18 things to eat your way through Seville, Spain
While Seville is widely known for their colourful flamenco dance and music, matadors and bullfights, culturally-rich histories and astounding architectures, I think that there's no better way to fully appreciate a city's culture by indulging in all the delicious food (and drinks) Seville has to offer.
How to eat like the locals in Seville?
But before that, when in Seville (or Spain in general), you've got to alter your eating habits and timings a little, otherwise you may stand out like a prick at the local joints.
Always a little later
Spanish meal times may just be one of the most difficult things to adjust to when you arrive in Seville. Especially when you have just disembarked from a red-eye flight, blurry-eyed and famished stomaches, you'll step into a restaurant where you're the only customer at 9am...
Most local breakfast bars in Seville, and the rest of Spain, will only be bustling at about 10.30am or sometimes even 11.00 where office workers take a break from their work, ready for a hearty breakfast before heading back to their offices. Lunchtime is somewhere between 2.00pm and 4.00pm for the locals where they snack on bite-sized foods called tapas, while sipping a beer or two. And should you wish to find a place to dine for dinner, don't be surprised to see that restaurants only open at 8.00pm while locals only start crowding these places at 9.00pm.
Head to the markets
Seville's countless markets are the best places to go to for both your fresh produce as well as for food. Two must-see markets are Mercado Lonja del Barranco and Mercado de Triana. The former is a modern gourmet market that sells all kinds of pastries and Spanish foods, while the latter is a traditional market with lots of history.
You may also be interested to read more about these two markets in our All you need to know: 15 things to do in Seville, Spain blogpost.
What to eat in Seville, Spain?
Specific foods for specific meals
1. Tostado for breakfast
What's interesting also is how locals have specific foods for each meals. Breakfast is always a tostada (toast) with tomato puree and olive oil; and sometimes topped with jamon for a treat. Spanish also like to have a cup of orange juice and coffee with their meal. The freshly squeezed orange juice are the best, it is a little tart that whets your appetite for more food.
Fun fact: You may observe many orange trees growing in all parts of Seville and we initially thought that was why almost every restaurant has an abundance of these oranges. But no, apparently the oranges that grow in Seville are a bitter variety.
In Seville, you also got to try the tosta de pringa, which is a pork stew toast that is unique to to the city.
You can find several traditional breakfast bars all around Seville and we liked Pando, located close to our hotel. We had our breakfast there daily just like how we frequented our favourite Museo del Jamon in Madrid.
Calle San Eloy, 47, 41001 Sevilla, Spain
Opening hours: 9.00am to 11.00pm
2. Churros con Chocolate
For those with a sweet tooth, you may want to have churros for breakfast. Yes, you've not heard me wrong. Spaniards have churros in the morning and sometimes as a mid-day snack, also called la merienda.
These fried dough fritters are best eaten with a little sugar and dipped in a cup of hot chocolate!
Like tostadas, you'll find churros all over Seville, from street stalls near the major attractions to bars that specialise in making these sinful fried food!
Following on with la merienda (mid-day snack), Spanish usually go for some sweet treats. A must-visit is La Campana, a pâtisserie that has been serving Seville locals ever since the 1885. When you enter the charming little store, you'll be spoilt for choice as everything looks great behind the glass!
We initially only wanted to grab a cuppa plus two pastries, one for the each of us, but ended up munching on another because they were just so good.
Confitería La Campana
Calle Sierpes, 1-3, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Opening hours: 8.00am to 10.00pm
Have your main meal during lunch!
Even though tapas are bite-sized foods, in Seville, they are considered the meal to have for lunch. For first-timers, eating tapas is certainly not easy because they aren't just one dish so how do you know what to eat? The following would be some tapas food that you can order, some which are unique to Seville!
Also, you'll need to know the difference between tapas (small bites / individual portions), media raciones (half plates), raciones (full plates). They basically mean different serving size of that same dishes. Most tapas bars and restaurant offer these options but many locals often order a couple of tapas to share with their family and friends.
In Seville, you pay for your tapas unlike in other Spanish cities like Madrid or Granada where tapas comes alongside your drinks. This means that you get to choose what you want to have and quality of these dishes are expected!
As for where to find the best tapas, everyone has their own favourites. Some that you can try include El Rinconcillo (Calle Gerona, 40, 41003 Sevilla, Spain), the oldest tapas bar, or our favourite one La Comidilla (Calle Callao, 1, 41010 Sevilla, Spain) at the Triana District.
In Andalusia, tomato soup is served cold and is known as Salmorejo. As compared to gazpacho (commonly found in other parts of Spain and Portugal), Seville's Salmorejo is thicker and paler in terms of its colour. Made with simple ingredients like tomatoes, garlic, bread, olive oil and salt, and topped with chopped hardboiled egg and bits of jamon, it is indeed a refreshing soup to have during the hot summer months.
5. Espinacas Con Garbanzos (Chick Peas and Spinach Stew)
After having Espinacas Con Garbanzos in Spain, we miss it so much that we actually tried recreating it on our own. But it isn't quite the same having it on our dining tables as compared to having it at the tapas bars. This dish is influenced by Seville's Jewish and Moorish history so you're literally eating a piece of history! It usually comes with a serving of bread or a large crouton that you should use to dip in and enjoy the flavourful gravy.
6. Croquetas (Croquettes)
Croquetas hold a special place in Seville's world of tapas. The golden brown fried croquettes are best eaten during winter as the crusty exterior blends well with the soft, piping hot interior. There are a variety of croquettes ranging from the usual ham, cheese, stewed pork to the more gamey bull's tail!
