Tapas originates from Spain but is fast becoming popular with all styles of cuisine – Thai, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian, you name it – and Chester’s Northgate Street is becoming a hub for many exciting tapas restaurants!
Tapas is perfect for relaxed evenings, where you can indulge in lots of different plates in one place. You can stay put and continue ordering until you’re full (my belly is definitely happy with that option) or hop between the various tapas restaurants on Northgate Street and see what they all have to offer. Below, we share our suggestions for the perfect Tapas Crawl.
This restaurant focuses on Spanish tapas and is well worth a visit. It’s set in a 15th century Tudor style building and boasts a beautiful tapas menu (with Sangria, of course) You can sit in their little outdoor courtyard, which has heaters installed for cooler evenings. For those who aren’t keen on tapas, there are burgers, paellas and kebabs on offer; enough choice to suit all tastes.
Top Tip: Try the sharing board for £19.95, which features a lovely array of meats, cheeses, olives and more. Add a jug of sangria to this and you have the perfect meal. On a Tuesday evening, Bluebell also offers four tapas dishes and a bottle of wine for £19.95.
Covino is a hot spot for wine lovers and offers some great tapas-style dishes to accompany your glass of pinot grigio, merlot or whatever your wine preference may be. Think speciality cheeses, charcuterie and a rotating menu using lots of rich and beautiful ingredients. Current plates include: devilled mushrooms, polenta chips with rosemary, and gnocchi with a pea velouté. The décor of Covino is very crisp and clean with white tiled walls, small round tables and bar stools, making the visitor focus on the food rather than their surroundings.
Top Tip: One word: wine! If you’re not sure what to have, ask the staff for some recommendations; they’ll be able to guide you on what’s best according to your tastes and what you want to eat.
Hypha is a vegan restaurant located on the walls, offering vegan tapas dishes and a wide selection of cocktails. This eaterie is micro-seasonal, meaning it rotates what dishes are on offer according to what is in season and fresh at that moment in time. Earmarking one of their dishes as your favourite may not be wise here but it means you’ve always got lots of new and exciting plates to try.
Top Tip: Hypha naturally ferment many of their drinks and we’d recommend trying their fermented drinks, like kombucha, as a mixer in a cocktail or as a soft drink on its own for something a bit different. Sound interesting? Book onto one of their Fermentation 101 courses, to learn more about how you can ferment drinks yourself and why it’s a good idea to do so.
Nine Elephants is a Thai restaurant, which does main Thai dishes as well as Thai tapas (aka Thai street food). Bicycles and trinkets hanging off the ceiling give this restaurant a really quirky feeling, and the great choice of Thai food makes this restaurant a go-to place and something a bit different for your Northgate Street Tapas Crawl
Top Tip: Try one of their Thai cocktails, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. For those preferring something a bit less adventurous, they also offer some amazing Thai herbal teas and smoothies.
Porta is a lovely little authentic tapas bar attached to Joseph Benjamin. You can’t book a table at Porta, meaning you may have a little wait for a table but it’s well worth it. The food is amazing here and the restaurant has oodles of atmosphere – little round tables and slightly dimmed lights gives this restaurant a feeling of intimacy akin to a wine cellar. Full of ambience, good food and drink – you should definitely make room for this one.
Top Tip: Try the Patatas Bravas (potatoes with aioli and tomato sauce), Pan con tomate (bread, tomato, garlic and olive oil) and their special gins – super tasty! This venue isn’t very accessible inside but there’s seating outside which is.
We hope you enjoy tapas crawling between these five restaurants and trying their amazing food and drinks. If you’re still feeling hungry and thirsty after these five tapas eateries, why not try Picnic or Storyhouse for a top-up?
Don’t forget to let us know if you try and like any of these great establishments by posting on social media and tagging Amble in your post. Help us share the love for our amazing independents in Chester!