Touring Modern Tapas Bars in Seville

An innovative gastronomic indulgence in Spain is renown around the world. The Best Restaurant in the World award was snapped by a few Spaniards – El Celler de Can Roca and the late El Bulli, who push/ed Spanish cooking beyond its traditional boundaries. The local fearless master chefs use innovative techniques of food preparation. In the South, blending African and Southern European ingredients as well as cooking approaches sets the region apart as a food heaven of its own merit. In Seville, some tapas bars are laboratories of flavors serving original small plates with the flame of sun.
Tapa creation at La BullaHelpful waiter offering samples of wines

La Bulla

the feminine version of El Bulli, at least by its name, makes excellent food. Everything we ate there was unique, delicious and fun. Its name reflects its location just next to the Seville’s legendary bullfighting ring. It is convenient to get a tapa there before or after seeing a bullfight or an intense flamenco performance at a nearby theater.

Its decor is contemporary, in what steel meets glass of style. It is very comfortable and fun watching the entire kitchen in action. The friendly staff answered all of our annoying questions without a hesitation, you will practically get a full recipe.
La Bulla tapas in Seville inside
The open kitchen at La Bulla tapas in Seville
The "wine corner" at La Bulla tapas and restaurant in Seville
The wine by the glass choosing can turn out into a wine tasting session. The tapas bar has even a small corner dedicated to the wines by the glass. After trying them all I went for a glass of white Albariño (by Palacio Bornos, Rueda) and later red juicy Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero (by Mayorazgo).
Manchego with membrillo & crumble

The quality of ingredients is the key to success of any restaurant and et La Bulla the choice exemplary. A plate of manchego cheese would not surprise most of frequent consumers of Spanish food. Yet, a plate of excellent Manchego would be memorable. At La Bulla they serve this aged sheep cheese with a homemade spicy membrillo fruit chutney and a crumble of nuts, ham and onions. Palate-blowing! A glass of sherry the waiter suggested washed it down nutty well.
Goat cheese salad
A melting Goat Cheese Salad with a glazed honey cover was treated to an eclectic dressage. Sun-dried tomatoes, corn, red and green peppers, a blend of lettuces and La Bulla’s bread crumble bathed generously in olive oil. Again a nutty sherry or any aromatic white wine such as the Albarino from the Rueda region that I had snug well.

Next, our tapa of long-tailed Fried Shrimps on crisp potato fries, shaved so thinly more like string chips, dipped into the red pepper mayonnaise was the ultimate oomph!
To finish we got a Risotto with mushrooms and truffle oil. Our highly spoiled palates were satisfied to that level that, I waxed even the last grain of rice off the plate. A platano (less sweet type of banana) chip twisting graciously like a crown on the rice hill.
Address: 26 Calle 2 de Mayo, Sevilla
Contact: +34 953 219 262

Al Aljibe

offers a creative cuisine in a youthful setting. On the Alameda de Hercules Square most young Sevillans hang out every evening. Al Aljibe is a restaurant upstairs inside as well as on a lovely terrace outside with one of the most romantic atmospheres in Seville. Tucked up and away from the noisy Cathedral and Alfalfa districts, it is an ideal place for a relaxing dinner. Visiting it on Sunday night was ideal for us.
Modern interior of Al Aljibe restaurant and tapas in Seville
The food tastes great, but it is not really local or typical Spanish. The service can be rather relaxed. The Foie Gras was delicate, melting in your mouth like a slice of butter, with a pear puree and fruit jelly. The fruit cake it was served with was homemade, but quite disappointing, The bread served before the meal was very good, so one can have it with the foie gras.
Foie Gras a la Al Aljibe
A delightful contemporary take on a Turbot bedded on aubergine with walnuts and Moroccan argan oil, blood oranges and pistachio oil was really enjoyable. With a glass of round Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero (by Carabato) the quite opposite flavors harmonised each other perfectly.
Turbot with eggplant puree
Since the service was so slow and we were ripe to go to bed we skipped the desserts. Judging from the tables around us, they looked seductively. Come eat here when you have all evening at your disposal as the relaxed music and slow service might move you soon into the realm of dreams.
Address: 76, Alameda de Hercules, Sevilla 41002
Contact: +34 954 900 591

Touring Tapas Bars in Seville: Young and Cool

Not only on weekends one may seek a cool, energizing restaurants and bars, as in Seville you will be hooked on the vibrations of the city and its people daily. Here are my selections of young and cool tapas bars in Seville that will surely refresh you.

