If you’re looking for some spice in your life, Spanish cuisine is where it’s at – not chilli-laden spice as in Mexico and Latin America, but deep, rich spices and herbs that wallop the palate and transport us to the sunny Mediterranean. It’s easy to love Spanish-style dining; it’s non-committal, but it can easily turn into hours at the table pecking at various dishes over wine and conversation. 

Whether you’re on the lookout for top-notch tapas or perfect paella, here are Foodie’s recommendations for the greatest Spanish restaurants around town.

Best Spanish restaurants in Hong Kong

Ole Spanish Restaurant

Ole Spanish Restaurant

Ole is the longest-standing Spanish restaurant on our list, having celebrated its remarkable 25th anniversary last year. A brunch or dinner enjoyed at Ole is truly transportive; from the lemon-yellow walls, terracotta tiles, and traditional pottery to the live Spanish guitarists, the classic decor and warm service take us straight to Spain. Chef Jesus Pascual’s authentic menu of tapas, paella, and more is expansive, with tapas highlights including spider crab “txangurro” stuffed in the Basque way (HKD280), Spanish jumbo red prawn grilled with parsley-garlic oil and aioli (HKD488), and Ole spicy potatoes with brava sauce, aioli, and smoked paprika (HKD88). The uber-popular weekend and public holiday brunch menu (HKD498 pp) features a main course choice of the eatery’s famed Segovia-style suckling pig with its fatty, succulent flesh and crisp skin.

Ole Spanish Restaurant, 1/F, Shun Ho Tower, 24–30 Ice House Street, Central, 2523 8624, book here


La Rambla by Catalunya

La Rambla by Catalunya

With a name inspired by Barcelona’s most well-known street, La Rambla opened its 5,000-square-foot space at ifc mall in 2017 as the evolution of popular Spanish restaurant Catalunya, which is no more. La Rambla has an inviting, buzzy vibe, and its harbour-facing outdoor terrace is a favoured spot in Central for sundowners and brunch. The ingredient-driven, Catalan-inspired à-la-carte menu by Netflix-famous chef Rafa Gil features a mix of classic and innovative tapas, sharing mains, and selection of must-try paellas. On the more inventive side, we adore the sea urchin and pancetta Ibérica (HKD190) brioche-toast squares, La Rambla “Kinder Egg” 2015 (HKD150) of truffled egg and potato foam topped with a mound of Baeri Kaviari caviar, and mini pork and foie burger (HKD170), aka the McCatalan.

La Rambla by Catalunya, Shop 3071–73, 3/F, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, 2661 1161, book here


Bayfare Social

Bayfare Social

Housed within Rosewood hotel, Bayfare Social is as lively and social as its moniker suggests, featuring a welcoming open-kitchen design. The à-la-carte menu is vast and wide-ranging; on board are seafood on ice, crudos, and tartares, charcuterie and cheese, hot and cold tapas, paellas and pastas, and limited-time regional specials by chef de cuisine Jorge Vera Gutiérrez. Bayfare Social is also notable for its standalone vegan menu, where the potent cold tomato soup known as salmorejo (HKD140) wows.

Bayfare Social, 5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3891 8732, book here


Pica Pica

Pica Pica

Chef Edgard Sanuy Barahona – a stalwart of the Spanish dining scene in Hong Kong – debuted Pica Pica in 2019, and it made quite an impression from the get-go. The tapas bar has the authentic feel of a Spanish local, with its massive open windows overlooking the excitement of the Sheung Wan streets right next to the historic Western Market. The tomato bread with Arbequina extra-virgin olive oil (HKD33), Ibérico ham croquettes (HKD18/pc), Spanish “lazy” omelette with morcilla and chorizo (HKD92), and fideuà from Gandía with cuttlefish and aioli (HKD88/HKD155) are must-orders. Sprouting from a culture that revolves around food and the enjoyment of it, Pica Pica treads that particularly Spanish fine line of both lively and leisurely that makes dining such a pleasure.

