The 5 best Spanish restaurants in NYC

Alta. | Photo: Chenrui Y./Yelp

In search of a new favorite Spanish spot?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top Spanish restaurants around New York City, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to satisfy your cravings.

1. Alta

Photo: Chenrui Y./Yelp

Topping the list is Alta, a small plates restaurant featuring two wood-burning fireplaces and a small outdoor patio. It's located in a 19th-century townhouse at 64 W. 10th St. (between Fifth and Sixth avenues) in Greenwich Village.

Small plates include salmon tartare with truffle, black rice crisp and salmon roe; fava bean falafel; seared sea scallops with pea puree; and pork empanadas. A long list of mostly French and Spanish wines, as well as beer and cocktails, tempt the thirsty diner. Alta is the most popular Spanish restaurant in New York City, boasting four stars out of 1,696 reviews on Yelp.

2. Despana

Photo: Despana/Yelp

Next up is SoHo's Despana, situated at 408 Broome St. (between Lafayette and Centre streets). It's part grocery store -- stocked with Spanish olive oils, vinegars, vegetables, meats and cheeses -- and part tapas cafe.

In the cafe, you can sample pintxos, tapas and bocadillos, like a Serrano ham and bechamel cream croquette or sliced octopus on mashed potatoes. It occasionally hosts cooking and other classes. With 4.5 stars out of 505 reviews on Yelp, it has proven to be a local favorite. Additional locations are in Queens and Princeton, New Jersey.

3. Boqueria Restaurant - Flatiron

Photo: Boqueria Restaurant - Flatiron/Yelp

Boqueria Restaurant - Flatiron, located at 53 W. 19th St., is another top choice. With a handful of East Coast locations, Boqueria offers traditional Spanish cuisine, including paella; Spanish cheese and charcuterie; and classic tapas, like patatas bravas.

There are also more modern flourishes, like the Barcelona bowl of rice pilaf, lamb meatballs, sheep's milk cheese, tomato sauce, chickpeas, poached egg, cucumber salad and fresh herbs. Look for the weekday happy hour with discounted tapas and drinks, from sangria to fancy cocktails. Yelpers give this spot four stars out of 1,118 reviews.

4. Socarrat Paella Bar - Chelsea

Photo: Socarrat Paella Bar - Chelsea/Yelp
Socarrat Paella Bar - Chelsea is another high-traffic go-to, with four stars out of 1,037 Yelp reviews. Customers sit at tall communal tables, and order from a menu of tapas and paellas, sangria and wine. Tapas on offer include fried artichokes and pan con tomato, or tomato spread, olive oil and garlic on toast. The menu features six paellas, including the carne with short ribs, chicken and chorizo and the pescado y marisco with shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, cockles and white fish.

Flamenco music and dancing entertains guests every Tuesday. Head over to 259 W. 19th St. (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues) to see for yourself. Other locations are in Nolita and Midtown East.

5. Gato

Photo: Lori L./Yelp

Finally, over in NoHo, check out Gato, which has earned four stars out of 969 reviews on Yelp. Owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay and Laurence Kretchmer, the Mediterranean and Spanish spot is located in a 100-year-old building at 324 Lafayette St. (between Houston and Bleecker streets)

Here you'll find starters like seared yellowtail and squash blossom with goat cheese, or entrees like kale wild mushroom paella, tarragon chicken and saffron linguine. Numerous wines by the glass are available, as are cocktails and beer.
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