6
20.05.2016 11:49

Excellent food, service and ambiance. We have been on a number of occasions and recommended Mar I Terra to friends who have been and also had a very rnjoyable evening.

2 reviews so far 6
07.08.2016 10:29

A great tapas bar: we much enjoyed the beans and pata negra dish, the rabbit, the spinach with pine nuts and raisons, the octopus all preceded by a really good glass of Sherry, accompanied by a lovely bottles of the Galician house red and we finished with a slice of torta Santiago. Attentive service and well within our means.

2 reviews so far 5
06.05.2017 10:22

Even fully crowded the service was still good. The croquettes and tiger prawns were mouth watering as always and the chicken livers marinated in sherry were a special treat. Mar I Terra continues to impress.

1 review so far 6
19.11.2016 11:28

What a little gem!! We felt like we were transported into a bar in Spain. The service was amazing!! The waiters were attentive and helped with my poor pronouncation. The food was just perfect and I will definitely be returning because I want to try everything on the menu. Thank you very much for a fantastic evening xx

1 review so far 6
11.01.2016 08:05

Little Spanish tapas gem in the heart of London. The food was gorgeous, service attentive, atmosphere felt like we were in a little restaurant in Spain. My best London dining experience. For all those tapas lovers out there who are looking for a special night out with excellent food, wine and service - this place is a must😊.

1 review so far 6
07.01.2017 09:09

Great, authentic Spanish food. Wonderful service. We travel a long way to get to this restaurant because it's worth it. I would recommend Mar I Terra to anyone.

1 review so far 6
19.09.2015 16:49

This is a little gem, the tapas are very good, especially the chicken livers. The welcome from host and owner, Lee, and service from his team were lovely. If you're in Southwark, looking for a place that's individual i.e. not a chain, that let's the food do the talking, I highly recommend this place.

1 review so far 6
11.03.2016 07:43

Great food. A hidden gem. I would definitely recommend this restaurant. The staff are very friendly and helpful too. As a big group of 8 they were both accommodating and efficient. We tried nearly everything on the menu and it was all good. We especially loved the potato and Chorizo special.

1 review so far 6
19.02.2016 11:03

I been going to Mar i Terra for quite a few years. It's a good place to meet friends who want to sample authentic tapas and an authentic and relaxed Spanish vibe. The food is good, The service is attentive without being overbearing. And it's great value for money.

1 review so far 6
17.03.2016 08:53

Mar e terra is a bustling hearty venue with genuinely warm service and rustic flavoursome tapas. There is a small but well chosen wine list including 3 or 4 authentic sherries. And there is no time restriction on table occupation - increasingly a rarity in central London.

3 reviews so far 4
26.11.2016 01:12

Food fine, service OK, ambience so so. Lighting too bright, didn't enjoy being located next to loos, and whilst we enjoyed its authenticity, I feel it could do with a revamp. Didn't feel entirely welcome and it was clear when we were no longer required. Feel it needs to take a fresh look at itself (visited previously over the years, this latest visit, many years hence, a tad disappointing)

1 review so far 6
26.08.2016 08:28

We've been here many times before, including in its previous incarnation in Piccadilly. The food is excellent and authentic and the staff are efficient without being intrusive. There is also an extensive wine list. All this is achieved at reasonable prices. I recommend it unreservedly.

1 review so far 6
06.02.2016 12:05

Good food, good wine, lively atmosphere, genial owner. Not the cheapest you'll find, or the poshest or the most spacious, but very good quality, no disappointing dishes, and tapas portion sizes adequate not to make you feel you need to spend extra on too many.

3 reviews so far 5
25.03.2016 08:42

Very nice place. Waiting staff very friendly and always on hand if you need them. I have a dairy intolerance and was impressed when the waiter knew exactly what i could and couldn't have, without going back to the kitchen. Nice to know the staff are so knowledgeable. Some dishes far better than others.

1 review so far 5
12.06.2015 09:17

A nice, bustling atmosphere, perfect for a group of friends. The tapas was consistently very good, especially the chorizo and the prawns in garlic. The cheeseboard was decent enough but the portions a little skimpy. All in all, a really good evening in a relaxed environment with good quality food and service

1 review so far 4
11.08.2016 10:16

Nice atmosphere, sunny courtyard perfect for a summer evening, food was great especially the gambas, chorizo and boquerones - few things that let it down very slightly, didn't get the wine that we ordered until half way through eating our food and a 12.5% service charge was added to the bill, should be up to the customer not added on automatically. Overall would recommend :-)

2 reviews so far 6
25.11.2016 10:36

Lovely little restaurant. Atmosphere and food were great. Plenty of choice on the menu. Staff were very friendly. Reminded me of tapas places I had been to in Spain. Make sure you ask for the traditional regional digestif to round off the meal.

