Solea Restaurant and Tapas Bar

4.3
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1674 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
Solea offers diners a taste of the culinary heritage of Spain right in the heart of Moody Street. Since opening our doors in 2001, we’ve made it our mission to give the Greater Boston Area a reason to look forward to sunset every day of the week.
What 1674 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NF
New England
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food1service2ambience4

All of the tapas were pretty disappointing, probably one of the worst dinners I’ve had out to eat since moving to Boston. Not that it was totally awful but there was just nothing special to it, the sauces and seasonings and textures were all just bland and subpar, absolutely no reason I would pick this place over anything else - even bar food. Must add that I am the least picky eater and hardly even leave reviews but... almost seems like they didn’t even try to create unique or tasty dishes. Service was okay but rather slow.

SP
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Solea was fine. The food was good, the service was decent, but I didn't feel like it as anything to write home about.

OT
New England
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Have been here on multiple occasions and I just feel like food quality has gone down.

Ordered white sangria - tasted like mango juice with water and orange.

Buñuelos - good bite (only reason food gets two stars)

Tostadas de alcachofas (artichokes) - soggy bread, missing salt

Pechuga al ancho (chicken breast) - chicken was dry and the sauce was also missing flavor

Solomillo con chimichurri - missing flavor completely.

Patatas bravas - I was really looking forward to this and they tasted like old soggy potatoes and flavorless.

AM
New England
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Just ok .... mediocre

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I took a new date on Valentines day. We ordered the special Valentines dinner theme. 5 total Tapas plus desert. The food was tasty and there were plenty of selections to choose. We ate everything and I did leave a bit unfulfilled. Otherwise i felt atmosphere was terrific and the waiter perfect.

RF
New England
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great experience!

s
New England
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food1service5ambience4

The paella was burnt and the manager told us that that’s how they like to serve it. When I explained to him that I was from Spain he told us that was going to take it from the check but did not apologize

JR
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great from the moment I walked in. My 35th Birthday is one to remember thanks to Solea!

j
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good portion sizes and reasonable prices make Solea a great find! The wait staff are friendly, but don't hover and the service was fantastic. Great cocktail list as well & the drinks were delicious with good servings of them.

C
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I enjoyed my first visit. My friend and I had three small plates. The garlic shrimp, the brussels sprouts, and the cauliflower broccoli fritters. We really enjoyed the first two but the fritters were a bit bland though they were crispy on the outside and soft in the middle which made them nice. Wouldn’t order those again but will return and order some new options.

l
New England
13 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We enjoyed out birthday lunch. The food was great and our server was very professional. The only suggestion I might make was thsat the lamb chops were slightly bland, and it would have been a little better if the meat came spread out, and not just all at the end - but this was surely not an issue the server was in control of and I didn't think to ask suggest it.

Otherwise, the flavors of each dish were wonderful and the portions were enough to share amongst the 5 of us (we got 2 lamb dishes, because 3 lamb chops aren't quite enough to 5 carnivores!

The other slight issue was that the birthday girl asked to sit at a banquette, but this was declined. Out round table was fine and I imagine they were saving the banquettes for smaller parties, but there was a spot that sat unused. But this was a very small issue and the bright cheerful room was very comfortable.

We will be back!

AP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall1food2service2ambience5

I had booked this restaurant for dinner for my wife and I, and another couple that we were meeting after a while. We had heard great things about this restaurant and we want to have a nice dinner and catch up with our friends, so this seemed like a good choice. Soon after we were seated, our polite server kept nudging us to order. That was okay and we did not mind that. However, we had not even finished the main course, when the server came to ask if we were interested in dessert. We asked her to come back in a few minutes when we were done with the main course. She did, and we ordered the dessert. When she brought our dessert, she said that there was another party waiting for our table and she would be happy to find us a table in the bar area once we had done eating. She was polite about it, but I have never had this experience in any restaurant where I am rushed through dinner and asked to vacate the table because there was another party with a reservation. Interestingly, there were several other tables open when we were done. We moved to the bar area after dessert and hung out there for about 30 minutes. We noticed that there were still several open tables when we left. The food was not bad, some of the tapas was okay, but nothing to write home about. For example, the paella tasted okay, but was not made with the typical rice used in paella, and was dry. Even the flan was not that great. I don't think I would go back.