Pica Pica, Shop G & H, G/F, Kai Tak Commercial Building, 317–321 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan, 2811 9880, book here


Chueca

Chueca
Photo credit: Instagram/@simplicity_hkfood

This restaurant is named after Madrid’s city-centre district, and its trendy ambience follows suit, adding another layer of cool to the Gough Street ‘hood. Chueca’s airy dining room features a long, marble, outfacing table that spans the entire length of the eatery, extending the convivial vibe out onto the street. Jordi Vallés Claverol is the chef behind the Spanish spot’s à-la-carte menu, a mix of traditional and modern flavours and presentation. Innovative plates include the refreshing tuna tartare (HKD120), which offers small cracker cups filled with avocado mash, lean tuna, and salmon roe, and the much more indulgent spinach canélon (HKD170), pasta rolls stuffed with spinach and manchego cheese drenched in a truffled béchamel sauce. Chueca’s founders, husband-and-wife duo Horacio and Qinjie Moreu, have also recently opened JUNO, another laid-back Mediterranean restaurant in nearby Sheung Wan.

Chueca, 8–10 Gough Street, Central, 2703 0810, WhatsApp 5506 1122, book online


The Optimist

The Optimist

The Optimist, a down-to-earth restaurant launched by Pirata Group in 2015, delivers hearty flavours from northern Spain inspired by the asador, traditional open-flame cooking over a revolving grill. There’s a spacious bar at street level, and upstairs in the main dining room, the kitchen team grill up Ibérico pork pluma (HKD260), suckling pig (HKD760), and Australian Angus beef tomahawk (HKD1,150), alongside servings of charcuterie and cheese, tapas, and more. The Optimist’s menus are many and varied – there’s à la carte, set lunch (with Friday lunch inclusive of free-flow on the house), brunch, afternoon tea, happy hour, kids, and even a great-value Oyster Extravaganza (HKD488 pp) on Wednesday evenings, which comes with a selection of tapas, 90 minutes of all-you-can-eat oysters, a main course, and sharing desserts.

The Optimist, G/F & 1/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2433 3324, book here


22 Ships

22 Ships
Photo credit: Instagram/@22shipshkg

JIA Group’s tapas bar 22 Ships has been delighting diners for more than a decade with its relaxed, rustic feel, creative seasonal creations, and unique takes on Spanish classics. The kitchen team is led by Antonio Oviedo, who expertly crafts the restaurant’s dishes, some of which are signatures and many of which change daily. Current tapas favourites at this enduring neighbourhood gem include the Canary grilled octopus (HKD258), tortilla and sobrasada (HKD168), and chicken al ajillo (HKD158). For heartier plates, the 30-day-aged Rubia Gallega beef (HKD788/350g; HKD1,568/700g) is a meaty knockout.

22 Ships, 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai, 2555 0722, book here


BÀRBAR

BÀRBAR
Photo credit: Instagram/@barbar.hk

Just down the block from 22 Ships, BÀRBAR competes for attention as the best tapas bar in the ‘hood, this time by the Epicurean Group team that also brought us Pica Pica (see above). The playful yet familiar tapas and small plates at the casual-chic eatery – like smoked swordfish loin with Agria potato chips (HKD115), Wagyu steak tartare with oyster (HKD155), and pigeon rice (HKD165/HKD245) – shine, but what sets BÀRBAR apart from other tapas joints around town is its impressive collection of Spanish sherry, craft gin, and wine, sparkling and otherwise.

BÀRBAR, 9 Ship Street, Wan Chai, 2810 0008, book here


La Paloma

La Paloma
Photo credit: Facebook/La Paloma

Founded by affable chef-owner Alex Fargas, La Paloma is the heartbeat of Spanish cuisine and culture on Hong Kong Island. The restaurant is known for its “sexy” tapas, clay-oven-cooked meat and seafood, and large range of paella, which is offered in oversized quantities during regular collaboration events with popular local restaurants. In the tapas space, start off with the hamachi curado (HKD188) and pimientos del padrón (HKD90). The 52-month jamón Ibérico platter (HKD288/HKD380) is equally smoky and savoury, so too with the traditional chicken-based paella Valenciana (HKD388).

La Paloma, 1/F, Soho 189, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2291 6161, WhatsApp 5249 2406, book here

Stephanie Pliakas is the Digital Editor of Foodie. From Michelin-starred fine-dining to the local comfort-food eats dished out at cha chaan tengs, she has immersed herself in the 852’s ever-changing food scene since making Hong Kong her home more than a decade ago. When Stephanie is not devouring something delicious, she’s cooking and baking up a storm at home (whilst listening to true crime podcasts).

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