La Vara
La Vara

La Vara

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://lavarany.com/
  • Phone: (718) 422-0065
  • Hours of Operation:
    Saturday- Sunday 11:30am -3:30pm

    Monday - Thursday: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm

    Friday- Saturday: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am

    Sunday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Basque
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: No
A word from La Vara
La Vara celebrates the Moorish and Jewish legacies in Spanish Cooking. Chef Alex Raij and Eder Montero, chefs and owners of Manhattan's premier Spanish restaurants El Quinto Pino and Txikito, extend their story in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
La Vara reviews from OpenTable diners
72 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (57)neighborhood gem (56)romantic (19)special occasion (17)good for groups (16)hot spot (15)great for brunch (9)notable wine list (8)great for outdoor dining (6)late-night find (6)vibrant bar scene (4)great for lunch (3)kid-friendly (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Incredible!
    TateVIP
    Dined on 11/25/2014
    AMAZING. Overall, one of the best meals I've ever had. The deviled eggs and Dover sole are fantastic
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply great!
    porcupine
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Overall La Vara is fantastic. I came here once for brunch a couple of years ago, and have been saying ever since that I should try it for dinner. An opportunity to do just that presented itself recently and, boy, was I impressed! This place fully deserves the high ratings and rave reviews that it gets. The main reason to go is the food. Most dishes range form very good to excellent. Some are amazing.The service is attentive and friendly--they take the time to explain each dish in great detail, give advice, including when to pace yourself. We spent nearly three hours ordering one dish after another and could not find fault with any of them. Bottom line is, go, you will not be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Home run in Brooklyn
    Kschmick
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    If you like tapas (and who doesn't), this place will make you swoon. If only my stomach could have held more food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brooklyn gem
    even
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    One of the best and most enjoyable meals that I've had in a long time. Friendly, attentive and knowledgeable staff and excellent food. This is a small, intimate (but still spacious) restaurant that I plan to return to soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High quality of food
    Katsu
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    My first try failed because the restaurant was already packed (in a weekday!). I think this restaurant is really polular so that you would need to make a reservation. Dishes are small, so this is not a place if you need to fill your stomach (or you should make sure to have $$$). I had a daily special lobster soup (sooo delicious!) and paella. Although I did not order any wine, I should point out that the restaurant carry mostly Spanish wines. I usually do not find this variety of Spanish wine selection. I would like to stop by again for wines and other dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing
    WillM1
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    I headed to the restaurant excited to experience a Michelin rated dining experience. Waitress told me that I had ordered extremely well (got 7 dishes between 2 people). Nothing really stood out. There were no dishes I'd go back for. The "best thing on the menu", the sucking pig, was the biggest let down. Service was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Experience
    FunFoodie
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Lovely place. The staff was wonderful. Food was excellent. Sangria was on point. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • La Vara was great!
    TheFoodCritic
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We stopped in for a quick bite at lunch time, and were very pleased with our food and service. Thanks, La Vara!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really loud, but delicious.
    reviewernickname
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    First, let me just say that the food at this place was phenomenal. However. I was warned that the restaurant was very loud, and is it ever. The hostess was very soft-spoken which made it even harder to hear. It is a tapas place so expect the plates to be very small. Even the "large" plates are small so it'll take a few (like 8) for three people to be satiated. On our particular night, the heath inspector came to the restaurant and everything in the kitchen was on hold. Our food slowly trickled out over 2 hours. It was infuriating because we were starving. I know this is beyond the restaurants control, but it really affected my experience. Had the inspection not ruined service delivery this place is pretty good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a find
    joebeef
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    A gem in Cobble Hill. Food was outstanding as was the service and help selecting the right wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, but don't run
    Ilikefood
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Creative Spanish-moorish food, but reviews were grossly over-rated. Some dishes bombed like the ripped bread dish drenched in oil. Others were delicious. Nice vibe.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very nice
    goodfood
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Great food. A bit pricey. Bustling energenic atmosphere. Service was somewhat detached and unattentive. Limited wine list but adequate for food served. Good location in Cobble Hill Brooklyn.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bootcamper
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Loved the take on tapas- the devilled eggs and the lamb meatballs were delicious. Service outstanding with describing all tapas! Small intimate environment. Lucked out finding this gem on the internet!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hidden gem that feels like home
    Bellyisimma
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Consistently amazing food and very attentive wait staff. I took my 85-year-old mother out for dinner here and they made us feel very much at home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Keeps delivering
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    My second time there in 6 weeks. Went with a larger group and the service was still amazing and the food continues to impress.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stands out in neighborhood
    honestdinerVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Very good meal, interesting menu, attentive server - liked it enough we purchased gift certificate for worthy friend
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Spanish Food
    MansiVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Everything we had was just fantastic - octopus with blood sausage and egg was my favourite. And the churros are just unbelievable and served with the best dulce de leche I've ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely tapas restaurant
    Jane
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    La Vara provides a wonderful tapas experience with well prepared and beautifully presented Spanish specialties. They seem to always have creative specials to enhance their daily menu. If the weather permits, dining in the lovely little garden is preferable to inside, for roominess and low noise level. The small dining room/bar gets noisy very quickly. Service is attentive and concerned about allergies and food preferences. Drink choice is good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner with the family
    Emem
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    We celebrated our anniversary here with the family and had a wonderful time. The food was really delicious -- we enjoyed everything, including the wine, and our waiter was charming. The only drawback was the noise. We had to sit close together so we could hear each other. For a small restaurant, the noise level was much too energetic for me. However, I'd love to go back and would recommend it to friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyed it!
