I travel for food. And I’ve been around the world in search of the best. Spain might be the best place in the world to eat right now. And my favorite Spanish food comes from Andalusia in southern Spain and specifically tapas bars (though tapas style bars are common across all of Spain). Tapas is less a cuisine and more a way of life. It is a social way of eating. Small portions of amazing food created specifically to accompany drinks while you connect with your friends at the end of the day. In these regions it is common for people of all ages to “take tapas” every night of the week. Lunches run late and tend to be the dominant meal and a smaller dinner is had later in the night with family starting at 8pm but as late as midnight. In between you need a small snack and the tapas fills this role. Though most tapas dishes come in three sizes, the tapas (the smallest portion), a medium portion (usually half the portion of a full plate), and the full plate or ración which is large enough for a full meal. But it’s much more fun to pick a variety of tapas to sample all the good stuff.
My favorite town to have tapas is the historical city of Seville [Sa-VEE-uh], the city where Magellan and Columbus set sail, especially in the early spring when the weather is still cool and the orange trees that line the streets are in bloom. It’s a magical place without equal.
If you’re planning a food tour of Spain, make sure Seville makes your list. Unlike my first visit that lasted less than a week and the food tour I posted then, I was able to spend over three weeks this time around searching out the best tapas in the city and I’ve created a list of 22 places I think you should seek out.
My tapas food tour overview.
I don’t know how many tapas bars are in Seville but it would be impossible to visit them all. So I’ve tried to pare down a list of some of the best spots in the city, both classic old-world tapas bars and more modern leaders in tapas cuisine. I cobbled this list of 22 together from famous tapas joints to insider gems, both truly classic and modern interpretations. Along with images of what I ate and why the place is special. I had a truly exceptional experience at every place on this list, so I’m confident you’ll have a good time at any of the bunch. I’ve broken the list down into classic worn-wood tapas bars and more modern or sit-down experiences, depending on what you’re looking for. But the food at each is top-notch.
Old world tapas bars
Bodega Santa Cruz
Dos de Mayo
Bodega La Aurora
Cerveceria el Cortadero
It is hard to pick, but if I was pressed for my favorite tapas experience in Seville, this might be the place. Located in an interesting part of town with a really classic exterior and intimate seating, a knowledgeable but no-nonsense bar keep, and some of the best and most beautiful tapas, Bar Alfalfa has it all. And the grande sangrias weren’t half bad either. The space is quite small, luckily we hit it at a less popular hour, but it certainly has ambiance and the food has an Italian flavor. The bruschettas were excellent and the caprese was delicious. Go here for a slow late lunch and order everything on the menu. You can’t go wrong.
Casa Morales is the perfect prototypical old world tapas bar. An extensive tapas menu of delicious food, a great sherry selection, and an unbeatable old-world style. It really is some of the best of everything. Unfortunately, everyone in town knows it and the location is very central. There’s a local mob forming outside right as the doors open so the dining room fills up instantaneously and pretty much stays that way all night. There’s a bar in the front with standing tables that cycle quickly but the sitting tables in the back dining area are coveted and you’ll have to be early or lucky to get one. That said it’s well worth the effort. On my first visit to Seville this was my strong favorite and any food tour will end up here. Post-covid the crowds were a bit less intense but still some of the most consistent in the city and the paper menus had been replaced by a QR code that we didn’t notice right away. The staff are slammed the entire time the place is open so there’s understandably less patience for indecision in the nibbles department. I recommend studying the extensive menu beforehand and have your order at the ready when you finally get some face time with the waiter.
Bodeguita Romera is just up the street from Morales and is likewise consistently populated. It’s a cute bar with outdoor seating and a full menu of great food. But they’re known for having the best bocadillos pringa in town, which is saying something because it’s pretty much on every tapas menu. A bocadillas is a small sandwich and pringa is a mixed meat stew, usually comprised of scrap meat and yummy bits, full of flavor and fat. At Romera, the bocadillos bread is a bit dense with a crisp toasted shell and the pringa is just dripping with fatty sauce that soaks into the bread. It’s well worth the stop for this one bite. When I last visited they weren’t even on the menu but everyone seemed to have one at their table. So ask for them. One is a snack, two could be a meal. The first time I ate at Romera was after about twelve stiff drinks and I have no memory of it, but the photos were lovely. But I can confirm this time around the pringa was decadent.
