España Tapas Bar

Thanks to a comment on an old post, last night the wife and I decided to try out the España Tapas Bar (29 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR). This place has been around for at least 10 years, and was formerly known as Viva España; you can’t miss it, it’s got massive, ugly neon signs outside.

But inside it’s a real treat; brick walls, basic wooden furniture and a U‑shaped bar in the middle. It felt very much like some of the bars I’ve been to in Barcelona and Madrid. The waitress — from Georgia, but spoke fluent Portuguese with us — was very friendly and helpful and pointed out some specialities on the menu.

The food was exceptional. Honestly. We had pan con tomat with really flavousome tomatoes, organic chorizo, rabbit skewers, patatas bravas, a great piece of cod and arroz negra — rice cooked in squid ink. Washed down with some cold Estrella Damm, it was a proper treat on a warm late summer’s night.

I was sad when Rock‑8 closed down; I am happy now that there is a more-than-adequate replacement. I highly recommend it to you all, and remember that you can go there just for a drink as well, it doesn’t have to be to eat; but you’d be missing out on great fresh, organic ingredients if you did.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

10 thoughts on “España Tapas Bar”

  1. Managed to get past the barrier of the kitch neon sign and was happy to find a nice mellow environment.Really impressive food, loved the dublin bay prawns, organic chorizo and beetroot greens.

  2. Viva espana is by far the best food in camberwell,i was truly blown away by the quality.The rabbit,black rice and my god they have the freshest cod apparently from petershead and oysters cooked in tarragon butter.I honestly dont know what happened their but the new management a couple of spanish brothers have really done something special.You might find jose working behind the bar and the georgian waitress always seems happy.Honestly if you want a gastro treat go there.I agree the neon is mad but kinda cool.

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