While Vancouver may not necessarily be known for its Spanish-inspired cuisine, the city does boast an array of excellent eateries dishing up delicious, Spanish-style light bites and sharing plates, with the perfect beverage accompaniments.
From intimate bars to bustling joints offering small plates-style dining, the restaurants and bars listed below are serving some of the best tapas in Vancouver.
Situated on the cusp of Chinatown and Strathcona, Bodega on Main (the reincarnation of Howe Street’s La Bodega) offers patrons an assortment of hot and cold tapas, including blistered peppers, sautéed prawns, and an all-time-favourite, Patatas Bravas (twice fried potatoes topped with a zesty dressing). These small plates are served alongside artisanal cheeses and cured meats, paella, grilled prawns, and larger more substantial meat and vegetable dishes.
Address: 1014 Main Street
Regardless of whether you grab a table or a seat at the bar, the food and overall dining experience at this warm and welcoming tapas bar on Denman Street will be thoroughly enjoyable. The menu features a range of bar snacks, toasts, and cured meats, in addition to an appetizing list of tapas, which include salad, veggie, seafood, and meat plates. The restaurant also offers a long list of accompanying wines, sherries, beers, cocktails, and sangria.
Address: 1118 Denman Street, West End
Boasting a white tiled floor and an open kitchen, this cozy eatery offers Gastown diners a (very) small slice of Spain. Open daily, this Powell Street haunt serves a variety of classic Spanish tapas dishes (think chorizo chunks, spicy garlic prawns, smoked sardines, and tartare of tuna), and an all-Spanish beer, sherry, wine, and brandy list.
Address: 26 Powell Street
This casual North Shore eatery, situated slightly off the beaten track, is a great to spot to drop by for light snack with wine or a more filling meal, comprised of an assortment of authentic, Spanish-inspired small plates. El Matador’s seafood, meat, and veggie shareable dishes are great if you’re dining with friends or if you simply want to sample a variety of things.
Address: 131 West Esplanade, North Vancouver
Operating for over 17 years, this funky Davie Village eatery has a vibrant atmosphere and is the ideal spot for drink and some tasty tapas. Dishes are locally-sourced and globally-inspired, with local and sustainable ingredients.
Address: 941 Davie Street
You won’t find traditional Spanish tapas items on the menu at this East Broadway restaurant, but you will find Peruvian-inspired small plates, perfect for sharing. Savour Peruvian street-style grilled skewers, flaky pastry filled with roasted butternut squash, whipped and chilled potato topped with seafood, and more.
Address: 136 East Broadway
This industrial chic restaurant prides itself on serving modern Pan-Latin tapas, with unique and classic accompanying cocktail creations. On the menu diners will find blistered green peppers, scallop ceviche, white bean parmesan fundido (a melted cheese dish), yuca frita (Cuban alternative to french-fried potatoes), and a range of tacos.
Address: 261 Powell Street
Point Grey’s Baru Latino is a chic dining destination serving a variety of tapas dishes, tacos, and other Pan-Latin fare. It’s not the cheapest of places, however, it does create some interesting plates with memorable flavours. Diners can expect to see dishes like chili prawns, oven baked plantain, seared scallops, slow braised beef ribs, corn patties with Spanish chorizo and guacamole, and more.
Address: 2535 Alma Street, Point Grey
Those wanting to enjoy the best of both worlds of food and drink should make a point to drop by this Beach Avenue restaurant. The eatery offers enticing small plates of maple butter glaze beets, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, roasted bell pepper and artichoke bruschetta, and truffle parmesan grilled house-made bread, alongside carefully crafted mixed drinks and an international wine list.
Address: 1010 Beach Avenue, English Bay
Hot and cold tapas, including Spanish black olives, patatas bravas, chorizo, Alblondigas (Spanish meatballs), are not the only alluring factors at this Cambie Street tapas bar. The intimate venue also plays host to a variety shows throughout the week, and features musical acts, comedy nights, and flamenco dancing.
Address: 3456 Cambie Street