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Are your tastebuds curious?
Then head to Spain and enjoy these incredible food experiences in Seville.
This relaxed city in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía has surprises around every corner. Recently named as the top city to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet, Seville is a gold mine for foodies who want to discover traditional local dishes and inventive new tastes.
Seville is so rich in food culture that even a dedicated foodista such as myself found it difficult to know where to start. But after spending a week there, I can say without a doubt that these are my unmissable foodie favourites in Seville.
I hope this helps you plan where to go and what to eat in Seville.
What's in this article
- 1 Eat like a local
- 2 Discover Seville’s food markets
- 3 Taste local produce and specialties
- 4 Pick a favourite tapas bar
- 5 Take a food tour of Seville
- 6 Go on a ‘tapeo’ or tapas crawl
- 7 Eat the famous dishes of Seville
- 8 With food, there must be wine
- 9 Seville’s sweet treats
- 10 Street food and snacks Seville style
- 11 Which Seville food experience will you try?
- 12 Seville food guide resources
- 13 More ideas for your trip to Andalusia
Eat like a local
You’re going to need to make some adjustments to your eating routine when you visit Seville.
Dinner starts around 9:00pm and restaurants are just opening at 8:00pm. This cultural curiosity and the much loved siesta afternoon nap is a relatively recent phenomenon but it has stuck.
Trust me, it’s not easy to get fed before 8 in this town. We visited in winter but I am sure it makes a lot more sense in summer when the city cools from the burning heat of the day.
Please don’t a expect a menu of three courses for your main meal. Eating in Seville is all about grazing and sharing. And often standing up at a bar wedged between fellow patrons. It’s all part of the experience so just go with it, it’s fun.
As for breakfast, that starts around 10:00am and is often a simple tostada – toast with tomatoes – with café con leche (coffee with milk)
Discover Seville’s food markets
Head to one of Seville’s food markets to taste the best local produce.
Visiting local markets is always a highlight of our travels. The sights and smells of each market stays in my memory long after the trip has ended.
In Seville, many people visit the popular Triana market but we headed to the oldest market in the city – the Mercado de Feria. Traders have been selling their wares at this covered market for 300 years.
It’s the kind of place old ladies go to shop and banter for the choicest fruits, freshest fish and cuts of meat.
In the huge fish hall, you can buy anything from cockles and langoustine to tuna and octopus. Seville is about 100km inland but, thanks to transport down the Guadalquivir River, seafood has been an important part of the local diet for centuries.
Surrounding the market traditional bars serve tasty dishes, like the grilled octopus pictured above, made with in season produce. It was here we tried some of the best food in Seville.
Taste local produce and specialties
The flavours of Seville are some of my favourite world wide. Centuries of attention to production techniques mean that you taste some of the highest quality food on the planet.
Olive oil and juicy marinated olives come from the endless olive groves in nearby Jaén. This region makes 70% of the country’s olive oil and more than the entire production of Italy.
Ham or Jamón is almost an entire food group in this region and it’s delicious. Jamón Ibérico de Bellota is made from the meat of black pigs raised on a diet of acorns in the neighbouring province of Huelva.
There are varying grades of jamon with the highest fetching up to €200 per kilo. You can tell the best hams from the colour of their hooves. Pata negra or black hooves are the sign of a quality pig.
Queso – Cheese
Local cheeses are made from goats milk and have a slight tang that increases with age. Most of the cheeses we tried were semi-curado (cured for around 4-8 weeks), or curado (cured for around 8-12 weeks).
Pimentón – Paprika
Brought back from South America by Christopher Columbus, Spanish cuisine would not be the same without the smokey flavours of pimentón or paprika. The spice is produced in the neighbouring region of Extremadura using a 500 year old technique developed by Jeronimos monks.
Paprika is used to flavour spicy chorizo and other local sausages, sprinkled on octopus and used to flavour the sauce that accompanies patatas bravas (fried potatoes).
Pick a favourite tapas bar
You will fall in love with so many of the famous tapas bars of Seville. Apparently there are over 4,000!
