Top 10 Bars In Seville

Monday, February 13, 2012


Seville is not a cheap city. On the other hand, it is the epicentre of tapa culture and cuisine. The tapas here aren’t free, as they are in Granada for example, but they are good — maybe the best that Spain has to offer. And it isn’t as if there isn’t any good value.

In the more generous establishments, three tapas (somewhere between five and ten euros, depending on choices) will easily feed two people. As the capital of Andalucia, the city offers more than just tapas of course, and a couple of the bars listed here are not food destinations, they’re just great bars. So next time you’re in Seville, make sure to visit one or all of these 10 great bars in the city.

1) Los Coloniales

Los Coloniales can’t be beaten. If you want a table, leave your name and wait. Eventually, you’ll get a table. If you want to do it properly, find yourself a square inch of bar space and scream for service over the roar. A waiter will roar back at you and then bring you something very nice and much larger than you expected.

The solomillo (pork tenderloin) al whisky is famous and the solomillo al oporto is better. The tablas — thick, toasted bread slices with salmorejo and jamon — are topped with quails eggs and draw crowds. Does dressed carrot sound exciting to you? They make it exciting here. When it comes you may have to hold it in your hand or balance it on the head of a nearby child (did I mention it gets busy?)

Plaza Cristo de Burgos, 19

toptenbarsinseville32) Bar Garlochi

They only serve drinks, but that’s not a problem here. Tucked into a side street near Plaza Alfalfa, there isn’t a tapa in sight and just as well: eating would be strange with the reek of incense that hangs in the air. Every item of décor is salvaged church tat. Brass candleholders and funereal flower arrangements abound, as do portraits of saints and devout sevillanos. You can’t even get a glass of red wine,  just cocktails, shots and beer. What you do get is the campest barroom experience in Seville, and all under the watchful eye of the Virgin. Its score on the atmosphere front isn’t exactly hurt when a bunch of women at the bar burst spontaneously into flamenco. They don’t look like they quite know what they’re doing, but still.

Calle de los Boteros, 26

3) La Trastienda

This place isn’t pretty. I call it the chipper on account of its fluorescent-lit similarity to a British fish & chip shop. The duck liver is so tender it melts if you look at it, the gambas they serve are the size of a baby’s arm and the imperial anchovies are almost as big. The owner here cares: He keeps his eye on the door to see who comes in and will probably be watching as you take your first bite. His co-workers are friendly and up for a chat. Maybe they think they have to try harder because they’re surrounded by more famous places, but popping in to La Trastienda is all about warmth and welcome . . .  and duck liver.

Plaza de la Alfalfa, 8

toptenbarsinseville44) Bar Alfalfa

Just next door to La Trasteiandea, Bar Alfalfa is a tiny and beautiful corner bar with standing-room only, and there is, of all things, an Italian twist to the tapas. The caprese is made with good buffalo mozzarella and dressed with oregano rather than basil, just to keep things Spanish.

A member of the staff may well ask you to move aside so that they can scale a ladder and fetch a bottle of wine, such is the premium on storage space here. There’s an important difference between being crammed and being cosy though, and Alfalfa is definitely the latter. Just next to Plaza Alfalfa and a neighborhood favorite, it attracts a young crowd and is always lively.

Calle Candilejo, 1

5) Bodega Santa Cruz

Right on the main tapa drag in Santa Cruz, and  just up the street from the cathedral, there’s some debate about whether this place — also known as Las Columnas because of the pillars out front — is more beloved among the locals or among foreign students and tourists. In fact, if you take a look around, there’s plenty of both. Well established, this is old-school Spain; your account will be totted up in chalk on the bar in front of you just as it is in La Trastienda. Arrive at a busy time and you may have to enjoy your drink and tapa outside. If so, I’ve no idea how they keep track of your spending, but they do. A popular spot for espinaca con garbanzos, but for my money the espinaca con queso is even better.

Calle Rodrigo Caro, 1

toptenbarsinseville56) Casa Morales

Whatever your position on bullfighting, the bull ring in Seville is a great place to be near if you’re hungry. Casa Morales, or Bar Hijos de E. Morales as it says over the door, provides another fix of old-school charisma. The back room is packed with enormous tinajas (stoneware sherry barrels) and the front room is lined with wine bottles and wood panel. The staff here wear pressed shirts and waistcoats and know what they’re doing. I try the salchichas al vino blanco and a little ensaladilla rusa. Both are excellent; brittle little potato chips soak up the white wine while I soak up the antique ambience.

Calle Garcia de Vinuesa, 11

7) El Rinconcillo

These guys set up shop back in 1670 so you’d expect them to know a thing or two about running a bar by now, and indeed, they do seem to have gotten the hang of it. Let’s be honest, when you’re in a place this old and this ridiculously charming, it doesn’t really matter whether the tapas are any good or not. Fortunately, they’re not bad at all. They keep it simple here, serving up the reliable classics. Espinaca con garbanzos is ubiquitous in Seville and this is the place to try it; it seems a bit spicier and a lot tastier. The kind of place where one finds oneself looking around a lot, especially at the walls, wondering how many hundreds of years old that thing is.

