Boca Tapas Bar, 189 Water Street, NL

My colleagues and I were in St. John’s for the Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador  convention and were looking for a different experience. I searched Open Table and  stumbled upon a Tapas Bar in St. John’s 189 Water Street. It is actually on a side street called Clift’s-Baird’s Cove so it can be tricky to find, but the local taxi drivers know where to find it .

I was not sure what to expect, but took a chance, after all, how could you go wrong with tapas!! .  The restaurant/bar offered a unique experience for us. There was a energy in the room, there seemed to be a small dance class , the guitarist was awesome and certainly heightened our experience .



This guy was awesome!!


We ordered mostly small plates , but I did spot a Basque Soup on the menu so started with that. It was rich in flavour, and was a delight to the taste buds.
Below you will find some of the other plates we enjoyed during our visit to Boca. One observation I will note in a couple of the pictures below is that the next time I go I will select the tapa’s with the milder flavours first and work my way up to the more intense flavors. I have added the menu names of the dishes with each picture just in case you would like to try them and enjoy them as much as I did.





The Basque Seafood Sup was awesome, full of flavour, the shrimp were juicy, mussels delish but the broth was the main player for me.




Calamares Con Fuente Pimenton , these squid were cooked perfectly, nice and tender, lightly fried and the paprika cream sauce and dusting were a treat to the taste buds.  




Pan Con Tomate, a mixture of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and sea salt and a very crispy baguette . There were no heavy flavours here, they were slight but well balanced, the simple blend of the tomatoes and olive oil topped with sea salt was very well done. If I had my time back I would of ordered this first and then tried the more aggressive tapa’s.




Cerdo Marinado, marinated ground pork and cheese toasted in a baguette . Did I mention these tapa’s we selected paired well with a icy cold beer? This offering had a depth of flavour that was rich and creamy. I am uncertain what the predominant herb that I was tasting was. I could make a guess, maybe sage or thyme?




Champinones Rellenos, these stuffed mushrooms had a rich onion flavour and a velvety texture, all balanced with the manchego cheese and of course the baked mushroom.




Albondigas Con Mojo Rojo , these three delightful meatballs were packed with goodness. The beef and ham mixture was moist , the rojo sauce was a tad smoky with a little kick, over all one of my favorites of the evening.




Huevos Rellenos (Stuffed eggs as translated on Google) Deviled Eggs are one of my favorite small bites. These were good but as I mentioned in a previous caption should of been one of the first tapa’s as they did not pack as much punch as some of the dishes. One suggestion I would have is to the dice the bacon, most people including myself like to actually get two bites out of a deviled egg and the bacon was cool so tougher to chew, making for a bit of a challenge to bite off and keep the next bite from not being a mess in your hands. Over all the flavour was nice and what can you say about the egg….yum.






Brandada de Bacalao, this dish of salt cod, potato, olive oil, garlic and melted cheese was outrageous!! , I mean that in a good way. I adore salt cod, put that with cheese and you have the perfect storm of goodness. It was kind of like a really well made fishcake with cheese(just a creamier texture of course). This is a must when you visit Boca.




There were some wonderful wine and beers available, looking forward to coming back!!


I have to say the server was engaging and helped us out as we were new to the tapas movement. It was affordable, and tasty, the venue was clean and welcoming. You have to check this place out when visiting our capitol city here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

High Points

  • The vibe in the room was spot on for good food and conversation and a dance if you so desired
  • Wonderful music for the evening
  • Friendly and helpful server
  • Quick service, all the tapa’s (and there were many) came to the table in a timely manner.
  • All the food offerings were very tastey
  • Cost was very reasonable
  • Clean!!

Low Points

  • A little hard to find but worth looking for.
  • I would of loved to have that bacon diced up on my eggs, but that is just my preference

Price point

Very affordable for a evening out

$$$ out of $$$$$ 60.00 each approx. (4 in our party)

Points for a evening experience 4 out of 5

I was very impressed with Boca, it is a fantastic addition to the St, John’s food scene. The corporate establishments are good, but we all need to visit and support the local food industry .