Tapas are small savoury dishes, usually served with drinks in a bar. Tapas can be a small plate of ham and cheese, some olives or even a warm dish.
Classic tapas bars have walls covered in tiles, flamenco and bull fighting posters. ‘The more paraphernalia, the more authentic the bar,’ I was told somewhat cheekily. Who knows if that’s true but the old style bars are incredibly charming.
We were impressed by chic modern restaurants that had been transformed out of the the shells of traditional Andalusian buildings. They offered an exciting new spin on local dishes too.
Traditional: Las Teresas: wonderfully atmospheric bar in the Santa Cruz district [Calle Sta. Teresa, 2, 41004 Sevilla]
Modern: El Pinton: fun, fusion twists on the classics [Calle Francos, 42, 41004 Sevilla]
Take a food tour of Seville
If you are not sure where to start on your Seville food journey, (and let’s face it with that number of bars in the city who could blame you!), I suggest taking a tour. Not only will you learn the best tapas bars to try the local delicacies but you will have a fun history and culture lesson along the way.
I joined Devour Seville on their tapas and wine tour during our stay. Over two and a half hours, our small group weaved through the city’s old town and Jewish quarter stopping at six bars along the way.
Our guide David, talked us through the traditions and legends of Seville’s food culture as we munched on jamon, montaditos (small sandwiches) and cheese. Each tapas was matched with interesting local wines.
Go on a ‘tapeo’ or tapas crawl
Tapas bar hopping is known as ‘tapeo’. The idea is to stop at a few different bars and choose a small number of dishes to share over a glass of wine. I was told by David, our tour guide, that Sevillanos like to join their friends and tapeo several times a week.
The Seville food tour was a great introduction to tapeo and once I got the hang of it there was no stopping me. Small portions mean that you can try many dishes and wine styles along the way. I just wish we could tapeo at home!
Try this Spanish way of eating in Seville for yourself. Just pick an area of the city to explore and enjoy your foodie adventure.
The cobbled streets of Santa Cruz area around the cathedral and Alcazar is home to many of Seville’s favourite tapas bars. Start at Casa Tomate [Calle Mateos Gago, 24, Sevilla] and enjoy wandering the streets in search of the tastiest tapas in town.
Head over the river to Triana. This neighbourhood is famous for flamenco and ceramics but also has a thriving tapas scene. In Triana you can try some of the best fusion dishes in the city at Vega 10. Must try: bull’s tail cannelloni
We loved the Feria district around the market of the same name. You don’t need to move far from the market stalls to have a great tapeo. Start at Cantina [Feria, 98, Sevilla] for the freshest seafood dishes.
Eat the famous dishes of Seville
So now you know where to eat, the question is what dishes should you eat in Seville? Apart from delicious produce, the city is also famous for several local dishes.
Salmorejo is the Andalusian version of gazpacho, Spain’s cold tomato soup. Made with tomatoes, garlic, bread, olive oil and salt, salmorejo is thicker and paler than gazpacho.
Traditionally this dish is topped with chopped boiled egg and jamon but we also enjoyed this modernised version made with boquerones (white anchovies).
Tostada de pringá
Slow cooked pork meat sandwiched between two pieces of crusty bread. Pulled pork buns – eat your heart out. This is incredible.
Espinacas con garbanzos
No dish demonstrates Seville’s Moorish past better than this chickpea and spinach stew flavoured with cumin. Dip some crusty bread in to soak up the juices in between sips of local sherry.
The ultimate bar snack, croquetas are made in Seville with leftovers of ham, cheese and shrimp. Small bites are wrapped in potato and then breaded and fried.
Pork cheeks are slow cooked for at least 8 hours and served with a red wine sauce and potatoes. It’s a hearty dish I can’t imagine eating in summer but loved it on the cool winter nights we visited.
Presa iberica – pork shoulder
Juicy and tender, this cut of pork is grilled and served with vegetables. I really loved the contrast of the meat with pumpkin and a spicy mojo sauce.
What we really loved about the food scene in Seville was the creative way they adapted traditional dishes with a modern twist – like the addition of white anchovies to Salmorejo and other twists.
