Seville is a tapas town. Tapas is a way of life in Seville and it is much easier to find good tapas bars than restaurants. During a long weekend visit to Seville I managed to try out quite a few tapas bars (the sacrifices I make in the name of research).
First off the ranks, heaving at the seams on Friday night, was Bodega Morales. The dark wooden bar opens off a little lane in the old town and is lined with huge oak wine barrels. Wine is a bargain €1.50 per glass and plates of basic tapas are available such as squares of tortilla, and plates of jamon. This is a no frills type of place. The strength of it is really the atmosphere and the drinks rather than the tapas. However, the plate that we keep on ordering is one of crackers topped with the softest chorizo that I have ever eaten, blood red and rich with fat.
The highest concentration of tapas bars in Seville has to be along the atmospheric Calle Mateus which winds its way up from the Cathedral through the historic Santa Cruz area. We perched ourselves at the outdoor tables at Casa Tomate for a long lunch on Saturday. Piping hot croquettes oozing cheese were a highlight along with the grilled squid which had literally been brushed over the grill so that it was incredibly fresh and superior to the battered squid which we also sampled. We accompanied this with jugs of ice cold sangria and it was quite hard to think of a nicer way to spend an afternoon.
Veal stew at El Giraldillo
The final tapas bar we tried was El Giraldillo on a plaza overlooking the cathedral. Of course this prime location meant that the bar was very touristy and you have to pay a premium for the setting. The tapas at €3.75 a plate are hit and miss. Croquettes are overcooked and the breadcrumbed exteriors are browned rather than golden. Seville’s famous boquerones fritos, tiny battered fish, are bone dry. However, the piementos fritas are a rich green and have been cooked until the flesh of the peppers is mouth wateringly tender. The veal stew has been slow cooked so that the meat is soft and the meat and tomato flavours of the sauce
Bodega Morales, Garcia de Vinuesa 11, Seville, Spain (Ph +34 954 221 242)
Such a bargain even my mother would approve
Casa Tomate, Calle Mateus, Seville, Spain (Ph +34 954 220 421)
El Giraldillo, Plaza Virgin de los Reyes, Barrio Santa Cruz, 41004 Sevilla, Spain (Ph +34 954 221 354)
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my post on tapas in Alicante or if you are looking for tapas in London my favourite place is Barrafina.