*Pintxo y Tapas: Spanish; Englewood; 47 Dean @ Palisade; 23/20/$49; 201-569-9999; Some of the best Tapas anywhere; Large selection of mouthwatering, authentic delicacies; All meals come with complimentary soup; Paellas are excellent; Plenty of hot a la carte items to pick; Best of all- the Sangria. Name changed from Tapas de Espana. Facelift has caused slight decline in quality. Portions huge. Paellas so-so. Endless Tapas to pick from including Grilled Calamari. 25+ main course entrees as well. https://englewoodtapas.com/
Lola’s: Spanish; Hoboken; 153 14th St @ Bloomfield; 22/21/$38; 201-420-6062; www.yelp.ca/biz/lolas-hoboken Numerous hot and cold tapas selections; Wine bar and great sangria; Has daily specials; Happy hour 4-8pm daily with great drink specials; Sexy interior – date friendly; Fun vibe; They have 100+ different items on menu, all tapas and they specialize with seafood Tapas.
Sangria: Spanish; Mahwah; 1033 MacArthur Blvd; 23/20/$46; 201-962-3310; http://sangriamahwah.com/; One of the rare Spanish places in Bergen County (most in Newark). Incredible Sangria – try the 4-6pm Happy Hour weekdays; Endless Tapas menu including Grilled Calamari and Chilled Lobster meat; Great for groups; Off beat location but worth the trip; Share a handful of Tapas for your table and enjoy.
*Segovia Restaurant: Portuguese; Moonachie; 150 Moonachie Rd; 23/16/$38; 201-641-4266; Extremely personable service; Wonderful seafood combinations; Lobster tails to die for; You will be treated like family; Energetic setting where you will leave full & satisfied; One of best of its genre outside of Newark. Try the shrimp in garlic sauce. Chilean Sea Bass; Even the steak is well prepared. Red & White sangria available. Fairly loud and often a wait. Endless specials. If you can’t get to Newark go here. Tapas menu as well. Grill Squid. Prime Rib. Huge menu. www.segoviarestaurant.com;
*Adega Grill: Portuguese/ Spanish; Newark; 130 Ferry St @ Madison; 24/20/$48; 973-589-8830; www.adegagrill.com; One of the fancier of the genre; Gigantic portions of incredible fish and seafood dishes; Large wine list; Epic quality sangria; Friendly staff in lively yet elegant-ish setting. Romantic option in the area. Hip adjacent lounge. Try the grilled seabass or lobster tails; Service is excellent. Has a large bar. Grilled Calamari as well.
Allegro Seafood Grill: Portuguese; Newark; 58 Kossuth St; 24/22/$33; 973-344-4500; www.allegroseafoodgrill.com; Amazing portions that promise a great bang for the buck; Nice outdoor patio for summer; Smallish place and parking tricky at peak hours; Courteous service; Great alternative; Garlic shrimp special; Pitchers of sangria; Menu is endless – features tons of seafood and fish, especially lobster and shrimp. They will grill calamari for you and add it to a salad. Italian influences on the chef. Lots of steaks on menu as well. https://www.yelp.com/biz/allegro-seafood-grill-newark-2
Casa d’Paco: Spanish; Newark; 73 Warwick St; 25/20/$45; 862-307-9466; www.yelp.ca/biz/casa-d-paco-newark; Incredible reviews that are well earned at this wonderful Tapas Bar; Super friendly and accommodating service; Try the passion fruit sangria; Closed Mondays; Parking is tricky at times; Extremely affordable; Most of the tapas are seafood oriented; I’d get several Tapas and share for the table.
Casa Vasca: Spanish; Newark; 141 Elm St; 23/16/$36; 973-465-1350; www.yelp.ca/biz/casa-vasca-newark; Huge menu of amazing seafood selections; Steak selections as well; Massive portions of food all served with soup and rice; Shellfish central; Can dine at the bar. Stands out among the many Newark options. Bit off the beaten track; Full bar; Free parking; Menu is huge. Attentive service and reasonably priced.
Chateau of Spain: Spanish; Newark; 11 Franklin @ Broad-Mulberry; 21/17/$37; 973-624-3346; www.chateauofspain.com; Serving classical Spanish and Portuguese cuisine; Also – great variety of American classics; Casual bistro bar set up; Try the seafood paella, Shrimp enchiladas, Snow Crab legs, broiled lobster, King Crab, a variety of steaks and lamb and veal. Great location near Prudential Center. Maybe too much American food on Spanish menu?
Don Pepe: Spanish; Newark; 844 McCarter Hwy @ Raymond; 21/17/$51; 973-623-4662; www.donpeperestaurant.com; Truly the home for gigantic portions of lobster and steak; Tasty sangria is a must beverage here; The seafood paellas are outstanding as well; More than enough to share; Lobster stuffed with crabmeat; Shrimp in garlic sauce; Various steaks, veal chops – oh it’s just perfect for a feast. Excellent pricing. Service is iffy. Location is very close to Prudential Center.
Fernandes Steakhouse: Portuguese; Newark; 152-158 Fleming Av; 25/21/$40; 973-589-4099; Rodizio at its best; Servers come by with endless meat offering on skewers; About 12 types for $38. Huge portions if ordering off menu- seafood is outstanding; Large salad bar/ buffet; Festive atmosphere; Great bang for the buck. Perfect for a boys night out; Your stomach will be stuffed. Rave reviews from all sources. Large place. Broiled seafood combo; King Crab; Lobster Tails; Has a full bar. $9 martinis. www.fernandessteakhouse.com;
*Fornos of Spain: Spanish; Newark; 47 Ferry St; 26/20/$52; 973-589-4767; www.fornosrestaurant.com; Huge portions of delectable steak, seafood and paella; Great for large groups or sharing; One of the more famous Ironbound Spaniards; Sangria to die for; Fun, festive atmosphere. Surf and Turf is worth trying. Paella is excellent. Lobsters calling your name. Free parking; 250 seat restaurant. Pricy for genre. Excellent service – reliable. Wine cellar has 450 different bottles; Nice dining room and separate bar area. Grilled Calamari.
