Tapas has become the heart of many small plates experiences, but in London it started with some classic restaurants and went from there

Copita

Capturing the essence of a tapas bar is not an easy job in ‘oh my god, I must have a seat’ London, but Copita has made its mission around creating the casual, stand-up eating and drinking vibe a real, London experience. The food is amazing, and the décor and environment no faux Catalan for Soho – a genuine capital classic. http://www.copita.co.uk

Morito

Chard, labneh, morcilla, jamon croquettas, octopus, all star at Moro’s little, more Spanish brother next door on Exmouth Market. With Moro’s Spanish/North African/Arab inspiration only spilling in a little, the Clark(e)s have created a little joint that looks like a Spanish tapas bar, but that spills out onto the famous foodie street. A little wonder. http://morito.co.uk

Brindisa

This Borough favourite changes the mould when it opened in 2004. The owner, a Spanish foodie with an import business brought a real slice of Spain to the London food scene: genuine Spanish food products and service. The empire has expanded and people have copied, but it remains an original and a solid bet for dinner. https://www.brindisakitchens.com

Barrafina

Good taste, attention to sourcing and the boldness of simplicity are important elements of running a good tapas joint and the Hart Brothers have that in spades. They also lucked out in finding Nieves Barragon Mohacho in 2003 and helping gain a Michelin star for this Soho fave. It’s still a class act and many people’s go-to pleasuredome.

http://www.barrafina.co.uk

Sibarita

Runny sheep’s cheese with radish and alomnds with smoked paprika and orange zest; a tuna tostada and chicken with Serrano ham,mark Covent Garden’s Sibarita out as a cultured approach to tapas. Once bitten … www.sibaritalondon.com