If you’ve ever wondered what Waterloo was like 30 years ago, look no further than Meson Don Felipe. Heralding from days long gone by (where an allotment could still be found in the shadows of the Old Vic), this temple to tapas hasn’t changed one brick.
Sitting proudly on the corner of The Cut and Short Street, you can still find them plating up fresh paella al fresco to local workers by day and serving streams of small plates long into the night.
It’s almost impossible to put your finger on what makes Meson Don Felipe so special. It might be the way that the bright red walls unapologetically match the ceiling, or how the tables orbit a lovingly worn horseshoe bar in the middle of the restaurant…
Or it might be the live flamenco music from a man perched on a ledge above a doorframe in the far left-hand corner.
It all comes together to make this haven of chicken livers in sherry sauce, whitebait, and broad beans with smoked ham and mint the ultimate, authentic no frills affair.
By the time you’ve drained a carafe of rioja and eaten your way through a plate of perfectly fresh fried sardines, you might, like us, realise that what makes Meson Don Felipe iconic can’t boil – or fry – down to just one thing. That said, you could always ask Santiago, who’s likely to be working the floor just as he did the day the it first opened. We warn you though, he’s sure to give you anything but a concise answer.
If we must, simply put, it’s tapas well Don.
NOTE: Meson Don Felipe is open daily, 12-11pm. You can find out more here, and book a table on 020 7928 3237.
Meson Don Felipe | 53 The Cut, South Bank, London SE1 8LF
Post author: Izzy Gormezano Marks
Like tapas? Check out our guide to the best Spanish restaurants in London