Pamplona tapas bar in downtown Lafayette


Packing Spanish flavor into every bite is key at Pamplona Tapas Bar in downtown Lafayette.

Bringing traditional Mediterranean-style cuisine to your table, this small-plate restaurant packs big flavors.

Pamplona brought new energy to Lafayette when it opened in December 2007 and has been doing so proudly ever since.

Entering its 14th year of operation, the iconic restaurant has introduced a new head chef who ushers in a new era for the restaurant.

Julliano De’Bride, who was raised in a family of professional and home cooks and has been cooking for as long as he can remember, was named executive chef in November.

Julliano De'Bride, Executive Chef of PAMPLONA Tapas Bar and Restaurant is located in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana on Friday, January 14, 2022.

“We’re not just selling food, we’re here to sell experiences,” De’Bride said. “We bring the best quality of ingredients, the best wines and the best of everything these beautiful people want to consume. We want to make sure everything is beyond the norm. They say nothing is ever perfect, but I can try for that.”

Speaking of wines, Pamplona offers a wide selection of foreign and domestic choices. Sherry is a wine highlighted because of its Spanish origin. De’Bride hopes to introduce more people to the versatility of sherry alone and with food.

The atmosphere plays a major role in building a unique experience in Pamplona.

At certain times of the year, you can find Pamplona transformed to fit a seasonal theme, a tradition that began more than 10 years ago, according to general manager Andrew Payne.

“Our two biggest popups occur during the months of October and December,” Payne said. “They are centered around Halloween and Christmas.

“We also have an absinthe party; it lasts for a week at the beginning of March, because March 5 is National Absinthe Day. This is our longest pop-up. This will be the 11th year.

PAMPLONA Tapas Bar and Restaurant is located in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana on Friday, January 14, 2022.

“For Valentine’s Day, we decorate with a bouquet of flowers and things like that; we make a wall for people who want to take pictures with their significant other.”

Another key aspect of the Pamplona experience is a menu that changes with the seasons.

De’Bride recommends the pan con tomate, bacon-wrapped dates, and arugula and manchego salad for new guests. He hopes to make changes to some classic Pamplona dishes and introduce new ideas. This spring, De’Bride hopes to add paella, a traditional Spanish rice dish, to the menu.

If you are passionate about Spanish cuisine or trying to cook for the first time, Pamplona has something for you.

It is located at 631 Jefferson St. in downtown Lafayette. Pamplona Tapas Bar recommends reservations to ensure the best dining experience. For menus, opening hours and reservations, visit

Connect with WaTeasa Freeman via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wateasaf

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