El Faro Spanish Restaurant & Tapas Bar

Winter is well on its way and there’s no better excuse to answer the beckoning call of Elliott Stables. As a mid-city hot spot, the Melbournesque approach to the dining experience is very appealing– cobble stone pathways, hustling restaurateurs and people chattering away.

Squeezed amongst the plethora of dining experiences sits El Faro, and alongside its rustic, home style vibe we met the hospitable owner Mark and his friendly team. Within moments, we had Sangria on the go, toasted almonds and juicy olives for the table.

A table of six was easily accommodated, making this eclectic, cosy setting the perfect Spanish getaway for romantic couples or larger groups.

Often struggling to decide what to pick, we left it up to the experts in the kitchen who somehow managed to get the selection spot on to suit taste buds and appetites. The menu has an inspiring array of taste explosions to try, from the very authentic Spanish Patatas Bravas to the more ‘kiwified’ dishes like mussel pots.

Whether you are a seasoned vegetarian, an obsessive meat lover or you’re all about the seafood, there are several well-priced tapas available for your picking. After washing back a few glasses of sangria, we were full swing into rich, flavoursome organic butter beans with choritzo, Pintxos de Jamon and freshly steamed Nelson Bay Clams.

Often eateries have a tendency to over season, yet each dish was well-balanced and simple enough to enjoy each flavour. They made for a great topic of conversation and enjoyable way to share food with friends. Other tantalising tapas included the fried chicken con ajillo with an original green, parsley dressing on top, and lastly, the white anchovy fillets delicately laid out on a wooden dish.

Mark took the time to explain each dish in detail, and ensure we were well looked after throughout the night. It’s clear to see he is a passionate foodie, with his sustainable, organic approach to each dish and goes out of his way to make sure his patrons are happy.

Aside from impressive service, we were all spoiled by the use of dainty, hand painted glassware to sip our delectable Valdespino Pedro Ximenex sherry. And to top it all off, we had to scoff back a couple of churros each – a great way to kick back after a top notch evening.

El Faro ticked all the boxes, with its warm ambience, personable service and fantastic selection of tapas. I may have to come out of my winter hibernation more often, as this is a true Spanish jewel.



By Olivia Young

El Faro restaurant is located in the Elliott Stables, 39 Elliott Street in Auckland Central.
Make a booking now: (09) 365 1111.




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