The word "tapas" translates literally to "lid," where in old Spain you would place a small plate or saucer on top of your drink to prevent a fly invasion. Small portions of food were soon placed on these plates in an attempt to encourage people to socialize while eating, and since the tradition has come to the US, the eating and sharing of tapas continues to be the perfect way to share a drink and conversation with friends.

We've found some of the best and most exciting tapas bars around New York City, so whether you consider yourself to be an expert in cuisines from the Basque and Catalonia regions of Spain, or if you're a tapas amateur, this list provides the perfect starting point. Small, Spanish and savory...what's not to love?

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