Tapas at Tavernita

Tapas, or Spanish small plates, can be as small as a single bite, but they pack a lot of flavor and are the ideal companion to a glass of cider or Spanish wine. Whether you’re looking for tiny sandwiches, meatballs, or jamón ibérico, here’s where to find tapas.

Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave.)

Located in the Blackstone Hotel, Mercat a la Planxa focuses on Catalan cuisine, and that means small plates like traditional morcilla and Catalan spinach with currants, plus cured meats, cheeses, and rice dishes. Mercat also offers sangria flights, with tasting size portions of red, white, and seasonal flavors.

Tapas Valencia (1530 S. State St.)

Tapas Valencia
Colorful walls—and colorful cocktails—make Tapas Valencia stand out. Begin with a mango margarita or Spanish wine before ordering grilled chorizo and morcilla, vegetarian paellas, or toast topped with jamón ibérico, tomatoes, and garlic.

Café Iberico (737 N. LaSalle Dr.)

The owner of Café Iberico hails from northwestern Spain, and the restaurant offers 60 Spanish wines to complement classic dishes like tortilla Española, patatas bravas, and gambas al ajillo. Plus there are paellas, rotating specials like stewed octopus, and Spanish soccer games and bullfights aired on TV.

Azucar! (2647 N. Kezie Ave.)

Azucar! bills itself as a tapas restaurant and cocktail bar, so leave the wine for another meal. Start with mojitos or a sidecar made with Spanish brandy, then dive into piquillo peppers stuffed with cheese and mushrooms, lamb with romesco sauce, and almond-stuffed dates.

Tavernita (151 W. Erie St.) Barcito (151 W. Erie St.)

Tavernita has a menu of small plates like Wagyu beef and pork meatballs bathed in hazelnut romesco sauce and pork belly sliders, while Barcito, the attached bar, offers a pintxos experience like you’d find in San Sebastián. Stand around the bar while noshing on grilled bread topped with cured sausage and a quail egg or try a jamón plate or olives marinated in citrus and herbs. Besides cocktails and wines, there’s also a selection of Spanish ciders and sherries.

Black Bull (1721 W. Division St.)

Black Bull, which is decorated with Andalusian tiles, offers Spanish wines and kalimotxo, the Spanish drink that mixes red wine and Coca-Cola. For food, order classic combinations like grilled octopus with sea salt and paprika, white anchovies in vinegar, and braised lamb with mint and apricot. 

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