Restaurants in Seville
Eating out in Seville is approached with the same laid-back simplicity that characterises the city's approach to life in general. Dishes are uncomplicated and honest, and ingredients are fresh, flavourful and tasty. Like the architectural and historical roots of the Andalusian region, cuisine in Seville is a mix of Mediterranean and Moorish traditions. Main ingredients include olive oil, garlic and wine; but a strong Muslim influence has also infused recipes with a handful of mint, a pinch of spice or fragrant citrus and almond elements.
Many visitors are surprised to learn that the city lays claim to Spain's most well-known culinary legacy - tapas. These small, bite-sized portions make for light and delicious meals, and cater perfectly to a culture that believes whole-heartedly in the value of good conversation. Though tapas used to be complimentary alongside a nip of sherry or a glass of wine, these days visitors will be hard-pressed to find a restaurant simply 'giving away' the traditional side of jamon (cured ham) or the odd bowl of acietunas (olives). Still, sampling one of the 4,000 odd tapas bars in Seville is a must; or, if you're in the mood for something more substantial, the city has an assortment of impressive restaurants suitable for a variety of budgets.
Over lunchtime ask about the menu del dia (menu of the day); this normally includes a choice of soup or salad, a main course, and a dessert, and often proves a delicious and economic way to make your way through Seville. Keep in mind that the Spanish eat late: most restaurants only open at 8pm; though the locals will filter in between 9pm and 11pm.
Moorish brickwork, a handsome mahogany bar and a ceiling that dates back to the seventeenth century give El Rinconcillo the kind of old-world charm that other restaurants merely aspire to. As one of the most famous tapas bars in the city, the venue not only claims a rich history, but also remains true to its Andalusian roots and the accompanying relaxed regional demeanour. Visitors can enjoy a full meal or a few light tapas portions. Open daily 1pm to 1.30am.
Address: C/Gerona 40 y Alhondigo 2
Telephone: 954 223 183
Restaurante San Marco
Styled to appear as a 12th-century Arab bath house, the lively atmosphere and delicious Italian cuisine make this a favourite among both locals and tourists. This particular venue is tucked away among the winding alleyways of Barrio Santa Cruz, but three other options - each uniquely designed - appear in different areas of the city. Reservations are crucial. Dinner is served from 8pm until midnight.
Address: Calle Meson del Moro
Telephone: 954 418 760
Situated in a bright and airy mansion dating back to 1926, this stylish space allows guests the opportunity to dine in the equivalent of a contemporary indoor garden. The restaurant was once credited with a Michelin star, though nowadays, tapas and drinks are just as much an occasion as haute cuisine. Visitors can look forward to a fantastic wine list and very knowledgeable sommelier. Closed Sundays. Lunch is served 1:30pm to 4pm; dinner from 8:30pm to midnight.
Address: San Fernando 41
Telephone: 954 22 72 54
Seafood specialities have buoyed Barbiana to regular appearances on any of Seville's top restaurant listings. Though the city is inland, the chefs go out of their way to source a fresh selection of succulent shrimp, squid, sea bass and white fish all the way from the coastal town of Cadiz. The restaurant is set in the heart of Seville, adjacent to the Plaza Neuve. Those pressed for time can enjoy an abbreviated version of the menu at the tapas bar in front.
Address: Calle Albaredo 11
Telephone: 954 22 44 02
Classically Mediterranean and reasonably priced, Az-Zait is your affordable answer to lunch and dinner. Set next to the Convent of San Lorenzo, the restaurant is comfortable, the service good and the cuisine reliable. The menu offers both Andalusian favourites (gazpacho) and more inventive options, like the honey-glazed cuttlefish. There is also a tasting menu available. Lunch is served from 11am to 4:30pm, and dinner from 8pm to 12:30am.
Address: Plaza San Lorenzo 1
Telephone: 954 90 64 75
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