La Nacional is a Spanish style tapas restaurant and bar. The interior of the building is decorated to reflect its casual, yet refined aesthetic. The room is mostly lit with low wattage Edison bulbs giving off a dim glow and an elegant black and white tile floor. There is a large fully stocked bar entrance of the restaurant that houses local and national beer in additional to several varieties of liquor, especially tequila.
The best time to go to La Nacional is during its daily happy hour, when there are specials on both drinks and some select small plates. La Nacional's menu is distinctly inspired by Spanish flavors and ingredients. Some of the most popular items on the menu include fried potatoes in a garlic aioli and guindilla sauce, grilled shishito peppers, crispy and creamy croquettes, stuffed dates wrapped with bacon and a savory grilled squid with parsley and garlic.
Meh....paella was decent ....appetizers were fine. Wine was the best deal.....tempranillo. no complaints but not outstanding flavors or preparation. Paellas was a 3.5 star deal. Service staff were prompt and attent but had no personality...barely spoke. Place was near 90 degrees...I sneaked out and propped the entrance door open because staff did nothing. Noise became unbearable in the smaller room which they crammed full before seating people in their other room....then the dude with guitar started playing at the tables...not exactly talented.
Very unique and funky in a good way. Has been here for ages and for good reason.
Delicious food, but the ambiance/decor was lacking. Great spot if you only care about the food. Service was friendly.
We had a lovely dinner, we hadn't seen each other in a while and the restaurant was perfect for lingering over food and wine. The tapas were nice portions - the standouts were the shrimp, artichoke, and bacon wrapped dates.
I used to go with my father to this club 50 years ago. We owned a restaurant a few doors away. I was disappointed in the paella. I will try it again however. Everyone has a bad night. I like what most Gallego's and other Spaniards like a perfectly cooked Paella. That is, the bottom of the pan charred but the rice slightly alienate and with some liquid left. That's hard to do with a single paella pan. We will see next. The waiting team was fine for a neighborhood place. My friends have raved about the place. That's why I will try it again.
This place is old fashioned Spanish. At least half of our fellow diners were Spaniards. It's not glamorous or trendy, maybe just the opposite. And delicious.
Don't go there, no people, don't speak English j. Not friendly. Food not good. Nothing worth your money
I made the reservation on opentable at 9:30 to arrive at 10:30 (they were closing at 11). We got there (2 of us) earlier before 10:15 and there was only one occupied table (they were finished). We probably should have left when the server (while seating us) asked if we wanted paella before we sat down or even looked at a menu. The few staff were trying to get out and rushed us through the meal. We tried 3 tapas and paella. The grilled sardines were very good. The croquettas and octopus tapas were bland. Descent paella, but with no atmosphere and the rush to get out we were disappointed. If they didn't want to seat late tables they should not have made one available through open table.
I went here with a group of 7 people on a Friday night and they seated us right away. The service was great and large pitchers of sangria are only $28. We ordered 3 different tapas, 2 paellas, and a meat and cheese platter and it was great for a light meal for 7!
Minimal decor, but the food is good. Mushroom croquettas, bacon wrapped dates and paella were good. On certain nights they have flamenco performances.
We shared various tapas dishes, which were delicious. The dates and the octopus specifically were outstanding. Our server suggested Sangria which was the perfect show. She was very efficient, friendly and helpful.
How Open Table could endorse a place this bad is incomprehensible to me. The waitress didn;t even know if the bar served margaritas! The pace was empty, stank from bleach, and had the same tiles as were in my grandmother's basement in the sixties. The food is authentic Spanish only to the extent that food is cooked in both places. The prices were high for what you received, we ordered the cheese plate, complete rip off. Try another place, ANY other place.
This is the place to have Paella; excellent
This is one of the best Spanish restaurants in NY. And the best Paella ever.
Great tapas that seem "authentic". Good prices and lots of choices. We ate there prior to attending a performance at Atlantic Theatre and it was just right.
Definitely one of our favorite Spanish restaurants. Not fancy, but really really authentic. I've lived in Spain, and this certainly captures the experience of everyday Spanish dining.
I like this place and looked forward to eating here again but they forgot the appetizers until we reminded them and the dessert never came. We didn't get billed for the dessert but I generally like to get the things that I order. Different from my last experience but I would go again.
It was lit like a cafeteria and we were the only people in the entire restaurant and it took over 15 minutes to be greeted. And our greeting was "Do you know what you want". Then we ordered and the first tapas item to come out was something we didn't order. Will not be back. Between the ambiance, service and food definitely not worth a return visit.
As we go to the city each Christmas and since this year we were meeting our 2 cousins in the city, we needed a place that would accommodate our location and tastes. We discovered La Nacional when we investigated a "sister" restaurant, Socarrat, in Zagat. La Nacional had the charm of an authentic Spanish bodega with its rustic, pine furniture and below ground level setting. On the walls were pictures telling the history of Spain in the "New World"; which proved to be very enlightening. Our server was very efficient and was able to answer any questions about the menu items. We ordered a pitcher of the very best red sangria we have ever had, along with nine tapas which was plenty for the four of us. Of the nine, the Spanish omelette, the grilled sardines, the pork/veal meatballs, the charcuterie of 3 meats and the cheese assortment were outstanding, with the remaining four being very good as well. We ended with two desserts, the flan and the bread pudding which were excellent. The whole experience made this years Christmas trip very special.
