Top 10 Global Spanish Restaurants

From San Sebastián to Shanghai, Spanish restaurants have gone truly global. Marinel FitzSimons and Gabriel Savage discover some of the very best.

FEW COUNTRIES promote such a close connection between their cuisine and wine as Spain. While French wines are a staple of nearly any restaurant list and Austrian wines have had to forge a path without any help from Wienerschnitzel, Spanish restaurants are working overtime as ambassadors for their country’s wines. Yes, Rioja has gone mainstream, but what about all Spain’s other regions? The best Spanish restaurants offer a wonderful showcase for less famous DOs, from Rueda to Rías Baixas, Toro to Txacoli. For the most ardent fans of Rioja or Ribera del Duero meanwhile, Spanish restaurants are the place to come for impressive back catalogues from top producers, several of whose wines age at least as well as Bordeaux.

Of course, it would have been possible to compile this top 10 list entirely from restaurants in Spain itself. Even with the closure of El Bulli, the country is teeming with world-class destinations: San Sebastián or Barcelona alone could probably hold their own quite happily. However, it is the Spanish restaurants abroad which are really flying the flag for the country’s produce and doing so in the face of stiff competition from other cuisines. In the UK, Spanish cuisine, especially tapas, is booming – no surprise given Spain’s popularity as a holiday destination. As a cosmopolitan, international wine trading hub with a world-renowned restaurant scene, it is no surprise that London is home to some of the planet’s most exciting Spanish restaurants, with wine lists to match. Further afield, US Hispanophiles are well catered for on both coasts. Excitingly, Spain is also winning fans in the Far East, with some top restaurants introducing consumers to the country’s rich winemaking heritage within a wider Spanish cultural and gastronomic context. Read on to discover db’s recommendations for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of Spanish wine.

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