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D.C.’s Destination Spanish Restaurants

From tapas to pintxos to paella, these places reign supreme for Spanish cuisine

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Spaniards know a simple rule in life: Good food doesn’t have to be overly complicated or fussy. Instead, it has to be made fresh, from the highest quality ingredients, and paired with the perfect wine, beer, or cider.

Luckily for DC diners, Spanish cooking—reminiscent of Madrid, San Sebastian, or Barcelona—can be found locally, thanks to a plethora of options that excel at the cuisine.

Whether you’re in the mood for sidra (Basque cider) and pintxos (northern Spain’s version of tapas) or prefer tortilla española paired with the perfect glass of Tempranillo, there’s likely going to be a Spanish restaurant somewhere in DC that feels like it’s somewhere on the Iberian peninsula.

Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically, from north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. La Malinche

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8622 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 562-8622
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Sitting in plain sight in Silver Spring is La Malinche, a half-Spanish, half-Mexican tapas bar known for its happy hour specials, like $20 pitchers of sangria and $5 glasses of Tempranillo.

2. Anxo Cidery & Tasting Room

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711 Kennedy St NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 722-2696
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Tucked into an alley off Kennedy Street is Anxo’s main cidery which serves up traditional Basque ciders, as well as its own batched varieties. For an expanded look at Basque culinary favorites, like bacalao (salted cod) and squid ink croquettes, head to Anxo’s original bar, located at 3rd and Florida Avenue, NW.

Anxo DC bar Photo: Rey Lopez

3. Barcelona Wine Bar Cathedral Heights

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3310 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 800-4100
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Yes, this is a chain restaurant, but Barcelona Wine Bar does not compromise on quality. The Spanish charcuterie and cheese options take up half the menu, and its newest DC location, in Cathedral Heights, is less noisy and crowded than its 14th Street companion.

4. Mola

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3155 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 849-3247
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One of the newest additions for Spanish cuisine in DC is Mola. The space here feels bright and cheery, albeit a bit cramped, and it seems to have taken hold as a go-to neighborhood spot for Mount Pleasant. Menu highlights include an extensive sherry list, paellas, and spicy patatas bravas.

5. Estadio

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1520 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 319-1404
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Along 14th Street, Estadio stands tall as the best Spanish restaurant. The bar is known for serving up boozy slushies, expertly-made gin and tonics, and porrons meant for chugging. Meanwhile, the menu sticks to Spanish classic fare, like tortilla española, sardine filets, and Cantabrian anchovies served in Spanish olive oil.

Estadio

6. Boqueria Spanish Tapas - Washington, D.C.

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1837 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 552-0392
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Sitting at the bar at Boqueria feels somewhat like a busy counter or bar experience in Seville or Madrid. Off in the corner is a leg of Jamón ibérico, and it’s one of the few places where to find Kas soda (a Spanish favorite). For a fun all-you-can-eat experience, visit the restaurant for brunch on Saturday or Sunday, when the menu becomes bottomless.

Assorted offerings at Boqueria.
Boqueria/official photo

7. Taberna del Alabardero

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1776 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 429-2200
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Taberna del Alabardero feels more like a Spanish castle than a downtown dining room. The walls are ornately decorated in rich red wallpaper and there are old-school portraits hanging everywhere. Whether it’s lunch, brunch, or dinner, this is one of Washington’s oldest institutions for classic Spanish cuisine.

8. Jaleo

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480 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-7949
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Where would Washington be without José Andrés? DC certainly would be lacking in Spanish cuisine. Jaleo is Andrés’s stand out spot for fun and playful takes on traditional Spanish fare. And no visit is complete without an order of jamón sliders, made from acorn-fed, black-footed Ibérico pigs.

jaleo Rey Lopez/Eater DC

9. Pamplona

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3100 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 685-9950
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Last year, Clarendon got a fancy new Spanish restaurant named for Hemingway’s favorite city in northern Spain—Pamplona. As the name implies, dishes skew northern in influence — the Basque region, to be specific. Favorites include pintxos, patatas bravas, Serrano ham with olive oil ice cream, and horchata flan.

Photo: R. Lopez

10. Joselito Casa de Comidas

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660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 930-6955
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This family-owned establishment run by Javier Candon and Christiana Campos brings Madrid to Capitol Hill. Executive chef David Sierra happens to hail from Spain’s capital and offers a three-course menu of dishes found frequently there. It’s called “menu del dia” and is offered at lunch for $22.

Joselito Casa de Comidas on Capitol Hill.
Joselito Casa de Comidas on Capitol Hill.
R. Lopez

11. SER Restaurant

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1110 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 746-9822
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This year’s rainy weather, caused SER to take a brief hiatus for roof repairs due to a pipe burst and water damage. Fortunately this Ballston restaurant is back in action serving a new chef’s menu—a six course menu that pairs Spanish wines to Spanish dishes.

