About Tio Pepe
Tio Pepe is a storied West Village restaurant that has been serving authentic Spanish cuisine to diners for over 40 years. With a thoughtfully curated menu featuring time-honored classics and a stellar bar program offering Spanish beer, wine and seasonally-driven cocktails, Tio Pepe has become a beloved institution in New York City’s ever-changing culinary landscape.
Opened in 1970 by Jimmy Sanz Sr. – a Spanish-born restaurant entrepreneur who immigrated to NYC in 1959 – and now run by his son, Jimmy Sanz Jr., Tio Pepe aims to introduce diners to the intricacies of Spanish cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant’s traditional Spanish decor is warm and inviting with rich, earth tones accented by vibrant Spanish tile-topped tables. Seating options include the front dining room, where patrons can people watch through the floor-to-ceiling windows; the tapas bar modeled after those of Madrid; and the glass-enclosed back garden room with a view of the stars. Throughout the restaurant, there is an aura of old-school authenticity, and with past customers including legends such as The Beatles and Robert De Niro, diners can’t help but feel like an important part of the Tio Pepe story.
Culinary and Drink Highlights
Serving dinner seven days a week, lunch on Fridays and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, Tio Pepe’s culinary program – helmed by Chef Perfecto Alcantar – is largely centered around the restaurant’s Spanish-style wood-fired oven, which imparts a unique, smoky flavor to many of their dishes. To start, diners can choose from a large selection of traditional Spanish tapas; highlights include the Catalan specialty Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp with Garlic) and the Pulpo, a Galician favorite featuring octopus, potatoes and a dusting of paprika. Tio Pepe’s signature Cocasare a can’t-miss, as they are the only NYC restaurant properly-equipped to prepare the Spanish flatbreads. Of course, a steaming skillet of Paella Valenciana (saffron-scented rice, seafood, chicken and chorizo) is another must-try item, as is the Pollo Ajillo (Abariño, garlic confit). And no Spanish meal would be complete without a hot, fresh churro – at Tio Pepe they come filled with melted chocolate or dulce de leche.
Weekend brunch connoisseurs will be delighted by Tio Pepe’s Spanish-inspired brunch items, such as the goat cheese and bacon Coca topped with a sunnyside-up egg and the hearty Paella AM, with a poached egg, fava beans and chorizo. For an additional $16, brunch-goers can also enjoy unlimited mimosas, margaritas and Bloody Marys.
At the bar, house mixologist Anthony Castillo creates stunning cocktails featuring seasonal ingredients. Start with a requisite pitcher of Sangria, then try the Smoky Margarita (fresh lime juice, Sombra mezcal float) or a refreshing Valencia (blood orange, Herradura silver). Spanish wines and beers are also available. Happy Hour specials are available on Tuesday through Sunday from 4pm - 8pm.
Meet the Team
Jimmy Sanz Jr. - Owner
A restaurant industry veteran of over two decades, Jimmy Sanz Jr. owns and operates Tio Pepe as well as Pepe Restaurant Group’s other ventures – Burrito Loco, Las Ramblas, The Taco Shop and Da Rosina. After growing up working in his family’s restaurants, Jimmy earned degrees in legal studies and business administration; he later honed his culinary skills at the International Culinary Institute before officially joining the family business in 1993. Today, Jimmy develops the menus at all of his restaurants and prides himself on his strong relationships with suppliers. Jimmy is eager to continue learning all he can about different facets of the restaurant industry and enjoys taking wine courses, attending expos and keeping up with the latest industry trends.
Perfecto Alcantar- Executive Chef
A native of the Dominican Republic, Chef Perfecto Alcantar has decades of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries. After graduating from culinary school, Chef Alcantar became the executive chef of the Spain-based Barceló Hotel Group, where he oversaw operations at specialty restaurants on hotel properties throughout Europe and the Americas. Chef Alcantar later immigrated to the United States so he could be near his daughter, and he is very excited to showcase his culinary talents at Tio Pepe.