Calle Gerona, 40

8) Casa Roman

How does one write a review of Casa Roman without using the word “institution”? Oops. People come here for the jamón de Jabugo that hangs overhead. I order the fried cod, and it’s fantastic. The bar fronts out onto the beautiful little Plaza de los Venerables, which is served by several other bars as well so when you’re all pigged out on jamón and fancy something else you don’t have far to go. One of them, Hostería del Laurel, is number eleven on this top ten list.

Plaza Venerables 1

9) La Flor de Mi Viña

Right in the middle of the shopping district, this is a real Saturday afternoon stop-in. Most of the shoppers fleeing the crush of Calles Tetuan and Sierpes don’t get this far. They turn in at bar Blanco Cerillo on the same street, which is famous for its fish. In fairness, you can smell why, but it’s well worth the few more steps that take you to this wonderful little bar with its excellent range and very warm service. I have some beautiful riñones (pork kidneys) and a glass of manzanilla wine from Sanlucar de Barrameda. It certainly beats shopping.

Calle Jose de Velilla, 7

toptenbarsinseville610) Cerveceria Internacional

Ok, it’s seven bars since you found yourself in a tapa-free zone. Cerveceria Internacional isn’t tapa-free in fact, but it might as well be: People who come here come for the beer. I didn’t count (bad reporter!), but there are probably over 100 different types on sale; a good selection on tap and an incredible range by the bottle. Since they’ve run out of O’Hara’s Red Ale (damn!) I go for a pale ale from the wonderful St Peter’s brewery in Cornwall. Next time I’ll try the Domus, a craft beer from Toledo. For the hell of it I have some chickpeas too, infused with the flavour of flaked cod. Win win.

Calle Gamazo, 1

By Robin Graham



Robin Graham has written for In Madrid, The Expeditioner and the Matador Network. He regularly contributes to The Spain Scoop and blogs at the award-winning Alotofwind. Follow him on Twitter: @robinjgraham.

  • robinjgraham
  • Patricia Dziedzic

    Viriato Gastrobar is a pub located in the heart of Seville. It has the finest beers and wines, with an original and exciting food menu from tapas to their famous Viriato Burguer. They have quickly built a reputation for their friendly and relaxed atmosphere, bringing together an interesting and varied mix of people.

    Open every day at one pm, they serve great food until one in the morning.
    They have a wide selection of imported beers such as Guinness and Leffe,they serve the most reputable organic Spanish wine estates and excellent choice of Whiskys, Rums, Gins, and Liqueurs.

    This Bar offers cultural and sport programmes, on Mondays they host film night ,on Tuesday is quiz night and they show all major sporting events in high quality on big screens including football (La Liga, The English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, International matches), rugby (Heineken Cup, Six Nations, The Championship), Formula 1, and much more.

  • Patrick Waller

    Nice post Robin, and fantastic looking tapas.Just love Sevilla. A great tapa city as is Granada,Logroño (one of my favourites),Pamplona.Leon and Bilbao. They all have their unique character

  • I have to echo what Christopher says. Firstly an enjoyable read (and I open anything which appears to be a list with caution!), and secondly it also makes me want to jump on the next plane! Last year I found tapas in Sevilla (and I think we ate nothing else from memory) delicious, original and fairly cheap. The following week in Barcelona disappointed on each count in comparison! Since the prices compared to where I live in the Canary Islands, and bearing in mind that IVA is a part of the price, I think, whereas here we have IGIC at only 5% that makes the price even better.

  • Christopher

    Incredibly well written. This makes me want to hop on a plane and be in Seville by tonight.

  • Great List! Thanks for sharing the information.

  • A great list. I’ve been eating tapas in Seville for ten years now, and think you’ve made some great choices, especially Bar Alfalfa, my neighborhood hangout of choice, and the crazy Garlochi. But where was Eslava, which is generally held to have the best tapas in town??

    • Really appreciate your input here Karen. I wanted to create a top ten based purely on personal experience so I did not research previous lists or reviews. I think it’s evident from the comments on your fb page that my list is not that of a resident! However I do get to Sevilla as much as I can and will be back there in a few weeks, sure to check out Eslava, Yebra, Las Salas. I was very happy to see from the comments on your page that despite the omissions folks thought well of the list :)
      Would have to disagree with the comment that Los Coloniales is over rated though! 

  • Robin, Casa Roman sounds good, and I love the fact that they have the hams hanging overhead. Bar Alfalfa sounds like a real neighborhood place. These seem like some great places to check out. 

  • Thanks for this list!  When in Seville, my Southern American mind couldn’t wrap itself around such small plates of food!  Now that I’m back in DC, I’ve been to quite a few tapas bars and enjoyed myself.  Go figure!!!

  • Well now I’m hungry and thirsty!  Great list for anyone visiting Seville.


    I have never read one of such articles before!

  • Ruth of Tanama Tales

    I guess these places are not food destinations but I am sure they are full od caracter and locals.  I don’t now why you write a post like this when I am on a diet.  Espinacas con garbanzos, mmmmmmmm.

  • Great suggestions, Robin! Hopefully we’ll be back in Spain sometime soon and can try these places out!

  • Awesome roundup! I love the custom of having tapas with each drink and going to a few different bars to try each one’s offerings…  ~Andrea.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a great tradition, and it makes sense for the bar to keep you around longer. 

  • I’d love to check out each and every one of these bars. I love Sevilla!

  • inka

    How many hangovers did you have to suffer to be a dutyful reporter?

    • There’s no such thing as a hangover, Inka, as long as you keep drinking…

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