After eight years eating and drinking her way around Seville, Cat Gaa from Sunshine and Siestas shares her personal recommendations on the best places to eat and drink in one of Spain’s most iconic cities.
Eating in the Andalusian capital is a real treat. Whether you’re sidled up to a bar with a glass of sherry wine and a nibble before lunch or out for a sit down meal in a Michelin-star eatery, chefs are taking old school dishes and putting a modern spin on them. And thanks to Seville’s tapas culture, making a choice is easy.
I’m still discovering new places, tastes and favorite places. In a city as vibrant as Seville, its cuisine keeps one foot in its Romanic and Moorish past while striding towards a new future.
These are my tried and true favorite tapas bars, restaurants and bars in Seville.
1. La Cacharreria – Seville’s Best Breakfast/Brunch Spot
I stepped into La Cacharrería for the first time for a cold drink on a sweltering midday. Ordering an iced coffee and a slice of almond cake, Betty mentioned they were going to start opening the bar – charming with its mismatched tables and chairs – for breakfast. Famous last words, as the place is always swarming.
Located on the busy pedestrian passageway Calle Regina, La Cacharrería has become a breakfast hangout for locals and tourists to sample homemade breads, pates and regional cheeses, in addition to ecological meats and spreads. I always splurge on a freshly squeezed orange juice and a seasonal fruit bowl with yogurt and honey. Service can be slow, so come as early as possible to snag a table or a space at the bar.
If you’re looking for a similar feel for a drink later in the day, check out Red House a few blocks east.
Address: Calle Regina, 14 41003 (Encarnación)
Buses: 27, 32
Average Price per Person: 4-7€
2. Las Golondrinas – Gritty Local’s Pub
When I walk into Las Golondrinas, buried in the heart of the Triana district, I need only look at Pepe and tip my head for him to pour me a glass of the house red. This is a bar made for the indecisive – with just a dozen tapas on the menu, you can rarely go wrong in a tiny locale that’s frequented by trianeros and decorated with tiles salvaged from ceramics factories that once occupied the neighborhood.
Find a spot at the bar – or, if you’re lucky, at the lone table under the stairs – and order the punta de solomillo and champiñones, a grilled tenderloin sandwich and grilled mushrooms with mint sauce. Everything is made on the spot in a tiny, cramped kitchen in the corner, so service is quick and food comes out piping hot.
Address: Calle Antillano Campos, 26 41010 (Triana)
Buses: 40, 43, C3
Average Price per Person: 8-10€
3. Maquila – Craft Beer and Tapas in the Heart of Seville
The news that craft beer had arrived to Seville spread quickly though our small expat community. Though Cruzcampo is the undeniably King of Beers in Seville (and owned by Budweiser to boot), Maquila opened with little fanfare in early 2015.
Located on the south end of the Alameda de Hércules, a local favorite for its sunny plaza and endless array of bars and cafés, Maquila has a small-batch brewery on site and an open kitchen serving inventive tapas. I’d opt to sit at the bar with a glass their Mucho Trigo weisse beer and a Creole dumpling to get your stomach ready for sampling the four to six beers that are normally on draft – you can even get 2.5 ounce servings if you’re not ready to commit to just one.
Address: Calle Delgado, 4 (Macarena/Alameda de Hércules)
Buses: 13, 14, C5
Average Price per Person: 10-15€
4. La Azotea – A Fresh Take on Andalusian Food
Eating in Seville a decade ago meant you’d be subject to reheated food, poor service and a limited menu (just ask any vegetarian how many tapas of espinacas con garbanzos they’ve eaten). La Azotea kicked the restaurant scene square in the culo five years ago when its small locale began turning out seasonal dishes that turned old favorites into explosive, award-winning tapas.
Expect exquisite service from Elena, the Italian bar manager who will help you choose food and wine to accompany it. With a frequently changing menu and a wine list as long as your forearm, it’s worth more than just one visit.
And save room for dessert – the orange blossom ice cream is worth the calories! If you’re in Triana, you can also opt for their bar-kiosk, Voraz, at the east end of Parque de los Príncipes.
Address: Calle Mateos Gago, 8 (Santa Cruz) 41004 or Calle Jesuús del Gran Poder,31 (Macarena) 41002
Buses: Metro Centro / C5
Average Price per Person: 15-20€
5. Taberna Álvaro Peregil – The ‘Bar Manolo’ with Charm
Behind the bar of Álvaro Peregil, commonly known simply as el Peregil, two bartenders are back-to-back, preparing finger foods over a single hotplate. The late owner – a flamenco singer and devout member of the Macarena Catholic brotherhood – left his son in charge, and that man is now wiping his brow as he pours me a small glass or orange-infused wine that this hole-in-the-wall spot made famous. Clad in a white shirt, black pants and a navy blue sweater vest, he looks straight out of my beloved Bar Manolos or the drinking holes frequented by men over the age of 70.
I often take visitors and friends to La Goleta for the ambience, the wine and the boiled snails they serve. There’s a tapas bar next door, but the gritty bar and its no-frills attitude make it an anomaly in a heavily touristed area.
