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This town’s restaurant landscape certainly isn’t limited to steak houses and Tex-Mex, but it’s often hard to think outside all the tender fillets and overstuffed tacos.

We’re here to tell you now’s the time to branch out and get into tapas (i.e., shareable Spanish-style small plates).

Here’s the scoop on three new tapas restaurants.

Si Tapas

This hidden State and Allen gem is ideal for date nights--think dim lighting, cozy tables and flowing sangria. Start with the Manchego cheese and serrano ham, then move on to the setas al ajillo (sautéed wild mushrooms in garlic sauce) before hitting the meat train with croquetas de jamón (ham croquettes), solomillo a la mostaza (sirloin steak in Dijon mustard sauce) and Montadito de Casa Lucas (pork tenderloin served on a bed of caramelized onions). 

2207 Allen St.; 214-720-0324 or



We expect a lot from owner Alberto Lombardi, given his track record (Bistro 31, Taverna, Toulouse and Penne Pomodoro), and Sangria doesn’t disappoint. Nestled on Cole right off Knox, this is the spot for medium- to large-sized groups. Order the pan con tomate and the traditional Mediterranean-style cheese plate, which is served with nuts, preserved fruits, honey and bread. For hot plates, get the tagliolini with chicken, truffle cream sauce and cremini mushrooms, and the garlic-and-shallot-soaked mussels. Feeling ambitious? Order the paella.

4524 Cole Ave.; 214-520-4863 or


Cafe Madrid

Tucked into a corner of Katy Trail and Travis lies a true Spanish bistro where Rioja wine is served out of shot-like glasses. Grab your girls and start the night off with some vegetarian items like pimientos alinados (roasted red bell peppers) and Pisto Manchego (spicy sautéed squash, peppers, tomatoes, onions and fried egg). Be sure to also sample the salmón a la plancha (served with hearts of palm and fennel) and boquerones alinados (anchovies--stay with us--marinated in Spanish olive oil and garlic).

4501 Travis St.; 214-528-1731 or

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