T
Savannah
4 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This was our second time to Solea. We ordered the vegetarian paella and tapas and both were excellent. Well flavored, we could taste a hint of rosemary... Never thought of adding rosemary to vegetables, but it worked. We will definitely return.

BN
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Solea is just lovely. Flavorful tapas, both cold and hot, entrees such as Paella (and several kinds, small and large), good sangria - all in a festive, upscale - but not too upscale - environment. While we come here often for special occasions, Solea is very approachable and not overly expensive, so you can come here simply to get a nice drink and a few tapas, sit at the bar, etc. Service is good and accommodating - the staff is very happy to make recommendations on what tapas to get, how many for the amount of people, appetite, etc.
I hope to come back here for many years to come!

JN
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great place for sharing multiple tapas dishes with friends.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Solea is one of the best tapas restaurants in the area. They have a great wine list, and each dish is prepared with great care and flavor.

DD
New England
56 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

I was disappointed and surprised at the good reviews. It was mediocre in all respects, definitely the least interesting food of any Spanish Tapas place I've ever been and the prices were high for what you got. For example, a mixed appetizer plate of meats and cheeses was really just four half slices of bread with a slice of meat and two pieces of cheese on each piece. The Brussel sprouts were bland and soggy. Both the regular and decaf coffees were served lukewarm. Usually Spanish tapas are served piping hot, and are a nice mix of interesting flavors and textures. Not a single dish was special, and they weren't really sized for sharing. They even charge extra for bread.

OT
New England
10 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Will definitely come back again. Loved the food and it's a great place to meet up with friends.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Birthday! Highly recommend for a group celebration.

L
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall2food1service3ambience4

Had high hopes for Solea and was really looking forward to a great dinner with my daughter. We met in Boston and had one night to get together for a nice meal.
Let me preface by saying that I lived in Spain for over 12 years so I know what tapas are and what they taste like. We ordered chorizo (subpar), beef empanadas were awful and flavorless, croquetas were very good but they were cod, not chicken like we were told. We also had a cured meat platter (embutidos). The bread was delicious but the jamón serrano was very thickly cut making it difficult to chew. The broccoli and cauliflower buñuelos were the only thing we really enjoyed. We also ordered artichoke , mushroom and goat cheese crostini... they were inedible. White sangria was tasty, we ordered a liter. We ordered a variety of tapas and only a couple of things were edible.
Waitress never questioned why we were leaving so much food. I did mention that the croquetas (of the day) were not chicken and she said she was told they were. Never apologized. She seemed to be very busy. I felt bad for her and my complaining to her would not have made a difference in the food flavor.
My daughter loves churros so we ordered them. They should have been crispy, fluffy inside but instead they were greasy, as if they had been fried twice.
To the owners of Solea, please taste the food.
See what your customers are eating. Sad to say were truly disappointed.

JN
New England
21 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Feels tired. Too big for the number of customers. And, it was a Friday night. Yet, the service was slow but friendly. The food depended on what you ordered. Tapas were ok paella was good. Feels like it needs a work over. They could fit two restaurants in space. Parking of course not easy in Waltham.

OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Probably the best tapa place in the Greater Boston Area. Amazing food, splendid service, reasonable prices. Highly recommend to anyone to visit and enjoy it!

OT
New England
12 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience3

Great service, the food was good, could have been better.

LL
New England
20 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I had a hard time finding parking. They seated my friend . When I arrived 15 min late, waiter came over immediately to take my drink order. Food was a lot of fun and I even doubled up on spinach.....