1 review so far 4
25.03.2017 16:49

The food was great but the £1.95 per person for 2 dry pieces of bread was a little annoying but more frustrating was the £4.50 for half a pint of Spanish beer. I understand it's imported but I at least expected to get a whole bottle at that price. Otherwise great experience - the croquettas, pork belly and the chickpea dish were very special.

1 review so far 5
12.10.2016 23:07

Four of us enjoyed a lovely September evening in the garden at the back. The staff made us welcome without overdoing it. There was a succession of varied tapas dishes, each one delicious, and a very good value Sola Fred red wine. It has become my favourite tapas place in London.

1 review so far 5
17.07.2016 06:16

It's the fifth time I've been there, but the first time I sat outside; at the back of the tracks and underneath the toilet window. It is where it is. Still a great experience though with the usual friendly service and delicious tapas. It's starting to feel like visiting family.

1 review so far 6
05.10.2016 16:13

Had a great range of dishes .Friendly service. Really good house wine. The waiters kept on top of what my group of guests wanted. Lively music . Easy to find for us all, even though we came from 3 different directions.

1 review so far 6
21.02.2017 08:17

excellent service and choice of tapas available very well presented and ample portions, aim for 5 dishes between 2 or 6 if you are hungry , you dont have to order them all at once as the service is very good

2 reviews so far 6
25.02.2016 11:29

enjoyed genuine welcome from all staff & attentive service throughout visit.very tasty authentic tapas dishes well prepared & well proportioned .Judging by our examples the wine list is well researched & good value.Overall an excellent choice ---if you can find it.

1 review so far 6
23.10.2016 11:50

This restaurant is a real find. The food is authentic and the 'croquetas de pollo' were mouth watering! The service was faultless, the waiters were all friendly and attentive. We had a wonderful time and will be returning very soon.

1 review so far 4
22.01.2016 14:52

The food was as good as usual, but the service wasn't particularly good or very friendly. Had to ask to be served even to get a drink initially in spite of having been given the drinks menu. Admittedly this was at the start of service but the barman seemed to be more interested with his phone than serving us.

2 reviews so far 5
01.11.2015 07:50

This is an authentic Spanish restaurant. The dishes are all reasonably priced and they taste very close to (some even better than) what I had tasted in my trip to Spain. The quiet location means that not many people know this hidden gem near Southwark, Waterloo area.

1 review so far 5
21.03.2017 08:04

This place is definitely off the beaten path and fit the bill exactly for what our out of town friends were looking for on a visit to London. We've been to this restaurant several times and always walk away satisfied and thankfully so did our friends!

2 reviews so far 5
11.08.2015 13:22

Really great place. Doesn't look like much on the outside but food was incredible and it was lovely sitting in the garden outside for the warm evening. Great atmosphere and food - will definitely go back again to try what we didn't order this time!

1 review so far 6
08.03.2016 09:06

I've been going here for years and its consistently excellent. Great choice of Tapas and good value wine & Sherry. It's worth checking out the specials as they can be a real bonus to the usual menu.

1 review so far 3
20.01.2016 18:24

A rustic and appealing venue accessed via a railway arch. We were looking forward to our visit which was for a birthday celebration. Unfortunately, we were disappointed with the service and the food. The chicken croquettes were flavourless and aubergines bland. I'm not sure why Delia liked the patatas bravas because they were cold and soggy - and not enough of the mayo sauce. It was an ok evening, but nothing special.

2 reviews so far 6
23.09.2016 23:40

Delicious food as always. Especially love the octopus. The service was so quick friendly and efficient. Atmosphere was great. Only small issue would be portion sizes are a bit small. Can't wait to go again!

1 review so far 6
26.10.2015 07:16

Fabulous food and a great bottle of fizz. Cosy and relaxed atmosphere. Staff were friendly and helpful. Stayed in the restaurant all evening rather than going for a drink somewhere else as was so nice!

1 review so far 5
16.06.2015 09:50

Fantastic tapas and lovely staff. We stayed long into the night and were not pressured to leave. A very enjoyable evening - would have rated it 6/6 if it were not for the loud train that passed by every now and again.