La Vara

4.7
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753 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.
What 753 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
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JC
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don't think I can write a glowing-enough review for the experience we had at La Vara. Delicate, bold, delicious. The server was great also. I wish I remembered her name to give her a shoutout!

SB
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

For a Michelin star restaurant it was underwhelming.
Everything we ordered was overly salted and made the dishes not as enjoyable. I felt the price point was also high for the quality. The white sangria I ordered lacked any fresh fruit which is usually typical in a sangria. I was visiting and convinced my friend to join me there so I was disappointed when it didn’t live up to the hype of the yelp reviews.

KZ
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My partner and I split 5 dishes and it was the perfect amount of food. The flavors are incredible! If you’re an adventurous eater, this is a great place to try all the unique tapas on the menu. Highly recommend this cute neighborhood spot.

MS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

La Vara was everything I had hoped for. Zero pretension, just great food. We had the Garbanzos Fritos, fried artichokes, shishito peppers, Gurullos, Fideuá, a risotto special, grilled dorade special, the cake which is standard and a puddingish dish. The latter was the only thing I didn't love.

B
San Francisco
142 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved La Vara! The food is innovative and thoughtfully prepared and seasoned. You have to start with the chick peas. The Salmoreja is perfect, as is the Fideua. The service is friendly and coordinated. You won't be disappointed.

A
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Intriguing menu choices, great flavors, warm and thoughtful service - a delightful evening. We were to be joined by friends whose plane from Denver was diverted because La Guardia shut down during the rain. Restaurant graciously delayed our reservation, took care of their luggage when they arrived direct from the airport, and accommodated orders as people were ready to order. That spread-out schedule provided the opportunity for us to sample several appetizers/small plates, including a tasty off-menu special of a mix of fresh corn kernels with tomatoes and other ingredients, fried artichokes with anchovy aioli, and a luscious plate of salt cod carpaccio with fresh tomato, mimosa egg, dried black olive, and za’atar. Main course highlight was the house-cured duck breast with a savory, but not heavy chocolate sauce, almond picada, and pickled vegetables - not at all a mole, but rather a sophisticated flavor combination worthy of a 4-star restaurant. Yet served in a casual, comfortable setting with servers who seemed to love their jobs, the food they described, and the restaurant guests they served.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Innovative and delicious small plates. We had the croquettes, crispy eggplant, real heart special and sardines. All well composed and delicious. But portions are on the small side if you're very hungry

JK
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 4

Our meal was delicious, but unfortunately we had a less than desirable service experience that leads me to believe that I should not recommend the restaurant to colleagues or friends.

OT
London
13 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great innovative tapas restaurant. Would recommend it to friends.

YO
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

YYYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMM. Thoughtful food and staff. Perfect for reconnecting with the hubby. Loved everything about it.

AS
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always absolutely delicious!

JC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great place, a bit on the pricey side for what you're getting. The wine pour was a bit small considering how much it was for a glass - but overall Great date night place.

f
London
12 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

The recommendation is actually maybe because of the following. The noise level is unbearable and unfortunately it really detracts from the high quality of the food being served.

D
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We were a large group so we tried a lot of the dishes on the menu. It started out strong with the persian cucumber salad which was a wonderful mix of flavors and textures. Unfortunately after that things went downhill. The preparation was good but many of the dishes were overly salty, we all thought the noodle paella tasted like Lipton's onion soup, the the tuna tartare (salty) came with fried motzah that left a burnt taste in the mouth. We had the chicken heart salad, the hearts were yakatori style on skewers and delicious but the salad was so salty it was hard to eat. Sorry, I really wanted to like the restaurant but 8 of us agreed it was disappointing.

RG
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant cooks delicious food.

AE
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful eating experience- late lunch. Meals were served hot, and tasty. Perfectly balanced Sangria.

HC
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved dining at La Vara, but wish I had realized beforehand that they are a tapas restaurant. Our server recommended 2-3 small plates per person. We made it work with several of the smaller appetizer sized dishes and one small plate each. They also had a great happy hour deal on Sangria!

