Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.14mi
  3. Distance: 0.47mi
  4. Distance: 0.56mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.14mi
  3. Distance: 0.47mi
  4. Distance: 0.56mi

La Vara is the best Spanish restaurant in Brooklyn, and possibly all of New York City.

We partner with The Infatuation to bring you their smart, helpful, trustworthy reviews of restaurants on OpenTable.

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.14mi
  3. Distance: 0.47mi
  4. Distance: 0.56mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.14mi
  3. Distance: 0.47mi
  4. Distance: 0.56mi

About La Vara

La Vara celebrates the Moorish and Jewish legacies in Spanish Cooking. Chefs and Owners Alex Raij and Eder Montero, of Manhattan's premier Spanish restaurants El Quinto Pino and Txikito, extend their story in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

268 Clinton St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Spanish, Basque

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
Friday: 5:30pm - 12:00am
Saturday: 11:30am - 3:30pm, 5:30pm - 12:00am
Sunday: 11:30am -3:30pm, 5:30 - 11:00pm


Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(718) 422-0065

Website:
http://www.lavarany.com/

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine

La Vara Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.6

ambience

4.4

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Tapas (46)
Fit for Foodies (42)
Neighborhood Gem (42)
See All
Creative Cuisine (39)
Good for a Date (34)
Authentic (27)
Special Occasion (25)
Cozy (22)
Casual (20)
Good for Anniversaries (16)
Romantic (16)
Fun (15)
Good Vegetarian Options (11)
Bar Seating (11)
Notable Wine List (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Seasonal (9)
Good for Birthdays (8)
Good for Groups (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Great for Brunch (6)
Healthy (6)
Local Ingredients (6)
Great for Outdoor Dining (6)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Late-night Find (5)
Hot Spot (4)
Business Meals (4)
Great for Lunch (3)
People Watching (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Comfort Food (2)
Spicy (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Organic (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Scenic View (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
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410 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Great service, great food, although the portions were a bit smaller than I expected them to be.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 6, 2017

I wished I lived close to La Vara so I could eat there regularly and try everything on the menu several times. The food was creative and delicious with surprising textures, colors, and spices. We sat at the bar because there was a problem with electricity in part of the dinning room and that was worked out very well. The bartender engaged us in friendly conversation while giving us help with selecting wine (very good red) and dishes--garbanzo beans (warm, crisp and spicy), crispy eggplant (in a slightly sweet melted cheese sauce), cod salad (least favorite dish of the night), noodle paella (funny to think about), and duck (amazing flavor that lingered on the palate). Can't wait to go back.

Tags: Seasonal, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Great experience, we particularly enjoyed the well chosen wine list.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Really bad service last saturday at brunch. Restaurant seemed understaffed. Also squid dish was not good.

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food4
ambience4
service2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 4, 2017

So many wonderful dishes! The service was attentive but not overbearing and we had a wonderful family dinner. We loved the suckling pig and cucumber salad. We didn’t love the seafood dishes as much but everything else was lovely!

Tags: Seasonal, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 27, 2017

A little pricy for the portions given though food taste great. Thought I'll get a little bit more food for the price tag. E.g., Paella costs $21 but so little noodles - only filled up less than half of a plate and literally 3 bites.

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food5
ambience4
service4

 
·Dined on October 26, 2017

Loved the sangria, chicken hearts, croquettes, lamb and paella noodle dish. A really fun menu, and looking forward to go going back. Service was especially excellent!

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Place is tiny and crowded. Best to eat at the bar if you want room and a very engaging bartender

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Tasty good but don't come if you are very hungry-portion sized are tiny aside from the shishito peppers.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Well suited for groups. Great service. Great food

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Fascinating menu of well-prepared dishes. We will recommend La Vara to everyone.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (London)·Dined on October 12, 2017

Great food, great menu and service overall was great. We were a bit disappointed at the end of our meal when we asked to order dessert and an aperitif and instead of being glad we were staying longer/ordering more food, our server took that opportunity to inform us of our table "time limit" which made us feel unwelcome. It kind of soured the end of an otherwise fabulous evening.

Tags: Tapas
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on October 12, 2017

The restaurant was suggested by acquaintances on a food tour while we were in Paris. It surpassed all of our expectations. Go early you can get a table. The gazpacho with razor clams was superb. We also had roasted vegetables, octopus and a great duck dish. Go here now.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Requested table with room for stroller. Called to confirm. Went to resturant in advance and they showed me the table up front where we would be. This is not the table we were given and there was no room for our stroller.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 2, 2017

Food was really good and great service. Would recommend.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Good for a Date, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Very good. Moments of greatness, but overall just very good.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
·Dined on September 20, 2017

Excellent food, service, ambiance. Well deserved Michelin star.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 19, 2017

I don't normally have Spanish food since growing up in Spain set my standards pretty high but I was really impressed and I'm already looking forward to coming back!
All the specials were great and so was the wine selection!

