The history of Seville, the regional capital of Andalucía, spans more than two and a half millennia. It’s a complex history that has left its mark on the culture and cuisine – and even in the very stones – of this most Spanish of Spanish cities.
Vibrant, colourful and seemingly timeless, Seville is often claimed to be the natural home of flamenco, bullfighting, religious processions and the tapeo, a Spanish style bar-crawl with food and wine. This last is more than anything else the social cement of Seville.
The city has more than 4,000 tapas bars and restaurants, from traditional taverns like Casa Román and Las Teresas, to more upmarket establishments such as La Azotea or Palo Cortao, all catering to the conviviality of life lived in the streets. Fish and seafood abound (especially prawns, squid, cod and anchovies), as do hearty stews and of course every manner of pork. Start your tapeo with a plate of the world’s best ham, the famous Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, and a glass of chilled manzanilla or fino Sherry.
Sizzling in the summer months, and often rainy from December to January, the best times to visit are spring and autumn. But be prepared for crowds during the spring festivals of Easter Holy Week and the April Fair.
Top Seville restaurants and wine bars to visit
Rafa Liñán and Patricia Moliner’s upmarket yet cosy bar in the city centre is one of the most notable arrivals on the Seville food scene in the past few years. The open kitchen with its wood-burning oven and grill behind a low bar (hence the name) makes you feel involved in the whole process. Their innovative market-based menu changes seasonally and includes daily specials. Excellent food, service and ambiance with a list of 70 wines, 50 available by the glass.
- Address: Javier Lasso de la Vega 14
- Open: Wed-Sun 1.30pm-4pm and 8.30pm-11.30 pm. Mon-Tue closed.
Nobody does local speciality pringá – a heavenly hot toasted bun of Ibérico pork – better than Pedro Romero and Angeles Díaz. The duo run this cosy family tapas bar, which is now into its third generation. Son Alejandro is gradually taking over the reins and is responsible for the intriguing wine list that includes an impressive selection of Sherries. Terrific traditional tapas and fast friendly service around the horseshoe bar or outside on the terrace.
- Address: Harinas 10
- Open: Tue-Sat 1pm-4.30pm and 8.30pm-11.30pm. Sun 1pm-4.30pm. Mon closed.
Juanlu Fernández and his team, headed by chefs Marcos Nieto and Rafa Garcia, received a much deserved Michelin star in November 2021. Expect superb quality fish and seafood, carefully prepared and creatively presented in a bright white-tiled space with an open kitchen featuring a wood-burning grill. With a la carte or tasting menu options and a wine list boasting 300-350 references with by-the-glass options that change monthly. For a more casual experience, try La Barra de Cañabota next door.
- Address: Orfila 1
- Open: Tue-Sat 2pm-3pm and 8pm-10.30pm. Sun-Mon closed.
Founded in 1850 by Leocadio Morales Prieto, and now run by great-granddaughter Reyes and her husband Juan Carlos, Casa Morales is one of Seville’s oldest and most venerated bars. It’s the perfect place to start your tapeo with a round of jamón Ibérico and manzanilla Sherry. The front section is the original bar, with the old winery and its impressive giant terracotta urns reached through a side entrance. Popular and busy, with friendly service and excellent traditional tapas. Be sure to try the house vermouth.
- Address: Garcia de Vinuesa 11
- Open: Mon-Sat 12pm-4pm and 8pm-11.30pm. Sun 12pm-4pm
Abacerías are traditional food shops, usually with a small bar inside, and none are more charming than this hidden gem (you could walk by the shop a hundred times and not know there was a bar at the back). The entire ‘kitchen’ is a toaster oven, with top charcuterie, cheeses, luxe tinned fish, and other delights on offer. It’s all about quality products and friendly service, including Emilio’s personal hand-written bills, which are one of the best souvenirs you will take home.
- Address: Gamazo 7
- Open: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm and 8pm-11pm. Sat 12pm-4pm. Sun closed.
Under the proprietorship of chefs Jaime Guardiola and Pedro Ruiz-Ocejo this relatively new bar (opened in March 2021) occupies the former Casa Antonio location with distinction. The bright blue and white-tiled decor is new but the place still maintains the atmosphere of a genuine neighbourhood bar. The market-fresh quality of the fish and seafood is guaranteed by daily hand-picked deliveries coming in from their own fishmonger in Rota on the Cádiz coast. There’s a good wine list, and possibly the best cheesecake in Seville (try it with a cream Sherry over ice).
- Address: Plaza Guardamina 1
- Open: Mon-Sun 12pm-4.30pm and 8pm-11.30pm.
Created in 2012 by husband-and-wife team chef Diego Caminos and oenologist Esperanza Nievas, this cosy spot is housed in a lovingly restored 18th century coach house. Located in the Arenal neighbourhood, it remains a firm local favourite for the quality of its ingredients and a menu featuring traditional dishes with a fusiony twist. Top notch service and a great wine list make this one of the go-to places in Seville. Reservations are a must, with two sittings at both lunch and dinner.
- Address: Galera 5
- Open: Mon-Sun 1.30pm-4.30pm and 8.30pm-11.30pm.
Run by four friends who broke onto the Seville tapas scene a decade ago, this casual restaurant with an open kitchen and large horseshoe bar has a curious history. The building once belonged to José María Lassaletta, the director of the Jerez zoo, who famously kept a pet tiger that would sit out on the first floor balcony. Back in the present day you can dine on a small but exquisite selection of tapas and main dishes paired with excellent wines. Don’t miss the layered patatas bravas and the gorgeous caramelised beef sweetbreads.
- Address: Ampáro 9
- Open: Tue-Sat 2pm-5pm and 8.30pm-12am. Sun-Mon closed.
Try before you buy. Ana Linares’ tiny turquoise wine shop and bar has 230-250 wines on offer, about 40% of them Andalusian, with 30-40 available by the glass (for an €8 corkage fee you can enjoy any bottle in the house). You can also ask Ana for a small impromptu private tasting in English! Pair with quality charcuterie and cheeses, which she is happy to vacuum-pack for you to take home, or try a few tapas in the adjoining bar and terrace.
- Address: Regina 1
- Open: Tue-Wed 11.30am-2.30pm and 7pm-12am. Thu 11.30am-16.30pm and 7pm-12am. Fri-Sat 11.30am-12am. Sun 12.30pm-4.30pm and 8pm-12am.
Seville’s Sherry temple. This cosy taberna owned by Manuel ‘Cateca’ Rodriguez (above) is a go-to place for a stunning range of more than 200 Sherry wines by the glass – all at reasonable prices. Pair with a selection of quality charcuterie, cheeses and excellent traditional tapas.
- Address: Santa Maria de Gracia 13
- Open: Mon-Sat 11am-5pm. Sun closed.