La Vara

4.7
701 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 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 701 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
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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DZ
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is delicious, especially the noodle paella, shishito peppers, and roasted cumin lamb. Portions on the small side but everything is meant to be shared so order plenty!

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DL
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful food, beautiful garden patio out back, the service was great... We are so happy to have made the trip from Toronto to visit your restaurant. We will be back again!

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SC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Some dishes were excellent, while others were not great. Highly recommend the chicken and eggplant. The chickpeas and prawns were way way too salty, and the pasta was mushy. Unfortunately we were charged for two of the same dish, but we caught it and had it refunded.

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JC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

It´s ok. Good food. Maybe a little bit overpriced for the food they give you. We are Spanish.

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p
New York Area
105 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Egipcio 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 Great restaurant, fantastic wine

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DN
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very bustling but cozy restaurant, nestled in calm and quaint Brooklyn. With our reservation, we were immediately seated in a hedonistically large and comfy booth, but walk-ins seemed to only wait at most 15 minutes for a table. Service is efficient and effective, as things get done quite tidily for such a busy and small restaurant. Dishes came out within minutes of each other and after ordering. Everything was wonderful though, the food is elevated yet homey tied into delicious blends of different cuisines. We all thought the cooked meats were a touch overcooked, not that the flavors weren't compelling enough to force us to finish it. Portions were a bit smaller than expected, but for the price, it was still reasonable. The desserts were fine: absolutely luscious semifreddo specialty that night but the egipcio was very dry like sandy shortbread but nuttier and less sweet. Still a hit of a restaurant, and not one I'll forget.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

we went for a mothers day lunch. the menu is very limited. there was nothing special for mothers day on the menu. we had brunch. most of the options contained egg we have egg allergies. the meats they had were pork and lamb. we don't eat pork or lamb. we asked for chicken but it was not available. the restaurant is cute but nothing special. the waitress was very nice and tried to help deal with our requests but unfortunately there was nothing she could do. i would not recommend this restaurant to my friends nor would i ever go back.

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JR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Vara was one of the best dinners I’ve had in a long time. The ambiance was great, the cocktails were fantastic, and the food was superlative. The one thing I would say is that the portions were small, even for a tapas restaurant, so the entree sizes were really more like a large small plate. Would definitely return.

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J
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very Good!Enjoyed the different plates.Each choice was a good one.

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OT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The cochinillo was a bit bland. However, the tapas was great.

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ER
New York Area
109 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Interesting food..lots of choices for a vegan....friendly and helpful service...DO NOT MISS THE FLATBREAD

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HM
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

I was underwhelmed by my experience at La Vara and wouldn’t recommend it. Firstly, the cava I ordered was flat and had to be sent back. The small plates were mostly good but the only really exceptional dish was the fried eggplant & cheese. The dessert was really disappointing: dry cake, fruit clumsily prepared with pith on, nice chocolate that didn’t go with the other elements. I didn’t feel it was good value for money.

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ES
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

With a big group (8 people), it took awhile for us to get all of our dishes. The dinner was almost three hours, but nevertheless, the food was outstanding. Will be returning.

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MS
Toronto
36 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

La Vara is a neighbourhood gem. Tucked away in Cobble Hill, it's well worth the trip from anywhere. The tapas selection is consistently good - try the pasta from Murcia - and the service was attentive. The decor is a little uninspired and the ambiance could be tweaked to create more of a vibe. Otherwise, highly recommended.

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c
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Interesting food, excellent service! There were 6 specials on the day we ate there, which is quite a lot! Pretty much everything you order there is going to be excellent and unique.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always

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KH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went here for the second time Saturday night and this place is now officially one of my favorite restaurants in New York. La Vara’s food is off the charts and each dish is better than the last. Incredible flavor, beautiful presentation, and accessible ingredients and combinations. Worth every penny!

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SN
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very enjoyable experience in both food,service,and ambiance.

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GT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

One of our favorite places in the neighbor, we had never been there for lunch and found it just as appealing as dinner. Fresh takes on classic menu items, great service and good value. It could be a bit quieter but we love La Vara!

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BT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Experience at LaVara is what I have come to expect -- delicious food delivered with sensitive and expert service. Always a pleasure!

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c
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

food and service were superb
will definitely return

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Felt unwelcome from entering the door. Server looked put upon to educate us about the menu. Food was rushed. Never inquired about how we enjoyed the wine or meal. Server was unable to clearly describe the special and was robotic in her delivery. She could care less about our dining experience. Will never go back or recommend to others.

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SM
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Loved the food! Only disappointment was the runny eggs when we asked for them to be well cooked.

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D
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a neighborhood favorite that never disappoints. The food is surpassed only by the service, but both represent an attention to detail that is worth every penny.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

We were excited about this place from reviews and actual close friends who raves about it, but we found the food lacking. The cucumber and grain salad was among the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, and the shrimp were incredible. The rest was, meh. Bland, lacking flavor or seasoning. I find myself yearning for the delicious restaurants of my hometown of Chicago, and NY tends to let me down with these close-but-no-cigar places. La Vara is a place I desperately want to love, but only really liked.

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NP
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love the inventive choices on and off the menu. Great, attentive service. Not a huge fan of the desserts.

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JG
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable but a bit packed in at the Bar. Really good staff. Not cheap, not expensive.

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NS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was so good! The food exceeded my expectations, the atmosphere was fun and lively especially for a Monday night. I received a candle on my dessert acknowledging my birthday in a subtle manner which was lovely. Can’t wait to go back!

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R
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Super tasty, simply delicious. Great brunch menu without the usual suspects!

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ES
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was magnificent the food is just so excellent it make you want to try all. The ice cream at the end blow your mind. The service is so professional and friendly at the same time. Love La Vara

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J
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good dinner overall, some dishes clearly better than others. Good wine

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was perfect!

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LS
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

La Vara is a wonderful combination of fresh, vibrant and incredibly flavored dishes coupled with a relaxed, warm and inviting atmosphere. Our waiter was knowledgeable, professional and friendly. He made sure to
manage expectations; we knew dishes would come out as they were ready -- the perfect time at what to enjoy them. The decor is simple and inviting. Prices skew a bit high for such a casual feeling spot, but menu ingredients are surely top notch and likely more expensive. Our only objection was to the wine prices. Spanish and Portuguese wines usually skew a bit more reasonable, but we paid $60 for four quite skimpily poured glasses. We live in the neighborhood and are looking forward to becoming regulars -- but may stop elsewhere for cocktails first.

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JM
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always delicious. Great service, dishes, specials. Highly recommend!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The food is spectacular and interesting. The cocktails were worth the money, the waiter was knowledgeable and pleasant. This was our 2nd time dining and we will be back. Get the anchovies and mezcal cocktail and thank me later

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KP
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

La Vara was great, would definitely recommend that you make a reservation. It's a small, but popular spot among locals, and even with a reservation you're likely to be waiting at least a few minutes for your table to clear up. The food, sangria, and espresso are delicious and super fast. The staff are warm and welcoming. Will definitely be back.

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BF
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere!

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BS
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious.. staff was great.. lots of restaurants in this neighborhood but this one is outstanding

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B
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Vara is a neighborhood gem. Food is amazing! My salad was so colorful it could have been a photo for Food and Wine magazine. Servers are welcoming, friendly, and attentive. It’s always busy but you never feel rushed.

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KK
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food, wine and ambience. Service was a little slow at times and we did have to wait a while for our table even though we had a reservation. Overall great experience.

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