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 18, 2017

Each time we go to La Vara we realize that we should go more often. The pollo asado and the garbanzos fritos are life changing. And all of the dishes are creative yet comforting. We eat at a lot of restaurants . . . and the staff at La Vara is particularly warm and professional.

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 18, 2017

Very very good....glad I went inventive delicious food and great service

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy, Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 17, 2017

All fantastic tapas. Loved the four gras,albodingas,conejo,carabineros,cochinillo

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 17, 2017

We were a party of 4 so we were able to sample many of the menu items. Every item was unique and the preparation was spot on.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Fantastic neighborhood spot. Great food, great ambiance, great service!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Great friends dinner - great food and service. Wouldn't have minded a little bit of music in the restaurant...

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Authentic, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 9, 2017

My boyfriend and I had a wonderful dinner at La Vara. Everything was delicious. The only dish that we were not happy with, they proactively took off our bill, which was much much appreciated. It was cooked perfectly but not seasoned well and fell very flat against the rest of the meal. We are hoping that was a one time issue. We will definitely be back to try the rest of the menu with friends.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Romantic, Bar Seating, Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 7, 2017

A cozy place with lots of charm and great food. Lots of interesting options

Tags: Fun, Good Vegetarian Options, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 4, 2017

We loved the atmosphere, food and service at La Vara, from the fried artichokes to the enormous sautéed prawns. Market tomato salad very refreshing. Our server was terrific, very responsive. Only quibble: food is very salty. If you've got issues with salt, keep that in mind.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 4, 2017

I had family visiting from out of town and we came here for a nice meal together before they left NYC. The food was wonderful - everything was delicious and well-prepared - and our server was friendly and helpful. It's a little on the pricier side, but for a special occasion, completely worth the cost - I'd definitely recommend!

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Fun, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on September 3, 2017

I hadn't been in a while, so I was so delighted when it was even better than I remembered. I brought my discriminating S.O. and he swooned over it. Warm & professional service (Holly at the bar), innovative and delicious food, lovely ambience. We'll be back.

Tags: Good for a Date, Cozy, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 3, 2017

This was my second visit to La Vara. My first experience was much better, as the portions seemed more reasonable. The food was good, but the portions were ridiculously small. I am usually satisfied with a shared app, and my own entree, unfortunately the entree was also app size. TINY! My friend, and I, ended up ordering three additional dishes to feel satisfied. The place is not inexpensive, and so this led to a pricey bill. I thought that 80's portion sizes were in the past. Guess not.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value1

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Lived up to its reputation. Terrific service and truly special food. A great place to work your way they their variegated menu with a large group of friends. Simply excellent.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 2, 2017

The fideos and octopus were very good, but the other dishes we got were subpar. We ordered over 3 cocktails each even after food but the waiter told us to move to the bar after our dinner which was rude considering how many plates of food we got.

Tags: Bar Seating, Tapas
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service2
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 31, 2017

This restaurant has been consistently great every time I've been there. Will miss it

Tags: Late-night Find, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Hot Spot, People Watching, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Authentic
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 29, 2017

The food was thoughtfully prepared and just plain delicious. Service was great too, which is something that sometimes restaurants don't pay attention to. This restaurant had great service. We will definitely return, Particularly for the appetizers and desserts. We were talking about next time sitting at the bar for a drink and dessert !

Tags: Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 25, 2017

Small but pretty dining space, well balanced tapas menu with some surprises as well as traditional options. Portions were appropriate for tapas. Bread if you request. We shared (2 people) 4 dishes and a plate of bread and were comfortably full. Wait staff available and informative. Wine list also respectable. Safest to reserve ahead.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 24, 2017

La Vera was a great surprise - very good food! in the heart of residential Brooklyn.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Tapas, Business Meals, Tasting Menu, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 23, 2017

Overall a very disappointing experience. The vegetarian options were very limited and the food was mediocre. Service was also frustratingly slow. I expected better.

Tags: Tapas
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 19, 2017

I go to La Vara often and have had good experiences. I have nothing bad to say about the food, which is really good, but on this occasion- a brunch for six people- the service was terrible. Several of us were extremely cold, the AC blasting at us with full force, and the staff was unhelpful bordering on rude, since they said they were gonna turn the AC down, but they did not, and when we complained again (shivering in the summer), they sort of blew us off. It was a very uncomfortable meal all in all.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Every single dish it's amazing...the Fideuá is as good as a "chiringuito" one! The artichokes, the eggplant with honey, the service...can't wait to go back. Està molt bé, no?

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 11, 2017

Wonderful , incredibly flavorful food in a lovely setting. Highly recommend the roasted suckling pig that fell off the bone. Lamb meatballs and noodle paella were also delicious. Definite do over on our next trip.

Tags: Fun, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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