DW
Dallas
10 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to share tapas and have a great conversation with friends. Two in our party had a gluten allergy and our server did a great job of ensuring they had a great experience

S
New England
17 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food1service4ambience5

When you walk in to Solea, the decor and ambiance is absolutely charming which made it so promising. I am very particular about Spanish food & the food was mediocre at best. We ordered patatas bravas, alcachofas, gambas al ajillo, setas, chorizo & paella. The paella was a hot mess with the overly abundant amount of sea food almost climbing out of the pan - it was definitely cooked by someone unfamiliar with Spanish cuisine. There was no socarrat on the bottom & lacked saffron & salt. Chorizo was the best thing we ordered. I would not recommend this restaurant for authentic Spanish cuisine but it is a nice place to have a friendly lunch.

t
New England
6 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was exceptional. We tried many different tapas and each was better than the next! The chef really knows how to prepare good quality dishes. So many other places have dishes that’s even I can execute. But this is a culinary art form. Truly an experience that will enlighten your taste buds. We will definitely be back for more!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was terrific (lots of options, including vegetarian ones). Waiter was great. And restaurant allowed us to sit for as long as we wanted after dinner. A treat.

a
New England
10 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

Food was good, some dishes better than others. The Garlic shrimp was good but the oil had surprisingly little flavor, so we suspected the garlic was added later, since there were big pieces in it. The patatas bravas were not in the traditional form- more like loose roasted potatoes with somedUce drizzled om, and were cold.
The biggest negative was the truly terrible service. It took literally 10 minutes to get any server and then was another 15 before drinks arrived and we could order. We saw our waiter chatting at other tables and with staff so I am not sure why. We had 3 children at our ya me and it was hard to have them wait so long. We finally asked for some bread since they were hungry and getting cranky- as was I. One of our party ordered paella, but was not told it took about 30 min- until he asked about it once the tapas had all arrived and been eaten. The desserts were great- especially the flan special. The food might warrant another visit (but not for a romantic dinner- too loud) but the indifferent service would kept me from going back. And in case you think k I am exaggerating, a dinner for 7 people that consisted of about 8 tapas (which all came out about the same time) and the paella took over 3 hours. Maybe not a problem if we planned for it or didn’t have children there, but not acceptable due to bad service.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience3

Service was slow, calamari was in a big fried clump. Empanadas were good and short rib was yummy

R
New England
41 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great meal in the early evening on a Saturday night. The wait staff was friendly and helpful as we asked about a dozen different plates we were considering. With their help we chose well; terrific and flavorful dishes. It was a very good birthday.

KD
New England
12 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

xmas gathering

z
New England
163 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I hadn't been here for several years and was pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. Our group of four came for lunch on a Sunday. The restaurant wasn't crowded, hence the noise level was low. All the dishes were tasty and the service was excellent. Will return!

t
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food. Everything we ordered was fantastic and delivered hot and well-timed. Tapas were outstanding. Food quality was excellent and the variety was truly special. Great food, great atmosphere. Definitively recommend.

NH
New England
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Solea has excellent food. It is best to go there with a big group because you can share and try lots of different food. The service is excllent but slow sometimes. The ambiance is warm and inviting.

AM
New England
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious and the service was very good.

DC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Place is lovely and the service was great. The food is fine. Not bad but not great either ...

PF
Austin
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This was my first time visiting the restaurant after living in Waltham for a year. Went with a friend and it took us a while to order because we were reading a lot of Yelp reviews. Finally we ordered the Oceano Paella and beef empanadas tapas. The paella took about 35 to 40 mins but we did not feel it because of the empanadas and great conversation we were having. Our server was very nice and patient since we took a while to order. I liked the room decor and ambience. We got a small paella which was able to feed both of us and we were very full. For desert, we got churros-- because I never had one before. I didn't particularly like the hot chocolate that came with it but the churros were good. When we got our bill, I was a bit shocked, thought it would have been more expensive but it wasn't, we did not get any alcoholic drink which I think attributes to that. I'd recommend Solea to a friend.

d
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great last minute Friday evening date night. We shared 5 tapas plates for our dinner.
Love the potato bravas , the spinach with garlic and raisins was delicious. The boneless short ribs had a lovely sauce.

WB
New England
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My new favorite!!

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