Definitely stop in for a glass of the vino de naranja, which can be bought by the bottle or jug, and a quick snack if you need to refuel before sightseeing – you won’t be ripped off here.
Address: Calle Mateos Gago, 22 (Santa Cruz) 41004
Buses: Metro Centro
Average Price per Person: 5€
6. En La Espero Te Esquina – Sometime You Just Need a Sandwich
Seville is said to be a bar of sandwiches. Called montaditos, these two-bite sandwiches are ubiquitous to menus here, and no one does them better than the oh-so-typical En La Espero Te Esquina, a bar famous for having been home to a tertulia, or a gathering of the minds.
This peculiar bar is, in fact, on a corner in the twisty road neighborhood of Santa Cruz, and it’s a Holy Week hangout without all of the weeping Virgen Marys. Its claim to fame is its mantecaíto – solomillo al whiskey with fries slapped between two pieces of bread – and call it a meal. Wash it down with a beer or a tinto de verano, the refreshing marriage of young red wine with a soft drink.
Address: Calle Corral del Rey, 10 41004 (Santa Cruz)
Average Price per Person: 5-7€
7. The Second Room – Cocktails in the Shadow of the Giralda
When the Second Room opened, it offered what no other nightlife spot did – a menu of rotating cocktails that didn’t come from a pre-made mix. Located just a short stumble from the cathedral in a modern, smart space with high tables and popcorn to snack on, maestro cocteleros mix up anything you can think of, and are more than willing to experiment if you’re brave enough. It’s also far less rowdy than other bars in the area, offering jazz music and enough quiet to not have to shout over the other patrons to get your drink order in.
Think high-end alcohols sidling up to flavored liqueurs and a small snacking menu and you’ve got a great place for a post-dinner drink or a date.
Address: Calle de las Placentines, 9 (Santa Cruz/Centro) 41001
Buses: Metro Centro, C5
Average Price per Person: 15€+
8. No Lugar – Spanish Food Infused with Foreign Tastes
The pig is king in Seville, and vegetarian offerings used to consist of a slice of Spanish omelette and cumin-laden spinach with chickpeas. Cue No Lugar, a place where the juxtaposed, second-hand furniture is only the beginning of food with layers, with stories and with character (but the furniture can be purchased if you fancy taking something home!).
A childhood friend and I were looking for a quiet place to catch up after 15 years, countless jobs and a husband between us. We’d met in elementary school but reconnected on a trip abroad, so it was fitting that we chose a restaurant whose menu was based on Moroccan, Indian and Ethiopian ingredients with a number of vegan dishes. We ended up with more food than we’d bargained for, but on a slow, drizzly night, it was a beautiful, inventive place to spend a few hours.
Address: Calle Trajano, 16 (Macarena / Alameda) 41002
Buses: 27, 32, C5
Average Price per Person: 15-20€
9. ConTenedor – Slow Food for the Sobremesa
Sevillanos truly know the meaning of slow – slow Sunday afternoons, slow lines at the bank and slow meals that take place over several hours. This is where the sobremesa – or leisurely conversation over a meal – takes place. ConTenedor, itself a play on words, is a slow-food restaurant with an open kitchen concept and no set menu that uses biological products when possible.
They call themselves a cultural center, delighting in creating artful food that’s fresh and different from the staples you’d find at other bars in the area. ConTenedor also strives to use locally sourced products and provide cultural programming at weekends.
Address: Calle San Luis, 50 (Macarena / Feria) 41003
Average Price per Person: 20€+
10. Bar Alfalfa – A Local Favorite for Non-Locals
Ask a local their favorite bar, and you’ll hear at least one tout Bar Alfalfa, a triangle-shaped eatery crowning a shady plaza of the same name. Though the small kitchen doesn’t produce much more than simple tapas, Bar Alfalfa is known for their tostas, or open-faced sandwiches, a nod to the place’s Italian owner.
And in a city where gastrobars are on seemingly every corner, Bar Alfalfa feels like a warm hug.
Snag a table and eat standing up as locals do, ordering a few rounds of the bruschetta to share – the beef Carpaccio with fresh Parmesan is heavenly. You’ll also find a menu of daily specials written on a chalkboard and a decent wine list. Bar Alfalfa has all of the hallmarks of a bar with staying power – a loyal local clientele, fresh food at honest prices and the ubiquitous ham leg dangling from the ceiling.
Address: Calle Candilejo, 1
Average Price per Person: 7-10€
Where to Stay in Seville
Broadly speaking you’ll want to stay somewhere within walking distance of Seville’s historic centre. It’s a compact city and you’ll be able to walk to pretty much everything if you stay in the historic Barrio Santa Cruz, El Arenal or Alfalfa areas. I’d also recommend staying in Triana if you want more of a villagey local vibe, or Macarena if you want piece and quiet.
Best hostels and budget hotels in Seville
I was travelling alone so I checked into the boutique For You Hostel Seville. It was honestly the best posh-tel I’ve ever stayed at, with modern rooms and facilities and a stunning rooftop terrace. The Black Swan Hostel is another popular budget hostel in the centre. And the family-run Hotel Alcántara is a fantastic budget hotel located in the historic Santa Cruz barrio.