Tapas bars and cafes
Tapas in Seville is like coffee and croissant in Paris - it's a key part of life and integral to local culture, both gastronomically and socially. Ir de tapeo - to go on a 'tapas crawl' - is how most Sevillanos spend their evenings out.
The selection and quality of food are both invariably superb, you can eat as little or as much as you like, and you can usually find somewhere serving food, whatever the time of day. The seafood and ham are especially good here.
There are hundreds of tapas bars in Seville, on main streets and tucked away in little side alleys and plazas; good grazing areas include Alfalfa; Calles Mateas Gago and Santa Maria la Blanca in Santa Cruz; the Plaza San Salvador end of Tetuán; San Eloy/Plaza del Duque, and the Alameda de Hercules.
In this section, we also include cafes and ice-cream shops, where you can order less typically Spanish food such as brunch, cakes, salads, smoothies, and wraps.
Note that in some tapas bars you have to order at the bar and collect the tapa yourself when it's ready (usually in a matter of minutes), while at others you'll have the option to sit at a table and be served by a waiter - and may be charged extra for privilege. In addition, be aware that some tapas bars and restaurants have terraces where you can only order larger portions - check before you sit down.
A tapa will generally cost between €3 and €6.
Tapas Bars & Cafes in SANTA CRUZ
Mateos Gago 1
Arguably one of the best tapas bars in Seville, with delicious dishes such as solomillo al whiskey (beef sirloin in whisky) and the divine pimientos del piquillo con musselina de bacalao (red peppers stuffed with cod), plus a good selection of sherries. Beautiful interior with vaulted ceiling, featuring original paintinsg from its incarnation as an Arab bath, while the tables outside have a ringside view of the Giralda. Very efficient service and reasonable prices considering the location. Recommended.
|Service with a smile at a Seville tapas bar.|
Santa Teresa 2
In the heart of the barrio's windy cobbled streets, this place is decorated in traditional style, with hanging hams (beware veggies; these are actually above your head rather than behind the bar as normal!), antique posters of Feria and Semana Santa, and bottles of vintage sherry. Plenty of tables outside to watch the evening paseo (stroll). Excellent cured meats from Huelva and Salamanca.
Bodega Santa Cruz
Rodrigo Caro 2
Known locally as Las Columnas because of the massive stone pillars outside, this has a great selection of montaditos (small toasted sandwiches) and famed adobo (marinated fried fish). A good snack stop on your walk around charming Barrio Santa Cruz. It's cheap, the food's tasty and the service is speedy - no wonder it's a local institution.
A very popular café-bar with friendly service, this place is a good all-day option - it's open from breakfast until late at night. There's seating in the pleasant café-style interior, or outside in the plaza. Recommended are the spinach croquettes and the chipirones a la plancha (grilled baby squid). Gets lively later on; handy for the nearby Carbonería (see live music).
Vineria San Telmo
Paseo de Catalina de Ribera, 4
Vineria San Telmo is an excellent tapas bar and restaurant in barrio Santa Cruz, with a lovely terrace overlooking the Jardines de Murillo.
|Argentinian beef with sweet mustard sauce at San Telmo.|
|Rocket salad with brie and honey at San Telmo.|
The Vineria has some of the best home-made puddings in Seville (courtesy of Juan's wife, Reyes), including sublime three-chocolate mousse cake and lemon meringue pie. All the lipsmacking cakes and tarts set out on a covered stand, so can eye them up yourself before choosing. Service is efficient and friendly; all the waiting staff speak English. The restaurant is open every day.
|Marinated tuna on a bed of seaweed served with wasabi at Vineria San Telmo.|
Tapas Bars & Cafes in Alfalfa
Golfo 3, off Pérez Galdós
Great mojitos and caipirinhas, outdoor seating in a leafy side street and excellent Cuban/Spanish veggie and vegan tapas make this place just off the main Alfalfa drag well worth a visit. Try the couscous and arepas.
Corner of Alfalfa and Candilejo
Small but lively bar with campesino décor, serving Italian/Spanish tapas (the owner, Gianni, is Italian) such as fabulous bruschetta and provolone al horno (baked cheese) plus funky tunes. Interesting mix of clientele.
Sopa de Ganso
Pérez Galdós 8
Buzzy place with huge list of tapas, including vegetarian options. Good croquettes of goat's cheese and walnuts (croquetas de cabrales y nueces) as well as decent (Spanish-style) salads.
Cuesta del Rosario 1
This ice-cream parlour next to Salvador church, with its distinctive green sign and Arabic star logo, has all the fruit flavours you'd expect plus a variety of chocolate ones (including dairy-free) and some historically-inspired tastes: La Medina is a Moorish delight of orange, ginger and cinnamon.
TAPAS BARS & CAFES IN THE ARENAL
La Teteria de la Sultana
Mercado del Arenal Puesto 38, Pastor y Landero.
Friendly tea room inside Arenal market with myriad blends, from fruity to medicinal, including organic and fair trade. Also good homemade cakes.
Calle Pavia 12
Friendly place off the beaten track with inventive tapas and an excellent wine list. Sit at good-sized low tables or barrels.
Puro e bio
Organic ice-creams like ginger and cinnamon or dulce de leche (caramel), as well as ice-cream cookie sandwiches.
