Seville, Spain Foodie Guide: Where Locals eat and Drink

Seville foodie guide: where locals eat and drink

Tapas is still at the heart of eating out in this orange tree-filled city. But the Andalucían capital also means vermouth, honey ribs and manchego ice cream

Looking for restaurants in Seville? Want to know where to eat in the southern Spanish city? Local food writer Shawn Hennessey and travel writer Aoife O’Riordain share their insider tips for the best restaurants in Seville, along with where to find the best tapas, vermouth and paella.

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Best tapas restaurants in Seville

The spiritual home of flamenco, Seville is also the birthplace of tapas. One of the best ways to experience Seville’s fabulous gourmet scene is to engage in your own little ‘tapeo’ –  a relaxed wander around some of its many bars. You can also ask for a media ración or ración, which are larger than a tapa.

Eslava

Sixto Tovar’s Eslava bar is at the forefront of innovative tapas in Seville. Park yourself at the counter for must-try honey pork ribs and award-winning huevo tapa, along with a recommended wine. There are plenty of traditional pork and fish dishes, too, and manchego ice cream to finish.

Bodeguita Casablanca

Tucked around a corner from Seville’s Cathedral is the sophisticated tapas restaurant, celebrated for its prawns in garlic, whisky tortilla and potato salad tapas.

Adolfo Rodriguez Jurado 12, bodeguitacasablanca.com

El Rinconcillo

With its aged bar and azulejo-tiled walls it’s no great surprise to find that this is one of the city’s oldest tapas bars, first opened in 1670. Sample salmorejo, a soup from Córdoba made from bread, tomatoes and garlic, and croquetas.

Gerona 40; elrinconcillo.es

Bar Las Terasas

Stop for a drink at this atmospheric bar in the buzzing barrio Santa Cruz. Order a Cruzcampo beer or a glass of wine and a plate of expertly sliced jamón ibérico de bellota, cured ham from black-footed pigs fed on acorns – they say you should be able to hold a good plate of jamón upside down.

Santa Teresa 2; 00 34 954 213069

Enrique Becerra: Cross the street to sample a house speciality, albóndingas – lamb meatballs with mint sauce.


Best bars in Seville

Premier Sherry & Cocktail Bar

Sherry is Andalucía’s most iconic wine, yet is often misunderstood. Versatile and fascinating, there’s a sherry – or sherry cocktail – for everyone. Let José and his expert team at the Premier Sherry & Cocktail Bar help you discover yours.

Premier sherry bar

Vermutería Yo Soy Tu Padre

Pre-lunch is the traditional time for vermouth, and at Vermutería Yo Soy Tu Padre it’s made in-house by owner Estebán, using a sherry wine base and his own secret herb recipe. Try it served over ice with a snack of jamón. 70 Gravina, 00 34 619 470 784


Lama La Uva

Boutique wine shop Lama La Uva has an excellent selection of regional wines to sample or take away, and English-speaking owner Ana Linares is happy to arrange small, casual tastings. She also sells artisanal olive oils and preserves, and can slice and vacuum-pack top-quality hams and cheeses for you to take home.

Lama La Uva

Best cafés and breakfast spots in Seville

Bar Europa

A quick coffee, a glass of freshly pressed orange juice, and a slice of olive oil-rubbed toast is the classic Sevillano breakfast. This narrow bar with pretty tiles and local punters is the ideal spot.

Siete Revuelta 35, bareuropa.info


Suitcake

Take a break from sightseeing with merienda, the Spanish equivalent of afternoon tea, at Suitcake, a quality café and pastry shop that makes everything on the premises. Try the chocolate truffle cake with orange, or a lemon curd palmera.


Confiteria la Campana

Stop for a coffee at this renowned pastry shop and choose between its delectable array of handmade sweets and cakes.

Sierpes 1/3; confiterialacampana.com


Best restaurants in Seville

Fargo Restaurante

At Fargo Restaurante, in Seville’s trendy Soho Benita neighbourhood, you’ll find locally sourced organic meat and fish, and a terrific selection of regional wines. The menu changes weekly, so check with owner Yann for what’s fresh from the market.

La Moneda

Tapas are not the only way to eat out in Seville. This classic old-school restaurant specialises in seafood from nearby coastal towns like Huelva. Don’t miss the coquinas – fingernail-sized clams sautéed in garlic and olive oil.