7. Spanish Omelette
This simple yet oh-so-satisfying Spanish dish of potatoes with eggs is a must-have when in Spain. Though you technically can make them at home (we've tried!), having the dish in a tapas bar in Seville paired with other amazing dishes shared in this post, is something irreplaceable.
The fluffy eggs with sliced potatoes sometimes also comes with other ingredients such as onions, jamon, capsicum, and more... This is a dish that can be found almost everywhere, even in some breakfast bars too!
8. Secreto Iberico
The Secreto Iberico, also known as the 'secret cut' of Iberian pork, is the best-tasting pork that we've tasted! Just like kobe beef or matsusaka beef, this cut of the pork that lies right below the ribs contains so much juicy fats that melts-in-your-mouth! The slight drizzle of sauce plus the grilled vegetables that comes along with it is also great complements to the greasy pork. If not for the other tapas that we ordered, we would have definitely ordered another portion.
9. Solomillo al Whiskey (pork with whiskey sauce)
Another must-try in Seville is the pork loin with whiskey sauce. A blend of whiskey, garlic, and lots of olive oil creates a creamy-like-texture after it caramelises and goes really well with the pork.
10. Carrillada (Slow-cooked pork or beef)
This used to be a peasant's dish as they take whatever scraps of pork or beef and slow-cooked it in a rich sauce. The result is a flavourful and hearty meal! Think of it as beef or pork stew without too much of the "stew". Now, you can find Carrillada de Cerdo (pork) or Carrillada de Ternera (beef) in most of the tapas bars!
11. Cola de Toro (Bull Tail) / Rabo de Toro (Ox Tail)
Similar to the way of cooking carrillada, Cola de Toro is a braised bull tail dish. This dish is perhaps made famous due to Seville's bullfighting history where bulls are slaughtered and cooked as a feast? But, bulls are actually quite expensive to get in Seville and many of the tapas bars and restaurants that have cola de toro in their menu are actually serving Rabo de Toro oxtail! But, if it is good and the price is affordable, why not??
12. Bull / Beef
Although not a unique choice of tapas, beef lovers should try some of their tapas that offers grilled beef. I'm not sure what they put into it but the meat was tender and with a lovely crust. Bull, however, is quite expensive and not that many tapas bars serve it.
Montaditos is a tapas-sized dish and is similar to a baguette but shorter and wider. They are eaten as a mid-day snack in Seville and can contain all kinds of fillings like Jamon, Omelette, Pringa, hot dogs, et cetera.
In Seville, there is an amazing chain 100 Montaditos that serves Montaditos from just 1 euro! You can also get coffee and even some Cruz Campo beer for cheap!
14. The Good Burger
I had to include this because this is an awesome Spanish chain of burgers that served us very well during our several destinations in Spain. They are not just delicious, but very affordably-priced too. We came here for dinner or supper almost every night in Seville. We tried almost their entire menu!
Because their burgers are quite small as compared to those in the United States, you can have stomach for their amazing sides. Besides the usual fries, try their friend onion rings that were made from actual onions. Their wings and sticks were really really yummy as well!
Here, #saynotofizzydrinks although they kinda are refillable as you get a range of yummy alcoholic drinks like Cruz Campo and Tinto de Verano! :)
Lose the Paella
Though paella is what people think of when they think of Spain, a great piece of #advice and #traveltip is to love the Paella when in Seville. Paella is better eaten in Valencia, Spain as it is there where it originates. In Seville, do as the Seville people, and SKIP the paella!
But if Seville is the only Spanish city that you are visiting and you must try Spanish Paella, you can get them from some of the touristy restaurants in the city centre. But please be warned, I doubt they are the real Spanish Paella, like the ones they only prepare when you order.
What to drink in Seville, Spain?
You can't talk about tapas and food in Seville without talking about their drinks! Yes, their alcoholic drinks. We'll continue with this post with the drinks of Seville!
Forget about Sangria
Like Paella, most people first think of Sangria when they think of Spain. But in Seville, lose that too! There are more amazing drinks that you can have! If you want Sangria, you can pretty much get it anywhere, even outside of Spain!
How to drink like the locals in Seville, Spain?
Valencia has Agua de Valencia and in Andalucia, Sherry is a HUGE thing. Sherry wine is the oldest and one of the most unique types of wine in the world. Sherry was made during the Moorish age of Andalucia till 1231. Like tapas, sherry is actually a generic name for the type of fortified and aged wine, where 90% of them are made from the Palomino grape. So if you go into a bar and ask for Sherry, you'll give yourself away as a tourist! Instead, look for specific Sherry wine like Fino or Manzanilla.
These two are the more common and driest type of sherry wine and are similar to one another except that they come from different towns. Fino is the "youngest" wine as it is aged for 3 to 5 years. Manzanilla is interesting as it has a tinge of saltiness to it and is a great complement with Seville's salty jamon iberico and all its other traditional tapas.
18. Tinto de Verano
Should you not like wine that much or if you don't mind not having great wine and prefer something a little fizzy, try Tinto de Verano. This tastes similar to sangria, but is a much simpler drink where red wine is mixed with a fizzy drink (usually lemon bitter). After tasting Tinto de Verano in Seville, I never looked back and had it for every meal!
I loved it so much such that I even recreated it when I was back at home. 1 part red wine, 1 part lemon bitter! :)
Where to stay in Seville, Spain?
After all that feasting, you'll want a great place to spend the night! Stay in a restored Andalucian Neomudejar-style palace at Hotel Zaida! We spent 3 nights here and paid 70 euros per night for a private en-suite double room.
Have we inspired you to make your trip to Seville in Spain? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!
Planning a trip to Spain? You may also be interested in our Spain Travel Blog posts:
Seville Travel Blog
Valencia Travel Blog
Barcelona Travel Blog
Madrid Travel Blog