Tapas Brindisa

Price guide: Mid-range

18-20 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TJ

Price guide: Mid-range

On a corner of Borough Market

By Jenni Muir, your London expert

I write for AA Travel Guides, Time Out. Read more
#80 of 115
expert-rated restaurants in London
Expert overall rating:3.7 out of 5
Food and drink:
3.8
3.8
Ambience:
3.8
3.8
Service:
3
3.0
Location:
4
4.0
Value for money:
3
3.0
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Couples, Foodies, Seasoned travellers, Singles, People watching, Shopping, Trendiness

Expert review of Tapas Brindisa

An old potato warehouse in Borough Market is home to one of London’s most authentic tapas bars.

Although I was on the sherry at the time – and it was a many years ago – I distinctly remember Brindisa founder Monika Linton telling me what sort of tapas bar she would open in London if she ever got the chance. We were on a tapas crawl during a trade trip to Barcelona and Madrid, she a speciality Spanish foods importer and I an innocent delicatessen trade journalist. Come 2004, lo and behold, there it was: her idealised tapas bar, exactly as she’d described, and on an enviable corner of Borough Market to boot.

Food and drink: 

It’s a natural showcase for Brindisa’s award-winning cheeses, cured meats and preserves such as olives and roast piquillo peppers, but there’s proper cooking here too: a choice of tortillas, ham croquettes, oxtail stew, palourde clams with bacon and capers, deep-fried Monte Enebro goats’ cheese with orange blossom honey … all reassuringly free of El Bulli-style foam and jelly. The wine list is entirely Spanish and includes five-or-so sherries, plus cavas of course.

Ambience: 

Coolly rustic, if a little cramped, with wooden furniture, paper menu placemats, cutlery piled in old smoked paprika tins, and some serious stemless wine glasses. An appealing bar and waiting list for dining room tables help create a buzzing atmosphere.

Service: 

Knowledgeable, but there is some pressure to eat swiftly when there’s a half-hour queue of customers waiting in the bar.

Location: 

A great spot for people watching, with market customers and deliveries all passing by.

Price advice: 

Bar snacks start at just £1, cooked tapas at £3.65 (for patatas bravas), though a plate of finest hand-cared ham will set you back £22 – you pay your money and take your choice. Spaniards may think it overpriced, but this is London.

Other useful branches: 

Tierra Brindisa is a small place on Broadwick Street in Soho, while Casa Brindisa is a short walk from the museums of South Kensington; there is also a shop and barbecue grill in Borough Market – see website for details.

More information on Tapas Brindisa:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Bar, Restaurant, Tapas bar
Food:
Spanish, Tapas
Address:
18-20 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TJ
Telephone:
020 7357 8880
Website:
http://www.brindisa.com/restaurants/tapas-brindisa
Serves:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Mon-Thur noon-3pm, 5.30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 9am-11am, noon-4pm, 5.30pm-11pm. Closed Sun.
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Not possible

Have you been to Tapas Brindisa? Would you recommended it?