When you ask someone if they want Spanish food, most will automatically think of tapas. Of course, there's much more to it than this as you'll see in the list below. From paella to caldo gallego, you can try delicacies from all of the different regions in Spain so long as you know where to look.
6 East 36th Street
If you want to get a taste of Madrid without spending the money on airfare and hotel to actually travel there, Toledo is the closest you'll get. That makes it a popular spot for diplomats, businessmen and expats alike keeping it alive for over 40 years.
You'll find traditional dishes like pollo villeroy – chicken breast in béchamel sauce which is then breaded and fried – and octopus and shrimp in garlic sauce. Regardless of whether you're a meat or seafood lover, there's a little something for everyone. That is unless you're vegan. There aren't too many vegetable only dishes available besides a basic salad or side.
Sevilla Restaurant & Bar
62 Charles Street
Make sure to bring your appetite and friends when you visit because you'll want to try just about everything on the menu from the appetizers to the entrees. Everything about Sevilla will transport you to Spain from its old-fashioned European canopy to the dimly lit and cozy interior.
Of course the food itself is also true to its namesake. You'll be able to experience some of the best tasting paella in New York City, which you can wash down with a glass (or pitcher) of sangria. You'll definitely want to make reservations though as this gets pretty crowded for dinner on almost every night.
408 Broome St
Despana is all about perfect tapas and bocadillos to little surprise perhaps but they for sure make it in style here. Lunches is becoming very popular, try their jamon serrano, jamon iberico and the picante sandwich, and its not hard to understand why. Its best described as a little SoHo gem where all items are of highest quality.
What's more, even if its not directly related to "restaurants" per se, their quality stocks of guava and quince paste, olive oils, vinegars, piquillo perppers are a blessing, not to mention their chorizo, which comes directly from their place in queens, and cheese.
324 Lafayette Street
You won't be getting traditional Spanish cuisine at this Bobby Flay restaurant, but you'll definitely see inspiration in all of the dishes from the tender and juicy pork chop to the burrata and kale and wild mushroom paella.
And since they offer vegetarian options, all of your friends can enjoy this new take on traditional Spanish food. If you're not in the mood for the entrees, Gato does have a small tapas menu for a quick bite to go with your cocktail.
If you don't mind making the trek to the 172 street, then make sure to stop by Galicia Restaurant. This might not be the fanciest restaurant, but it does offer some good ol' fashioned Spanish home cooking and huge portions.
It's like getting two meals for the price of one. They also offer daily specials for lunch Monday through Friday. If you're not in the mood for some Galician food, they also have some Dominican items on the menu as well.
220-33 Northern Boulevard, Bayside
This is quite a trek, but well worth the effort as it serves up some of the tastiest Spanish food in Queens. While you can always go for the traditional paella, the other dishes like sole stuffed with crab meat or veal shank are favorites among the locals. You'll definitely get some generous portions here so you can enjoy the food two days in a row!
It can get very crowded here on the weekends so you'll want to make reservations and parking can also be a bit tricky. Friday through Sunday they offer live music in the form of a harpist. If you're not in the mood for Spanish, they also offer some pasta dishes and French options.
171 Spring St, other locations
Even though Boqueria is more of a chain really it still delivers Spanish food of great quality. Sometimes the little things such as the pan con tomate, lamb meatballs and bacon wrapped dates does the trick even for place like this.
One thing to keep in mind is that many of their dishes are on the smaller size, that said, the paella is the complete opposite, huge. The ambience is great if you like buzzing and overall entertaining.
141 Elm Street, Newark
While not in the five boroughs, Newark is just a quick 15 minute PATH train ride away, and Casa Vasca is definitely worth the visit. While the Ironbound area is more known for their Portuguese and Brazilian restaurants, this gem bucks the trend and serves up some of the best Spanish food you'll find.
This cozy restaurant soothes away any stresses of the day with its dim lighting and excellent service. Even though it might be cheaper than some of the NYC restaurants, the quality is on par if not better from the tender octopus appetizer to the seafood boil in green sauce. If you plan on ordering the paella, make sure to bring some friends as a single order can easily serve four people.