La Vara

4.7
645 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 645 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
5
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We’ve been a few times and always love our time there. The food is outstanding and very unique. The ambiance was romantic and intimate which is what we were going for. Just always feels like a special experience. Love it!

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OT
New York Area
193 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The service staff are incredibly helpful. If any diner has an allergy, every dish will be explained in detail as it comes to the table, assuring the diner s/he can enjoy the food without concern. The food is fabulous! Every dish arrives with a burst of unique flavors. We are already looking forward to returning for another memorable meal.

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EK
Detroit
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Most unique, amazing dining experiences! Everything was absolutely delicious and so flavorful. We will definitely be back to try more. Also, the staff was so kind and helpful.

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EC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was amazing from start to finish plus the service was great and authentic. All the staff was extremely friendly. All the food was made with quality ingredients and extreme care. Great price point. 10/10 would recommend.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Avoid the long shared table for 10. Too small. Too close.

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D
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is easily my new favorite restaurant: the food is unique and incredible, and the service was perfect. The dishes came out one after another in a steady but well-timed stream.

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SD
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Loved the unexpected food combinations and delicious flavors. Will come back! Our server was a bit inattentive but overall the experience was great.

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GR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service in a beautiful restaurant, but on the pricey side -- especially given how many dishes it takes to get full.

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TL
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Cute neighborhood restaurant with excellent food! It maintains a relaxed and friendly vibe while delivering food with the quality of a fancy high-end restaurant. I wish it wasn’t so popular so we could just pop in without a reservation (it was packed on a Tuesday in the winter).

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J
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious and creative food choices that was fun sharing between 4 of us. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. We will definitely go back the next time we are in Brooklyn.

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JS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

3/5 of our dishes were pretty tasteless... not what I was expecting with so many vibrant ingredients!

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d
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to La Vara for a celebratory dinner and made a reservation for two. When we arrived, we were told by the wait staff that we wouldn't be able to sit at an individual table for two, but rather a table directly between two other parties. This was a disappointment to us, so we asked to sit at the bar instead and enjoyed our meal there. The food was delicious and the serving sizes were larger than we anticipated (still small, sharing plates). In addition to the food, the drinks menu is large. We enjoyed the sangria.

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SN
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely and wonderful food but too loud. Great service.

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RF
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is a charming restaurant that clearly takes pride in its food and service. Celebrated my sons birthday there and everyone has a wonderful time

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrating friends returning to us

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RC
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Service was outstanding. Each dish was well crafted, plated, and tasted amazing. Cocktails were delicious.

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MT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Vara is consistently terrific. Highlights are always the nut-milk based gazpacho (special and not every night - it's absolutely to die for), anchovies, fried artichokes, roast pork belly. Come hungry and share everything.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite places to eat. Being tapas, it’s make fore sharing and the food is excellent. It’s a fair price, so I feel like I’m able to try lots of different things on the menu. The drinks/wine selection is good, I don’t think you can order the wrong thing. The staff is great. Everyone is very knowledgeable about everything that was served, I could ask anyone what ingredients made up the dish and they were able to tell me immediately.

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

Always solid.

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MW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

La Vara is an absolutely excellent neighborhood gem in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Worth the drive from the city or suburbs. A must try on your list!

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OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great tapas and very well paced meal allowing us to enjoy superior food with some good drinks and fun conversations!

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

My husband and I went for dinner on New Year’s Eve- the food was amazing but their was no prefix menu which is pretty typical on NYE. And they really didn’t do anything special- music list was all over the place and lighting was really bright. Just didn’t feel like a special occasion.

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SI
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this place. Stopped by New Year’s Eve. Didn’t stay for the countdown, but certainly started the night off right.

Standouts were the artichokes, eggplant and migas dishes, and all the cocktails were quite good (my wife and I had a few).

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LH
London
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just amazing in every way, from the inventive menu to the attentive staff, can’t wait to return

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KI
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had been wanting to try this restaurant since a friend recommended it to me back when I moved to the neighborhood last year, and finally had the perfect opportunity-I closed out 2018 by having dinner with my two siblings who live out of town by dining at La Vara. Everything from the service, to the drinks, to the food was fantastic. My younger brother can be a picky eater, yet he tried and loved every dish we ordered. My favorite had to be the crab and rice special, it was to die for. I will definitely be coming back and bringing all my loved ones to enjoy.

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EK
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My party of 8 had a blast. Great way to show off this neighborhood gem with a fresh and unique menu among a brownstone lined street. We got a bit of everything being the tapas are small plates. We were blown away by the flavors and quality of their food. Make your reservation now!

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DJ
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the creative city of our meal. This was not your basic brunch. Really enjoyed it!

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A
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was great, the service was great and the suggestions by staff were great!

We will definitely be back!

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EW
Anchorage
3 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

The food was beyond amazing and the staff was very fun. The chairs and tables are like something from a wobbly vintage outdoor barBque.. who thought they were a good idea? They need a larger space. Go for the food and drinks...

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic and the tapas style dining made for great conversation starters.

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GK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 5

Was very excited about this place. Unfortunately the plates are really small and quite expensive.

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C
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

I’d been here once before and had a lovely meal but this time around it was incredibly salty to the point of being an edible. I was with a group of four and we all agreed it was incredibly salty beyond enjoyable.

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BW
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious tapas! I went to La Vara for my birthday dinner. At first, I was a nervous as we were a large group and not everyone in the group loved tapas. La Vara won the skeptics over! The drinks are well done -- the Spanish vodka is particularly smooth. The food is fantastic. We ate a lot of the daily specials as well as trying most of the regular menu. The stand out dishes at our table included: croqueta, berenjena con miel, migas aragonesas, albóndigas, fideuá, and carabineros. Everyone left full! I would highly recommend.

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R
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious and varied. It it all went well together and I liked the novel take on things.
It was truly a delight. And the drinks/cocktails were also fun.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great!

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OT
Minneapolis
21 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wow!! This was some of the very best food I have ever eaten!! The pork dish was unbelievably good and the anchovy toast was to die for. If I lived near this restaurant you couldn't keep me away. Loved!

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AG
New England
7 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Sadly this restaurant lost its Michelin Star. The food is really wonderful, and the price is surprisingly decent for a restaurant of this quality in New York City. The portion size of each plate varies, and it is easy to order too much at this restaurant (so just be careful!). My favorites were the rabbit, the duck, and the artichokes. Be sure to tell the server to pace the dishes well, as our plates came out super fast in the beginning, and then slowed after we requested.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Overall great experience!
Food break down;
Olives - literally just a jar of olives
*Rice cooked in tomato water (dunno what that means) with crab & mushrooms - it’s pretty much a crab risotto, which is great if you like crab
Cumin Lamb breast - AMAZING! This is a must try!
*Shrimp dish that was half seared & half raw in a white cream sauce with olive oil - don’t do it!! The texture of the shrimp was exactly what you would expect from half cooked shrimp

*specials the night we went

Our server was so sweet and kind even after we refused to eat the shrimp. She was also very knowledgeable about the wine selection & helped me pick out the perfect one!

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NE
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing and authentic Spanish Cuisine. I was instantly transported to the Basque region upon entering. I would recommend the cider to drink and for you to keep a menu to explore. Food was bold and playful, each dish a wonderful experience.

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O
Nashville
29 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

La Vara is a real gem.

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