I grew up spending summers in our old family home in the South of Spain, studied and worked in Madrid, and visited my sister in Barcelona several times There is no more vibrant and convivial culinary scene than Spanish Tapas. I wish I could say you can find the same in NYC – you can’t.  Barcelona, te extraño… Nothing compares to you and your tapas, but at least Boqueria tries!

Boqueria is named after Barcelona’s iconic market “Mercat de la Boqueria” and attempts  to recreate the Spanish buzzing food scene with a Catalan inspired menu.

Boqueria now has 3 locations in NYC, the original flagship in Flatiron, an outpost in Soho and a newly opened uptown join in the Upper East Side.

Camarones - www.boquerianyc.com

Camarones – www.boquerianyc.com

The Soho location has the signature dim lighting, warm and woody color scheme. You walk in to a vibrant bar scene with several stools around it, and different seating options throughout the space. The best seats at this location are at the back with views of the open kitchen. I also always like to sit at the bar and practice mi Español with the camareros! Starting from early evening hours, expect a crowded scene, limited elbow room but a convivial experience!

Tip – sit at the back by the open kitchen

Jamon y queso - www.boquerianyc.com

Jamon y queso – www.boquerianyc.com

Boqueria’s menu has all the classic Spanish staples: Pan con Tomate $5, Patatas Bravas $9,Tortilla $7, Croquetas $12, Manchego and Jamon ibérico. Don’t go without ordering a charcuterie and cheese platter (served all day) and  the Croquetas Cremosas (creamy mushroom and Serrano ham croquettes). But their “Market Fresh” daily dinner specials and signature tapas are what they’re best at. My favorites include their Cojonudo $6, Datiles con Beicon $7 and Pulpo a la Gallega $17, and make sure you ask about the recommended specials. The Paella de Mariscos $19 is not “abuela“ worthy but is still pretty legit. Although it sounds like a lot of the menu items are meat-focused, Boqueria also offers great vegetarian options. If this is your major cheat meal, don’t leave without sharing the decadent Nutella Churros ❗

Patatas bravas -www.boquerianyc.com

Patatas bravas -www.boquerianyc.com

Obviously, by definition, all tapas are better shared, along with a glass of one of their homemade sangrias or Spanish wine from their extensive list. And if you’re more of a cerveza drinker just ask “una clara por favor”. Specialty cocktails are also available (go for the Shishito Margarita).

Brunch - www.boquerianyc.com

Brunch – www.boquerianyc.com

The best part about Boqueria is definitely its buzzing and energetic atmosphere, in a casual setting with a mixed crowd, of all ages. During peak evening hours expect it to get loud due to bad acoustics and the narrow layout.

Great for large parties with their Chef’s Menu group deal

Boqueria is perfect for a casual date, meeting up with friends or great for a large group dinner. They only take dinner reservations for parties of 6 or more and offer a great and affordable “Chef’s Menu” group deal ($45 per person +beverage, tax and gratuity). The more you are the more you can order and share! Great for girls’ night out, birthdays or team dinners. They also easily accommodate for private events. Reservations are available for all party sizes for lunch and brunch.

Boqueria Soho offers breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Mon-Fri 9am-10:30pm (11:30pm on Fri) / Sat 11am-11:30pm / Sun 11am-10:30pm

Note that this location also offers delivery, take-out and catering services.