Sizzling tapas, bold flavours, and a touch of flamenco flair — Spanish cuisine brings the fiesta to Hong Kong’s food scene. While “Spanish cuisine” is an umbrella term for multiple cuisines in the Mediterranean region, one of the most common international imports are tapas which embody the communal spirit of Spanish food culture, where the dining table is a focal point of chatting and sharing food. From traditional dishes like paella and simply dressed sharing dishes of seafood and cured meats to inventive fusion fare, here we’ll whisk you away on a tantalizing tour of our favourite tapas bars and Spanish eateries in Hong Kong.

22 Ships — Wan Chai

paella with lobster from 22 ships hong kong
22 Ships’ classic paella topped with a whole grilled lobster (© 22 Ships)

They don’t take reservations, and we don’t have any ranking 22 Ships among the most beloved Spanish restaurants in Hong Kong. Since 2012, the upscale tapas bar has wooed Hongkongers with its authentic tapas offering and Spanish vinos. We recommend the Canary Grilled Octopus (HK$238) served the Canary Island way – that is, with various mojos which are sauces of olive oil, peppers, garlic, and spices. The menu is not limited to tapas, with dishes taking cues from all over the Mediterranean like the Whole Lobster Paella (HK$628) packing a lot of punch. This spot has become a main drawing point of Wan Chai’s popular foodie street, Ship Street. Expect to pay around HK$300 to HK$500 per person.

22 Ship St, Wan Chai | +852 2555 0722

Pica Pica — Sheung Wan

wagyu steak tartare on bone marrow from pica pica hong kong
Wagyu tartare on charred bone marrow (© Pica Pica)

Watch the trams chug past Pica Pica from its buzzy location right beside the historic Western Market. The convivial atmosphere in this modern Spanish eatery and relatively lower prices compared to other Spanish restaurants on Hong Kong Island make reservations absolutely necessary (that is, if you want a table; seats at the kitchen counter or bar are by walk-in only). Pica was awarded the “Restaurants from Spain Certification” which honours international restaurants with authentic Spanish produce and cuisine. The Black Paella with squid ink (from HK$120) and Red Prawn Hot Dog (HK$120) bursting with head cream from a Josper-grilled prawn are must-tries.

G/F, Shop G & H Kai Tak Commercial Building, 317 – 321 Des Voeux Rd Central, Sheung Wan | +852 2811 9880

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Nuevo Tapas Bar — Central

interior of nuevo tapas bar hong kong
Nuevo is known for Spanish tapas, cocktails, and shisha (© Nuevo Tapas Bar)

What do you get when you pair a cocktail lounge with a fusion tapas bar? Nuevo, a restobar located in Lan Kwai Fong, showcases regional Spanish cuisine with some Asian twists in such dishes as the Pan Fried Crab cake with Sea Urchin Sauce (HK$168). Traditional tapas such as the Spanish Tomato Bread and Padron Peppers are also done well (HK$48 and HK$78 respectively). Given the location in the bar district, you couldn’t really leave without trying one of the tipples — among their signature cocktails (named after gemstones), the gin-based Amber is a great option.

G/F, Winner Building Block B, 8-16 Wing Wah Ln, Central | +852 9080 5271

The Optimist — Wan Chai

dining room in the optimist hong kong
The Optimist is a well-liked spot in Wan Chai for a Spanish happy hour (© The Optimist)

For an authentic Northern Spanish dining experience in a sophisticated setting, put The Optimist in your calendar. Formed by coasts, the North of Spain is known for its love of incorporating octopus and pintxos (snacks held together with toothpicks). The three-storey asador (restaurant specialising in roasted meats) is decorated so you feel like you’re in a trendy bar in Barcelona. Besides the main plates of lamb chops, pork, rib-eyes, and chicken cooked on Asador grills, the Charcuterie Española (HK$190) packed with five types of cheese and olives is an editor favourite. On the tapas side of things, the Huevos Rotos (“broken eggs”, priced from HK$120) is also receommended.

39 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai | +852 2433 3324

Rústico — Lai Chi Kok

spanish tapas and paella from rustico hong kong
Cost-effective Spanish fare with a family restaurant vibe (© Rústico)

One of the rare destinations to savour Spanish cuisine in Kowloon, Rústico is a cosy hideaway in Lai Chi Kok offering Catalan cuisine amidst rustic interiors. The Catalonia community of 7.5 million in Spain has a distinct culinary tradition which stands out for utilising ingredients sourced from the Mediterranean coast, with standout dishes such as tomato bread and arròs negre with black-coloured rice cooked in seafood broth. Rústico’s repertoire of dry-aged meats, tapas, and slow-cooked proteins are far from what you’d expect to find in this area. Menu highlights include Catalan-style fish soup (HK$128), callos (HK$158), a beef tripe and chickpea stew, and of course, paellas of the seafood and land-roaming variety.

