Brisbane's best tapas

Brisbane’s best tapas spots

Sharing is caring, as Barney once so excitedly taught us – but that dino wisdom never stopped us from crossing our arms in defiance whenever a friend nicked our fries.

Well, until we discovered that sharing meant we actually got to taste more of everything, that is.

In the spirit of sharing (and let’s be honest, stuffing ourselves full of haloumi and chorizo), we’re choosing to tapas into our love for the original share plates, straight from Spain. Prepare to feast at Brisbane tapas spots so good, even those friends who usually take a cue from Gandalf and insist ‘you shall not tapas’ will be won over.

And yes, we’re talking about the real deal – not just share plates masquerading under the good tapas name (we’re looking at you, cheeseburger sliders).

Alba Bar | City 

A little piece of San Sebastian exists in Brisbane, and you can taste it at Alba bar in the city. As soon as you walk through the door, the atmosphere will rub onto you and you’ll instantly feel effortlessly cool, ready for a night of leisurely drinking and eating. The menu is an ode to flavour, taking inspiration from the rich food culture of northern Spain served in the traditional pintxos style. And if you didn’t know you were missing jamon in your life, a visit to Alba will enlighten you on the issue and will leave you wanting more…

Olé | South Bank 

Pull up a chair at South Bank’s signature Spanish haven and load your table with plates of potato and onion tortillas, marinated Spanish olives and fresh calamari. Trust us, the term ‘small plates’ shouldn’t stop you from arriving with a big appetite. Oh, and if you hadn’t guessed from their aptly-named Sangria Bar, your tapas session won’t go without its companion carafe (or four). Let your dinner be accompanied by the sounds of soulful guitar playing, with live music from 6pm every Wednesdays and Thursdays! 

Soul Bistro | Milton 

Far from traditional, but always on point is just one way to describe the amazing tapas at Soul Bistro. Hidden within Milton’s suburban scene, this restaurant is one worth seeking, with its fried pork belly alone being an absolute smorgasbord for the senses. Further putting the soul in Soul Bistro is the sweet potato chips with a side of kimchi, chickpea battered whiting fillet and their haloumi and vegetable fritters, whose richness will leave you floating on cloud nine.

Canvas | Woolloongabba 

Come for the inventive pop-culture inspired cocktails, stay because you’re full of tapas and literally can’t move. After a face-stuffing session of grilled halloumi with sautéed chorizo and the beloved patatas bravas with tomato relish, basil and garlic aioli, we’re pretty sure this canvas won’t be white by the end. Want a tip? Head in for tequila Tuesday to forget just how much you gorged on.

Poco | Fortitude Valley 

This cosy venue is set to become your favourite nook in the wall for early-evening bites and drinks, before the night guides you away to the streets of Fortitude Valley. Nestled in California Lane, Poco is the new tapas bar that mixes traditional with new, serving the likes of cider glazed chorizo, fried chicken baos, and popcorn cauliflower. These bite-sized pieces of deliciousness are perfectly shared with friends, along with cocktail jugs to start your Saturday night adventure on the right note! 

You Came Again | West End 

Brisbane’s first plant-based tapas bar is a place where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the good times all while getting your daily dose of fibre. Pushing the boundaries of flavour one plate at a time, you’ll be gushing over how easy it is to eat your veggies. The delicious menu features miso-glazed eggplant, agedashi tofu, lemon popcorn cauliflower bites and barbecue pulled jackfruit sliders. We guarantee it’ll have you coming back again, and again…and again. 

After these tapas Brisbane wide, we’re convinced any meal without sangria is fruitless.

Words by Samantha Chariton and Jacqueline Pon