Mompou: Spanish; Newark; 77 Ferry St @ Congress; 23/22/$37; 973-578-8114; www.mompoutapas.com; Tapas house; About 20 different Tapas to choose from which can be served in larger portions as well. Sophisticated with a beautiful courtyard; Entertainment on weekends. Lounge feel; Happy Hour weekdays from 4-7pm; Not your typical Ironbound restaurant. Outdoor courtyard. Full bar. Has Grilled Calamari on menu; Sea Bass. Really just a Tapas house with $12 cocktails and Spanish wines. More of an upscale feel.
Sabor Unido: Portuguese; Newark; 77 Jefferson St; 25/16/$33; http://saborunido.com/; Brazilian options as well. Incredible Yelp reviews. Family run; Near Adega; Tons of steak/ beef options – half and full sizes available; Grilled Calamari, Cod, Red Snapper and tons of Chicken entrees. BYO. Lunch or Dinner. Super casual setting. Likely better for lunch.
*Seabra Marisqueira: Portuguese; Newark; 87 Madison St @ Ferry; 26/16/$37; 973-465-1250; Authentic seafooder; Large portions; Free parking; Great service though bland décor; Full bar; Notable selections are Codfish, Grilled Jumbo shrimp, King Crab Legs, and Twin grilled Lobster tails. Lobster stuffed with crab as well; Lots of steaks as well; Don’t forget a pitcher of sangria. Rave reviews. Grilled Calamari.
Sol Mar: Portuguese; Newark; 267 Ferry; 24/20/$37; 973-344-8540; www.solmar-restaurant.com/; Fresh fish, seafood and steaks; Connected to a bar; More laid back for the area; Fabulous value and spot on service; Get taken back to Lisbon; Smaller menu than most of this genre as they focus on quality. Just a gorgeous interior; Website has a great written description of the culture of the place. Stuffed Lobster with Crab meat! Quality galore.
Spain: Spanish; Newark; 419 Market St @ Raymond; 22/18/$38; 973-344-0994; www.spainrestaurant.com; Beautiful murals on the walls; Well-spaced tables, lively atmosphere; Old school Spain feel; Giant menu focusing on splendid seafood entrees including Lobster; Various combinations and sauces to choose from; Noted Spanish wine list. Huge portions of steak and seafood. Close to train. Free parking. Known for the Paella.
Spanish Tavern: Spanish; Newark; 103 McWhorter St; 25/17/$45; 973-589-4959; www.spanishtavernnewark.com/; Gigantic portions; Seafood heaven; The lobster and paella stand out; The usual lively setting ideal for a group or celebration; Bit more expensive than competition but the quality is there. Just a huge menu and you will leave with a full stomach. Well reviewed Sangria as well. Solid wine list. Professional service. Free parking. Get take-out after a day game! Seafood is super fresh. #1 ranked in Trip Advisor. Paella Valenciana!
Taste of Portugal: Portuguese; Newark; 148 Delancey St; 21/17/$37; 973-274-0600; Authentic regional cuisine; Fun bar and great sangria; Try the clams casino, Grilled Lobster, Crab-stuffed lobster; Paella Valenciana, or Twin lobster tails. Also features a nice selection of fish including sole, swordfish, red snapper, and codfish. Steaks include grilled prime rib and Pork chops with clams. Can’t go wrong! https://www.yelp.com/biz/taste-of-portugal-newark
*Tapas de Espana: Spanish; North Bergen; 7909 Bergenline Av; 24/20/$38; 201-453-1690; http://tapasnj.com; Some of the best Tapas in Bergen; Large selection of mouthwatering, authentic delicacies; All meals come with complimentary soup; Paellas are excellent; Plenty of hot a la carte items to pick; Best of all- the Sangria. Friendly service to boot. Date-friendly décor and also great for a mid-sized group. Flavorful steaks. Mixed Seafood Salad incredible.
Meson Madrid: Spanish; Palisades Park. 343 Bergen Blvd; 22/20/$35; 201-947-1038; Website is excellent. Pan Seared Sea Bass; Beef Short Ribs; Prime Rib; Huge portions of their non-tapas menu; About 30 Tapas as well; Twin Lobster special for $30.95; Wonderful Paellas; Broiled Lobster tails; Full Bar; Fun vibe; While not as good as the best Ironbound Spaniards, it is still a solid option. Been around 30+ years. www.mesonmadrid.com
*EL Cid: Spanish; Paramus; 205 Paramus Rd @ Century – Rt 4; 24/17/$48; 201-843-0123; Lobster central. All time huge portions of seafood, Paella, ribs, and Prime Rib; Try the Twin Lobsters = ‘3’ one-pounders; Tasty sangria; Overall- fun, family style dining for not too much! Mixed bag on service. Recent reviews have prices going up and cleanliness going down. Prime Rib is gigantic. Excellent sangria. More than enough to share.
*Sayola: Spanish; Tenafly; 50 Prospect Terrace; 22/23/$48; 201-379-4311; http://sayolarestaurant.com/; Such a gorgeous setting – the space is ideal for a date. They also have a large bar area away from the main dining room. Lobster, seafood, shrimp are their signatures; Spanish Tapas as well around 22 to pick from; Lots of main entrees – which are pricier – include veal, chicken and steak options and of course lots more seafood including Chilean Sea Bass.