La Boqueria is an all-day eatery in the über-trendy Parktown North, taking its inspiration from iconic food markets, such as London’s Borough Market and Barcelona’s La Boqueria on Las Ramblas.
The menu is mostly Spanish, but darts from one corner of the globe to another to encapsulate delicious market-style food. All the dishes are designed with two things in mind: sharing and feasting. The focus is on traditional styles of cooking (using skillets, wood ovens and live fires) and makes for a real food experience. The term ‘eat with your eyes first’ applies here.
The lunch and dinner menu runs the gauntlet from healthy (Peruvian ceviche) to fried (street food-style finger food such as samosas, bhajhias and patatas bravas) and more. The paellas are slow-cooked, in a traditional hearth for a delicious, smoky flavour. Some of the highlights of the Coals menu are the 500g rib-eye on the bone and the whole fish, but don’t leave without trying the kababs – lamb, chicken, beef or pork belly – skewered, marinated overnight and grilled on the coals to maximize the flavour. For dessert, take your pick from churros, gin-tonic tart, whoopie pie and more street sweets.
The décor takes inspiration from the mid-century, with a warm colour palette, a mix of wooden furniture and cabinetry behind the bar used as display units. The super-cool décor features are undoubtedly the salvaged 1950s orange postboxes and Lady Boqueria, a six-metre-high mural of a Spanish torero, who watches over the whole space. At once cosy and welcoming, the space has different sections: tables and booths, a dedicated bar area and the upstairs area where you can hide away or have a private function. The floor-to-ceiling windows mean that La Boqueria is sun-drenched for most of the day and still gives you the feeling of sidewalk eating well into the evening – much loved throughout The Parks. The outside veranda with its pergola and fireplace in the corner is a fabulous all-year-round spot to while away your time.
The bar focuses on some of the best small and boutique South African wine farms – with an emphasis on natural and biodynamic wines. A small-batch wine list, which changes every week, champions up-and-coming winemakers, but there are other tipples and aperitifs to take your fancy.
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