Tapas Bars & Cafes in the Centre
Hernando Colon 19
This place, between the cathedral and Plaza Nueva, is popular with students, thanks to its cool rustic-chic decor - esparto grass blinds and exposed brick walls. Impressive menus of salads, wraps, bagels, juices, smoothies etc. Try the mango chicken curry sandwich.
This café is an institution in Seville, serving all the cakes and pastries beloved by locals as they enjoy a pit-stop after a hard morning's shopping. During Semana Santa you can get coloured Nazareno sweets (the penitents wearing long robes and hoods) which make a fantastic, if bizarre, souvenir. Otherwise traditional goodies include yemsa (sweets made from egg yolks) and lenguas de almendra (almond biscuits).
Blanca de los Rios 1 (near Plaza del Salvador)
Excellent, affordable tapas with good-sized portions in a handy location near the main shopping area. Sit at the bar, by the window or outside. Good vegetable pasteles (terrines) and caldereta de venao (venison stew).
With an authentic French vibe, this pretty patisserie on bustling Calle San Eloy has delicious croissants, pain-au-chocolat, dainty tarts, and macaroons. Great for a shopping-trip break in the Tiffany-turquoise shaded interior, or watch the world go by from the terrace.
|Tapas bar in Seville.|
PLAZA ENCARNACION/PLAZA DEL DUQUE
Allegedly the oldest tapas bar in Seville, dating from the 17th century. It certainly feels like nothing's changed in many years, with its flagstone floor and ancient bottles of wine lining the walls. Very atmospheric and popular with locals and tourists alike. Go for the traditional favourites - ham and cheese.
Plaza del Cristo de Burgos 19
Pleasantly located on the recently revamped Plaza Cristo de Burgos, this place does reasonably-priced tapas including tabla (bread baked with a topping, such as cheese or fish - better than it sounds) as well as grilled fish and meat.
The speciality here is tabla, flat bread with a topping. Try the delicious queso gratinado con miel y romero (bread topped with cheese, honey and rosemary - very Roman!) or bacalao ahumado (smoked cod) for between 5 and 8 euros. Tapas of the day might include costillas a la miel (spare ribs in honey) or lomo a la cerveza (pork sirloin in beer).
Plaza del Duque de la Victoria 14
Make your own ice-cream at this shop opposite the main El Corte Inglés - first choose the basic polo (lolly), ice-cream or fruit sorbet, and then add a covering (eg chocolate) to dip it in, and add chopped nuts or other toppings. They even have frozen cocktail lollies, as well as stick waffles.
THE ALAMEDA AND MACARENA
Meat, fish and vegetarian tapas in a Seville bar
One of Seville's best and most popular tapas bars, this place just off Plaza San Lorenzo is permanently packed. It does a range of good, inexpensive tapas - try the salmorejo and honey-glazed pork ribs.
Lively tapas bar with big windows looking onto this popular tapas street, which leads from the Alameda to the river and the Barqueta bridge (designed by Santiago Calatrava). Tasty dishes include leek gratin, chicken satay, and mini ox-burger. Open all morning and lunchtime as well as dinner during the week, lunch and dinner only at weekends.
Duo Tapas and Sidonia
Calatrava 10 and 16
Excellent, simple tapas bars with the same owner, on Calle Calatrava, at the Alameda end. Both offer tasty, well-priced tapas - the risotto and pork cheeks are good. Duo Tapas has a huge outdoor terrace, so perfect for groups on warm evenings. Gluten-free options.
Calle Vulcano 4
On the hip-and-happening Alameda, this gelateria has typical Italian flavours such as pistachio, limoncello, and cremino (mascarpone, hazelnut and cocoa), as well as mini-desserts and fruit ice lollies.
Calle Feria 17
Delicious cakes and quirky, eclectic decor.
Tapas Bars & Cafes IN TRIANA
Cosy bar with friendly atmosphere and bullfighting memorabilia on the walls. Specialises in appropriately meaty tapas including garlic-roasted beef and revueltos (scrambled eggs) with meat. Good wines.
This cosy Moroccan-style tea house is decorated in soothing tones with lots of floor cushions, rugs and low lighting. If you need a change of scene from bright, noisy, tiled tapas bars, this is the place to come. Recline in comfort with an exotic tea served in a pretty tea glass. Perfect for a good, long chin-wag.
Puente Isabel II
With one of the best views in the city, right on the bridge (known locally as the Puente de Triana) overlooking the river, this former lighthouse has good, classy tapas, with an accent on fish. You can only order tapas in the ground-floor bar; upstairs on the terraces (the hottest seats in town when any Semana Santa processions cross the bridge), it's all big plates - raciones.
El Mercader de Triana
Antillano Campos 15
Tiny tapas bar and abaceria with a few tall terrace tables on this pretty street, great dishes and a good wine selection (displayed on shelves inside); they also have a stall in Triana Market.
Bar Las Golondrinas
Antillano Campos 26
A Seville institution, this is another small bar where the buzziest atmosphere is at the tiled bar (there is also an upstairs section). If you want to tapear like a trianero, this is the perfect place to start. The main, larger restaurant is a few minutes' walk away on Pages del Corro.
LONJA DEL BARRANCO GOURMET MARKET
This market is located in a beautiful riverside glass and iron building designed by Gustave Eiffel (think Tower in Paris) in 1883, and formerly used as a fish market. You can enjoy dishes from 20 stalls in the market - gourmet tapas and pinchos, rice, Mexican, sushi, seafood, cheese, cold meats, and ice-cream. Plus, naturally, local Sevillano beer and wine. More>