Located in one of the cutest pedestrian areas in the Jewish quarter on cobblestone streets, Las Teresas is a well known classic tapas bar dating back to 1870. On my first visit to Seville this place was impossible to get a table at, but post-covid we were able to get a table every time. You’ll find the all of the classic tapas here and I haven’t had a bad one yet. They’re not big on presentation but it’s delicious.
Paco Gongora is right around the block from Bodeguita Romera and consistently less crowded. There’s no outside seating but there’s a bar seating section and a table seating section inside. And the bullfighter décor makes a great backdrop for a meal, complete with mounted bull’s heads and photos of matadors. You’ll find old guys working the bar and locals filling the tables. It’s a very traditional experience and the food is great. I ordered the flamenquin casero, an enormous molten missile of meat, pork and cheese rolled into a burrito shape, breaded and deep fried. If you want to completely gas out your ability to snack for the rest of the night and fall into a food coma, this might be your thing. They have a good sherry selection and all of the classic tapas.
Los Coloniales is well established and has two locations in Seville. The first is near Casa Morales with extremely charming old-world style and great food, but consistently packed with locals and tourists alike. Their second location, where I decided to try, is near the Setas de Sevilla along a quiet square with trees and benches. I probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon this place by myself but the food was excellent and it’s a perfect spot to relax and spend a couple hours over lunch. After eating we moved to the park and enjoyed the quiet a bit. Solid choice if you’re in the area.
Casa Remesal is the only tapas location on my list on the other side of the river. After visiting the Mercado de Triana (fresh market) it was only a short walk through an interesting neighborhood of bars and restaurants. Both inside and outside seating, a very classic looking bar with a decent menu of tapas classics. Outside orders directly at the bar through an open window and you pick the food up at the counter. This was a great little spot I never would have run across on my own.
This place really feels like an old school neighborhood place. Every inch of the walls are filled with old family photos and religious imagery. Everyone seems to know each other. I didn’t run into many tourists here. You have to check in at the door to be allowed in. We lucked out with a narrow standing spot opposite the bar as every other spot was taken. We ordered at the bar and they wrote our order down on the bar top with markers where it would be tallied when we left. The food was great and you can’t beat the environment for a local experience. Sadly after eating here I discovered their specialty is croquetas because we failed to order any. But next time I’m in town I’ll be trying them out. This was the third of four stops on our northern tapas crawl.
La Fresquita is a tiny bar near the tourist walk opposite the cathedral and the palace but away on its own, decorated tip to tail with religious images and a great old-world vibe. You probably won’t find a place inside but they have lots of tables outside on a wide brick walkway that’s perfect for people watching. The food is quite good and you’ll find some less typical dishes here like sangre de pollo encebollada (chicken blood with onion). They only serve tapas so if you want a bigger meal you’ll have to order a bunch of nibbles.
Bodega Santa Cruz
Honestly this place was packed when I stopped by and I had to take a standing spot at the bar in a high traffic area so I rushed through a glass of wine and a couple of small sandwiches for lunch, but I regret not stopping back by because the food I tried was quite good. It’s dead center to the tourist avenue opposite the cathedral on the palace side, so it’s consistently crowded, but the old-world bar and the good food make the effort worth it. And it’s a classic little spot in a sea of tourist joints.
Dos de Mayo
This isn’t a spot you would normally wander by but we had some of our best nibbles at this classic tapas bar. It has a huge seating area out in a public square which was already full at 1pm, so we took a table inside. The locals know what’s up. Because everything we had here was excellent. The foie gras toasts were spectacular and the artichoke with ham was great as well. This was the first stop of four on our lunch tapas crawl of northern spots so we went a bit lighter than we usually would. But I would be excited to really dig in here and sample the menu. Great place, worth the walk.
Still in its original 1670 location, El Rinconcillo is Seville’s oldest continuously operated bar. The wood and tile work is eye catching, the architecture is charming. There’s a snug bar section and a table section. Tapas is only served at the bar. Even post covid there is often a line outside when they open. It’s a bit out of the way but still on tourist’s radar. We sat at the bar and ended up having a big salad and some stewed meat. The bar has loads of charm and the old guys running the restaurant seem to have been doing it forever, and gave knowledgeable and friendly service. It’s worth outwitting the crowds for a tapas and a drink just to experience the place.