Shop G01, G/F, D2 Place One, 9 Cheung Yee St, Lai Chi Kok | +852 2743 4511

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Olé Spanish Restaurant — Central

seating in olé spanish restaurant in central
Olé’s beachside resort setting is unexpectedly set right in Central (© Olé)

Spanish native Carmelo Lopez has brought a touch of his upbringing to Central’s Ice Street. Open since 1998, Olé has the ambiance of a family-owned restaurant and the service and food of a fine dining restaurant. On offer are all the classic tapas you would expect, as well as what is likely the most extensive paella menu in the city (all of which are baked on a stone oven). As far as mains, the suckling pig prepared and served in the Segovian manner (HK$850 for half pig), is absolutely stand-out. The nightly live guitar music is a nice touch for special occasions.

1/F, Shun Ho Tower, 24-30 Ice House St, Central | +852 2523 8624

Quiero Más — Central

potato mille feuille tapa from quiero mas spanish restaurant hk
Enjoy Mediterranean tapas like the Dos Dias Patatas (© Quiero Más)

From the F&B group behind hugely successful Indian restaurant Gaylord is Quiero Más, a ‘Mod-Med’ or Modern Mediterranean restaurant. Chef Alex Fargas, previously of Michelin-starred restaurants in his home country of Spain before leading La Paloma as chef-owner, takes a little bit of Italy, a little bit of Greece, and a lot of Spain to put together an unapologetic menu of Spanish dishes made with Southern European ingredients. The contemporary 3,000 square foot space is separated into a classy dining room and cocktail lounge. With the awesome cityviews you’d expect from the 20th floor setting, the offerings of weekend brunch and extensive drinks menu make this an excellent weekend hangout. Expect to pay around HK$400-600 per person.

20/F, MM8 Tower, 2-8 Wellington St, Central | +852 2383 0268

La Barra Tapas — Cheung Sha Wan

iberico tapas in la barra tapas restaurant hong kong
Agnei Iberico, lamb ribs in the mountainous Aragon style (© La Barra Tapas)

Recently opened in 2022, La Barra Tapas is a Spanish tapas restaurant in the unassuming neighbourhood of Cheung Sha Wan. With a robust menu of classic tapas, paellas, and grilled meats and seafood, this restaurant seating just around 20 is our number one recommendation for a cost-effective tapas restaurant in Hong Kong. In particular, we recommend the Fideuà De Pescado (HK$168), a dish which is similar to paella but made with short pasta noodles instead of rice. The churros served with dreamy melted dark chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream (HK$68) are the perfect way to end a meal at this local gem.

Shop A, 512, 518 Fuk Wing St, Cheung Sha Wan | +852 2411 1668

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Calle Ocho — Causeway Bay

various spanish tapas dishes from calle ocho hong kong
Calle Ocho embodies the humble flavours of Spanish cuisine with excellent ingredients (© Calle Ocho)

Meaning ‘Eighth Street’ as a reference to the eatery’s address, Calle Ocho should be your go-to Causeway Bay spot for not only delicious Spanish fare (Charcuterie, sharing plates, paella — they have it all) and some of the best examples of Spanish wines, but just fantastic decoration. The two-storey restaurant located beside the northwest corner of Victoria Park is modelled after Los Austrias, the oldest neighbourhood in Madrid housing 16th and 17th century buildings. If you’re visiting for the first time, the Suckling Pig Terrine and Uni-Cone, a delightful combination of tuna tartar with sea urchin and wasabi avocado (both HK$180) are must-tries.

Fashion Walk, 8 Cleveland St, Causeway Bay | +852 2638 8895

El Cid Spanish Restaurant — Tsim Sha Tsui

outdoor seating at el cid spanish restaurant hong kong
Take in tapas and Spanish wine on Knutsford Terrace (© El Cid Spanish Restaurant)

El Cid is a stylish wine bar and Spanish tapas restaurant located on Tsim Sha Tsui’s dynamic Knutsford Terrace, serving a delightful array of tapas (with a great selection of vegetarian tapas), refreshing soups, paellas (the Chicken and Chorizo Paella with half of a roast chicken (HK$400) is a nice departure from seafood-focused paellas), and comforting Spanish mains. Established in 1992, the dimly-lit and intimate setting is perfect for a romantic evening with a glass of vino Español. As far as pricepoint, you can expect to pay HK$600 per person for dinner.

G/F, 14 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui | +852 2312 1898

El Vaso de Oro — Sheung Wan

chef carlos and goose paella at el vaso de oro hong kong
Goose paella and Chef Carlos (© El Vaso de Oro)

Inspired by the legendary Barcelona bar, El Vaso de Oro located in the budding neighbourhood of PoHo offers a wonderfully authentic Spanish experience. The menu features classic Spanish dishes like Pickled Mussels (HK$68) and Cured Cheese marinated in excellent olive oil (HK$88). (Fun fact: Spain is the largest producer of olive oil worldwide!) El Vaso de Oro is a small space with almost exclusively bar seating. This bustling spot is ideal for a casual night out with friends, soaking in the atmosphere reminiscent of a night in Spain’s lively streets. Expect to pay up to HK$300 per person.

999077, 44 Sai St, Sheung Wan | +852 2506 2518 or WhatsApp +852 5993 5958

Header image credits: rfranca via Canva

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Born in Canada, Danielle is deep diving into the things that make Hong Kong a city of intermingling identities, and bridging the information gap as someone trying to navigate the city herself as a cultural inbetweener. Sometimes this means examining culture and local people’s stories, and other times it means drinking all the milk tea and doing walking explorations of peripheral districts.

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