La Vara
La Vara

La Vara

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://lavarany.com/
  • Phone: 7184220065x
  • 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 Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
La Vara reviews from OpenTable diners
66 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.7
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (54)neighborhood gem (48)romantic (20)special occasion (16)great for outdoor dining (12)great for brunch (11)good for groups (10)notable wine list (4)great for lunch (3)hot spot (3)scenic view (2)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • 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
    Mansi
    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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • mamkam
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Impeccable service, great sangria and small plates. A perfect date spot or neighborhood favorite for a light dinner and glass of wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfection
    gwenlliant
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We saw this restaurant featured on tv before our trip to New York and suggested it for dinner one night to my NY son who had never heard of it. We were all thrilled. Our experience couldn't have been better. The food was amazing and the service stellar.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 40 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 21, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 28 reviews are from the La Vara reviews archive.
  • A Perfect Gem, Great Food/Service
    MarkinKYVIP
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    We found La Vara on Open Table and WOW what a great experience. We were treated like family from the moment we walked in--Olivia was just great, so helpful with suggestions and quick to get us everything we needed. The food is delicious, simple and inventive, but also very authentic (based on meals I've had in Spain). Wish we lived in Brooklyn Heights, we'd go there every week. I recommend this highly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful!
    Vpalo
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I dined at La Vara last week for brunch and loved it. The food was outstanding and interesting, the service was friendly and knowledgeable, and the location is great. I strongly recommend it for brunch and would love to go back and try the dinner!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ricisima
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    That's Spanish for totally delicious. Every dish we got for brunch for five was outstanding. pimientos de gernika, patatas bravas, artichokes and fava beans, cuchifrito, tortilla de gambas. We passed on the sweet stuff, burger and squid sandwich, but can imagine that they were equally good. Service was excellent, not overbearing.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Excellently prepared delicious food; great service; very interesting cocktails and desserts.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We'll be back!
    MomW
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    Food was very good! Inventive and flavorful dishes--good portion sizes for sharing. Service was outstanding. Our waitress, Olivia, gave us great suggestions for us first-timers. The other staff were attentive and friendly. We are anxious to try the other things on the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Gem
    Dean
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    We were pleasantly surprised by the unique tastes of the tapas, especially the spiced fried chickpeas and pork belly special dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • a gem in cobble hill
    Lourdes
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Thank you La Vara! We had an awesome time. At one point during dinner we felt like we were back in Spain. The suckling pig and croquettes were AMAZING. We will definitely be back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely restaurant
    Morty
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Went for a double birthday celebration with a friend and we loved it. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. We had five dishes of various sizes and all were yummy, especially the spiced fried chickpeas and the sort of deconstructed Mediterranean salad (a special that night). I will say the noodles served with the paella didn't work for us - prefer rice. But the shrimp, squid and clams were great. The wine (Rioja) was perfect, as was our dessert (Natillas De Arroz Con Leche). I particularly want to praise the staff, who were friendly, knowledgeable, helpful yet unobtrusive. I hope to go back to La Vara soon!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So many flavors in each dish
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    I have been to this restaurant for dinner but this was my first brunch. As expected, the food was marvelous. Yes, you can get eggs and "French" toast, (and much, much more) but everything is prepared more thoughtfully, originally, and flavorfully (is that a word?) than your standard New York brunch. The blistered peppers, churros with dulce de leche, and cuchifritos were particular favorites at our table. Ours was a group of 8, and we were comfortably accommodated. And servers were friendly, knowledgeable, and appropriately attentive. One suggestion: ordering just a brunch main may not leave you agreeably satiated -- make sure to order a few pica picas (starters) and/or an extra main to share.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Very noisy, crowded. We were squized in at the middle of a communial table between two other parties although we did book a table for four long time in advance. Service was careless, food was just all right, portions very small and pricey. Will not return!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Won't Go Back
    BeeWoman
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    I used to love this place. Went on a Friday night and couldn't hear myself think because of the noise. And way too expensive. The n/a prices on the menu should be mentioned. Not sure what happened. Did it change owners? I won't go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tapasextrodinary
    Janetzim
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    I have had tapas before, but here the flavors were intense and well thought out. We had one tasty dish after another. Of the six dishes we ordered for two people, only one missed its mark. Thanks for a fun evening!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brooklyn Rules!
    lazygirl
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    La Vara is a great restaurant! The food is awesome, affordable, the service just as good as it can be, an absolutely delightful treat. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great!
    Dave
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Food was truly excellent and there's a good selection of wine < $50.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.