Tapas are to Spain as pizza is to Italy. These shareable snacks are the building blocks of culinary culture in Spain– meant to be shared among friends over a glass of wine or beer. Packed with flavor and rich history, tapa plates vary by regional influence.
Take for example Sevilla tapas, or “Seville” to us in English. The Southern Capital of Andalucia is a mixing pot of influences from Spain and Northern Africa. This is directly reflected in its diverse cuisine.
There are nearly 4,000 tapas bars scattered throughout Seville’s historic streets. From authentic to trendy tapas bars, this guide will help you navigate the culinary scene of Seville.
Traditional Sevilla Tapas
High-top tables packed together inside a wooden tavern decorated with Spanish tiles. Locals stand around the of the bar, under cured ham hanging from the ceiling, shouting in between bites. This sets is the scene for a traditional tapas bar in Seville.
If you’re looking for a traditional food experience in Seville, there are plenty of places to choose from. You should expect that the menus are often written in Spanish, sometimes scribbles written on a chalk board. Have no fear, because most of the time the menu items will be on display under a glass table at the bar.
Tapas to try in Seville
- Jamon Iberico is Spanish ham that is usually served with cheese and bread. This meat is a staple on any tapas table.
- Espinacas con Garbanzos is a traditional Seville dish that combines cooked Spinach, chickpeas and cumin spices. You can eat this with potatoes or dip it in bread.
- Salmorejo is a cold tomato soup that actually comes from Cordoba. Sometimes it is mixed with ham, onion, or parsley.
- Boquerones are white anchovies, which can be served cold or fried.
- Pulpo means octopus, which is typically served warm with potatoes (patatas brava) and a side of bread.
- You can find other translations here.
You’ll find that many of the tapas bars on the outskirts of the city center and into the Triana neighborhood will serve a simple selection of the tapas above. These bars are best for casual lunch and dinners, or just having something to snack on while getting drinks.
Casa Pepe Hillo
Featured in the photo above, Casa Pepe Hillo is at the top of the list for tapas bars to experience in Seville. The rustic, wooden interior is about as traditional as you can get, while menu offers affordable tapas as low as 3 EUR per plate. You can’t go wrong with the Espinacas con Garbanzos or really any of the above specialties for that matter.
On the other side of the city center you’ll find a favorite tapas bar among locals and tourists alike. Known for their cocktails and wide selection of tapas, the menu offers choices that will cure your appetite. Here you can try many of the regional pork and beef specialties or stick with a simple salad or sandwich.
La Bodega de Vargas
For a truly authentic taste of Sevilla tapas, you’ll want to head over the bridge to the Triana neighborhood. In the heart of the bustling streets you’ll find character in the tapas bars you can’t find in the city center. La Bodega de Vargas was recommended to us by our Airbnb owner, who said that this is a favorite place for traditional tapas like mussels, fried anchovies, and ham served with local cheese.
There’s no fluff or frills with this traditional tapas bar. Las Golondrinas is another fan favorite in the Triana neighborhood and is known for filling an air-tight space with a lively crowd. Servers are happy to help you navigate the menu, but you can’t go wrong with the mushrooms, squid, or pork. Many tapas bars you don’t need a reservation, but at the tiny Las Golondrinas, you definitely will.
Modern Tapas in Sevilla
There’s a new culinary wave sweeping Seville. Bar food is evolving into elevated cuisine. Crammed and noisy venues are transforming into airy and intimate spaces. Yet traditional flavors and dishes are still found in these modern tapas bars.
There are plenty of options in Seville if you’d like to have a more upscale tapas experience. Think having a nice lunch with wine or romantic dinner during your travels. Most of the more modern tapas bars tend to be frequented by travelers and foodies, while locals usually save these places for a special occasion.
Featured in the photo above, El Pinton is one of my top picks for modern tapas bars in Seville. It’s located right in the city center hidden in a quite back street near the Seville Cathedral. You’ll find several of the traditional dishes listed in the section above, as well as non-traditional meals like burata salad, mussels, and salmon. Portion sizes are still somewhat small and are meant for sharing.
Located slightly outside the city center, Fargo is an organic restaurant with an extensive menu that vegans will love. This cozy space has several communal tables that still keep the modern restaurant casual. Although many of the dishes aren’t meant for sharing, chances are you won’t want to share the vegan burger or avocado bowl!
La Brunilda Tapas
The modern take on traditional dishes is what makes this tapas fusion bar so popular. La Brunilda is known for quality food with reasonable prices, bringing a line of people waiting out the door. The risotto, duck confit, and tataki are what keep people coming back for more.
Sal Gorda is a foodie favorite, and for good reason. The menu offers creative interpretations of local dishes that would make Anthony Bourdain proud. You’ll find anything from Iberin cannelloni, tuna tartar, oxtail, and even Spanish craft beer. The open-kitchen design and the modern, vibrant decor give this small space a cozy feel.
International Restaurants in Seville
Unlike many other cities in Spain and Europe in general, you can actually find a fair selection of international cuisine in Seville. This can partially be attributed to the wide array of regional influences in the city.
For instance, Seville is heavily influenced by the Moors, so you’ll find some restaurants dedicated to Moroccan or other Northern African cuisine. Since Seville was a driving force in the colonization of the Americas, you’ll actually find some quite some great cuisine from Central or South America.
I believe it was the meal I had at Al Wadi that made me finally decide to visit Morocco in 2020. This Halal restaurant specializes in Moroccan cuisine with typical Middle Eastern hospitality. The waiters are very helpful and offer suggestions, although you can’t go wrong with really anything on the menu. You can’t go wrong with the Shawarma, biryani, or hummus dishes.
Mano De Santo
Although I cherished all of my meals in Seville, one of the best meals I had was at Mano De Santo. Good Mexican food is hard to come by in Europe, and I was pleasantly surprised with the authenticity of this place. Located just beyond the city center in the bustling Alameda de Hercules, the menu offers ceviche, enchiladas, tinga tacos, and of course killer margaritas. A huge bonus is that the entire menu is pretty much entirely gluten free!
Nazca is one of several Peruvian restaurants in Seville, where the flavors are just as vibrant as the decor. The menu has several different variations of Ceviche, tapas, and even offers sushi. The bamboo chairs and plating decorated with seashell decor really makes the tropical theme come to life.
el Rincon de Beirut
It’s not often that you come by a Lebanese restaurant on this side of the world, which is why el Rincon de Beirut is one of the most unique restaurants to try in Seville. This Halal restaurant is decorated with an elegant gold interior with the inviting smell of spiced meat, grape leaves, and hummus. Here you can also sit outside and bask in the sun while people watching in Seville.
For more in Seville, you can check out how to spend three days in Seville here.
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