5 indulgent Austin restaurants for authentic Spanish tapas and wine
Editor's note: Since the publication of this article, unfortunately Malaga Tapas and Wine Bar has closed.
Warmer weather calls for patio hangs with your friends, fresh tapas, and a bottle of wine. Here are five Austin restaurants serving up some of the best in Spanish cuisine, from hearty entrees to lighter fare.
Barlata Tapas Bar
Barlata brings traditional Spanish dishes with a personal twist to South Austin. Husband-and-wife duo Daniel Olivella and Vanessa Jerez translated the success of their two Bay Area eateries for an audience that is more familiar with enchiladas than tapas. The typical dining experience at Barlata is relaxed, and the menu of authentic latas (tapas in a can), paellas, and cocktails is easy to navigate.
Inspired by owners Patrick Armstrong and Clayton Young's trip along El Camino de Santiago, this bright food truck at the Container Bar on Rainey Street serves Spanish food with Austin flair. The lineup features Texas favorites like breakfast tacos and nachos with more typical flavors from Spain. Sliced chorizo, garbanzo beans, honey-pickled onions, and brava sauce make appearances.
This beautiful space on Airport Boulevard stems from Chef Shawn Cirkiel's love for Spain. The menu by Executive Chef Ryan Shields comes in the form of light tapas, meat and cheese plates, and a few heavier options. A wonderful patio and a long list of Spanish wines round out the atmosphere, making Bullfight a perfect pick for summer evenings.
La Bodega Gourmet
La Bodega is part lunch spot, part catering service, and part Spanish mercado. Here you'll find imported cheese, wine, and coffee, as well as authentic dishes prepared by Chef/Owner Eric Paz. Come in to this Bee Cave shop for lunch or order takeout for dinner — bocadillos, mussels, empanadas, stuffed calamari, and more. You can also snag some of Paz's own brand of paella mix and all of the hardware necessary to make it yourself.
Malaga Tapas and Wine Bar
Comfy interior? Check. Cute patio? Check. Daily drink specials? Check. Malaga is a wonderful spot to enjoy a glass of refreshing sangria during happy hour. For dinner, this downtown restaurant offers classic tapas, beautiful paella, scrumptious desserts, and more.