Sydney was always destined to be tapas heaven. Blessed with a balmy, almost Mediterranean climate for much of the year, it’s also in the heart of Australia’s wine country. This means there’s always a steady supply of reds and whites to wash down those scrumptious Spanish tidbits. In addition to that, nearby farms and coastlines provides all the fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood needed to make fresh and zesty small plate dishes. The most potent reason for Sydney’s love for tapas, however, is that famous Aussie conviviality. Tapas is all about enjoying food and drink over lively conversation with friends – something Sydneysiders adore.
When it comes to tapas venues, Sydney’s got the lot. Among the simplest are bars or cafes that serve up Iberian style snacks, where you can simply pull up a barstool or snag a table, order your drink, load up on small plates and start feasting. Also popular are dedicated taverns with moody black and red colour palettes, as well as flamenco music playing in the background. So they may be a little kitsch, but after a few jugs of sangria, you might just start to imagine yourself in Seville. Other options are full-blown Spanish restaurants where small plates make up just one item on a packed menu. Here, they can function as hors d'oeuvres to accompany an aperitif.
Sydney’s a sprawling metropolis with a vibrant downtown, enchanting harbourside, and a clutch of breezy suburbs. After a day in the office or shopping malls of the CBD, tapas bars offer opportunities for both sustenance and relaxation. Join savvy locals in guzzling chicken liver parfait, pan-seared scallops with chorizo, and other delights at the Barrafina Tapas Bar. Both the Rock and Darling Harbour feature a bevy of tapas taverns overlooking the harbour, and City South, East and West are each known for its respective small plate experience. Unsure of where to go? Let Quandoo find the right spot for you!
When the sun sets over Sydney’s suburbs, one popular seaside spot is Mojo's Tapas Bar on Bondi Beach. It’s a big draw with its happy hour, refreshing sangria, and vibrant chilli prawns. Darlinghurst with its Bohemian feel and funky bistros also boasts some of Sydney’s finest tapas dining, as do Surry Hills, Manly, Woolloomooloo Wharf, Parramatta and Neutral Bay. So when you head out to the ‘burbs for some tapas action in Sydney, let Quandoo show you the way to the best restaurant.
Tapas is quintessentially Spanish, but in multicultural Sydney, questing Aussie chefs are dreaming up their own take on small plate cuisine. Making maximum use of local ingredients, they cook up tantalising creations such as lime and tuna tataki salad with avocado. Another popular variant is Latino-Spanish fusion which is done well at the ever bustling Bodega in Surry Hills. Choose from fish fingers, scallops, lamb dishes, and more – and see them cooked up in the open kitchen.
One small plate snacking phenomenon currently in vogue is the Street Market Asian Tapas. Yum cha outlets by day, they spice up the snacks and swap tea for liquor as the sun goes down. Sample all of Asia in one place with Sichuan-style spicy squid, Filipino inasal chicken BBQ, and Vietnamese spring rolls, which all taste great washed down with a stubbie or even plum wine and sake. Other Asian fusion tapas joints in Sydney include About South East Asian Tapas out in the suburbs in the Cronulla area. If your tastes veer towards Japanese, you should definitely try one of the many gastropubs known as izakayas.
One of the most appealing thing about tapas dining in Sydney is its relaxed informality. It’s a feature that fits perfectly with the laid-back Aussie lifestyle. Tapas dining offers the freedom of a bar crawl with great food along the way. Find a place you love and spend the night there, or decamp to another when the mood strikes. It's completely up to you. Heading to the theatre, sports game or other event in Sydney? Tapas makes for the ideal quick meal before the show, game or opening night. Or after a stressful day in the office, cast off the cares of the day over some spicy nibbles, a glass of wine or two, and some invigorating banter in great company. That's the magic of tapas, Sydney style.
So when you’re thinking of a fun night out in Sydney, think tapas. Whether to fuel an evening crawl through Sydney’s nightspots, or simply to enjoy savoury snacks, stiff drinks and vibrant conversation after work, nothing beats Spanish-style diners. There’s no need for any stuffed shirt formality; round up some like-minded mates and let Quandoo be your guide to the best tapas spots in Sydney.