tapas in chorlton on a sunny day hollygoeslightly

Ok, so I’ve written about this place before, in fact it’s one of my favourite places to eat in the whole of Manchester (and beyond actually). With the sunshine in the sky this weekend, where better for a girly lunch than Bar San Juan in Chorlton.

And it’s not just me, I’ve heard many-a-person say that this is their favourite joint in Chorlton and it’s even been written up as one of the best places for tapas in Manchester (if not THE best). 

Bar San Juan is teeny-tiny and always packed and they don’t take reservations, (which is actually a good thing), so you just have to rock-up and hope for the best. On a sunny day or evening, it’s not unusual to see a gathering of people getting merry on Mahou and Sangria, waiting for a table and looking on enviously at the lucky devils who are already tucking into their Spanish scrum.

So the clock struck 12 (lunch!) and off we trotted for our girly lunch of tapas. Yes! There was still a table outside and as if someone was watching-down on us, wishing a fabulous lunch upon us, it was drenched in sun and had plenty of room for the pram too. I’m not going to lie, my pace quickened as I didn’t want to risk losing this bad-boy and phew, we made it. I could relax. (Does anyone else get that food-related-is-there-a-table-free-outside anxiety?).

tapas in chorlton on a sunny day pram selfie hollygoeslightlytapas in chorlton on a sunny day pram selfie smiling hollygoeslightly

Drinks ordered, we perused the menu. My date Lucy is celiac and to be honest, I’d never noticed if there was any gluten-free options on the menu and she was happy to see that there were plenty of them. At Bar San Juan, they often say three to four dishes per person should be suitable, so obviously we opted for four to five.

What we ate:

Gluten Free options: Patatas Ali-Oli, Anchovies with Garlic and Olives, Prawns Pil-Pil, Chorizo, Octopus

Non GF: Dates wrapped in Bacon, Chicken Paella, Deep Fried Goats Cheese Bon Bons, Bread

tapas in chorlton on a sunny day patatas octpus prawns hollygoeslightly tapas in chorlton on a sunny day octopus prawns chorizo hollygoeslightly tapas in chorlton on a sunny day lunch hollygoeslightly tapas in chorlton on a sunny day food hollygoeslightly

The patatas, dates, goats cheese, paella and prawns are always a winning choice for me and are ordered as standard on every visit, along with their fresh bread. The octopus was something new for me and served on new potatoes, drenched in olive oil, was very pleasant and not at all tough like I was expecting. The chorizo was sizzling hot and pleasantly spicy and smoky and the Anchovies were out of this world, light, flakey and zingy. Delicious.

So there we have it folks, if you’re looking for some of the best tapas in Chorlton, in fact Manchester, then be sure to put Bar San Juan on the top of your list. More photos in my previous review.

Where’s your favourite place to eat?