This blog post was originally posted on June 23rd, 2015 and was updated on August 11th, 2017.
Seville is a city which is known for its 3000+ bars, some of which date back to well before the 20th century, including one that has been running since 1670.
It’s fair to say that the tapas culture here in Seville is one of the best in Spain – at least, it’s one of our favorites! With so many bars, there are also many different traditional tapas to be found. Here’s our top 10 traditional tapas in Seville!
1. Salmorejo (Cold Tomato Soup)
A trip to Andalusia’s capital is nothing without at least one bowl of salmorejo, a cold tomato soup that originates from nearby Cordoba. This soup is served in bars and restaurants across the city and garnished with a number of toppings, the most typical of all being pieces of Iberian ham and cubes of boiled egg. Easily one of our favorite traditional tapas in Seville.
2. Solomillo al Whisky (Pork Loin with Whisky Sauce)
Pork loin is something that you find all over Spain, but this dish, in particular, is a specialty in Seville. No one can quite agree on the origin of this interesting sauce, which is made from a combination of whiskey, garlic, and lemon, but regardless, it has become a firm favorite in bars across the city. Enjoy this tapa at many of the traditional taverns you will find scattered around the city.
3. Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach and Chickpeas)
If there is a tapa which tells a story about Seville’s colorful past, then this is it, and it’s one of the most popular traditional tapas in Seville. The cooked down spinach is mixed with chickpeas and cumin, two ingredients that are not historically from Spain – there were brought with the Moors when they invaded Spain in 711 AD and seem to have remained here ever since!
4. Caracoles (Snails)
This is one tapa that involves a bit of timing to be able to enjoy. The season for caracoles is only two months long. During May and June every year the bars in Seville become adorned with makeshift signs saying “Hay Caracoles” (we have snails). Also, the locals are out in force munching on snails as if they were popcorn. They are prepared in a slightly spicy broth and can be picked out of the shells with toothpicks. Alternatively, if you are brave, you can suck them out of the shell – the local way! Many people wouldn’t expect snails to be one of the traditional tapas in Seville, but they’re worth a try!
5. Jamón Iberico de Bellota (Acorn Fed Iberian Ham)
No top 10 traditional tapas list is complete without including Jamón Iberico de Bellota. This is ham from the free range black hoofed Iberian pigs which are fed on a diet of acorns. This results in a delicate, nutty, melt in your mouth ham which can be enjoyed on toast, with food, or on its own!
Come join us on our Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Seville Food Tour to taste some of the best Spanish ham in the city, along with a whole host of other traditional foodie treats!
6. Cazón en Adobo (Fried Dog Fish)
Pescado frito, or fried fish, is one of the most traditional tapas in Seville and a staple in every kitchen in the city. However our favorite of them all is cazon, a tender white fish. This specialty is rarely found outside of bars and restaurants in Andalusia. This fish, known in English as dog fish or sand shark, is covered in a light batter and fried, then enjoyed with a cool beer or even a glass of Manzanilla sherry or two. Pescado frito also happens to be the typical food of the Feria de April (April Fair).
7. Pringa (Pork Stew Spread)
Pringa originates from using the leftovers of the family’s pork stew, cocido. Families made this stew with pork meats and chickpeas, and in Seville, it has been turned into tapa form by being served on or in-between bread! The pringa varies slightly from place to place and is one of the best pork sandwiches in the city, so pop into a local bar and try it for yourself.
8. Boquerones (White Anchovies)
We love fish in any form, but white anchovies known as boquerones are definitely one of our favorites around! These small white anchovies are battered, fried and served up warm. Alternatively, conserved boquerones are doused in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. These cold boquerones are the perfect accompaniment to a cold glass of local cerveza.
9. Carrillada de Cerdo (Pork Cheeks)
Stewed meats are a feature on menus in Seville with carilladas de cerdo being the most traditional of them all. The pork cheeks are usually cooked in a wine reduction sauce and of course, are best washed down with a glass of vino tinto from Rioja (red wine). These are incredibly popular in Seville so you won’t have trouble finding these in bars around town. The best carrillada should be soft and tender with the meat practically falling apart on your fork.
10. Presa Iberica (Pork Shoulder)
Cuts of pork come in all different forms in the bars around Seville, but one of our favorites is Presa Iberica. This cut of pork is from the shoulder and very tender. It can be found with a variety of sauces and garnishes, but we believe simple is best. The most enjoyable for us is when it’s just been cooked on the grill — a la plancha.
Perhaps you would like to experience these traditional tapas in Seville with a local expert? Join us on one of our food tours to explore hidden streets and eat delicious food. Also, you’ll taste local wine and learn about Seville’s history as you go.