If you tend to look at a restaurant menu filled with delicious choices and have trouble picking just one, then a tapas restaurant could be the solution to your problem. Tapas are small plates of food, traditionally ordered in mass and shared with the whole table. You get to try several different dishes, instead of just one like at ordinary restaurants. This style of dining can be a lot of fun because of the social atmosphere it creates. Tapas come from Spanish origin, but the style has more recently migrated to restaurants with other cuisines as well. Try the best tapas around town at these Dallas restaurants.
2207 Allen St
Dallas, TX 75204
Not as pricey as some of its counterparts, and with more of a laid-back atmosphere, Si Tapas is located in the old Watel’s Allen Street Cottage. The building still has a cottage feel with a modern edge to the décor. The restaurant is small with some additional outdoor seating during nice weather. The cuisine has a variety of origins from regions around Spain to give guests several different tastes. Whether you’re looking for hot or cold dishes, Si Tapas has you covered. The list of options is profound with selections like Cazon en Adobo (marinated baby shark), Angulas al Ajillo (baby eels in garlic sauce), Chuletas de Cordero a la Parrilla (lamb chops on the grill), Almendras con Sal Gorda (roasted almonds with sea salt) and Boquerones en Vinagre (marinated white Spanish anchovies). Choose a pitcher of Sangria or a bottle of wine from the wall to share along with the plates. Also, show up during happy hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday) to enjoy $3 tapas.
3001 N Henderson Ave
Dallas, TX 75206
Although not Spanish, Victor Tangos offers tasty American dishes served as small plates and intended to be shared. It serves favorites like JB’s Tempura Greenbeans with Wasabi Aioli; Burrata Mozzarella, Blistered Shishito Peppers and Onions; and Homemade Lamb Sausage with Oven-Dried Tomato and Manchego Flatbread. The Spiced Caramel Corn and Nueske’s Bacon is a party for your palate offering sweet and salty tastes. Weekends are extremely busy here so reservations are recommended (and are taken only for groups of 8 or more). But even with just two, you should be prepared to wait a little. Luckily there is a long bar with old-style bar stools near the entrance so you can sip a delicately adorned cocktail as you wait.
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Sangria Tapas y Bar
4524 Cole Ave
Dallas, TX 75205
Sangria Tapas y Bar is a Mediterranean restaurant with a wonderful, warm-weather patio. Nightly live music and even occasional flamenco dancers entertain diners as they indulge on cuisine from “across Spain and its neighboring countries.” Order tapas from the garden, land and sea for an all-encompassing experience. The highlights from each include garden favorite Piquillo Peppers (stuffed with eggplant and Deep Ellum goat cheese), sea favorite Escargot Pot Pie (made with garlic, shallots, jamon serrano, thyme, béchamel cream sauce topped with puff pastry) and land favorite Coriander Cured Beef Tenderloin (served with parsnip mash potatoes and cipolotto sauce). It is open late Friday and Saturday nights for anyone to enjoy the drinks, food and music into the wee hours. Sangria even offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m to 3 p.m., along with $1 sangria drinks and mimosas.
3636 McKinney Ave, Suite 170
Dallas, TX 75204
Located in the always-bustling West Village, Cork hosts quite the collection of the most obvious element from its name: wine. An entire wall holds wines of all varieties and price ranges. While you sip away, Cork also offers a variety of small plates to share with your friends. This is the go-to place if looking to munch on rare cheese and hummus options. The limited menu changes often, however you can usually expect to see these options available year round. All small plates go wonderfully with a compatible glass of wine. Just ask your server for a recommendation. Seating is available at patio tables or inside in modern living room chairs arranged for chatting.
4501 Travis St
Dallas, TX 75205
Café Madrid is an upscale tapas locale that has had a loyal following for 22 years. Its drink list includes 85 types of Spanish wine and sherry. A couple of the dishes diners can sample include Piquillo Relleno con Queso de Cabra (piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese), the hugely popular Tortilla Española (a classic Spanish omelette with potatoes and onions) or Aboquerones fritos (served Spanish style as whole and skin-on fried Pacific smelt fish). Reservations are available for groups of six or more, but Café Madrid is closed on Sundays.
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Emilie DesJardins currently works in Dallas television and worked with KRLD Restaurant Week for several years before that. She is always trying new places around the Metroplex to find the best food and unique things to do. See her work at Examiner.com.