It’s that time of the year, when the days are getting longer, the nights are getting warmer and tapas becomes our snacking situation of choice. There’s just something altogether festive about grazing your way through a parade of small plates, whether they’re authentically Spanish, or some modern, jazzed up version of tapas. Get into the summer swing of things, with our pick of Melbourne’s best tapas bars.
MoVida
CBD
MoVida Tapas Bars
Perhaps Melbourne’s most iconic tapas bar, Frank Comorra’s MoVida has got a lot of years under its belt, long proving a hit with locals and visitors alike. Set against the vibrant street art of Hosier Lane, the lively spot is famed for its authentic plates, the menu featuring dishes like beef tartare, pressed pork tostadas and hand-filleted Calabrian anchovies. Throw in a fine sherry, or Spanish Tempranillo, and be totally transported.
Bomba
CBD
Bomba Tapas Bars
Tapas bar below, rooftop bar above; Bomba’s got the goods for all kinds of eating and drinking occasions. The atmospheric CBD spot infuses classic Spanish flavours with top local produce, offering flavour-packed dishes like marinated lamb ribs and Pedro Ximinez-braised pork jowl. Drop in for a grazing session, matched with some fine Vermouth or sherry, before heading upstairs for signature cocktails at the rooftop bar.
Anada
Fitzroy
Anada Tapas Bars
Anada’s understated sophistication and refined dishes have earned the tapas bar cult status here in Melbourne – a favourite for date nights and group dinners alike. Here, you’ll taste the flavours of Southern Spain and Andalucia, across small plates like spinach and manchego croquettes, and crispy patatas bravas. The drinks list is equally exciting, featuring clever cocktails and a thoughtful selection of wine, sourced from across the globe.
Bar Lourinha Tapas Bars
This charming CBD tapas bar might be petite, but it certainly packs a punch in the flavour department. Bar Lourinha has been kicking on for over a decade, garnering fans aplenty for its deliciously honest eats and warm atmosphere. You’ll feel instantly at home when you pull up a seat at the bar, to feast on Spanish cheese, smoked eel croquettes, gin cocktails and excellent Euro wines.
Naked For Satan
Fitzroy
Naked For Satan Tapas Bars
The tapas bar that got most Melburnians hooked on the concept of pinxtos, Naked For Satan is famed for its rotating selection of small bites. For a value-packed snack session, this spot is hard to beat – simply load up your plate, then pay according to each dish’s coloured toothpicks. There’s a great rooftop bar for after dinner, or you can claim one of the comfy downstairs couches to enjoy craft brews and house infused vodkas.
Plus 5 Bar
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Plus 5 Bar
SOUTH WHARF
Plus 5 Bar Tapas Bars
Globally-inspired tapas, unique cocktails and a stellar waterfront location mark Plus 5 as a winning option for all occasions. The warehouse space is lofty, yet cosy, boasting a mix of intimate tables, comfy couches and al fresco seating, overlooking the Yarra. Here, you’ll find yourself grazing on dishes like woodfired king prawns and chicken meatballs, matched with cracking cocktails and a largely local wine list.
Lona
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Lona
ST KILDA
Lona Tapas Bars
A young, fun addition to Melbourne’s tapas bar scene, Lona serves its modern Spanish plates with a big side of energy. The menu here runs from tacos and sliders, to grazing boards and meat dishes, though you could always forego the decision-making in favour of the $30 chef’s tasting menu. Pitchers of Sangria are a hit with groups, while weekly drinks specials prove perfect for after-work visits.
Pablo Honey Tapas Bars
This lively tequila and tapas bar works its magic with classic Latin American flavours, plating up the likes of chilli-braised pork cheek, chargrilled squid with chorizo, and Spring Bay mussels with jamon. Backing up those tasty small plates, there’s an impressive selection of tequila and some top-notch signature cocktails, including eight different styles of Margarita.
Vamos Melbourne Tapas Bars
A Latin American-inspired tapas bar with a whole lotta soul, Vamos serves up funky tunes, tequila cocktails and drool-worthy small plates for every occasion. Not only will the CBD spot win you over with treats like tostadas, ceviche, and pork and chorizo croquettes, there’s also plenty of late-night fun on offer, from Friday night DJ sets, to a traditional Flamenco dance show every Sunday.
Portello Rosso Tapas Bars
A cheery laneway haunt serving an authentic taste of Spain, Portello Rosso is a tapas bar you’ll want to put on high rotation. Pop in to feast on plates like Wagyu empanadas, BBQ sweetcorn with manchego cheese, and grilled king prawns, matched to some top-notch Spanish wines. Don’t miss the St Germain Ginger and Chili Sangria.