Best international dish: Paella at Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge

Media Credit: Kevin Chen | Contributing Photo Editor

Ranging from $34 to $39, the paella at Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge combines with the atmosphere of the restaurant to provide an authentic experience.

Location: 3116 M St. NW
Readers’ pick: Paella at Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge

For an authentic experience of Spanish cuisine and culture, Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge is the place to be.

Their famous paella ($34 to $39) is a hearty Spanish rice dish filled with various proteins, spices and vegetables served in giant portions in a heavy, oversized skillet. The Georgetown restaurant exudes an authentic vibe by entertaining guests with flamenco dance and decor with pops of luxurious red.

Decorations may take you off to Spain, with matador murals, bright red chandeliers and fancy furnishings. The dim candlelit atmosphere creates an intimate setting that is complemented by the sound of lively Spanish guitars.

The menu offers a variety of cold and hot tapas, which are small Spanish savory dishes made for sharing. The croquetas de pollo ($9), one of the many hot tapas, have a crispy outer shell and a creamy mixture of chicken and mashed potatoes inside. All tapas range from $7 to $13, so you can taste a wide variety of these genuine dishes.

Inspired by dishes from the Iberian Peninsula, the traditional paella is the highlight of the menu. You can select from options like seafood, vegetarian and chicken to feed two to three people. The Paella de pollo y chorizo ($36) is served family-style with chicken and chorizo tossed in creamy, yellow rice. This rich rice dish was savory and satisfying in flavor.

Wash down your paella with Bodega’s drink options, offering classic drinks from martinis to an extensive wine list. You can down pitchers of Spanish sparkling wine, cava or red sangria for only $18, or settle for a $5 glass during happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday.

From its intimate but lively ambiance to its traditional paella dishes and tapas, Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge transports you to Spain for an authentic cultural experience.

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