The vast square of Alameda de Hércules and the lively streets around it have become one of Seville‘s most popular nightspots over recent years. Needless to say, the choice of tapas bars in this part of town can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve picked out several of the very best. Read on for the top places to eat and drink on and around the Alameda.
Bar, Restaurant, European, Fusion, Tapas, $$$
The Terrace at Duo Tapas | Courtesy of Duo Tapas
Situated North of the Alameda, well off Seville’s tourist track, Duo Tapas is not somewhere to head to if you’re in a rush: this is the place to linger and enjoy time well spent. The tapas dishes are freshly prepared with tender loving care, so expect a wait of around 30 minutes if you order several dishes at once. But seriously, the food here is so worth it. In its deceptively-traditional interior or on the magical terrace you’ll be served with tapas that’s as attractive as it is inventive: from ridiculously moreish sticky, spicy chicken wings to the super-sexy “Salmon Taco”, nothing will disappoint. For such quality, the prices are impressive, with individual tapas ranging between €3 and €4.50 a pop.
Tapas served up in the classically-smart bar room of Espacio Eslava is often described by customers as being of Michelin-starred quality. And rightly so, as some of the menu options have won prestigious culinary awards; such as their extravagant assorted cheese emulsion, served on tomato bread with anchovies and green olives. All the traditional Sevillano tapas dishes are on offer too, of course, and every ingredient is cooked to perfection in a kitchen that also caters for a slightly more formal restaurant next door. If you want the talented cooking team all to yourself, personalised menus can be arranged for groups and special occasions.
If a tapas restaurant on the Alameda de Hercules is having to turn customers away of an evening, that’s a sign it’s doing something pretty special. This is the case with La Mata 24, a classy little establishment that is often packed to capacity after 9 pm. The style is pan-Mediterranean rather than obviously Spanish, and all the dishes are prepared with an inventiveness that can be lacking in Seville’s more traditional tapas restaurants. The wine list and service are highly recommended, and the bar hosts regular exhibitions of work by local and non-local artists, making it a must if you’re hanging out in this lively part of Seville.
Both locals and tourists flock to Al Aljibe, which boasts a romantic and secluded first floor terrace overlooking the Alameda, as well as an exclusive rooftop patio with just a few tables. Bear in mind that only full plates – or raciones – are served on the rooftop seating area, although ordering bigger portions of Aljibe’s incredible food won’t be a problem. Customers rave about the ox burger, the fried cod with vegetables, and the duck and brandy paté. Inside, there is seating spread over two floors, but it’s always worth reserving a table, especially in the evenings. Aljibe’s location and food have made it one of the most popular tapas joints in this part of town.
After a couple of days in the Andalusian capital, it’s entirely possible to become absolutely sick of the ubiquitous patas bravas – a popular tapas of fried potatoes drenched with spicy tomato sauce. But if there’s one place you go to order this classic, it should be Taberna Mahareta. The chunky cubes of potato are crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, and the sauce is zingy without being annoying spicy. Other standouts at Mahareta – which has a spacious, sunny terrace on the Alameda itself – include the grilled prawns and the meat dishes, in particular the ox.
If you like to enjoy your tapas and wine in a more traditional setting than can usually be found on the super-trendy Alameda itself, this old school joint is only a five minute walk from the main drag. Its walls are plastered with trinkets, old-fashioned items and bullfighting paraphernalia, and out of its tiny kitchen come enormous plates of freshly-cooked tapas. For €20 per person you can relieve yourself of the responsibility of choosing for yourself and let the owner, Ramón, select the best dishes and the wines for your table.