Planning a trip to Seville, Spain? Spend an afternoon tapas bar crawling your way through Seville’s culinary delights! It’s a fabulously taste-full way to spend an afternoon. In addition to the delicious food, we recommend drinking pequeña cañas of Cruzcampo, glasses of white wine like Alborino, or a bit of Sherry (a fortified wine made in Spain’s Andalusia region).
Seville has over 3,000 tapas bars! It was such a challenge to decide which ones to go to until I found a London Times article that listed what they felt were Seville’s best seven. We tried to make it to them all in one afternoon, but only managed to dine at five. However, I’m happy to share that we can recommend each and every one of them. If we were to do it again, for pleasure instead of research, we’d plan on sticking to two or three per afternoon.
5 Terrific Tapas Bars to Try in Seville, Spain:
Start your tapas bar hopping day at Seville’s longest-running bar, El Riconcillo. Founded in 1670, it’s been owned and operated by the De Reuda family since 1858. Arrive at least 15 minutes before they roll up the doors for the day. On the Sunday afternoon that we went, a line was already wrapping around the block.
Tapas tables and bar seats on the lower level are first come, first serve. Tables on the upper levels can be reserved, but they do not offer the same tapas menu at them. Once at the bar, or your table don’t bother trying to get your drink and food order together all at once. The servers want to take your drink order first. Then they’ll come back for your food order. We stressed ourselves out trying to sort it all out.
Drinks first, our server said.
Chris ordered Una caña. We’d looked up the word before and thought it meant a small draft beer. His draft beer arrived in a glass that was short, but quite wide, and was probably a full pint. Small draft beers are popular in Spain because it keeps the beer colder.
I ordered a glass of white wine. The man who delivered our drinks set Chris’s beer down. Then, he placed a wine glass in front of me, poured a small amount, and said, Bebida.
I took a drink and nodded my approval, Si. Esta bien.
He poured me a proper glass. After we’d taken a few sips of our drinks, our original server returned to take our food order. We ordered tapas portions of rice with jamon and chorizo and espinacas con garbanzos (a spinach and chickpea stew), a Moorish-influenced dish native to Seville. The bread arrived soon after we ordered, followed by the rice. Rice dishes in Spain taste so much better than the Spanish rice dishes that we’ve tasted in the States.
TIP: If you order espinacas con garbanzos, save the bread that they deliver beforehand. The dish is even better when you have bread to dip into it.
Barra Castizo opened in 2017 and is part of the new wave of tapas bars in Seville. The Times calls their style neo-traditional. We call it triple thumbupabump tasty! It was our second stop along our crawl and arguably the most delicious to us. Having learned from our last stop, we ordered Chris a caña pequeña this time around.
Our meal began with the best olives we have ever tasted. They were given to us, not ordered by us. Pits are still in them, so don’t bite down too hard.
We ordered roasted cauliflower with truffled hollandaise and coffee powder and spices and a not-so-tapas-style dish of glazed free-range chicken with white asparagus and blue cheese cream. The cauliflower dish is unparalleled by anything I have ever tasted before. Its contrasting flavors delighted our senses. The bleu cheese on our second dish balanced so well with the other flavors. Chris tends to be more aware of bleu cheese coming on too strong, or I love bleu cheese more than him and am more forgiving if it dominates a plate. We both enjoyed every element completely.
When we requested our check, we were treated to shots of Sherry, a fortified wine produced in the Andalusia region of Spain — the same region Seville is in. I’m not sure what type of Sherry it was, but oh was it good!
By stop number three, La Brunilda, we’d spent the better part of two hours eating and drinking. Thank goodness tapas bar crawling includes getting up to walk from place to place! Like Castizo, La Brunilda is part of the new wave.
Here, despite our fullness, we each found an item we absolutely wanted that there was no way the other would have a bite of – no sharing here. Chris had been wanting cod since we set out and here, so he ordered the cod fritters, buñuelos de bacalao, with pear aioli. Spanish-style cod fritters are battered dried salted cod with maybe some potato and onion (or other ingredients) mixed in.
The beet salmorejo with goat cheese and black olive powder intrigued me so much that I simply had to try it. Salmorejo, is an Andalsian peasant soup similar to gazpacho. Its typical ingredients are tomatoes, bread, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic. They’re pureed and served cold. The salmorejo that I devoured at La Brunilda, despite being mostly full was a beet salmorejo topped with goat cheese and black olive powder. While I don’t typically eat beets, this dish was so dynamic and delicious!
I don’t eat fish, except for a bite here and there to see if I might fall in love with the it-would-be-so-good-for-me food. Chris does not eat beets. Not ever. So we were both happy and we each enjoyed our dishes without fear of the other taking the last bite. Although really, did we need all of those bites?
The most festive and fun part of our tapas bar hopping day was at Bodeguita Antonio Romero. We were so full from what we ate before that all we could manage to try was a Piripi – a mini montadito (a small tapas-sized sandwich) filled with pork tenderloin, cheese, bacon, tomato, and garlic aioli. The bartender assured me it was the best version of the sandwich in all of Seville and he might have been right. After all, despite being full, we finished it.
Standing at the busy bar, surrounded by tables full of people enjoying their afternoon, the energy kept any form of afternoon stupor from settling in. Watching all of the interactions between workers and customers at the bar and chatting with the bartender now and again was such fun. Chris had a pequeña caña of Glacial Cruzcampo while we were there. I had my last glass of white wine for the day. When I ordered, for a moment, I thought the bartender was asking me which type of white wine I wanted.
No me importante.
He’s asking five or twelve, Chris said.
Cinco, cinco por favor! I hollered over the crowd as the bartender poured my wine. He smiled and nodded from across the bar.
We enjoyed our drinks, perfectly poured, and left for our final spot of the afternoon.
Mercado Lonja del Barranco is a food hall with about twenty food stalls that tapas and other eats and treats can be ordered from. By the time we arrived, most of the stalls appeared to be closed. Its Market Cafeteria was still serving sweets, gelatos, and coffee. A singer performed current pop songs karaoke-style, but better. People relaxed at tables, more sitting outside than in.
We decided that we each had just enough room left for a little Cookies and Cream gelato and coffee. It was a delightful way to end a fun, flavorful, and filling day. It may not surprise you to hear that we didn’t bother eating any dinner that night.
Know Before You Go:
- Tapas bars are open in the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. They close down for the day and then re-open at around 8 p.m. for the evening crowd.
- To see a Seville tapas bar crawl in action, check out our “Can We Make It To 7 Tapas Bars in One Afternoon? [Seville Food Tour]” video.
- While in Seville, you might want to give flamenco a try. See what it’s like in our “Can We Americans Learn to Flamenco? Travel Fun in Seville, Spain!” video.
- When putting together our tapas bar crawl plan, I used this article as a guide to the places we should go and try our tapas at: The best tapas bars in Seville | Travel | The Sunday Times.
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