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One of my favorite things about travelling in Spain is the food — and the experience that comes with it. Estrella Damm is again bringing the Spanish tradition of tapas and beer to Toronto with its Tapas Journey. Nearly 40 restaurants across the city are participating between now and August 21st, offering three dishes and a pint of beer for only $20.

A few friends and I visited three of these restaurants, which may be the best way to do it. After all, what’s a journey if there’s no real legwork? We stuck around the Queen West neighborhood, but this is one way to enjoy an area of the city you don’t happen to visit very often as well.

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Photography by Jeffrey Chan courtesy of Estrella Damm

First, we hit up Lamesa, a tropical spot inspired by Filipino cuisine. Chef Daniel Cancino prepared ceviche, octopus and pork belly to perfection, each better than the next. Fresh and savory, I’m never disappointed when I dine here.

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SCALLOP KINILAW

Lamesa

ESCABECHE

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LECHON LETTUCE WRAP

Next up was Milagro, a short walk from Lamesa. This Mexican eatery is not afraid of spice, which complements a cold glass of Estrella beautifully. There we enjoyed another octopus dish along with quesadillas and three incredible, saucy meatballs. It’s clear that Chef Arturo Anhalt knows his Mexican food — he was born in Mexico City, after all.

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QUESADILLAS DE FLOR

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PULPOS EN ESCABECHE

Milagro

ALBONDIGAS EN CHILE ANCHO

A little further down Queen Street was our third and final stop, Nuit Social. My first time there, I was immediately attracted to its bright neon sign outside and its minimalist decor inside. Known for its social environment, it was the perfect place to end our #TapasJourney. Chef James Dearham capped our evening with a fresh tomato salad, stuffed olives and, wait for it, pig’s head with fruit.

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TOMATO SALAD

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STUFFED OLIVES

Nuit

TESTA

I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Friday night. You can’t go wrong with good company, good food and a little bit of adventuring.