Almirantazgo 4, 00 954 223642


Best food markets and shops in Seville

Feria

Seville’s oldest market, Feria, is the preferred option for local chefs. Try tapas in the new food court, set in a magnificent fish hall, or eat delicious seafood at La Cantina, which boasts a 13th-century church wall as part of its terrace. Plaza Calderón de la Barca


Salsamento

A modern version of the traditional abacería (food shop with a small bar), at Salsamento you can relax with a drink and some chicharrones de Cádiz (like pork scratchings) while deciding what to take away with you from a range of quality charcuterie and seafood preserves.


Triana and Taller Andaluz de Cocina

A two-in-one experience, at Taller Andaluz de Cocina you can combine a Triana market tour with a hands-on cooking class with chef Victor and his team. Learn how to cook dishes such as spinach with garbanzos, or authentic paella, with ingredients fresh from the market, then enjoy the fruits of your labours.

Taller Andaluz de Cocina

Metropol Parasol food market

Nicknamed ‘the mushrooms’ Metropol Parasol dominates the Plaza de la Encarnación with its futuristic-looking wooden structure. Underground is a museum displaying some of the city’s Roman walls and artefacts while above it is one of Seville’s best daily food markets. Make sure you visit the stalls selling jamón de ibérico bellota; it can be vacuum packed to take home (from €60-120 per kg). On the upper levels, Gastrosol is home to a café and two tapas bars as well as a 30-metre high walkway for panoramic views.

Plaza de la Encarnación; espacio-metropol.com


Seville Concierge walking tour

Ex-Londoner Peter Tatford has called Seville home for the past 15 years. He combines a love of history and local culture with his knowledge of food and wine, offering a variety of informative walking and tapas tours that will get you started the way you mean to go on.

sevilleconcierge.com

Street in Seville city
Street in Seville city

Where to stay in Seville

Corner House

Doubles at the Corner House, in the buzzy Alameda de Hércules, one of Seville’s most iconic squares, start at €50, room only (thecornerhousesevilla.com).

Hospes Casas del Rey de Baeza

The HOSPES CASAS DEL REY DE BAEZA (Santiago 2, Plaza Jesús de la Rendención, hospes.es. Above) is a charming hotel housed in a beautiful 18th-century ‘corral de vecino’ (characteristic of the city, these are apartments built round a courtyard) in the barrio Santa Cruz. Doubles from €135, room-only.

Santiago 2, Plaza Jesús de la Rendención, hospes.es


Corral del Rey

Splash out with a night at this super-stylish hotel on a cobblestone street of the picturesque barrio Alfalfa, close to the Cathedral and Alcazar.

c/Corral del Rey 12; corraldelrey.com


Alfonso XIII

Dating from 1929, this neo-Mudéjar-style building is Seville’s grandest hotel. Its restored art deco American Bar is the perfect backdrop for a sophisticated sip before dinner; try a Mimosa – a blend of champagne and orange blossom.

San Fernando 2; starwoodhotels.com/luxury/alfonsoxiii


What else to do while you’re in Seville

Seville’s historic centre is dotted with architectural treasures but the Unesco World Heritage-listed CATHEDRAL is the real showstopper. It was built on the site of an earlier mosque and its iconic bell tower, the Giralda, is one of its predecessor’s only remnants. Around the corner, the stunning former Royal Palace, the ALCAZAR, spans Islamic, Renaissance and Baroque periods through its dazzling azulejo-tiled interior and fabulous gardens fragrant with jasmine and orange blossom.

Stroll down towards the riverbank to the majestic ochre and white PLAZA DE TOROS DE LA MAESTRANZA or bullring, the setting for Bizet’s opera, Carmen. Afterwards head to Calle Sierpes, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare, where the shops reopen in the late afternoon.


Monasterio de Santa Maria Del Socorro

Many of Seville’s convents are known for their handmade pastries and sweets – dulces and yemas. The 16th-century Casa de Pilatos (Plaza de Pilatos 1; fundacionmedinaceli.com) is one of the city’s finest palaces. Scenes from Lawrence of Arabia were shot amid its Renaissance, neo-Mudéjar and Gothic rooms, patios and loggias.

Bustos Tavera 30; santamariadelsocorro.es


HOW TO GET TO SEVILLE 

Return flights from a range of UK airports to Seville start from £50 (ryanair.com).


TRUST OLIVE

Shawn Hennessey has lived in Seville since 1993 and is a certified sherry educator. She is also the founder of Azahar Sevilla, and offers unique food and wine experiences in her adopted city (sevillatapastours.com).


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Photography: lonely planet magazine/yadid levy, alamy, ken scicluna/Awbi-images