Sydney’s Lola Tapas Bar wields incredible focus when it comes to curating its fine Spanish tapas selection. Situated in the heart of Crows Nest’s dining hub along Alexander Street, Lola’s very affordable, modern interpretations of classic tapas have made regulars of many locals in this corner of Sydney. No tapas bar worth its jamon Iberico would be complete without a good list of drinks, and Lola likes to encourage guests to start the traditional way with a mandatory vermouth, spiced with over 50 different herbs. From there, it’s an adventure through Spain’s eminently social mode of dining.
Taking Lola Tapas Bar’s singularly concentrated take on traditional Spanish small-plate dining into account, it’s good to know that this Crows Nest restaurant treats tapas as the main event. For those who like to ease into eating, you can start a meal at Lola with entrees like simple roasted olives, white anchovies and croutons with herbs and oil, or Manchego sheep's’ cheese with lavosh, this latter giving an Armenian twist to a Spanish classic. And again, if you’ve brought a good crew – compulsory for those in Sydney seeking out a good time with tapas – order the embutidos, a deli-board selection of cold cuts, pickles, olives and baguettes that’s perfect for sharing.
Be sure to slake your thirst with a jug of Lola Tapas Bar’s house Costa Brava sangria, made with a generous slug of Catalonian Cava, before turning to the tapas menu proper. Our picks include the paprika’d and salted baby squid with saffron-infused aioli, the Spanish morcilla, an Andalusian take on black pudding, and the vegetarian tortilla or garlic mushrooms with spinach. Bigger appetites will be satisfied by the small, considered number of main courses – a simple serve of roasted seasonal root vegetables with halloumi and hummus or the chicken or beef skewers all impart a decidedly Mediterranean vibe to this Sydney Spanish tapas restaurant’s offering. We can’t forget to mention Lola’s popular paella, for one or two persons. Choose from four styles – the meaty Serrano variety, mixed seafood, vegetarian, or a sprinkling of all of the above – and you’ll understand why it’s best to book ahead for a table at Lola’s oft-crowded Alexander Street premises. This standout eatery in Crows Nest is not to be missed if you’re a fan of Spain’s most famous culinary export.