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5.3 /6 Excellent 193 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

193 Reviews

5.3 /6 Excellent 193 Reviews
Quality/Price: cheap
Waiting Time: no waiting time
Noise: quiet
Service: extraordinary
Food: heavenly
Atmosphere: excellent
100 6
65 5
21 4
3 3
3 2
1 1
1 review so far 6
10.09.2017 08:49

Mar i Terra offers wonderful hospitality and excellent home-cooked food at a reasonable price. The staff are super-friendly. Thisbisba great place to either soend the whole evening over lovely wine or as a place for a quick pit-stop en route to the theatre. Highly recommend.

1 review so far 6
08.09.2017 16:27

Wonderful quality dishes on offer in lovely surroundings and aided by a genuinely committed and friendly manager/owner and staff. The tortilla is the best I've ever tasted. Very good value for money meal.

1 review so far 6
23.08.2017 09:25

Mar I Terra is an amazing place with great Tapas, good selection of wine and very friendly staff. I would def. come back and would recommend it to everyone!

2 reviews so far 6
22.08.2017 23:43

This Spanish restaurant is wonderful, great food, wine and excellent atmosphere. It is best to book a table so that you are not disappointed. You can share dishes or order individually all the food is good but I especially recommend the pulp and garbanzos.

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.

2 reviews so far 5
28.07.2017 09:29

This is a great little place. Some of the food reminds me of when we used to live in Spain, and it seems to be cooked to order, so it is not a good place for a quick meal. The Rioja wines that we had were excellent. We arrived early in the evening, but this place is popular with large groups so can get very noisy later. A good evening and a real find.

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.