Robles Laredo

Located on the Plaza de San Francisco with a terrace overlooking the square and peaking towards the spires of the Seville Cathedral, Robles Laredo is a perfect hangout on a sunny day. Its eclectic interior, where traditional color-painted tiles blend with crystal chandeliers and contemporary restaurant technology, also invites inside on a cool evening. Open well past midnight to let your fantasy roam wild on food and drink.
Tomatoes and tuna tapa
And so it did once my travel companion arrived late from London, I had to take her there, never mind it was almost midnight. The late food crawl was worth it. We ordered most of the tapas already on display and asked a friendly waitress for recommendations. Starting with a refreshing Tomato tartar with tuna and Shrimp salad, both marvelous, continuing with a warm Breaded pepper covered by a veil of spicy sauce, we still had not enough. Too good to stop now.
The best was about to come. The Fried goat cheese á la spring roll served with pistachios and sweet sauce was extraordinary.
Robles Laredo
The wine by the glass selection is above average for Seville. An enomatic dispenser next to the bar (keeps open bottles unspoiled longer), I could choose from a sextet of Spanish bottles. I had two different Ribera del Duero and a Rioja. If I hadn’t had wine at the tapas bar before we got to Robles, the sherries would own me!
We could not resist to order some sweets. The sweet tooth of my friend had woken up at 1 am, so she ordered two lovely looking mousses with fruits. Their seductive façades had substance too, delicious.
Breaded pepper with spicy sauceDesserts
Address: 90 Sierpes Street, Seville

Contact: +34 954 29 32 32

Álvaro Peregil

Known for serving orange wine, not the “natural skin contact” kind, but made from Seville’s famous oranges. Interesting to try, yet too sugary for me so I got a fix of sparkling cava. Fresh shrimps recommended by the waiter were delicious. Served as a ración (a middle-size portion is quite big in Spain) and not a tapa, we were a little bit ‘over-shrimped’.
Orange wine at Alvaro PeregilFresh shrimps
The atmosphere and the jolly local people make this place unforgettable. We were taken from our serious business of menu decision-making by the locals singing, clapping and dancing at the bar and outside. What an energy on a Sunday afternoon! Coming, I assume, straight from the church, half of the bar’s customers danced passionately in the tiny bar. I was envious of them that they can so spontaneously enjoy the lovely Sunday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon at Seville's barAlvaros Peregil inside

Moving to something warm we got a tapa of grilled squid with tomatoes and lots of oil. We also savored the bar’s own Patatas Bravas covered with concentrated tomato sauce and mayonnaise, these were one of the best ever!

Address: 20 Calle Mateos Gago, Seville

Casa Tomate

Sangria and tapas scream into your eyes as you enter Casa Tomate. Jugs of refreshing sangria from red wine and fruits line up at the bar and cold tapas to choose from right away without even looking into the menu.
'Handy' bar at Casa Tomate
Since the name suggests tomatoes, I had to try their tomato gazpacho. It was delicious and creamier (more bread inside) than I would expect for a refreshing glass of this chilled soup so famous in Andalucia.
We continued with a plate of manchego cheese, so I had to get a glass of Manzanilla, the driest sherry from Sanlúcar de Barrameda. What a perfect pairing! The nutty dry sherry was like a condiment to the intense sheep cheese .
Solear ManzanillaManchego cheese
Address: Calle Mateos Gago 24, Seville
Contact: +34 954 220 421

Other tapas bars like this:

Bar Alfalfa
A small and crowded bar where everything happens outside. You can order through the window if it gets too crowded inside and enjoy the tapas and drinks alfresco.
Address: Cnr Calles Alfalfa & Candilejo, Sevilla
Contact: +34 954 22 23 44

Baco Cuna Z

Baco Cuna 2

This four-story mansion designed once by Ánibal Gonzalez (creator of the town’s emblematic Plaza de Espana and other buildings in Seville) became today the blend of old and new. Beautiful traditional architecture fitted with design furniture. The tapas bar is located in various rooms downstairs and you can even just buy a piece of cheese, meat and some olives at the small grocer’s corner right by the entrance. In warm late afternoons and evenings enjoy the rooftop terrace for drinks.

Address: 2 Calle Cuna, Sevilla
Contact: +34 954 211 107 /+ 34 666 469 561

Touring tapas bars in Seville: Traditional

Seville is one the most beautiful European cities with history so vibrant that it attracts million of tourists from all over the world year after year. The city never stops. Whether the culprit of sleepless nights and energy-boosting locals are the thunderous bells of the cathedral reminding you every hour, not, every 15 minutes that time passes with their powerful ding-dong, remains a mystery to me. But, I would bet that the almost always-open tapas bars may play a substantial role in Sevilla’s lively scene.
Seville's breathtaking CathedralEl Rinconcillo Sevilla

Having an opportunity to eat and drink out any time of the day one would possibly desire to, is a subject of imagination of many outgoing travelers. Seville brings it to reality.
The locals can have a little bite as early as 7am before they get to work, continue with a stand up lunch and a song or two, and right after work – whether at 4pm or 8pm – jump once again straight to one of the hundreds of tapas bars in the town.
If you look for traditional atmosphere and authentic cooking, head to one of the older establishments. Some of these with history spanning over three centuries and a vibe that the cool hip new places cannot match up with! Look at the hot dancers bellow spontaneously twirling around. Hola!
Flamenco in Spain

El Rinconcillo

El Rinconcillo has been serving food since 1670 making it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, tapas bars in Seville. Its ‘back in the times’ atmosphere will transfer you back to Seville of the 17th century. Busting, life-full, beautifully decorated and with upbeat staff serving hundreds of hungry and thirsty excited tourists and locals alike. The fact that you find locals at El Rinconcillo is assuring of its quality and authentic atmosphere.

