The magic of Seville is that its foodie tradition is not limited to just its tapas bars and restaurants. Step into a food market in the city and you see a whole new aspect to the gastronomy of the Andalusian capital!
We love wandering through the aisles of our local food market, browsing the delicious, fresh produce neatly presented at each stall. As far as locals are concerned, a food market is not just about the produce itself, it’s almost like a community center. A place to meet up with friends and salute your favorite vendors and the amazing food you step away with is the cherry on top!
As with the tapas tradition in the city, there is a certain knack to shopping at a food market in Seville. Ensure you look like a true Sevillano with these tips on how to shop at a food market in the city!
Chat to the vendors
A central part of shopping at a food market in Seville is the social aspect of it, and the vendors themselves are at the center of that. Propped behind each stall is an absolute expert in their field, be it delicious Iberian ham, locally sourced fish or fresh fruit and vegetables, they know what they’re talking about!
Be inquisitive, ask the vendors what they would recommend or what their favorite food item at the stall is. The friendly people working at the markets are incredible sources of information and we meet some of the Mercado de la Encarnación‘s liveliest characters during our Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Seville Food Tour. But, bear in mind, that once you get these passionate locals talking, it can be hard to get them to stop!
Wait in turn
This may vary from market to market, but, generally speaking, you take a ticket when you arrive at a specific stall and wait your turn. Sometimes the ticket machine is not as obvious as you’d like, so keep and eye out for it. A screen will show who’s next in line, so you have an idea of how long it will take, but why not make the most of your time waiting? Ask some of your fellow shoppers what the stand-out produce at that particular stall is, or what they’re going to make with what they buy. Remember, it’s all part of the social experience!
Keep up with the seasons
Spain is a country whose diet is clearly marked by the seasons, and certain produce can be nearly impossible to find if it’s not the right time of the year. For example, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself shopping at a food market in Seville between the end of April and the end of June, you’ll see delicious caracoles, or snails, at a number of the stalls. Snail season is hugely popular among locals and a treat for anyone in the city at the time. Strawberry season can begin as early as February in Spain, much earlier than the rest of Europe, and when it comes to Fall and Winter, it’s all about the chestnuts. So make sure you’re making the most of the seasonal produce at the market when it’s at its freshest.
Try it before you take it home!
One of our favorite things about the marketplaces in Seville is that, apart from the stalls themselves, there are also spaces to sit down and have a quick tapa as you go around. Safe in the knowledge that the food is freshly prepared on site using the best quality produce around you can be sure of an amazing gastronomic experience!
Perhaps the most popular market bar in Seville is La Cantina in the Mecrado de la Feria, the oldest market in the city and one of our top spots to eat in the Feria/San Luis area. Prepared using the fish available in the stall that day, try specialities like the tuna in olive oil or, if you’re feeling adventurous, the ortiguillas – sea anemones!
Step into one of our favorite food markets in Seville when you join us on our Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Seville Tour! Our experience starts off at Mercado de la Encarnación, where you’ll get an eye-opening look at this bustling center of day-to-day life where sevillanos come to grocery shop, meet up with friends, and so much more. That’s just the first of many fascinating stops along the way as we eat our way through the Andalusian capital!
After studying in Andalusia, Jaimie made sure he was on the first possible flight back to Seville—the day after graduation! Many years later, he is fully immersed in Spain’s culinary world and has shown thousands of guests the secrets of sherry and tapas.