Along with sweet wines and vermouth, sherry is one of the Andalusian capital’s favourite drinks. It is best enjoyed surrounded by the happy chaos of an old-school bar, accompanied by a typical tapas dish of, say, pork in whisky or homemade croquetas. Here are the best tapas joints in Seville for an authentic Andalusian sherry-drinking experience.
Bar, Spanish, Tapas, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub
Slightly surly service is the price to pay for enjoying sherry in one of the most popular tapas bars in the other-worldly barrio of Santa Cruz. La Bodega is well established on the tourist route in central Seville, but locals love it too, piling in huge groups from about 2 pm for lunch and about 9 pm for dinner. These are the best times to head to La Bodega for a glass of the signature manzanilla (old barrels scattered around the place) and a plate of their excellent tapas, either crammed in amongst voluble Sevillanos at the bar or, if you’re lucky, at one of the tables. The waiters seem permanently harassed, so be prepared to be pushy to make your order. It’ll be worth it.
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Bodeguita Romero has two specialities that you absolutely must try. The first is sherry, the various types of which are clearly displayed on a blackboard behind the bar. The second is a tapas known as pringá montaditos – a meat lover’s fantasy dish comprised of chorizo, pork and morcilla (Spanish black pudding), dolloped thickly on crispy bread. The Romeros are always happy to suggest a suitable sherry for your tapas, meaning a stop here will be one of the culinary highlights of your trip to Seville.
House sherries and sweet vermouth are the locals’ drink of choice in one of Seville’s oldest and most famous tapas bars, Casa Morales. Don’t be fooled by the charming 1920s-style shop window when you approach because this is definitely a bar. Head around to the back to access it in what used to be the family’s winery; indeed, the old clay containers in which the wines were kept are now proudly on display. For an old-school environment in which to enjoy the Andalusian capital’s signature tipple, as well as some of its finest tapas, Morales should be at the very top of your bar-crawling itinerary.
Remarkably, Seville’s oldest tapas bar also has a website. This beautiful sherry and tapas joint, founded in 1670, is as romantically old-fashioned as anything you’re going to see in the Andalusian capital – which is saying something in a city where time seems to have stood still in many respects. Old wooden sherry barrels are stacked in front of Triana-style tile mosaics; the bar itself is a worn-out wooden masterpiece, and heavy oak beams support the ancient ceilings. People have been enjoying the house sweet wines and sherries here for centuries, which makes for an atmosphere sought out by both visitors and locals. Walk in, grab a glass of chilled manzanilla straight from the barrel and drift back in time.
Situated underneath the vast canopies of Seville’s ‘Setas’ (a massive wooden structure that looks like several mushrooms) on the popular Plaza de la Encarnación, Los Alcazares is one of the best-appointed sherry bars in central Seville. From its small, traditional bar room you can watch life unfold on the busy square outside while sipping on a sweet manzanilla, or when the weather suits, you can sit on the terrace outside. Alcazares is popular with tourists, but the old-fashioned décor (think bullfighting and fiesta posters) and its popularity with nearby office workers who stop in for a quick tapas and beer at lunchtime mean it doesn’t feel touristy.
Situated a stone’s throw from Seville’s sprawling Gothic cathedral, this lively tavern is a great place to start your exploration of the romantic, intriguing neighbourhood of Santa Cruz. For reasons that will rapidly become obvious, it’s known locally as ‘Las Columnas’ – The Columns – and is always brimming with both Sevillanos and tourists. Owing to the scarcity of outside seating, it always seems as if a spontaneous street party is going on outside, with eaters and drinkers taking over the pavement in front of the bar. The food and drink offering is super traditional, with a range of wines and sherries available as well as excellent tapas at about two euros a pop. It’s particularly good for an early evening stop-off when the atmosphere is joyfully chaotic.