With more than 3,000 tapas restaurants, the sunshine city of Seville has developed a reputation as the culinary capital of Spain’s southern Andalusia region.
Walk the cobbled streets on any day of the week and you’ll see hundreds of locals and tourists alike, standing elbow to elbow around outdoor tables, sipping ice-cold cervezas and sampling a selection of reasonably-priced, savoury small plates. From 300-year-old stalwarts to the best new openings, these are the top ten tapas restaurants in Seville to add to your list.
Where To Eat
Ovejas Negras Tapas
Meaning ‘black sheep’ in Spanish, Ovejas Negras is one of the latest hotspots, drawing a fashionable crowd to its industrial-chic dining room, with sleek concrete floors and wooden tabletops. It was opened in the early 2000s by two chefs from the legendary El Bulli restaurant and serves up innovative dishes such as pan-sauteed foie gras with toast, mini wok chicken and vegetables, and for pudding, New York-style cheesecake served in a jar.
Founded way back in 1670, El Rinconcillo can claim to be one of, if not the oldest tapas joint in town. Set on the corner opposite the church of Santa Catalina, this culinary institution is an experience not to be missed, with a vintage ambiance, hams hanging from the ceiling and your bill written up in chalk on the mahogany countertop. Try the spinach with chickpeas and cumin, a Seville speciality.
Dubbed Seville’s ‘place to be seen,’ Casa Ozama is a glamorous multifaceted drinking and dining destination, housed in a stunning 1910s modernist villa that has had a swanky makeover. Join well-dressed locals as they sip cocktails at two indoor bars, or book a candlelit table under the palm trees in the large terrace for tasty tapas including Iberian pork with carrot purée and fresh glazed onions and tuna tacos with potato dressing.
Head to the picturesque Plaza Nueve to find SEIS, one of Seville’s coolest restaurants, with a sophisticated jungle-themed decor (think giant rattan lampshades and dark green leather banquettes), efficient, friendly staff and food that will make you want to order everything twice. The menu’s unique Mediterranean-Asian mix throws up winning combinations like Peruvian sea bass ceviche and Iberian pulled pork hotdogs – and don’t forget to try a cocktail; the refreshing cucumber margarita is a good place to start.
Bar Alfalfa is a wonderful tapas bar with the atmosphere of a cosy rustic tavern and is a relaxing venue for a casual lunch surrounded by local chatter. You’ll find Estrella on tap, a decent wine list and traditional tapas such as seafood paella, bruschetta Andaluza (with ham, salmon and mozzarella) and albondigas, a delectable type of Spanish meatball made with ground beef, red wine and Manchego cheese.
If you’re looking for somewhere to pick up a healthy takeaway while sightseeing, add Filo to your list. Tucked down a quiet lane near the Cathedral, it has great breakfast options and smoothies and makes good use of the same freshly-baked breads in their lunchtime sandwiches, which are generously filled with hams, cheeses and roasted vegetables. Take your purchase for a picnic in Maria Luisa Park and soak up the comings and goings of the magnificence Plaza de España.
For old-school vibes and photo-filled walls, it’s worth propping up the bar at Las Terasas, which is known and loved for serving typical Spanish stews, meat and tapas. Founded in 1870, the eatery has been run by the same family since 1920 and also offers an excellent drinks list, including cava by the glass and some interesting sherries. Make sure to order some of the jamón that hangs from the ceiling with butter beans, plus a plate of grilled tuna collar (morillo).
La Terraza Del Eme
The best spot in the city for sundowners, La Terraza Del Eme is located on top of the five-star EME Catedral Mercer hotel and, as the name suggests, boasts panoramic views of the Cathedral and surrounding rooftops. This stylish spot offers a good excuse to dress up and enjoy a couple of cocktails, plus there’s a great snack menu if you get peckish, including ham croquettes and mini veal burgers. They don’t take reservations so plan to get there in the late afternoon for the best sunset view.
Agustin & Company
You’ll often find a crowd at Agustin & Company, and for good reason. This buzzy bar serves generous portions at very reasonable prices – highlights include pork cheek with wine sauce, cod with tomatoes and the seafood cocktail, not forgetting an unusually strong offering of sweets such as tasty chocolate cakes, parfait and gelato. The restaurant is also a homage to 20th-century photography and images by Irving Penn, Alice Springs and other lesser-known artists line the walls inside.
Family-run bistro Petit Comité (French for gathering) has been going from strength to strength since opening in 2012. This is not your average tapas bar – interiors are pared back and elegant with white walls, modern artworks, wooden tables and original floor tiles. Food-wise, expect Andalusian cuisine with a French influence on the short but sweet menu which includes creative dishes like risotto with duck fumet, pumpkin and grilled foie gras, and tender octopus with truffle parmentier and egg yolk.
Where to Stay
Corral del Rey
Located on a quiet cobbled street in the heart of the characterful Alfalfa neighbourhood – wonderfully hidden but just five minutes’ walk from the Cathedral – the chic boutique hotel Corral del Rey is where savvy travellers seeking authenticity and comfort choose to stay.
Small but mighty, this meticulously renovated 17th-century casa palacio only has 17 rooms but leaves a lasting impression. Interiors are calm and elegant, with a bohemian twist including unique decorative items such as rugs, headboards and cushions sourced from southeast Asia and Morocco. Bedrooms are filled with natural light and have gorgeous marble bathrooms. In the mornings, tables in the bijoux restaurant are laid out with a continental breakfast fit for a king, including a large basket of warm pastries, jams, cannoli, and carafes of freshly-squeezed orange juice. By night, order a cocktail from the bar and take it up to the rooftop where you’ll find a large daybed to stretch out on and a plunge pool to soothe aching limbs after hours of sightseeing.
Real Alcázar de Sevilla: Even if you’re in Seville for just one day, you should make visiting this palace a priority – a incredible maze of tiled patios and mosaic halls with jasmine scented gardens frequented by peacocks, it’s one of the most breathtaking royal residences in Europe.
Seville Cathedral: The Roman Catholic Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede de Sevilla is the largest Gothic cathedral on earth. Climb the Giralda tower for panoramic views of the city and pay your respects at the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Museo del Baile Flamenco: A portal to the magical world of flamenco, Museo del Baile Flamenco is full of costumes and memorabilia. After browsing the exhibits, take your seat for one of the dazzling daily live shows featuring dancers, singers and musicians.
Casa de Pilatos: You’ll find a mesmerising melting-pot of architectural styles at Casa de Pilatos including Gothic, Mudéjar and Italian Renaissance. Join a guided tour to learn about the 16th-century residence’s history and secrets.
Metropol Parasol: Designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer, Metropol Parasol (also known as Las Setas or the mushrooms of Sevilla), is the biggest wooden structure in the world. Stroll along the walkway for epic views before a show at Tablao Flamenco Las Setas.
How To Get There
Vueling (vueling.com), part of IAG, flies from London Gatwick to Seville six times a week, with return prices from £72.