When I posted the Foodie Route ‘Along the Costa de la Luz of Cádiz’, I mentioned that I would come back with more about fascinating Andalucía (Andalusia). I chose this time: Sevilla, its enchanting capital. It is the third most visited Spanish city after Barcelona and Madrid. If you have not been there, add it to your bucket list!
I found Sevilla to have an appealing vibe. It is hard to describe, but there you can feel a unique Spanish atmosphere. It is a place where you can sense your thoughts about Spain.
It was not difficult to get lost in its charming, labyrinth streets. One evening, strayed a bit from the route, we found two fantastic tapas bars in the San Lorenzo neighborhood:
Eslava Bar – I had this one in my notes. One of the busiest places for tapas and probably one of the best in town. The kitchen in Eslava Bar has managed to merge successfully traditional flavors with modern accents. Something trendy these days in gastronomy but not always easy to achieve.
Some of its tapas have been awarded the local prize “Sevilla en Boca de Todos”. Among others, we tried their “slow-cooked egg served on boletus cake with caramelized wine reduction,” which won the first prize in 2010. We found it heavenly!
Although the place was packed, the staff was efficient and friendly.
On the way to our hotel, we stopped for a nightcap … Just a few steps from Eslava Bar, we found
Casa Ricardo – A house founded in 1898 as a grocery shop. Today it is a traditional tapas bar, serving typical Sevillian cuisine. The setting: An old bar fully decorated with religious elements, creating an unexpected atmosphere, still not inexplicable in Sevilla.
Do not expect a written menu; the waiters or Ricardo himself will tell you what the daily specials are. They were treating everybody like esteemed patrons.
We felt so welcome that we stay for more than just the intended nightcap … and returned once again before leaving Sevilla.
El Bistrot del Alabardero – This bistro is run in a beautiful palace in the old town district. Students of the hotel school of Sevilla are in charge of the kitchen, and you will find a very good menu for an excellent price.
We really enjoyed all the courses.
They also offer tapas and have a restaurant, where you can eat à la carte. A small seven-room hotel is part of the concept.
El Rinconcillo (1670) – With its fame of being the oldest bar in Sevilla, it is mentioned in most guides and is not a sneek peak at all. Nevertheless, I am including it as well, because, if there is an historic bar, this one is truly emblematic.
I do not have the impression that much has changed here for many years, not even many of the bottles on the shelves.
At this bar, the price of what you have ordered is written with chalk on the countertop in front of where you are standing … When you are finished, all is added up, and you can pay.
Not to miss if you are also into sightseeing:
- Real Alcázar – Started to be built in the 9th century, this is the oldest active royal palace in Europe. The Moorish interiors and enchanting gardens are breathtaking. Buy your ticket online and try to get there early in the morning to avoid the big tour groups.
- Cathedral – Built originally as a mosque in the 12th century, today it is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third largest church in the world.
- Giralda – This is the name of the cathedral’s bell tower. It was formerly the minaret, and today is one of Sevilla’s landmarks. Climb it up for great views.
- Torre del Oro (1220) – Stroll along the banks of the Guadalquivir and, next to Puente San Telmo, you will find this tower, a rest of the Moorish fortified walls.
- Metropol Parasol – Modern architecture (museum, public square, market, shops, restaurants, etc.) in the old quarter. It claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world.