Boston’s Best Tapas

October 26, 2010 5:18 PM

Best Tapas in Boston

(Credit: Getty Images)

Derived from the Spanish verb tapar, “to cover”, tapas are small plates of food designed for mixing, matching and sharing. It can be an expensive endeavor to fill-up on tapas, but it’s a great environment for a romantic date.
Toro Restaurant by Ken Oringer

(Credit: Matt Demers/


1704 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 536-4300

Owned by celebrity chef Ken Oringer, this South End Spanish spot is the perennial Best of Boston award winner. It gets packed here right through late night, and since they don’t take reservations, be prepared to wait. Their seasonally changing menu features $8-$15 plates like salt cod fritters, crispy pork belly with sunchoke and the house specialty grilled corn with alioli, lime & aged cheese.

Dali Restaurant and Tapas Bar



415 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143-4346
(617) 661-3254

A Readers’ Pick for best tapas in the Boston Phoenix and Citysearch, Dali has a reputation for romance. The décor is cool Spanish and the restaurant is separated into smaller, intimate dining areas, though it can get loud. Their sangria is praiseworthy. Five to ten dollar plates of traditional Spanish tapas include broiled scallop in saffron cream, roast duckling with berry sauce and beef tenderloin on toast.

Cuchi Cuchi


Cuchi Cuchi

5 Main St
Cambridge, MA 02139-3509
(617) 864-2929

The theme here is old Hollywood with a burlesque flair. Oh, and don’t call their plates tapas; they’re “international small plates”. The premise is the same, minus the pure Spanish. Charmingly kitschy, right down to the waitstaff’s outfits; Cuchi Cuchi even offers tarot readings on Tuesday nights. Their $7-$18 small plates include scallop ceviche, duck a l’orange crepes and their signature dish –cornets with tuna tartare and avocado mousse. No reservations after 6 p.m.

Estragon Tapas Bar



700 Harrison Ave #109
Boston, MA 02118-2631
(617) 266-0443

The lounge filled with Spanish cookbooks sets the tone for this 1930s Spain-inspired restaurant in the South End. Monday through Thursday they offer $1 tapas between 5:30 and 7, if you can get a seat at the bar. Their $5-$20 plates include much-raved about fried chickpeas, fried artichokes and bone marrow, beef shank & pork belly on toast. No hard liquor served here, only beer, wine and cordials.