Iberia Tavern & Restaurant: Authentic Portuguese + Spanish Food in Newark

Iberia is the ancient name for the Peninsula that includes Portugal and Spain and well, as we all know, delicious food and flavors hail from that part of the world. Lucky for us, we can get a taste of it locally. Iberia Tavern and Restaurant introduced Portuguese and Spanish cuisine to the area in 1926, and over the years, Iberia began its journey as a small tavern and luncheonette and had grown into the largest restaurant in Newark all while securing a regionally renowned reputation. From locals to tourists, Iberia is a staple in the community. Read on to learn more about this popular restaurant serving up classic Portuguese and Spanish dishes.

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A Brief Backstory 

Iberia Tavern is the older brother of the Iberia Peninsula located at the heart of Newark’s Ironbound section at 80-84 Ferry Street. When the demand for Iberia Tavern’s outweighed the capacity of the space, Iberia Peninsula, the extension of the restaurant was born. The entire restaurant dominates two full blocks. 

The Food

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Iberia specializes in traditional Portuguese and Spanish dishes. The menu is extensive, the portions are extremely generous, and the affordable prices will keep you coming back for more. The menu is very meat and seafood forward.

Patrons can find classic dishes like chorizo {Portguese sausage} and paella, one of the best-known dishes in Spanish cuisine that consists of rice, beans, seafood, vegetables, and various livestock meats depending on the region.

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The restaurant is known for its rodizio {Portugese-style all-you-can-eat} options. The waiter will bring you skewers of barbequed chicken, filet mignon, pork, turkey, ribs, sausage, and more until you say stop. 

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The Parrilhada dish is another popular dish amongst parties, as it feeds two to three people. The dish is prepared with lobster, jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels, garlic shrimp, calamari, flounder and saffron rice–and whole lobsters, 1-6 lbs., 24 oz. lobster tails. 

Appetizers range from a shrimp cocktail to an octopus salad {there’s also a full salad menu available}. With 16 seafood entree options, it can be overwhelming {in a good way}, but classics like the broiled salmon filet and grilled shrimp platter are go-to’s.

The meat section of the menu boasts over 10 entrees as well. Naturally, there are steak options, as well as pork, and chicken. The boneless broiled sirloin steak with shrimp is a solid option. Barbeque options include pork baby back ribs, Portuguese-style BBQ chicken, and more. For pasta, Iberia keeps it simple with two options, linguine with clams or shrimp in garlic sauce.

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There is a full-service bar both inside and outside with an impressive selection of Spanish and Portuguese wines, as well as vino from France, Italy, Chile, and Australia and domestic vintages from California. The sangria is a fan-favorite and pairs well with any meal on the menu.

The Experience

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The restaurant has a casual vibe with upscale design and is well-known for its resemblance to a renaissance castle {and for a feeling like you’re stepping back in time!}. There are cathedral-style ceilings, large barbeque pits, and exposed brick walls draped in nautical decor.

Both the indoor and outdoor eating areas are spacious. There is a main-level dining room and two large banquet rooms above and below the main restaurant for private parties that can accommodate close to 300 patrons.

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During the warmer months, the outdoor dining area is in full swing with close to 100 tables that vary in size, access to TVs to watch all of the biggest sporting events {soccer is the restaurant staff’s favorite sport}, and occasional live music performances. 

The Information

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Parking is not an issue at Iberia, the restaurant boasts 500 Parking spots on-site. There is a small fee and at the end of your meal you would hand the waiter your parking ticket and they will deduct the cost from the bill.

Gift cards and take-out are also available. Call the restaurant directly at 973-344-7603 to place a take-out order.

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Written by:

Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.