Seville seduces with its Moorish architecture, gargantuan cathedral, flamenco dancers and, of course, its tapas bars and restaurants, which sit temptingly on almost every street corner.
Seville is home to around 3,000 tapas bars, some of which have been up and running for hundreds of years, serving the kinds of local specialities that have been fuelling locals for just as long: bull’s tail slow-cooked in red wine, small bowls of cumin-laced chickpeas, a simple platter of jamon. To help you navigate the seemingly endless choices of places to eat and drink, we’ve selected the most charming restaurants and tapas joints in Andalusia’s capital.
Bar, Bodega, Spanish, Tapas, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
You’ll have to shoulder your way into Casa Morales, a tiny establishment opposite the cathedral that’s barely changed since it opened in 1850. There are two spaces in which to soak up the building’s antique charm: the high-ceilinged bar you enter off the street, where Jerez wines are served from wooden barrels embedded in the walls, or a backroom lined with huge concrete vats (Morales was originally a winery). Must-try tapas include the melt-in-your-mouth carrillada (braised pork cheek), albondigas (meatballs) and croquetas (deep-fried croquettes, usually stuffed with ham and cheese).
Opened in 1670 in the Santa Cruz premises it still occupies to this day, El Rinconcillo is Seville’s oldest tavern. Graze on signature Sevillano tapas such as espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas) and carrillada on the ground floor, where original features include a mahogany bar, intricate tilework and stone-flagged floors. Full meals are offered in the upstairs dining room, a museum-worthy space decorated with more tile mosaics and wrought-iron lampshades.
Dos de Mayo
Restaurant, Spanish, Fast Food, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
Between the Alameda de Hercules and the Setas, Dos de Mayo is one of the best spots in Seville for fish and seafood tapas. This is your go-to place for regional delicacies such as seared red tuna fillet served with salmorejo (a cold tomato soup similar to gazpacho), prawns from nearby Huelva or any of their off-menu cod specialities. Pair it all with a crisp fino sherry or caña (small draft beer). Arrive before the Sevillanos to get a table, whether in a modern interior with a showpiece tiled floor, or out on the balmy terrace.
Bar, Bodega, Spanish, Tapas, Beer, Wine, Cocktails
Bodeguita Romero is known for serving Seville’s best montaditos de pringa: small sandwiches filled with stewed pork, chorizo and blood sausage, which are among the city’s most iconic tapas. In the historical centre, a five-minute walk from the cathedral, it offers seating in a light-filled saloon on the ground floor of a stately townhouse, which opens almost entirely onto a terrace of high tables and stools. If you want a place in either of them, make sure you’re waiting outside when the doors open.
Bodega Santa Cruz “Las Columnas”
Bar, Spanish, Mediterranean, Tapas, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Pub Grub
Named after the stone columns outside its yellow facade, this kiosk-sized bar is just up the road from the cathedral, on one of Santa Cruz’s prettiest cobbled streets. Speedy staff serve Sevillano classics such as solomillo al whisky (pork loin cooked in garlic and whisky) and boquerones fritos (deep-fried anchovies) in a standing-only room adorned with mahogany, hanging hams and daintily tiled walls, or on tables under the columns outside. The house tipples demand your attention in turn: vermouth, sangria and orange wine.
Waiters in black-and-white uniforms, walls plastered with pictures of the Virgin Mary and a dark, beamed ceiling all contribute to La Fresquita’s aged allure. Jostle up to the bar or lean on the wall-mounted shelves outside to sip cañas, nibble on tapas and people watch. It’s a perfect spot for snacks or a light lunch if you’re exploring Santa Cruz, but not so much for dinner as it doesn’t serve raciones (main courses).
Unusually for a tapas bar decorated with legs of jamon and earthenware jugs, Bar Alfalfa plays soul music and serves Italy-inspired bites. So, if you’ve had your fill of tortilla and croquetas, opt for one of the many bruschettas or the baked provolone with oregano. The menu also features vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well as a good selection of wines and sherries, so should hit the spot for most kinds of diners. It’s a top dinner option if you’ve just seen a show at the Museo del Baile Flamenco, just two minutes away on foot.
Specialist croqueta house Casa Ricardo is so old-fashioned that it doesn’t have a menu. The staff simply tell you what they’ve got on (usually around 40 options) and will happily choose each course for you if you can’t pick. Whenever you visit, though, their legendary croquetas will be on offer, typically filled with spinach, ham, mushroom or chicken. Not having to study a menu will also give you more time to take in the interior’s hypnotic tilework and sombre, old-school religious imagery.
Casa Remesal opened in 1946 in Triana, a quarter famous for the production of Azulejos tiles, on the other side of the river from Seville’s historic centre. Decorated with countless bullfighting photos and those locally made blue-and-white tiles, it’s best at fried fish and caracoles (baby snails cooked in garlic sauce), both of which go perfectly with a chilled Cruzcampo, Seville’s favourite beer. The “grandmother” section of the menu features hearty mains such as carrillada and rabo de toro – stewed bull’s tail.
Mini-franchise Los Coloniales has two always-packed restaurants in Seville. The smallest is on the corner of two attractive streets in San Pedro, a residential neighbourhood north of Santa Cruz whilst the other – Taberna Coloniales – occupies a historic building opposite the cathedral. Head to the first for a bright, open bar with an outside terrace, or to the latter for heavier decor and a more traditional ambience. Both serve generous portions of tapas as well as salads, sharing platters and main courses, all at extremely competitive prices.
These recommendations were updated on July 29, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.