El Rinconcillo
Stand-up "table" at El RinconcilloOnly in Spanish menu & chorizo

The only minus is that you will have to stand while nibbling on your tapas and sipping on your drink. There are sit-down tables only for the restaurant, and who wants to eat a restaurant in a city famous for its tapas bars?? Also, you have to be quick to grab your spot at one of the tables along the wall or at something reminding a kitchen sideboard as we did at first. Then swiftly wave over the heads of customers at the bar at the bartender for some food. Do not expect any knowledge of English so just order whatever looks good to you on others plates or the staples such as tortillas and aceitunas (olives) and all kinds of Jamón, chorizo and queso (cheese).
We have started with Aceitunas Gordales, the local soft and juicy olives and a tapa of Chorizo Cular Iberico. Both simple and good, especially the spicy chorizo. Later, he waiter handed us over the heads of the bar-diners a plate of Queso Puro de Oveja, hard cheese similar to Manchego from the nearby La Mancha region. The cheese is excellent with a glass of a nutty (oxidation) dry sherry.
From the warm tapas we got Espinacas con Garbanzos, spinach sautéed with chickpeas and walnuts. A nourishing, yet very oily dish. Our favorite was one of the daily suggestions the Berenjenas Rellenas, a baked eggplant stuffed with chopped meat (often pork – ham), vegetables such as peppers or tomatoes and bechamel sauce with a touch of manchego cheese. It is in this recipe, where you can see the Moorish influence in the region once under the rule of the Islamic culture.
There are also plenty of desserts (postres) so if your sweet tooth desires you can taste one of their flans (caramel-based custard cake).
Slicing jamon at El Rinconcillo
The atmosphere is the main reason to come to El Rinconcillo, the food is also good, yet very rich and oily, so be prepared to splash it down with a couple of beers or wines. The Spanish are of beer and there are many local breweries to choose from. The wines by the glass selection is not wide enough for me, but a glass of red Rioja or Ribera del Duero and Tio Pepe sherry is not a bad although a limited choice to enjoy with two or three tapas.
Address: The Rinconcillo: C / Gerona 40 and Alhóndiga 2, SEVILLA 41003.
Contact: +34 954 223 183;
Opening hours: 1pm to 1:30 am in the morning

Bar Estrella

is another ‘star bar’, in this case its name bears the translation as Bar Estrella means Star Bar. Open since 1936, it is also a grandmother between the tapas children all around Seville.

Bar Estrella
Bar Estrella
It is a lovely place tucked away from all the hustle of the cathedral and other historic sites. Its advantage can turn into a drawback since it might be difficult to find it. I bounced into it by accident while lost in the maze of Seville’s narrow cobbled streets. What a discovery though! Its cosy small rooms decorated with old black and white photographs of old Seville and its inhabitants may overwhelm you with a bit of melancholy, but the great food, wine and beer will surely cure all sorrows.

Bar Estrella is famous for its Bacalao con Tomate, cod-fish with tomato sauce. The fish is very delicate and soft, the sauce is real – not a ketchup kind of stuff – as it is made from quality tomatoes, otherwise it would not taste so deliciously! With a glass of local dry white wine (Garrido Fino grape) with soft hints of green walnut Marques de Eliche from Bodegas Gongora, it is a light and healthy option after all these greasy tapas elsewhere.
Address: Calle Estrella, 3, Seville, Spain 41002
Contact: +34 95 456 1426
Opening hours: Noon-midnight
Bacalao con Tomate

If you are curious about more contemporary gastronomic flavours then check my post on Modern Tapas Bars in Seville or Young and Cool for a more hip scene.

Walking tapas bars in Seville

Seville is known as a stunningly beautiful city where plenty of tapas bar lure you away from the crayon architecture. Here, the locals are always on a hunt to eat something small, then perhaps twirl around a bar in a dance, and stroll over to another. Let’s take a round or two of its colorful outdoor canvases layered with some tapas in Seville.
As in the Northern city of San Sebastian, the vibrant tapas bar scene seduces to frequent resting and snacking. After touring the magnificent cathedral, the tiled avenidas and other colorful and shapely sights of Seville, a glass of Spanish wine feels so – hey, I can have a dance with this handsome Spaniard! No wonder that this Southern Spanish destination thrives – its history, blend of cultures and prevalent sunny weather, attract millions of visitors in all seasons. Beware though, the summer sun is scorching, so you better hydrate with plenty of aqua and keep the alcohol to more lame evenings.
You can try some more traditional, but it is more fun to adventure into the gourmet gastronomic fusion tapas. With so many styles, ambiences and price points, it is useful to look for advice from someone who has eaten at a great many of them as we did. Plenty of walking between makes such a hedonist pursuit a guilt-free pleasure.
El Rinconcillo tapas barSeville cathedral

I divided my guide to Seville’s tapas bars into three parts: Traditional Tapas Bars; Young and Cool Tapas Bars and Modern and Gastronomic Tapas Bars.
I hope you will find my favorite picks in each category helpful and you will roam through Seville as excited about its creative and inspiring food as I was! And I cannot wait to return.

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