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“Phenomenal”
Review of Tapas Barcelona

Tapas Barcelona
Ranked #1 of 279 Restaurants in Evanston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$20
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Bar Scene
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
USA
Level Contributor
143 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Phenomenal”
Reviewed 23 November 2013

This was my second visit in two months. The first was just for a few tapas and it was great. The second was for a full dinner, and it was one of the best meals I've had in years - if not ever. For a restaurant to consistently deliver, with an extensive menu that requires quick turnaround of exquisitely crafted dishes, is no easy feat.

The ambience is funky cool, with homemade paintings featuring the restaurant's name interspersed with Spanish art and posters. The staff appears to be entirely Spanish/Castillan. For a busy restaurant, service is at once fast but unhurried. Tapas come as they are ready. Paella takes a while and they warn you, but listen up:

I've eaten throughout Spain. I've had what I thought was the best paella I could ever have in Madrid. This was better. We had the Valenciana, with the freshest seafood, chorizo, and chicken, infused with the most sublime smoked paprika.)

Tapas are divided into cold and hot. On a November night with a chilly rain, we went all hot: grilled short ribs with Mexican onions and Moroccan couscous; grilled ribeye with potatoes and onions in a red wine sauce; fried calamari and shrimp. On a previous visit I'd had the patatas bravas and grilled garlic shrimp. Not only was every tapa perfection, but each was enough for an entrée in itself. For instance, the grilled ribeye had to be 6-7 oz. with a side of potatoes - and it was only $8.50.

That's the bonus of this place - the prices are amazing. With three tapas, one paella to share, and four drinks, I think we paid $60 before tip. We finished the three tapas and barely half the paella.

I wish there were a place like this in my home town.

(And no, I have no affiliation with the restaurant and this is a wholly independent review. I am a freelance food and travel writer and I appreciate a great meal. This was definitely one.)

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BaddMonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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272 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    7
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Miami
Level Contributor
73 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Excellent tapas, great service...good ambiance”
Reviewed 21 November 2013

Went with a large group for late night dinner. We probably ordered at last one of every tapas plates they had on the menu and all were excellent. The grilled octopus was a particularly well loved dish as were the bacon-wrapped dates.

The paella valenciana was excellent (but takes time to prepare, so expect to wait ~30 minutes from the time you order it).

The service was extremely attentive and kept the food coming at a very fast pace.

The sangria is also quite good.

Prices are extremely reasonable.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PunyPenguin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chevy Chase, MD
Level Contributor
66 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Pretty Good”
Reviewed 20 November 2013 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

Food was above average but not superior. Located very near Northwestern University so lots of young people and pretty loud - not a criticism, just good to know. Excellent value - 4 adults had dinner and wine for less than $100.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Gary J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Illinois
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great food, well priced, friendly service. Could get busy, crowded.”
Reviewed 24 October 2013

Great tasting food (tapas), well priced, and friendly service. The place gets busy. My party of 4 were there on a Saturday night, with no reservations, and had to wait for 45 minutes. We were cranky by the end of the wait, but was still satisfied. Can get noisy and crowded.
Just recently returned from a quick trip to Barcelona, and indeed this did the trick of 'extending' that vacation.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank EfficiencyGeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis, IN
Level Contributor
178 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great Tapas Selections!”
Reviewed 19 October 2013

This restaurant has a fun and exciting atmosphere. Very close seating, but the quality of the Tapas served, and the pricing makes it a great value. Spent an evening consuming some of the finest, authentic Spanish dishes, while enjoying the Sangria. Every dish was masterful, and was hard to choose our favorite. The goat cheese stuffed dates are a MUST! The scallops and salmon stuffed potatoes were also excellent. The meal ended with their fantastic roasted pear, stuffed with white chocolate, mint and a berry sauce. Service was great. Was too cool to sit outdoors, but looked like a fun area, weather permitting. We made reservations, which I recommend, as was a line waiting for tables. Highly recommend, and will be returning!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank indymacthedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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