Some people travel to eat. While food is not the primary reason we travel, it is definitely high up on the list. This is even more true in Andalusia, where food plays a huge role in everyday life. While all the cities we visited in Andalusia had fantastic restaurants, the Seville restaurants were the best of them.
My feeling is that Seville caters more to local, Spanish, tourists, while the other cities attract a more international clientele. I also had the feeling that the tourists in Seville expected more from their dining experience.
The restaurants in Seville really blew us away with their quality. Not only was the food fantastic, the ambience was also always perfect and the service friendly and efficient. In Seville, every visit to a restaurant was both a culinary and cultural experience.
Bar Postiguillo Tapas
Ducking out from our hotel at seven in the evening, we headed down one of the larger streets in Seville, Calle Arfe. Filled with bars and restaurants, Calle Arfe has a great, bustling vibe. Although, it was still early in the evening, many of them already had their terraces packed with patrons drinking chilled wine and having a great time.
We turned a corner, as instructed by Google Maps, and found ourselves on an empty road. Not too far ahead, we could see some boats and containers. It looked like we’d arrived in a shipyard. I started to doubt the direction we were headed in, but the GPS was certain we were on the right track, and we continued walking.
Out of the gloom, behind a bend, were lights and chatter. And we found it – Bar Postiguillo Tapas. The first of our Seville restaurants. We stepped into the large, two storied restaurant. It felt like we had set foot in an opulent Spanish country house – for that was what it was. This was the house of the Marquis de Torrenueva in the 19th century.
Traditional Spanish interior, with a twist
The interior is expansive, a cavernous space divided by brick columns and lofty arches. The high ceilings were covered with wooden rafters, its walls decorated with a large collection of bullheads and black and white photographs from the restaurant’s long history.
Although it was early, the restaurant was starting to fill up, and we were lucky to get a table. Not long after we were seated, the last few tables were snapped up. If I recall correctly, the restaurant did not make reservations.
After being seated, the waiter promptly brought us menus in English. At Postiguillo, most of the meals come in two sizes, tapas size for around €3.50 – €4 and full portions for around €10 – €12. We ordered tortillitas de camarón (flat, crispy shrimp pancakes unique to the region), slow cooked Iberico pork cheeks, courgette wrapped langoustine and a portion of grilled vegetables.
The food was fantastic. The tortillitas were perfectly crispy, the langoustines sweet and fresh and the Iberico pork cheeks – they were the show stopper. They were absolutely melt in your mouth delicious. We washed everything down with a bottle of lovely local white wine.
Las Teresas 1870
We found Las Teresas 1870 by chance, while wandering the streets of Seville. Unlike Bar Postiguillo, we didn’t look up reviews beforehand. Las Teresas didn’t need it.
At six in the evening, it was packed with people having tapas and we were lucky to find a table inside. Although it was a nice balmy evening and it would have been nice to sit outside, the traditional interior of Las Teresas lured us indoors.
The moment we stepped into the bar, we were engulfed by the smell of smoked jamon, for there were hundreds of legs hanging off the ceiling of the joint. We found the delicious smelling interior cool and welcoming and immediately sat ourselves where we could see everything that was going on at the bar.
The waiter who came to serve us was a jolly man who didn’t mind chatting to us in our broken Spanish. We ordered Brandy de Jerez (cognac) and wine, and I have to say he was pretty heavy handed when he poured the drinks.
They have a decent menu cart here, mixing tapas staples like chiperones with more interesting options like tuna belly and caviar. We tried a variety of things and enjoyed them all. I have to say I particularly loved the tuna belly and the roasted peppers.
Although the portions seem small, they actually aren’t. The restaurant serves the food in small dishes because of the limited table size. However, the servers filled each dish to the brim. After tapas here, we definitely didn’t feel like we could manage dinner for that evening. I would say for authenticity, Las Teresas 1870 is number one on my list of Seville restaurants that do tapas and, maybe even in all of Spain.
Bodeguita La Parihuela
Pop off the main street from the Cathedral of Seville and you’ll find Bodeguita la Parihuela, a small, charming tapas place tucked behind a bend in the Passatge de Vila.
We were immediately drawn to this restaurant because of its funky tiles and welcoming atmosphere. When we stepped into the restaurant, we felt we were going to have a good time, instantly.
The menu here was a mix mix of traditional with contemporary flair. If there’s one thing I love about Spanish food is that it’s never fussy or stuck in the past. In Andalusia, despite its strong adherence to tradition when it comes to religion and culture, cuisine is constantly being reinvented.
We noticed many interesting items on the menu posted outside. The restaurant served up: empanadas filled with ratatouille, pickled peppers stuffed with cod and pork cheeks with special sauce. We never did get to find out what that special sauce was, settling instead for more traditional dishes like spinach and prawns and a portion of local goats cheese with marmalade.
I thought that the portions here were generous and the food itself quite rich. We definitely did not leave wanting.
One thing is for sure, Seville has some fantastic tapas bars and restaurants. The food and drink experience in this city is absolutely phenomenal, and we would return to this city just for the dining experience it offers.