la farola tapas restaurant upper street

La Farola Tapas Restaurant Upper Street

La Farola is a super cute Spanish tapas bar come restaurant situated halfway along Upper Street in Islington London N1. I thought it was quite a romantic spot to enjoy a flirty date night. If you’re in the mood for sharing your food with a loved one, have a taste for tapas and a thirst for some exciting cocktails, La Farola is the place for you. If you’re searching for tapas North London, Highbury and Islington restaurants, Upper Street restaurants or a romantic bistro to wine and dine someone special, then give this place a go.

la farola tapas restaurant, chocolate churros

Chocolate Churros

La Farola Tapas Menu

The evening menu features all the tapas favourites along with some modern dishes which I thought were particularly well presented. They use high quality authentic Spanish and organic ingredients combined with local produce. You can start with a few snacks like roasted almonds, green Gordal olives with rosemary and thyme, chargrilled ciabatta bread with extra virgin olive oil for dipping or topped with tomatoes and cured ham. There’s a wide selection of speciality Spanish meats and the best Spanish cheeses which you can enjoy on their own or as a platter.

la farola tapas restaurant, crispy mahon frito

Crispy Mahon Frito

The vegetarian tapas is quite extensive and includes white asparagus with balsamic vinaigrette, grilled chestnut mushrooms filled with sundried tomatoes along with butter and garlic, pan-fried broccoli with black olive and caper tapenade and pan-fried Galician peppers. I tried the Empanadilla, which is a deep-fried filo pastry filled with roasted pine nuts, spinach and goats cheese which was very good.

la farola tapas restaurant, spinach and goats cheese filo

Spinach and Goats Cheese Empanadilla

We also tried the delicious tempura courgette flowers stuffed with goat’s cheese and drizzled with honey, yum.

la farola tapas restaurant, tempura courgette flowers

Tempura Courgette Flowers

Favourites like potato and onion tortilla are also served. We enjoyed the fried potatoes with spicy tomatoes bravas sauce which comes in a very cute mini fryer.

la farola tapas restaurant, patatas fritas

Patatas Fritas

The fish tapas includes sea bass with mushrooms and risotto in black ink sauce, fresh mussels in tomato and basil sauce, salt cod croquet, seafood paella, steamed octopus, fried baby squid and sautéed prawns. Homeboy tried the Salmon with avocado, mango salsa and balsamic glaze which was tasty, and he loved it.

la farola tapas restaurant, salmon

Salmon A La Plancha

Meat Tapas includes beef and pork meatball casserole, and grilled lamb cutlets served with butternut squash mash, grilled beef fillet with creamy baby potatoes and broccoli, deep-fried potato balls with beef mince, ham croquet, ham tortilla, Spanish pork sausages, crispy pork belly and mini beef burgers.

la farola tapas restaurant, chocolate desserts

Chocolate Churros and Dark Chocolate Truffles

They had around five desserts on the menu, which included the popular chocolate churros which we tried, and they were delightful. We also scoffed down the homemade dark chocolate truffles which were rich and very addictive. Other sweets included fried vanilla ice cream, passion fruit pannacotta and a cinnamon tart. The drinks list includes famous Spanish brands of red wines, white wines, sherry and liquors. Try the sangria while you are there. They also have a fantastic cocktail selection which includes seasonal specials like a spicy melon margarita and watermelon martini. The other concoctions have some exotic ingredients, and funny names so make sure you check out the list online before you go.

La Farola Interiors

As this restaurant occupies a corner unit, they benefit from floor to ceiling windows on two sides. The decor is a cross between light rustic and shabby chic. With white washed floor boards, bare brick walls and distressed furniture, it’s certainly a pretty place to enjoy your meal. They can seat around fifty inside on small tables (which are quite small) or at high counters surrounded by stools. There is a bar dominating the far end of the room, which is where the cocktails are mixed.

la farola tapas restaurant, interiors

Restaurant Interiors

The word ‘La Farola’ means The Lamp in Spanish, which is brought to life through the decoration. You’ll see an eclectic bunch of lamps hanging from the rafters which range from frilly vintage shades to teacup lights and nautical lanterns. A large ornate mirror hangs pride of place on the brick wall, which is very pretty. There’s a large barrel placed in the room with some potted herbs displayed on top. Overall it’s adorable inside and perfect for a catch up with your girlfriends or a date night. It does get quite busy and buzzy on Thursday, Friday and at the weekend so if you want an intimate date go earlier in the week.

La Farola Information

la farola tapas restaurant, exterior

Restaurant Exterior

Cuisine: Spanish tapas
Price: Vegetarian tapas ££4.50-7.95, fish tapas £5.25-9.95 and meat tapas is £5.95-10.50
Website: La Farola
Address: 101 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN
Near: Angel tube station (Northern Line) and Highbury and Islington tube station (Victoria and Overground lines)
Open: Check the website for current opening times
Décor: Rustic and shabby chic
Seating: Street seating and inside the seating is all on one floor with around 50 covers
Reservations: Advisable towards the weekend as gets packed

Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy for dining with me.