Small Plates: The Top 5 Tapas Restaurants in Chicago

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Tapas: one of my favorite cuisines to enjoy with good friends and a glass of sangria. The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal set before them, but to taste, share and talk. And let’s just say the Spaniards know how to wine and dine.

1 Café Iberico

Voted the best tapas by the Chicago Sun Times, Tribune and Chicago magazine, we concur. Consistently good meals, good ambiance and a good wine selection, try the Queso de Cabra, it's a fan favorite.

739 N. LaSalle Dr. 312.573.1510.

2 People Spanish Tapas & World Music Lounge

A lux lounge set on Milwaukee, People is part restaurant, part neighborhood hangout. Large wrought-iron chandeliers and communal tables create a rustic and warm atmosphere.

1560 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773.227.9339.

3 Mercat a la Planxa

This Catalan-inspired restaurant is run by Chef Jose Garces, winner of the most recent installment of Iron Chef America and a leader in upscale Latin-influenced cuisine.

638 S. Michigan Ave. 312.765.0524.

4 The Purple Pig

One of Bon Apetit’s "10 Best New Restaurants in America," cheese, swine and wine is the motto of the Purple Pig, the newest venture from the Bannos team, the family behind Heaven on Seven in conjunction with other notable restaurateurs including Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) and Scott Harris (Mia Francesco).

500 N. Michigan Ave. 312.464.1744.

5 Cafe Ba Ba Reeba

Chef-Owner Gabino Sotelino was born in Spain and thus brings a personal touch to his food. Tapas represents a melding of cultures; from the Basque region of his mother and the Galician land of his father. Ba Ba Reeba represents the color and inspiration of both these regions in the food, decor, and service.

2024 N. Halsted. 773.935.5000.

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