With food, there must be wine
When you visit Spain, you expect to try varieties of red wine and sherry but our tour really opened my eyes to unique sips local to Seville.
Spanish Vermouth – Vermut
Sweet and aromatic vermouth is a favourite aperitif with older Spaniards that has made a huge comeback recently. Drink it with salty snacks like cured meats for an incredible pre dinner flavour hit.
Where to try vermouth in Seville: Maestro Marcelino, Calle Hernando Colón, 9, 41004 Sevilla
Orange wine – Vino de naranja
A sweet fortified wine flavoured with the peel of local bitter oranges, I have to confess I did not immediately fall in love with vino de naranja at first sip. But it was my mistake. I was expecting a traditional wine and this variety is made with a sherry base.
Best served chilled with some cheese, Seville’s orange wine transforms in your mouth as the flavours combine.
Where to drink orange wine in Seville: Taberna la Goleta – a small bar in the Santa Cruz district
Sherry – Jerez
If you’re anything like me, sherry is best known as something vile my grandma drank. I have since discovered sweet and sticky Pedro Ximenez (PX). I think it tastes like liquid raisins, and it is one of my favourite dessert wines.
So I loved discovering the fino sherries produced in nearby Jerez. In stark contrast to the Pedro, this wine is pale, dry and best served young. It is essentially a white wine that pairs beautifully with local meats and cheeses.
A more mature type of sherry is Manzanilla produced in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River near Cadiz. Its name, Manzanilla, refers to the notes of chamomile found in this wine.
Where to try sherry in Seville: El Rinconcillo, Seville’s oldest bar – serving sherry since 1670!
Red wine – Tinto
So how about those red wines?
In Spain, vino tinto or red wine mainly comes from the northern regions of Rioja and Priorat using tempranillo and garnacha grapes respectively. These are found widely in the bars of Seville.
If you want to try local wines, ask for the young red wines called Crianza and Tinto Joven produced at altitude near Ronda.
Seville’s sweet treats
Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the people of Seville stop for la merienda or afternoon snack for a couple of hours. Usually sweet, I think la merienda is a genius way to eat dessert first and keep hunger at bay until the evening meal several hours later.
Choose from delicious pastries or churros dipped in chocolate.
Where to eat churros in Seville: Bar el Comercio, a friendly and historic bar about halfway between the Cathedral and Metropol Parasol
Street food and snacks Seville style
Still hungry? Believe it or not, in the home of snacking there are even more foods to try.
At the Mercado de Feria we were introduced to chicharrónes – salty pork scratchings. Waste not, want not.. Sevillianos make full use of their pigs and this crunchy fried snack is made from pork rind. Chicharrónes taste best washed down with a refreshing local beer.
When we visited in late autumn, fresh and juicy chestnuts, or castañas as they are called in Spain, were being roasted and sold on street corners. Delicious!
Which Seville food experience will you try?
We can’t wait to return to try more food in Seville – it’s an absolutely delightful feasting experience.
Food from Seville is inventive, modern and fun with its roots in tradition and great produce. We were only there a week but you could spend a lifetime exploring the different variations of classic dishes.
Seville food guide resources
Here is a list of resources to help you plan your own foodie adventures.
- Devour Seville food tours – click here
- No Spanish? Book Seville restaurants with The Fork (by TripAdvisor) online – click here
- Explore Andalucia’s olive oil farms – click here for tour details
- Want your tapas with a side of flamenco – click here
- Seville markets – tour Seville’s famous markets – click here for more details
- Learn how to cook your favourite dishes – click here for Spanish cooking school details
- Further reading:Tapas in Spain: The Essential Guide
More ideas for your trip to Andalusia
We had an amazing time exploring Seville and Andalusia. Here are our must see highlights to add to your itinerary – from day trips with incredible views to impossibly romantic castles
- Seville is famous for flamenco – we wrote all about this uniquely Spanish art form here
- Visit beautiful Ronda – one of the white villages of Andalusia – read our day trip guide to Ronda
- The Alhambra in Granada – our visitor’s guide to making the most of your visit
I was kindly hosted by Devour Seville food tours on their Seville Tapas and Wine Tour.
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