Learn all about the different types of gourmet grocery stores in Seville (and what to buy there!), in our guide to shopping for foodies.
We all know that the best souvenirs are the ones you can eat (or drink).
But there’s a problem:
There’s just too much choice! Going grocery shopping in Seville can be overwhelming—there’s so much produce, so many places to buy it from, and so many different Spanish words to Google Translate.
Learn how to shop for groceries like a local, with our handy guide!
Food markets hold a special place in local hearts. They’re more than just a place to come and shop, they’re community centers.
Seville is a city where people buy their groceries daily, not weekly. You’ll see the same faces at the market every day, buying the same things, from the same people!
Locals will know the stall-owners by name, and they’ll know all of their customers’ names, too! After perusing the stalls, most sevillanos will round off their shopping trip by going to the market bar (every market has one!), ordering a coffee, and checking in with the other shoppers.
The produce here is all about seasonality. You won’t see the same fruits and vegetables in March as you’ll see in October, and every season brings new colors and smells to the stalls.
What to buy at a food market in Seville:
- Fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables.
- Unbeatable acorn-fed Iberian ham.
- Seafood! Andalusia has one of the highest rates of seafood consumption in the world, and fresh fish is brought in every morning. The fish will change with the seasons, too, which means you’ll see new types of seafood every day.
- Vegan groceries. While stalls selling vegan produce are a new addition to food markets in Seville, they’re proving to be a hit among locals! The Mercado del Arenal, in the city’s old town, even has a vegan bakery.
How to shop at a food market like a local:
- Grab a numbered ticket at the stall, and wait until you hear your number called.
- Make sure you know what you want—they won’t wait long before moving on to the next customer!
- Bring your own re-useable bags from home.
Insider’s tip: Our
These places are a legacy from before supermarkets arrived in Seville.
Stick your head inside and it’s a feast for all your senses. You’ll see bags of dried legumes and salted cod, smell the different spices and coffee beans, and hear the soft tinkling of flamenco music in the background.
You’ll also see that these stores offer you the option to fill up empty bottles of wine from home, straight from the barrel! These are great spots to come to pick up bottles of vermouth, as well as the different styles of Seville’s favorite wine: sherry.
How to shop at an ultramarino like a local:
- When you arrive, ask the other customers “Quién es el último?” (“who’s the last in line?”). There won’t be an orderly line here—people will peruse the store shelves while they wait. By asking for the last in line, you’ll know where you stand and make sure everyone else knows your turn.
- Most locals order their groceries by weight. Make sure you know exactly how much you want (and how much that is in kilograms, too!).
- While an
ultramarinowas traditionally just a store, a modern one might also be a bar. Here, you’ll be able to try some of the producebefore you buy it (which usually means you’ll end up buying way more of the delicious food than you expected!).
Insider’s tip: One of our
Gourmet Olive Oil Stores
While you can definitely buy olive oil in most of Seville’s food markets, we’d recommend finding a specialty store where you have a
You’ll usually want extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). A good quality EVOO might cost more than virgin or refined oils, but trust us when we say it’s worth the price!
These oils have the freshest taste thanks to the total absence of heat during the extracting process. Learn more from Lauren, Devour’s co-founder
How to shop for olive oil like a local:
- Try before you buy! Stores will have a few oils available for tasting. There’s as much diversity in olive oil as there is in wine, so find a style you like before deciding on which one to buy. Check out our favorite olive oil stores in the city here!
- Look for the Denominación de Origen (D.O.) seal of approval. This stamp authenticates the EVOOs of Spanish olive oil regions, to help you make sure that you’re buying the real deal.
- Don’t save it for a special occasion! Locals use their oil for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. Olive oil gets worse the older it gets, so don’t leave it on a shelf!
- Buy local. The freshest EVOOs are best, so make sure you’re buying from the region you’re in, produced by local farmers and cooperatives.
Want to share our love for Seville’s produce? Join us on our Tastes, Tapas & Traditions Tour of Seville’s old town, where we visit food markets, centuries-old convents, and more—all in search of delicious local food. We can’t wait to show you around!
David discovered his inner Spaniard while studying in Seville, and it’s now his life’s mission to learn everything he can about his adopted country’s culture and cuisine. He can usually be found eating in a busy tapas bar or strolling in a quiet street. You can see more of his adventures on the Everyday Food Blog!