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.
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.
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.
Founded in 1850, and into its fourth generation, the historic charm of Casa Morales is hard to beat. There are front and back sections, with the latter featuring massive terracotta wine urns. Enjoy some salt cod with salmorejo, tortilla de patatas or lomo en manteca, with vermouth, sherry or house wine alongside them. It’s the perfect place to start a “tapeo” tour in Seville.
Calle Garcia de Vinuesa 11
This family-run bar is always busy and friendly and serves some of the best traditional tapas in town. Don't miss the pringá (hot toasted pork bun), the braised pork cheeks or the spinach with chickpeas. Pedro and Angeles are in charge of the bar and kitchen, while son Alejandro is responsible for their extensive wine list, including some top quality sherries.
A modern restaurant specialising in top quality fish and seafood, Cañabota also has an eclectic wine list that includes international wines (unusual for Spain), and a wine-by-the-glass menu that changes monthly. Food-wise, expect seasonal menus with daily specials based on what's good and fresh at the market; recent hits have included swordfish toasts with garlic and truffle, and razor clams with pancetta and warm salsa verde.
Calle José Gestoso 19
Cross into El Arenal to find this third-generation family-run bar and sample some of the house specialities: albóndingas (lamb meatballs with mint sauce), salt cod in filo pastry parcels, or bacon wrapped langostines in sherry sauce. Many of the dishes also appear in the restaurant’s cookbooks.
Adolfo Rodriguez Jurado 12, bodeguitacasablanca.com
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 fino and a plate of expertly sliced jamón ibérico de bellota, cured ham from free-range, acorn-fed "pata negra" pigs.
Santa Teresa 2; 00 34 954 213069
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.
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.
Best cafés and breakfast spots in Seville
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
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
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.
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
Sahumo means to perfume with smoke in Spanish, which classically-trained owner/chef Dario Dominguez does to perfection with his wood-fired grill. The small but varied menu includes smoked salmon from the Canaries, grilled aged Galician beef with bearnaise sauce and tender grilled whole squid.
Best food markets and shops in Seville
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
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.
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 there is a 30-metre high walkway with panoramic views which you can access through the Antequarium below.
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.
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Where to stay in Seville
Doubles at the Corner House, in the buzzy Alameda de Hércules (one of Seville’s most iconic squares), are very affordable. There's also an in-house restaurant/bar, El Disparate, serving a selection of traditional and innovative dishes; if you're lucky grab one of the tables on its spacious terrace, overlooking the square.
Hotel Palacio Conde Torrejon
This four-star boutique hotel is set in a baroque palace just off the Alameda, near the city centre. Lovingly restored by a local interior design firm it looks fresh and modern while retaining original arched columns in the courtyards and timbered ceilings in some of the rooms. The excellent in-house restaurant, Origen, is run by chef Javier Abascal.
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
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 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 - and this is no exception.
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).
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).
Photography: lonely planet magazine/yadid levy, alamy, ken scicluna/Awbi-images