Food & Drink

Tapas Trek: Scouting Out Chicago’s Top 10 Bite-Worthy Spots!

Tapas, the small plates of delectable bites, have become increasingly popular in recent years. In Chicago, there is no shortage of places to indulge in this Spanish tradition.

Whether you're looking for a cozy spot to share plates with friends or a lively atmosphere to grab a drink and some snacks, the Windy City has got you covered.

From traditional Spanish tapas to modern twists on the classic dishes, there are many restaurants in Chicago that offer a wide range of options. Some places even fuse different cuisines to create unique and exciting flavor combinations.

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose where to go. But fear not, we've compiled a list of the best places for tapas in Chicago to help you navigate the city's culinary scene.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the most highly recommended spots for tapas in Chicago. We'll explore the ambiance, the menu offerings, and the overall dining experience.

Whether you're a seasoned tapas aficionado or a newcomer to this style of dining, there's something for everyone on this list. So, sit back, relax, and let's dive into the world of tapas in Chicago.

1. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
2024 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 (Google Maps)

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! is a lively Spanish cafe that serves up delicious tapas and paella.

The restaurant has a great atmosphere and is perfect for groups of friends or a birthday celebration. The service is fantastic and the staff are professional and friendly.

The menu has a variety of options, including Catalan style crystal bread, chorizo wrapped dates, and grilled octopus with potatoes and saffron aioli.

The sangria is also highly recommended. The prices are a bit high, but the food is worth it. Reservations are recommended as the restaurant can get busy.

2. Lil' Ba-Ba-Reeba!

Lil' Ba-Ba-Reeba!
441 N Clark St #1, Chicago, IL 60654 (Google Maps)

Lil' Ba-Ba-Reeba! is a cozy Spanish restaurant that offers a wide variety of delicious tapas. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with a striking bar and a terrace for outdoor dining.

The staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the menu, making recommendations for those who are unsure of what to order.

The sangria is a must-try, and the croquettes and chorizo-wrapped dates are particularly delicious.

The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous, making it a great spot for a casual night out with friends or a romantic date.

3. Bodega Sur

Bodega Sur
3755 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 (Google Maps)

Bodega Sur is a cozy tapas bar that offers a variety of Argentinian cuisine. Their menu is well-varied with affordable prices, making it a great casual option for Latin food.

The steak is a must-try and the empanadas are a favorite among customers.

The restaurant also has an extensive wine list that pairs well with their dishes.

The atmosphere is intimate and perfect for any occasion. The service is friendly and attentive, ensuring a pleasant dining experience.

4. Bocadillo Market

Bocadillo Market
2342 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614 (Google Maps)

Bocadillo Market is a hidden gem for tapas lovers. The Spanish-style restaurant offers top-quality food that leaves customers wanting more.

The menu is perfect for all types of occasions, from dates to small family gatherings.

The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the ambiance is sophisticated yet intimate. Customers rave about the tuna crudo and the almond pie, and the back patio is a true urban oasis.

For those looking for a great tapas restaurant with fantastic sangria, Bocadillo Market is a must-visit.

5. Little Madrid Tapas-Cafe

Little Madrid Tapas-Cafe
5661 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660 (Google Maps)

Little Madrid Tapas-Cafe is a hidden gem for those craving authentic Spanish cuisine. The intimate and candlelit atmosphere is perfect for a romantic date or small group gathering.

The staff is friendly and attentive, providing great service in Spanish. The tapas are delicious and reminiscent of the delicacies found in Barcelona and Madrid.

The sangria is a must-try and pairs perfectly with the flavorful sandwiches. The imported jamon iberico is a standout ingredient that adds an extra layer of authenticity to the dishes.

Don't miss out on the meatballs, shrimp, croquettes, bacon-wrapped dates, and patatas bravas. Little Madrid Tapas-Cafe is a must-visit for anyone looking for a true Spanish gastronomy and culture experience.

6. Bulerias Tapas

Bulerias Tapas
2507 W North Ave Main Floor, Chicago, IL 60647 (Google Maps)

Bulerias Tapas is a charming tapas bar that offers a fresh variety of traditional tapas and drinks.

The intimate and rustic ambiance sets the perfect tone for a night out with friends or a romantic evening. The staff is friendly and attentive, making the dining experience even more enjoyable.

The meatballs and bacon-wrapped dates are highly recommended, and the red sangria is a must-try. On weekends, Bulerias Tapas hosts live flamenco performances, adding an extra layer of entertainment.

Parking is readily available, making it easy to get to. All in all, Bulerias Tapas is a great spot for tapas and drinks, and definitely worth a visit.

7. Azucar Tapas & Cocktails

Azucar Tapas & Cocktails
2647 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Google Maps)

Looking for a cozy spot to enjoy some Spanish tapas and cocktails late into the night?

Look no further than Azucar Tapas & Cocktails. With a focus on quality flavor, this small tapas restaurant and bar offers a simple but well-done menu that's sure to satisfy.

And with a large selection of whiskey and specialty cocktails, you're sure to find the perfect drink to complement your meal.

The friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere make Azucar a great place to gather with friends or enjoy a date night.

So why not stop by and see for yourself what makes this Logan gem so special.

8. Cafe Marbella Tapas

Cafe Marbella Tapas
5527 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 (Google Maps)

Cafe Marbella Tapas is a hidden gem for those who love Spanish cuisine. This modest neighborhood restaurant offers a variety of hot and cold tapas, entrees, and paellas.

The chef's specials are always changing, providing a new experience every time you visit.

The staff is attentive and polite, making the dining experience enjoyable. The prices are reasonable for the quality of food and service provided.

Cafe Marbella Tapas is a must-try for those looking for a delicious and authentic Spanish meal.

9. Ema

74 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654 (Google Maps)

Looking for a place to enjoy Mediterranean small plates and regional wines in a stylish and airy setting, then Ema is worth checking out.

With a menu that offers tasty and authentic dishes, you won't be disappointed with the flavors and quality of the food.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that you have a great dining experience.

Plus, the spacious restaurant and bar provide a comfortable atmosphere to relax and enjoy your meal.

10. Nia

803 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607 (Google Maps)

Nia offers a delightful Mediterranean tapas-style dining experience with an extensive menu of seasonal hot and cold small plates.

The signature cocktails and sangria are the perfect accompaniment to the delicious food.

The restaurant has a warm and cozy atmosphere, making it a great spot for a date night or a business meal.

The staff is attentive and friendly, and the service is excellent. Nia is a hidden gem that is definitely worth checking out.