La Vara

4.7
599 reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Spanish, Basque
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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
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Phone number
(718) 422-0065
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Happy New Year! La Vara will be ringing in the new year with a few extra special specials in addition to our regular menu. Join us to send off 2018 and start off 2019 right.

Monday, December 31, 2018

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.5

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

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 599 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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GC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was really special. Lovely service. Nice ambiance. Not to loud so conversation was easy.

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T
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

This was our fourth time at La Vara in the 5 plus (?) years since it opened. I found the food to be even better than our last visit (probably about 18 months ago). However, we had to wait at least 30 mins for our table despite having reserved and confirmed, and then the service was painfully slow (although cordial). Our waitress took her sweet time with every request (we were half way through our meal before our wine came) and considering our wait to be seated, service should have been much more attentive. That said, the food was excellent, every dish we ordered was great to amazing. A lot of attention to detail and to the balance of flavors. Ingredients were all fresh, and presentation was professional. Overall, we would return, but it would really round out the experience if the restaurant to be more attentive to service.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Finally got to try this neighborhood gem after walking by so many times. Did not disappoint! Will definitely return.

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k
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was SOOOOOO good!!
Fantastic service.
Everyone LOVED this meal.
Cannot wait to go back.

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LM
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a very nice moment at La Vara for a brunch. I particularly loved the neighborhood, which is si much quieter than Manhattan with amazing Autumn colors. We had very high expectations for the food, and were a bit disappointed (tortilla not so tasty). The service was also very nice. Nothing outstanding.

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OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend’s birthday

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food! Must go

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RS
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Without question the best anchoas in New York City.

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TT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The location was a little surprising. Essentially a residential area, apart from the one adjacent restaurant. Nowhere in the vicinity for a pre dinner drink as we had travelled from Manhattan. They were able to accommodate us earlier than our reservation and we had pre dinner drinks with excellent olives.
Staff very attentive and the daily specials offering impressive on top of the standard menu.
It is as advertised, tapas, so expect certain dishes to be small. A couple of the highlights were the Migas Aragonesas (suitable spicy punch, Fideua (pasta beautifully cooked) and the Rabbit loin.
Good atmosphere and nice vibe. The table sharing somewhat strange and wouldn't suit everybody. Very enjoyable night but lack of surrounding venues may be an issue for some.

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WT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great meal at La Vara - the tapas allow you to experiment and explore, which was both fun and delicious. Highly recommend making a reservation as this is a popular restaurant, even on a Sunday night, which was when we visited. They also included a candle for my birthday for dessert which was a lovely touch.

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G
New York Area
94 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great foodie eat lots of yummy things madness! Although the salt crusted fish was recommended by eater, go with the duck!

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W
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Really loved it at La Vara. Went with my mum and husband for a long leisurely lunch. Service and food were brilliant. The churros for dessert were spectacular! And the wine options are top notch. Thanks for a lovely day.

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O
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

So good! Highly recommended!

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JL
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

By far the best authentic Spanish food I have had in NYC. We have been to Spain literally over 100 times for business and pleasure, so for us to find a restaurant that brings back the pleasure of the savory cuisine of Barcelona, Valencia and other areas as well is outstanding. Of special note is the Fideua, paella with noodles instead of rice....a staple in Barcelona. Also, unbelievable alcachofas, fried artichokes, as well as their roast suckling pig. It is no wonder that a small restaurant in Brooklyn received a Michelin Star.

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OT
New York Area
46 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really outstanding spot on a charming block. Great ambiance and reasonably priced (mostly) small plates. The eggplant must not be missed.

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CF
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for my birthday, and the service, the food, the ambiance, and the overall decor were great. We had an excellent server who guided us through the experience and offered amazing recommendations. The food was fun and shareable, so we could enjoy ourselves and intimately converse. Highly recommend La Vara!

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m
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Another AMAZING dinner - exceptional! Attention to detail is phenomenal throughout the meal and the team is first rate!

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E
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

I love its tapas style (the portuons are small but it was good for us) and the food is very authentic Spanish but has a NY twist.

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DC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

La Vara was delicious, the cucumber salad we had blew us away and generally we were happy with everything we ate. A few of the dishes seemed a bit expensive for their size, but others were great value and ALL were delicious.

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OT
New York Area
100 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

With friends, an amazing array of fantastic flavors.

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RJ
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food is creative and fresh. Portions are small, although reasonable given the prices. Innovative work happening in the kitchen. A few knockout dishes (fried artichokes, Persian cukes, Shrimp dish). The paella and Migas Aragonesas were ok. Nothing too special. Sat at the bar, service was good.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really really love how the kitchen decides the order of the dishes. The pacing of food out of the kitchen was suspiciously accurate and everything was incredible.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Really enjoyable experience. Wonderful waiter who was very helpful in guiding us through the wine list and menu.

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JC
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

This is a fabulous restaurant in a great part of town. Food excellent, and creatively presented. Highly recommend.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely perfect. We had so many different flavors and the service was incredible. Would definitely come back.

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CM
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal, beautiful back patio. Really cool spanish dishes - recommend the migas.

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KG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I surprised my girlfriend for her birthday here. A friend recommended it. We had one of our favorite meals of 2018 here.

Our server - I believe his name was Zach - was superb. He guided us through the entire experience like a total pro.

The food (and wine) was superb. It seemed to keep getting better and better as each plate came out. Nothing was a dud - which is crazy considering we had about 7 plates (including the snack and dessert courses). Even the plates we took a "risk" on (ingredients we generally don't love like eggplant) were amazing.

Our favorite plate if we had to choose was likely the noodle paella. Highly recommend it.

La Vara definitely earns a 5 star. A perfect blend of fun but romantic, cozy but fancy, delicious but accessible.

If you're like me, this place is likely a "special occasion" place only but if you have the finances, this would a regular spot in my eyes.

Thanks, La Vara

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W
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Top notch. This is superb food that has the table moaning with pleasure.

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NB
New York Area
35 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A must-not-miss in Cobble Hill. As relaxing as it is charming,

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F
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great Spanish food, beyond the standard tapas offer. Creative combinations, fresh ingredients, totally recomendable.

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h
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good food and ambiance. highly recommend for for special occasions, or to go with friends

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CD
Edmonton
16 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was a good first Michelin star experience. I wouldn't say that I would return but the meal was enjoyable. We had the octopus, chorizo bread dish (could use more of the grapes), the rabbit loin, and the paella.

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r
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant blew my mind dish after dish. Nothing was disappointing - we even ordered two dishes a second time because they were so extraordinary. A new favorite in the city!

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JM
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Overall a good experience, food is awesome but noise level is extremely high and proximity to next diners, intimate to say the least. We were seated at what was essentially a communal table. Which is fine for very casual dining but not this.

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L
Seattle
62 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious creative food and excellent sangria. The service was excellent. Definitely recommend this place!

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RL
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Very good option

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TD
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed every dish, every second, every wine. Thank you!!

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NR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I really enjoy the food and the terrace. The waiters were really nice and diligent. My only complaint, if I have to say something is that the menu is kind of short.

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HB
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

You come for the food and the wine which is very carefully chosen and prepared. The food is unique without being pretentious. You dine in a relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere. All in all a special evening out.

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M
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great Spanish tapas spot. Good spot for a date. Eggplant was incredible choice

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