It’s hard to think of many ways Bar San Juan could feel more authentic, save for relocating the entire building to a backstreet in Seville. Situated at the epicentre of Chorlton’s beloved Beech Road neighbourhood, this exceptional tapas restaurant occupies an ideal corner spot, its bright yellow and red timber front contrasting the darker brickwork of the street itself, meaning it always kind of feels sunny here, even when it’s not. A small number of tables sit out by the roadside, with another few found down the atmospheric alleyway. Most of the seating is inside, mind, including a few high stools for those that want to take this casual dining experience even further.
After deciding where to sit — or finding whatever is available, given how popular Bar San Juan is — it’s time to turn our attention to the menu. Dishes here are split between traditional tapas plates and modern takes on old country classics. Highlights include the Almejas Salsa Verde (clams in garlic and parsley sauce), Brochettes de Rape (pan-fried monkfish on a bed of samphire and tomato salad), Marcella de Burgos (Wagyu black pudding with Burgos rice, apple compote and roasted peppers), and Cojonudo Trufado (Majorcan spread chorizo with fried quail eggs and truffle oil).
Of course, classics such as Jamon Reserva, Calamares Fritos, and Papas Bravas are also available, and there’s a strong range of options for vegetarian diners, too. We’d recommend Espinacas con Garbanzos & Hummus (spinach, chickpeas, potatoes, hummus and black olives), Queso Frito (fresh cheese pan fried with sweet tomato jam), and the Pimiento de Padron (pan fried Galician peppers with Maldon salt). Complementing the food, you’ll also find a range of Spanish bars on draught, from Alhambra to San Miguel, and a well-selected wine list celebrating some of the best bottles Iberia has to offer.