Seville has a very special place in my heart, not only is it the home of tapas, flamenco but it also the city where I got married.
My husband and I have visited Seville several times since we first fell in love with the City and decided to get married there. Each time we’ve visited we’ve reacquainted ourselves with our favourite haunts and got to know another pocket of the city better and discovered new gems.
Below is a tried and tested list of three tapas bars in three different neighbourhoods in Seville – be sure to check them out if and when you visit.
Bodega Santa Cruz (Las Columnas)
c/ Rodrigo Caro 1
I LOVE this busy bar in the old town of Santa Cruz. You need to fight your way to the bar, make yourself heard and watch them chalk up your tab on the bar, which I guess can be a bit intimidating if you are not confident with your Spanish, but the bar staff really work with you so trust me you’ll be fine.
Bodega Santa Cruz is set on a corner and is on a strip of bars leading up to the Giralda. The crowd spills out onto the street and while there are a few seats inside, don’t come here wanting to sit down, standing at the bar or at a table outside is the best way to experience this fun, atmospheric bar.
Seville is most definitely my happy place and Bodega Santa Cruz is usually my first point of call to help me instantly get into that holiday spirit. There are always the same old faces behind the bar who are fun and friendly, leave them a tip and watch them try and throw it in the basketball net set high above the bar.
Chalk boards either side of the bar show the daily, sometimes twice-daily, changing menu and there is always a board full of montaditos (small sandwiches).
If the Berenjenas Fritos (Deep fried Aubergines served with Honey) are on or the Solomillo al Whisky, (a Pork Loin Steak in a Whisky Sauce served with Boiled Potatoes), a specialty of Seville – be sure to dig in, you won’t be disappointed.
Best for: Ice cold beer, Good value food and drink, Lively night out
Calle Candilejo, 1
Alfalfa lively neighbourhood where you’ll find a real local crowd.
Bar Alfalfa is a great little corner bar, playing an eclectic music collection. It is very intimate, only fitting maybe 20 people in tops and has a funky, edgy vibe.
The Jamón Iberico de Bellota, acorn fed ham, here is divine and sliced in wafer thin slices – I’ve had plate after plate. Much of the rest of the menu has an Italian slant.
The tempo builds throughout the evening climaxing with the occasional sing song at last orders.
Best for: Amazing Jamón , late night drinks, gay-friendly
C/ Gerona, 40
When we were planning our wedding in Seville, we wanted the reception at an authentic tapas bar. We’d never spent much time in fancy restaurants in Seville, for us it was all about atmospheric, tapas joints, where you stand at the bar or at tables made of sherry barrels, with Jamón hanging from the ceiling and where traditional Sevillian tiles adorn the walls.
El Rinconcillo fit the bill, we had the welcome drinks and nibbles in the main bar downstairs, the oldest tapas bar in Seville, which is still owned by the 7th generation of the same family and has an impressive collection of wine, sherry and spirits.
We then went upstairs in the restaurant where we all sat around one big table enjoyed a 22 course banquet with unlimited Cava, wine and beer.
My husband and I go back every time we visit Seville and the familiar faces behind the bar still remember us – we stand at the bar while they chalk up our growing tab and enjoy beer, Sherry and tapas – my husband swears they serve the best stew in Seville – Carrillada Cerdo Ib. en Salsa – Iberican Pork Cheek in sauce.
Best for: Authentic stew, impressive range of wines and sherries.
Best of the rest:
Las Teresas, Calle Santa Teresa, 2 – A tiny corner bar in myriad of Santa Cruz back streets which is packed full of bull fighting memorabilia. They serve great jamón and have a three knives mounted on the walls, showcasing the worn down knives of yesteryear, which are slivers of their former selves and detail how long a service each knife did i.e. 1964-1986.
Sol y Sombra, c/ Castilla 151 , Triana – In Triana, across the river. Look past the toilet rolls on tables in lieu of napkins and try to navigate the busy menu of tapas, racions and 1/2 racions. This is where I was brave enough to try the Bulls Tail Stew – a house specialty.
La Antigua Bodeguita – Plaza del Salvador, 6 – On the square of Plaza del Salvador, La Antigua Bodeguita is more of a drinking hole than serious tapas place, but serves a small selection of tapas and montaditos. There are two bars set next to each other, both are tiny and have ten times as many people outside standing at tall tables in the beautiful Square as would fit inside.
I arrived back in Madrid, Spain last weekend after four long months away. I’ve collected a lot of stories on my travels