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  • Writer's pictureMatias

Top tapas-style restaurants in East and North London

Food at Perilla restaurant

In the vibrant culinary landscape of London, the concept of sharing or tapas-style menus has long crossed the English Channel and become a beloved dining option for Londoners, offering unique flavours in small, shareable plates. And who hasn’t been tempted to try everything on the menu when it all looks so delicious?

Well, in this post, I want to highlight restaurants where you can enjoy a variety of flavours in one sitting, without the need for a fancy and expensive tasting menu. This trend is only growing, and we see more and more newly opened restaurants or established ones adapting to sharing options instead of large dishes.


While London offers many of these restaurants, it can be equally challenging to find the right ones for these casual but fulfilling dining experiences. For those in East and North London seeking to enjoy such an experience in a cool setting, keep on reading because when it comes to dining out, it's about more than just the food these days—it's about the whole package, from the atmosphere to the drinks to the service.


Thinking ahead to the long bank holiday weekend (a great chance to explore more restaurants), let me share some of my favourite tapas-style places around the area that can deliver on that promise. Perhaps, you’ll discover a new gem that can also become one of your new favourites too. There’s a bit of everything—some offering the entire package (food, drinks, and a cool atmosphere), while others shine in one or two areas. But no matter what experience you're looking for, all of them will leave you satisfied.



 

Mu | Japanese (Dalston)

I mentioned this place in a previous post because it's more than just a restaurant; it's a proper hidden gem where dimmed lights, live jazz, and Japanese-style food come together to deliver an entertaining and unique dining experience. Located in the trendy area of Dalston Junction, I cannot recommend this place enough, you could end up staying there until closing time.


Pictures: Mu IG


Western’s Laundry | British / Spanish seafood (Arsenal)

To be completely honest, this place can be hit or miss, depending on the day. However, if you're lucky, you'll have a fantastic time in a buzzing atmosphere. Picture long sharing tables, nice decor, a concise but fresh menu, and of course, some unique wines. It's perfect for a dinner with friends, or even better, as a spot for a pre-party meal.


Pictures: Mine and Western's Laundry IG


Authentique Epicerie | French (Kentish Town)

One of my favourite places in London was conveniently located around the corner from my previous flat in Kentish Town. This French three-in-one (shop, bar and restaurant) continues to be a fantastic place for those who want to enjoy a cosy atmosphere while sipping exquisite wine and delicious French nibbles. Every time I return, there's something new happening, perhaps a celebration of a different region of France, which makes each visit unique. It's perfect for an intimate dinner without feeling clichéd.


Pictures: Authentique Epicerie IG


Mr Lobo | Peruvian (Highbury & Islington)

This restaurant offers more than just Peruvian food; it redefines the traditional perception of Peruvian cuisine by presenting a concise menu in the style and portion size of tapas. While showcasing classic dishes with a modern twist, what truly sets this place apart are its pisco-inspired cocktails and exceptional service, which consistently make guests feel welcomed and well taken care of, as if at a friend's place. Although I've mentioned this restaurant before and hope for its continuous success, there's also a part of me that wishes to keep it as a well-kept secret. It's perfect for a lively dinner with a group of friends or a date night.



Perilla | Modern European (Newington Green)

While this place may no longer be a hidden gem, having lived in the area for almost four years, I've witnessed its transformation from the talk of the neighbourhood to one of London's best-kept secrets. This restaurant offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Mediterranean tapas with a twist, continually presenting something new, from unique wines to fresh, seasonal dishes. With affordable prices, you can opt for a tasting menu that is worth every penny. It's a perfect choice for a casual date night or a gathering with friends who appreciate good food.


Pictures: Mine and Perilla IG


Bonus Track:

House of MoMo | Nepalese (Dalston)

This restaurant is completely different from the previous ones but something in me thought it was worth sharing, as it’s a fantastic place to enjoy Nepalese food in a no frills setting. It’s important to mention that they operate on a first-come-first-serve basis, so if you go on busy times, you’ll have to be patient. It's perfect for a quick meal with friend in a buzzing atmosphere, leaving you ready to explore the nightlife that Dalston has to offer.


 

So why not venture out this long weekend and discover what perhaps could become your new favourite spot?

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