Barrafina Drury Lane

Barrafina Drury Lane | Top-class tapas in Covent Garden

A few years ago Barrafina Drury Lane was one of the best walk-in only restaurants in London.

These days it isn’t.

Which isn’t to say there’s been a drastic drop in quality… it’s still as good as ever, only now you can book to get inside. Which is great news for non-risky folk with their lives in order… but for those who can’t help but walk on the wild side? Don’t worry, they still leave a few stools for you.

And to state the obvious, there’s also a lot more positives to draw from Barrafina than just being able to book. It has a reputation for being the gold standard for Spanish food in the capital for good reason, namely tapas. Brought to you by the Hart Brothers, Eddie and Sam, these restaurants (we say these because there are five around the city; the original, Barrafina Dean Street, then Barrafina Adelaide Street, Barrafina King’s Cross and Barrafina Borough Yards) are normally the first places to come to mind when one thinks of Spanish small plates eaten in fast-moving, bustling environments, in London.

barrafina drury lane outdoor terrace

For Barrafina Drury Lane, located not far from the theatres in Covent Garden (an ace choice for a pre/post show dinner, by the way), it’s the usual story; you sit up around a marble-topped counter, the signature Barrafina look, on red leather-stools jostling for arm space with your neighbours as you keenly observe the restaurant’s chefs hustle away in the kitchen, churning out quality tapas with commendable speed and care.

Those tapas feature a mix of the familiar Barrafina favourites – the golden-brown tortillas that are firm on the outside and then irresistibly gooey and soft within, the pan con tomate (using only the ripest tomatoes), croquettes (maybe ham or the piquillo made with sweet red peppers), Iberian charcuterie, and the patatas bravas – minging with daily specials such a arroz de marisco variation (similar to paella), with either mussels and Argentina king prawns. There’s no wrongs, only rights, so best to go with the flow and pick a few from each section.

barrafina dishes

John Carey

On the off-chance that you might want to have a drink, the options for that are also, unsurprisingly, Spanish; things to sip include sherries (there’s even one from the Hart Bros themselves called the Manzanilla Pasada en Rama), a lofty list of Spanish wines that you’ll want to dig deep into and, of course, Estrella beer.

Just like the tapas, the best way to go is with the flow and pick a few from each section…


NOTE: Barrafina Drury Lane is open daily for lunch and dinner, 12-3pm & 5-11pm (Sundays only 1-5pm). You can make a booking (hooray) on their website, right here.

Barrafina Drury Lane | 43 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5AJ

On a noble quest to dine at all the great places in the area? Our guide to Covent Garden’s best restaurants may be of help, good luck…

Barrafina Drury Lane

43 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AJ

9.0 | Amazing