S
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 3

Food was spectacular. Our waitress was truly one of the worst I have had in years. She was passive aggressive, non-accommodating, and pretty rude at times.

SS
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Dishes like lightly breaded and fried artichokes, unbelievably creamy pine-nut gazpacho with scallops, and a delicately prepared octopus salad were some of the best things I've eaten in New York ever. But it's no surprise from the chefs of Txikito and El Qunto Pino, who take Spanish food to an exquisite level.

c
New York Area
210 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very delicious and very creative dishes to share, from the Basque Region. We loved most of them, but it can get pricey.

NG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a terrific meal. The server suggest 5 dishes for the two of us. She was spot on. We had just the right amount of delectable food. We started with the fried Brussels sprouts. Unbelievable. What a great way to get your greens. The meatballs were savory and tender. We had a cucumber salad which was crunchy, perfectly dressed and light. I had the grilled sardines and I refused to share them. I would go back just for these swimmers! Finally we had the crispy suckling pig. It was so flavorful and tender it melted in my mouth and left a smile. I am looking forward to a return visit. It was a great meal.

NN
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wanted to dine there for a long time and we are very happy we went there. My hubby ordered half chicken for us. Blowing off my complain that he ordered a boring dish, I have to tell, the chicken was THE BEST chicken I have ever had! Friendly and professional atmosphere. Beautiful location.

M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food and great service

CA
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Second visit, food was even better then first time around!
So different and interesting flavors.
Impeccable service

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly incredible

B
New England
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Vara is a lovely neighborhood restaurant. It has an excellent menu of tapas with a few regular main courses. The sangria is excellent. The wine list is very good. The beer list needs work. It is a warm and engaging place in a beautiful Brooklyn neighborhood and is alongside a lovely park. It is one of the finest restaurants in New York City. I would give it 2 Michelin stars for food (2 macarons).

AB
Portland
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely lovely restaurant in Cobble Hill where I celebrated my 40th with my 6 besties. Delicious food, lovely ambiance, excellent service. Don’t forget dessert!

SB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 1

Great food but WAY too loud for relaxation and conversation. If sound panels installed I’d definitely recommend and go back.

C
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I went here for a date night recently. We had been to their sister restaurant in Chelsea in the past, which we really enjoyed for many of the same reasons: great service, casual and cozy atmosphere, delicious and interesting food that celebrates great ingredients. We are excited to try their seafood restaurant, St. Julivert, next!

SJ
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was insanely delicious. My favorite was the tuna tartare with fried matzoh. So good!

NC
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Creative menu, creative presentation of very good food. Thanks

JY
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Knowledgeable staff, extremely friendly yet professional service, and the tastes were lucsios. Small snafu with our reservation was unfortunate but did not diminish our enjoyment.

S
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The artichokes were heavenly, the olive oil ice cream blew me away.

K
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always knew that La Vara was great for dinner but not that they do amazing brunch and have a lovely outside dining area. Great experience again!

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love La Vara! It’s a neighborhood gem. Delicious food, warm ambiance and a delight of Iberian and Middle Eastern flavors.

AE
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were initially very disappointed that, despite our telling La Vara that it was our anniversary, they couldn’t seat us on the patio outside as we had requested. Fortunately, our server Jackie M was absolutely wonderful and made up for that. As usual, the food was terrific, the service warm and attentive, making for an exceptional evening. This is one of our favorite places-I think we’ve come to celebrate a birthday and another anniversary at least. Well done!

PS We appreciated the candle with our dessert.

JW
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My new favorite restaurant! The chicken hearts, duck breast and lamb breast are a must. Such an amazing meal.

OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The good is outstanding - so inventive. Can’t wait to go back!

N
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was tasty but not great. Portions were adequate but not generous. Had brunch with eggs but had to ask for bread and for the table to be cleared when courses were completed.

n
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

my only issue was the wine by the glasses weren't really well described and i wasn't happy with either of them. both felt a little bland and overpriced.

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