SER
SER
R. Lopez

12. Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi

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791 Wharf St SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 525-1402
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Looking out at the water from Del Mar, it’s easy to image a seaside city like Barcelona. Maria and Fabio Trabocchi were some of the first restaurateurs to open at The Wharf, and now Del Mar has turned into a critically acclaimed spot for Spanish fine dining. Can’t-miss dishes include the seafood paella and churros served in a rich chocolaty sauce.

1. La Malinche

8622 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Sitting in plain sight in Silver Spring is La Malinche, a half-Spanish, half-Mexican tapas bar known for its happy hour specials, like $20 pitchers of sangria and $5 glasses of Tempranillo.

8622 Colesville Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20910

2. Anxo Cidery & Tasting Room

711 Kennedy St NW, Washington, DC 20011
Anxo DC bar Photo: Rey Lopez

Tucked into an alley off Kennedy Street is Anxo’s main cidery which serves up traditional Basque ciders, as well as its own batched varieties. For an expanded look at Basque culinary favorites, like bacalao (salted cod) and squid ink croquettes, head to Anxo’s original bar, located at 3rd and Florida Avenue, NW.

711 Kennedy St NW
Washington, DC 20011

3. Barcelona Wine Bar Cathedral Heights

3310 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

Yes, this is a chain restaurant, but Barcelona Wine Bar does not compromise on quality. The Spanish charcuterie and cheese options take up half the menu, and its newest DC location, in Cathedral Heights, is less noisy and crowded than its 14th Street companion.

3310 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

4. Mola

3155 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010

One of the newest additions for Spanish cuisine in DC is Mola. The space here feels bright and cheery, albeit a bit cramped, and it seems to have taken hold as a go-to neighborhood spot for Mount Pleasant. Menu highlights include an extensive sherry list, paellas, and spicy patatas bravas.

3155 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010

5. Estadio

1520 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Estadio

Along 14th Street, Estadio stands tall as the best Spanish restaurant. The bar is known for serving up boozy slushies, expertly-made gin and tonics, and porrons meant for chugging. Meanwhile, the menu sticks to Spanish classic fare, like tortilla española, sardine filets, and Cantabrian anchovies served in Spanish olive oil.

1520 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

6. Boqueria Spanish Tapas - Washington, D.C.

1837 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Assorted offerings at Boqueria.
Boqueria/official photo

Sitting at the bar at Boqueria feels somewhat like a busy counter or bar experience in Seville or Madrid. Off in the corner is a leg of Jamón ibérico, and it’s one of the few places where to find Kas soda (a Spanish favorite). For a fun all-you-can-eat experience, visit the restaurant for brunch on Saturday or Sunday, when the menu becomes bottomless.

1837 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036

7. Taberna del Alabardero

1776 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Taberna del Alabardero feels more like a Spanish castle than a downtown dining room. The walls are ornately decorated in rich red wallpaper and there are old-school portraits hanging everywhere. Whether it’s lunch, brunch, or dinner, this is one of Washington’s oldest institutions for classic Spanish cuisine.

1776 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006

8. Jaleo

480 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
jaleo Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Where would Washington be without José Andrés? DC certainly would be lacking in Spanish cuisine. Jaleo is Andrés’s stand out spot for fun and playful takes on traditional Spanish fare. And no visit is complete without an order of jamón sliders, made from acorn-fed, black-footed Ibérico pigs.

480 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

9. Pamplona

3100 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
Photo: R. Lopez

Last year, Clarendon got a fancy new Spanish restaurant named for Hemingway’s favorite city in northern Spain—Pamplona. As the name implies, dishes skew northern in influence — the Basque region, to be specific. Favorites include pintxos, patatas bravas, Serrano ham with olive oil ice cream, and horchata flan.

3100 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

10. Joselito Casa de Comidas

660 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
Joselito Casa de Comidas on Capitol Hill.
Joselito Casa de Comidas on Capitol Hill.
R. Lopez

This family-owned establishment run by Javier Candon and Christiana Campos brings Madrid to Capitol Hill. Executive chef David Sierra happens to hail from Spain’s capital and offers a three-course menu of dishes found frequently there. It’s called “menu del dia” and is offered at lunch for $22.

660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

11. SER Restaurant

1110 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22201
SER
SER
R. Lopez

This year’s rainy weather, caused SER to take a brief hiatus for roof repairs due to a pipe burst and water damage. Fortunately this Ballston restaurant is back in action serving a new chef’s menu—a six course menu that pairs Spanish wines to Spanish dishes.

1110 N Glebe Rd
Arlington, VA 22201

12. Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi

791 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Looking out at the water from Del Mar, it’s easy to image a seaside city like Barcelona. Maria and Fabio Trabocchi were some of the first restaurateurs to open at The Wharf, and now Del Mar has turned into a critically acclaimed spot for Spanish fine dining. Can’t-miss dishes include the seafood paella and churros served in a rich chocolaty sauce.

791 Wharf St SW
Washington, DC 20024

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