Must-Visit Tapas Spot in Portland // Ataula

Can you imagine a world where it’s acceptable to go home every day and take a nap? Or a place where the sangria flows freely and the Jamón ibérico aplenty? Where you can eat patatas bravas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with no judgement? That my friends, would be Spain. 

After visiting several spots in Spain, there’s still so much of the country that I want to see with Thomas. On our bucket list is to go wine tasting in La Rioja; Eat our way through San Sebastian, which has more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in the world; and throw tomatoes in Buñol at the  famous La Tomatina Festival! But until then, we’ve found our little slice of Spanish heaven in our neighborhood at Ataula

Tucked away on a side street off of 23rd Ave and Thurman, lies what feels like Northwest Portland’s best kept secret. Ataula’s whole essence is characterized by how eating and drinking should be celebrated with friends and family – which is exactly the kind of place that I want to be on a date-night, or any other night for that matter. Cristina Baez and chef Jose Chesa bring a ‘Portland vibe’ by utilizing the Pacific Northwest’s seasonal goodies and creating dishes inspired by Catalunya and other regions of Spain.  Sharing multiple ‘small plates’ so we can try a little of everything is my jam and at Ataula, you can’t go wrong. 

On our most recent date night we started off with sangria of course. Then the plethora of jaw-droppingly good tapas started coming to the table. We had cured salmon toasts, the best Jamón ibérico de Bellota, octopus carpaccio, more sangria, bacalao, steak tartare, wine, langoustine, more wine, and THE BEST DESSERT EVER. It’s a house made puff pastry, stuffed with house custard and dusted with sugar and spices. Do yourself a favor and order it no matter how full you are.  

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First we started with Sangria because duh, why wouldn’t you?! Thomas got the classic red sangria and I got a spicy seasonal sangria which was incredible. 

House cured salmon, mascarpone yogurt, black truffle honey, coca bread

Next we devoured the house special, Jamón ibérico de Bellota. “de Bellota” means acorn fed. 

Also pictured above and below is the pulpo carpaccio, made from thinly sliced octopus.

Above- Bacalao – a dried salted cod which was AMAZING. I’ve had bacalao in Norway, so it was neat to see the Spanish version. 

Beef tartare, smoked piquillo ketchup, egg yolk puree with chili spiced potato chips

The best langoustine I’ve ever had. I can’t even tell you everything that was on it now, but it was incredible. If you go to Ataula and they have any type of langoustine on the menu I suggest that you get it!

The picture speaks for itself! SO GOOOOOD. 


  1. July 6, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    That langoustine looks AMAZING! The best ever I have had was in Portugal and I still droll just thinking about it, so I need to get to Ataula soon and try this!

    • Hillary Harper
      July 6, 2017 / 6:22 pm

      I would love to go to Portugal! Ataula usually has some sort of langoustine dish on the menu, so I would definitely check it out!

  2. July 6, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    Ataula has been on my list for quite some time now, but even more so that that Chesa closed! I’m so bummed to have lost that place but am glad that we still have Ataula to test out!

    • Hillary Harper
      July 6, 2017 / 11:23 pm

      I know, I was so bummed to hear of Chesa’s closing this month! Hopefully they’ll use the space still for cool pop-ups or something!

  3. July 7, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    I love tapas and have not been to Ataula yet. I’ll have to go! Great photographs and suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

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