Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


Going Out for Tapas

Growing up for me involved the association of sharing good food with loved ones and with laughter. The only time my family would get together and share stories would be over a meal, often at superb restaurants tasting all the dishes brought to the table and assessing which passed muster, or as I used to think, pass mustard. Add to this my love of all things Spanish including a smooth Rioja and Tapas can often mean Happy Days.

My favourite version of how Tapas originated hails from the reign of King Alfonso XIII, who on a visit to Cadiz in Andalucia stopped at a beach bar to rest and asked for a glass of sherry. At that a gust of wind entered the bar, prompting the barman to cover the glass with a piece of cured ham to prevent sand from ruining the King’s sherry. His Highness summoned the barman over and asked what the piece of meat was doing on his drink and upon explanation drank the sherry, ate the cover ‘tapa’ and then asked for another sherry with another cover. Keen to follow his example the courtiers in attendance made the same request and Tapas was born.

Keep the tradition alive and use my list below to try out the various Tapas serving joints in Brighton.



Located between Riddle and Finn’s and the Angel Cupcake bakery in the South Lanes, Capricho’s is set back from the surrounding establishments in a spacious courtyard. After proving successful in Worthing, Capricho’s has opened a second restaurant in Brighton providing a credible alternative to what is already on offer. Based on my experience even the Plain Jane of Tapas selection, the tortilla de patatas (potato omelette) stood out, tasting creamy, sweet and moist. Another revelation were the plum tomatoes suffused in vodka, definitely worth giving a go and for wine, choose their Muriel 2005 Rioja, I promise you it’s wine genius.

Special Offer: Garlic bread, patatas ali oli or bravas and 2 tapas £10.50 per person

Valentine Day special 3 course menu with entertainment from Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra £17.50 per person

01273 711660, 18 Meeting House Lane, Brighton, BN1 1HB

Casa Don Carlos

Casa don Carlos

Indisputably a Brighton staple, it is one of the places in Brighton that the locals keep going back to and to which out of towners return. Always busy, the atmosphere is buzzing, the staff friendly and the interior decorated in an unpretentious simple Spanish style. It is so popular that booking is essential and the albondigas (meatballs) are a winner every time.

Special Offer: They don’t need any

01273 327177, 5 Union Street, Brighton, BN1 1HA

No website

Agua Dulce

Hailing from Almeria in the South East of Spain where the owners had a restaurant opposite the beach for nine years AguaDulce brings a whole load of authenticity to Brighton. Sit up at the bar and enjoy a glass of tinto de verano (red wine with lemonade) and tapa or head into their restaurant for further delving into their raciones, paellas and chef’s suggestions.

Special Offer: St Valentines Day – 3 courses plus a glass of cava for £24.99 per person

01273 328672, 10 – 11 Kings Road, Brighton, BN1 1NE

La Tasca

With over 60 restaurants in the UK, La Tasca are obviously on to a winning formula. Located centrally, it is close to bars, restaurants, clubs and other venues and is decked out in an authentic style bordering on pastiche. La Tasca offers a wide selection of dishes representing the different cultural identities across the 17 regions in Spain, from jamon serrano in the mountains to manchego cheese from the land of the windmills, La Mancha.

Special Offer: Join La Tasca Club on their website and receive £5 when you spend a £20 voucher

01273 737342, 165-169 North Street, Brighton BN1 1EA

Bodega de Tapa

Petite and tucked in between the Waggon and Horses and the Cote Brasserie. This place definitely divides opinion and I think it is a hit and miss option. My experience of it was of feeling squashed in a corner of a tatty patio, next to the drain pipe and eating average tapas that wasn’t particularly cheap. Although I did not feel the restaurant offered anything unique to entice me back I have friends who love it’s size and feel the place offers a warm and intimate setting. You decide.

Special Offer: Call direct

01273 674116, 111 Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UD

No website
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