La Farola, Islington – top tapas, charcuteria y quesos

Theberton Street, a popular haunt of mine having visited both the delightful Mem & Laz and Sacre Coeur is also home to La Farola Cafe (on the corner of Upper Street).

Because of the sheer volume of eating places in the area, you could miss this little Spanish gem, but sometimes it proves worth it when you take a risk on something fairly new (it has been here two years apparently).


The interior has wall to ceiling windows, a combination of small tables and high tables, then there is the bar for eating. It can be a little cramped, but the customers are quite chilled so there are no embarrassing silences or moments.

All of your classic tapas appear on the menu, but what adds to the experience is the selection of charcuterie and cheese. The charcuteria and quesos are curated from different regions of Spain and are great for sharing.


I opted for one of the cheeses, “Picos bejes-tresvino” which is raw cow, sheep and goat’s milk blue cheese. It came with membrillo, apple, walnut and savoury biscuits. This cheese hails from Cantabria, Northern Spain.

We also piled on some tapas with pimento padron, vieiras con morcilla – pan-friend scallops with grilled Spanish black pudding, arroz Negro – black ink risotto with squid, parmesan and aioli, gambas al ajillo – prawns (shell on) sauteed with garlic, olive oil and hot chilli peppers, additionally croquetas de jamon – serrano ham croquets served with bravas sauce. Everything was so tasty. I was pleasantly surprised as it is not easy to find good tapas in London.


Of course we also had to have tortilla, which was with potato, onion, fresh herb omelette and serrano. I mention this last as it was the only blip on the experience. We believe it was supposed to be served hot as it was warm on the outside but cold on the inside. I also tasted as it had been around for a while. This was not great in contrast to everything else which seemed to be prepared fresh. For such an iconic dish, one should get it right.

Our waitress with the nose piercing was by far the best in the place. Unobtrusive and friendly service is two of my favourite things. There is nothing worse than an overbearing waitress trying to adapt American style in your face service (see if you can guess which one I am talking about). This was not the time and place for it.

La Farola
101 Upper Street
London N1 1QN
T. 020 7359 7707

La Farola Cafe & Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Hey, I am Sammijo the owner of this wee blog. A geeky chick, with a love of Xbox, Spotify, Samsung, Patty & Bun, Langley's No 8 Gin, Netflix, Essex, Aldi and H&M.