Bodega La Aurora
Honestly, we happened into Bodega La Aurora by just passing by. We wanted to meet our friends out and this bodega had a great vibe and was really chill. The tapas menu was basic but solid, we really enjoyed our food. And the bar had everything we were looking for. There are outside and inside tables (we picked inside) and it was a great place to people watch. And it definitely feels like an old-world pub. I can’t say it particularly tops the list on rare finds but we had a lovely time here and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it if you’re in the neighborhood. It also had the smallest bathroom I have ever seen, essentially a urinal with just enough room to close the door behind you. I’m not sure what the women are supposed to do but it might involve some creativity.
This charming bar was only a couple blocks from our apartment and ended up being Katy’s favorite food on the tour. We returned several times. There’s no outside seating but lots of tables and bar spots inside. We ended up having more traditional dinners here but they have tapas as well. The food was more modern and presented with some flare but were predominantly classic dishes. Our burrata salad was beautiful and delicious, Katy’s couscous with lamb was outstanding, and my pork cheeks were very tasty. Good service and a chill location. There’s also a fabulous bakery across the street. Can’t recommend enough.
Petit Comite is well off the tourist radar and the food was some of the best we had in Seville. The vibe was more upscale and the ambiance was romantic with tables tucked in here an there for privacy. This would be a great place for a date or special dinner. I would recommend reservations though we lucked into a table off the street. The menu was all traditional but the execution was definitely next level. Everything we had was the best version of that tapas and beautifully presented. I really enjoyed our meal here. And it was a nice break from the crowded tapas bars on the tour. Don’t miss this special place.
Duo Tapas Bar
Duo Tapas was the fourth stop of four on our northern tapas crawl so we were edging up to full when we arrived. Their seating fills a large square in front of a church shaded with trees. There’s a locals vibe here, very casual, just north or the Hercules park promenade. The food was top notch but I probably shouldn’t have ordered such rich dishes after so much food. They deserved more attention. Unusual for tapas bars, they had duck magret as a tapas, and I ordered the broken egg with blood sausage and truffle. Both fabulous dishes but so rich! There were lots of things I wanted to try. It was the most northern tapas joint on my tour but it brought us to an interesting location we would have missed otherwise. Definitely worth the walk.
La Brunilda Tapas
La Brunilda was an amazing modern tapas joint. It was tucked away in a small alley near the bull fighting ring but not so much discoverable by tourists. The general vibe was a little more upscale and the there was only table seating. The food was top class with some cross over with French and Mexican cuisine. The burrata was excellent, the duck confit was very tasty, and the foie was amazing as always.
This award winning tapas bar is more than your average pub. The food is quite refined and the ambiance is up-scale. I feel the menu is best suited for a full sit-down meal and less towards a quick tapas and drink. And the restaurant in general is quite modern. There’s outside seating but inside you’ll find tables in a romantic open air square within the building. Not as affordable of some other tapas places but you’ll know what you’re paying for.
This was our second of four stops on our northern tapas crawl. Espacio Eslava seemed to have the most modern and refined versions of classic tapas. Very creative and well recognized, they have several tapas that have won first prize at Seville’s annual tapas contest. Including the Yema sobre bizcocho de boletus y vino caramelizado which we ordered off-hand but saw plates of 6 going out to all of the tables. We ordered well because it was delicious. Go here for the best of modern tapas and go deep for an amazing meal. It’s not the most old-world of the bunch but you’ll find the heart of a thriving modern tapas scene.
Nino Gordo / Ovejas Negras Tapas
Ovejas Negras Tapas was created by two chefs who previously worked for El Bulli and had Michelin recognition for outstanding tapas. But when we stopped by, they were closed with signs saying to come to their neighboring restaurant Nino Gordo which had Ovejas Negras on their receipts and menu. So I suspect they are in the process of moving one to the other. But I’m unclear. What’s very clear is that the food at Nino Gordo is excellent. Refined and complex dishes, a great bar, and a modern welcoming environment. The tapas were next level and the location is very central. Definitely give this place a try.
Cerveceria el Cortadero
The only reason I’m including this cerveceria in the list is because it was right in front of our apartment and we ended up eating here a bunch of times. There’s nothing particularly special about this place but that’s precisely why I ended up really liking it. No pretense, no tourists, no fancy expectations. This is a no nonsense neighborhood bar with solid affordable food every night of the week. The clientele ranged from boisterous families having their nightly meal to squank-eyed drunks having their 5th glass of wine at 2pm. Tapas were around 3 euros, and the portions were consistently larger than we expected. The sandwiches were relatively large and it was impossible to leave hungry. I’m not saying go out of your way to visit but this bar is a solid example of everyday Spanish cuisine and just how exceptional the people of Seville are eating any night of week versus other parts of the world.