Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash
To be quite honest, I did not know what tapas was for the longest time. When I went to my first tapas restaurant, I think I might have tried to just order one thing and was immediately told that would not be enough for me. I was very confused and did not know whether to even feel insulted at the time.
Since then, I have grown to love tapas and it is one of my favorite go to cuisines around the Chicago area. For those of you that might be in a similar situation to how I once was, tapas restaurants are basically restaurants that serve small appetizer or snack dishes called tapa. Although it might not sound like you could eat a whole meal at one of these establishments, there are much heartier and well known tapa options such as paella.
Tapas are dishes that all originated in Spain and include many hot and cold dishes that once combined together, form a delicious and filling meal. Out of the many different tapas restaurants around Chicago, it might be difficult to figure out which locations serve the tastiest tapas so here is a list of the top three tapas restaurants in Chicago in no particular order.
This is a new tapas restaurant that opened in Chicago in the past year. Originally located in NYC, Boqueria boast many delicious spanish dishes. They have a great variety of options for both meat and non-meat dishes. The staff is great here and it is in an amazing location in Fulton Market.
You can find Boqueria located here: 807 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
The Purple Pig Restaurant
Whereas tapas are classically spanish dishes, the Purple Pig Restaurant has taken a mediterranean spin on this cuisine. They offer wonderful dishes and as the name suggests, their pork is one of their top sellers. The Purple Pig boasts the culinary expertise of a famed pork and wine specialist. The atmosphere of the restaurant is also very alluring with an open kitchen and a very trendy setting.
You can find the Purple Pig Restaurant located here: 444 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
The Bar Ramone serves delicious tapas in a lofty establishment that has a warm interior and unique hanging lighting. In addition to their tapas they also offer a great selection of various wines and cocktails. Despite always having a busy crowd, the staff here are always smiling and are some of the friendliest waitstaff you will ever encounter.
Unfortunately during the writing of this article (March 25th, 2021), Bar Ramone is temporarily closed due to the ongoing pandemic situation.
You can find Bar Ramone located here: 441 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Girl & The Goat
Do not let the name of the restaurant put you off of this one. Girl & The Goat is one of the top restaurants in all of Chicago with Chef Stephanie Izard showcasing some of her most innovated culinary inventions in the splendid open kitchen. While this restaurant may be considered New American, the small plate style of serving is very indicative of the tapas style of eating.
Girl & The Goat has the goal of embodying the family style menu and puts delicious and bold flavors at the front of their customers. They have taken many different global cuisines and used their expertise to enhance their food to truly create an exciting and lively experience for all their guests. They truly live up to their reputation and were the pioneers for many restaurants located in the Randolph Restaurant Corridor of Chicago.
You can find Girl & The Goat located here: 809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607