Cravings Tapas Bistro

Restaurants  / 

The colorful culture. The super-yummy street food. That Javier Bardem lookalike who made our heart flutter like fresh-made flan. We’re still talking about our post-college travels to Barcelona and Madrid with our BFFs. Now, with the opening of Chef Michael Merida’s new restaurant, Cravings Tapas Bistro, we can recapture all the awesomeness of that trip—yup, even the knee buckling—without leaving Bergen. 

Located in Ridgewood (in the easy-to-park area), Cravings is one of the most red-hot dining spots around. That means good luck landing a table without a reservation (hint: your best bet is the 6:30 seating on a weeknight). Decked out in sexy red lighting, this small, sexy establishment attracts a boisterous crowd, making it a great choice for a group or an evening out with the girls.

Because it does get packed, we’re guessing the slow but friendly service we experienced the night we went is probably par for the course.  However, all was forgiven once the food arrived. Chef Merida nailed every Spanish specialty we sampled from the surprisingly extensive menu. As you might have guessed from its name, Cravings’ specialty is tapas, so ordering several dishes to share is the name of the game. We started off with pita bread served with a heavenly Whipped Ricotta, Truffle Oil, and Gorgonzola Spread ($4), followed by a Chopped Salad showcasing fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, cranberries, candied pecans, and blue cheese ($10).

Next, it was on to the REALLY good stuff—Croquettas! Crispy potato and Chorizo Croquettas ($7), to be exact, stuffed with Tetilla cheese and served with a sauce that was simply to die for. Also stupendous were the Albondigas (that’s Spanish for meatballs) made with veal, and topped with a tasty tomato, pecorino, and basil sauce. The menu says they are “NYC’s 10 Best Meatballs,” and we can understand why! And we couldn’t resist trying the Garden Empanadas filled with sautéed spinach, Queso Fresco, Black Beans, and Corn ($5), just one of six varieties on the menu.

As you can see, the prices here are very reasonable, especially when you realize the portions are more than ample, enough for two to three people to pick at, no problem. Of course, there are more traditional “entrée-sized” options on the menu as well, including Paella ($19 per person), Grilled Skirt Steak ($25), and Eggplant Parmigiana ($16).

Finally, while we were too full to try dessert, judging by the sounds of joy coming from our table neighbors, the Zeppole Tree ($9)—three made-to-order deep-fried doughnut gems topped with a warm chocolate sauce, fresh strawberries, and cotton candy—is definitely the way to go. Next time, for sure.

Cravings Tapas Bistro
8 Wilsey Square, Ridgewood
Serving dinner Tuesday thru Thursday, 5pm to 9:30pm; Friday and Saturday, 5pm to 10pm; Sunday 4:30pm to 8:30pm
Reservations strongly recommended

Carla Sullivan is the Dining Editor at Bergen Mama, she is also the founder of, a resource for Children’s Menus in Manhattan and lives in Ridgewood with her husband and 3 children.

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