District Tapas + Bar is Hamilton’s new spot for playful small plates and brunch

Tapas – a mode of dining that favours multiple small plates over single main courses – has broken out well beyond its Spanish origins, taking many forms for many different cuisines around the world. 

It’s not hard to see the appeal: tapas is a great way to spend a night out with friends, grazing over smaller culinary delights built for sharing while sipping on a cocktail or two. 

District Tapas + Bar is one of Hamilton’s newest entries into this arena, offering globally inspired small plates in a cozy, attractive setting at 61 Barton Street East. 

It’s a spinoff of a successful flagship in St. Catharines, which was meant to launch in early 2020 just as the pandemic upended their plans. Thankfully, they persisted, and the restaurant opened to great success with the new location in Hamilton following in late 2023.

“My brother Ahmad and sister-in-law Ashley worked very diligently to get the District up and running,” says Hasan Baghdadi, who co-owns District Tapas with Ahmad and previously worked as a chef for spots like Lake House in Vineland and Scaddabush in Toronto.

“The idea to open in Hamilton actually came from our produce supplier. He is a Hamilton resident and would drive to St. Catharines quite often to enjoy our hospitality! He mentioned that Hamilton was a thriving and up and coming foodie region and that we would be a great addition to the scene.”

The menu at District is best described as ‘eclectic’, with fun and twisty takes on many international cuisines from American to Italian to Mexican to Korean and beyond. Think prime rib bao fashioned like a Big Mac, bone marrow canoes, duck confit tacos, lobster & nduja stuffed peppers, and maple chipotle chicken & pancakes; all built in snack-sized portions encouraging guests to try as many different dishes as they’d like. 

“Choosing one meal is too difficult!” Baghdadi laughs. 

That said, if you really don’t like sharing, District also has a few entrees on hand including sandwiches, pastas, and plates like sticky pork belly & polenta, smoked duck carbonara, and carne asada. 

Enticing weekend brunch, and drinks like beer, wine, and house cocktails round things off, cementing District Tapas + Bar as an exciting, playful new addition to Hamilton’s food scene for those who like to get a little adventurous when they dine. 

Visit District Tapas + Bar at 61 Barton Street East. See their menu here, and follow them on Instagram here.

Images courtesy of District Tapas + Bar

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