La Nacional is a great authentic Spanish restaurant housed in the building of the Spanish Benevolent Society. The prices are very fair for Manhattan, and on Saturdays they have a live flamenco show upstairs. It's the closest you'll get to Spain in the US.
My two high school girlfriends and I met for lunch on a Sunday. One friend is a high school Spanish teacher. She said the paella was the best she's had outside Spain. Great tapas selection and the sangria was excellent. Very fair pricing.
The Paella La Nacional was outstanding! Very flavorful. We also had the calamari appetizer which was cooked perfectly. Great place to go with friends to hang out, drink sangria and have a great meal.
Visited La Nacional this weekend, and spending several weeks in Spain this summer. The food is excellent and holds up well to what you would find in Spain.
we were looking for a table for 12-15 people…and one of my friends suggested this place…it was great for the group…we wanted to talk and obviously that would be noise, but no one seemed to be bothered. We were sort of having a get to together after a year or so. Great place for a group, but not for a couple if you are looking for a romantic time. nice food, we all loved it. Nice sangria.
I've been here many times and the food is always very good. This nite were only two tables taken in our dining room, ours was four older women talking, the other a larger group and very noisy. Between that table and the music (which we asked twice to be turned lower) it was very difficult for my party to hear each other and we felt we were shouting. The paella La Nacional, as always, was excellent. The person who ordered the vegetarian version said it was pretty much nothing but rice and chickpeas and she barely ate it. If you're prepared for what may be unavoidable noise from happy other diners, you should have a good time.
For one of the most extensive Spanish tapas menus and paella ...meat, seafood, chicken or vegetarian ...authentically prepared and attentively served, with a correspondingly good wine and beer selection ... look no further
Incredibly noisy. Uncomfortable chairs and tables but if you need a paella fix go for it.
Not a good date place. Groups were way too loud. Had to shout over them.
This is my second time dining here and it didn't disappoint me at all. The fried artichoke was fabulous, gazpacho was so creamy and dreamy and you MUST have octopus, which is tender and perfectly seasoned. Also, gotta try Black Paella. The waitress was very charming and attentive - she said that she is a Madridianne and the food at La Nacional makes her feel like she's home and gave us great advices in choosing dishes. I love this restaurant not only for the food, but also the simpleness of the atmosphere and sincerity of the staff. The decor is far from pretentious. The price is just right, too. Though I'm afraid that this place could become too crowded, I would highly recommend La Nacional and I'd go back there very soon.
Unfortunately I was shocked by how poorly maintained this restaurant was. I feel as if I should stop writing because I sadly have not many positive things to say.
Delicious, authentic tapas and great wine. The food came out quickly and the servers were friendly. It's a bit of a hole in the wall, very basic (the ceiling features bare bulbs- no frills here). On a prime Friday night there were maybe only 4 other tables. What it lacks in decor, it makes up for in charm. A perfect place for a low key night with friends.
I dined here with a friend on a Friday evening around 9:00. The decor of this garden level restaurant is no frills basic and reminded me of my days living in Spain. Prices were reasonable and food was good, but the service from our waitress left something to be desired. I'm not sure if it was a language barrier, but she didn't seem to understand some of our (basic) questions such as "Is there onion in the tortilla?" "Can we have some more Brava sauce?". I could see past this, but after bringing us our food we were not checked on for well over an hour. Finally we were able to flag her down for the check, but she never came to offer us coffee/dessert/see how our food was etc. Overall a decent experience, but nothing mind blowing.
Service was lax on a moderately busy Friday evening. Ordered two appetizer/tapas and one entree for two. Server forgot one of the tapas and it was difficult to flag down a server in between courses. As for food, amazing gazpacho, otherwise food was just average.
Loved this little restaurant. It's a bit rough around the edges but part of what makes it special. The food was quite good. Rustic. Never been to Spain but it felt authentic. Had amazing roasted peppers, potatoes bravas, grilled squid, paella, and the dessert was really yummy. Will definitely be back but this time with friends.
We went on a busy Friday night and the restaurant was full and lively. The food is great but sadly the service was quite lousy . Pity, because this can be a great place for a great evening.
Great food, great service, you will love this spot for its traditional decor, leaving all the snootiness at the door.
I expected a little more from this place. Our waiter only checked on us when we gave our order and then he vanished. We had to ask another waiter for our food, which we waited for for 30 minutes. Being a vegetarian, they didn't really have too many large plate options to chose from. Overall, I would not return.
Pleasant experience.. Nice authentic vibe and tasty basics.
The food was delicious. Almost all of our small plates came out at once, which I don't prefer, but we didn't ask for them to be staggered either. There's an open kitchen in the middle, so you know its clean, but it gets a bit warm in the restaurant. The place had a very authentic feel. I'd definitely recommend it.
The paella was ok, the octopus really was not. It just was not that nice....