    Zach
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Read about this place as a great place to go for vegetarians and it DID have some good vegetarian options, but I'm not sure if I'd call it "great". Would definitely recommend the pasta dish with goat (which you can get on the side), and the service was really great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • If you like small plates
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    If you like small plates, you will like La Vara. You need to go with many people in order to taste different dishes. This is not a dinner place, where you can get some appetizers and then a main course with sides. It is all small plates and there is no order in which the food comes. It was all tasty, but I would rather eat a regular meal when I go out, especially since I wound up being hungry and spending a lot of money.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • good stuff trust me
    Sarahbande
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Good stuff all around great tapas great stuff. Over $100 for two though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Inventive and delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Very friendly staff and ambience; can be noisy but fluctuates. They concentration is on the food and excellent wine and drink list. But it is the food: remarkably inventive plates, small and large, with very distinctive flavors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved it
    Luvproteinandvegetables
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Great food Interesting menu. Very accommodating to specific food requests/allergies Could actually hear my friends when they spoke
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Downhill
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The menu for brunch has changed and it was lacking a bit of flavor and substance. This place used to be one of the best for dinner and brunch and both recent experiences for both meals have been a little less than par.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great experience
    opentabler
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Delicious eclectic plates for sharing, inventive menu. Very friendly and accommodating service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unique
    DizeKane
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Lately I have felt that Tapas is just a restaurants way of charging you more for smaller plates. Not here. This feels more like a delectable sampling of a chefs ingenuity. Excellent. The fried artichokes with anchovy aoli are not to be missed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Service, even better food
    Jason
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Shout out to Olivia, our server that evening... She took amazing care of us. Extremely knowledgable with cocktails, wine list, and dinner menu. Guided us throughout the meal, and she made the experience very special. Food highlights: lamb breast (damnnn), eggplant, churros. Will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic food but forget talking
    BoerumHillary
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    The food at La Vara is outstanding. The menu is flavorful and varied. Each small dish is a pleasure. Service is knowledgeable and pleasant, although the food comes a little too fast for a leisurely repast. Five dishes are plenty for two dining ladies, so your bill is a pleasant surprise, too. La Vara has a serious drawback, though. It is VERY, VERY NOISY. The charming tin ceilings, brick walls, and wooden floors all bounce and magnify sound, and even without additional music you have to shout to be heard by your dining companion. It's worth it to wait to get one of the three tables outside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 43 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 41 reviews are from the La Vara reviews archive.
  • delicious meal, great service
    Rhoda
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    This was my first time eating at La Vara. What a great night! Our server, Nick, was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and serious. From the first cocktail (something crisp and light with lemon juice and quinine syrup that I wish I could remember the name of) we knew we were in for a treat. There's an un-fussy-ness about the food that is really refreshing. Each dish felt surprising and well-crafted without being overwrought. A fantastic meal from beginning to end.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Inventive and delicious
    PhiladelphiaVisitorVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    We had seven different plates, all of which were unique and excellent! What a delightful find.. Saw it on Eater 38.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the food, not the portion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We are locals and love the fact that we have such a wonderful restaurant within walking distance from home. The few times we have gone, we always had good service and great food. My only consistent complaint is the price compared to the portion. My husband and I received a gift card and we spent $150 (with drinks) for the 2 of us and we left the restaurant still feeling a little less than satisfied with the amount of food. It’s really hard to justify $5 for 2 small, croquetas barely the size of your index finger. (We do, however, love the fact that you can make res for 2).
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Such unique tapas...
    LuvYumStuff
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    This place is so delicious. I've had dinner multiple times and brunch once and have not had a single disappointing bite. It's unlike any other cuisine and everyone who I have brought here has absolutely loved it. The backyard is adorable and the staff are very friendly. There is large table seating in the dining room which can be noisy if you are looking for something quiet or romantic, but the food makes up for anything that you could fault this place for.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gin and Tonic!
    Rebecca
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Been here twice and have enjoyed both visits. The food is unique and satisfying. Great for groups or a date night out, as the plates are ideal for sharing. If you enjoy gin and tonics they are highly recommended at La Vara -- both for presentation and taste!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kit Kat
    KITKATVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Always love this neighborhood gem. The Spanish food is fabulous ....lots of small plates and you want to try EVERYTHING! Go with more than 2 people to get the most enjoyment. Small plates are served as they are ready, so it's always a surprise. Small but good wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    This place is amazing every time. The food is unusual, creative, fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • TAsty
    Birthdaygirl12
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Very much enjoyed my meal. Lived up to the recommendation
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    We went on a Sunday evening. Service was impeccable. Highly recommend the fried artichoke- it started what turned out to be a very good meal. We split several appetizers. The eggplant was recommended but we all felt that the honey was overpowering. The waitress had good insight into the wines and although I can't remember which white she recommended it paired perfectly with the flatbread appetizer- which we enjoyed so much we had a second! Never felt rushed through our meal- the whole experience was positive and I will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Heightened Food Experience
    CGBstoneVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Every bite of every dish registered off the charts - fabulously delicious! Service and attention excellent as well. Can hardly wait to return!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely Place for Dinner
    Huckleberry177
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    The ambiance, service and food quality and preperation were tops. Great spot for a celebration or just a casual meal. Drinks from the bar were spot on as well.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.