From decades old “abacerías” (grocery stores) to timeless bars, and of course, slick modern restaurants, the conveniently located central El Arenal neighborhood has it all when it comes to the food.
El Arenal has come along way since the day when it was the sandy, swampy marshes alongside the River – hence its name El Arenal (the sandy spot). Today it has transformed itself into a beautiful inner city neighborhood which has a great offering of bars, restaurants and eateries to choose from.
Located in between the Cathedral and the river – which is home to the Torre del Oro and Bull Ring, this neighborhood is a logistical choice to seek out eating options when sightseeing. So if you are wondering where to eat in Seville, here are our favorite spots in the El Arenal neighborhood.
Photo Credit: Kevin Poh
This great little spot is run by a husband and wife team, Miguel and Maria, and from their tiny kitchen they are serving up some of Seville’s best traditional tapas. Expect the bar to be heaving with happy clients sampling sevillano favorites, such as espinacas con garbanzos (spinach and chickpeas) and secreto iberico (Iberian pork) all washed down with a cold glass of Cruzcampo while enjoying the buzzing vibe.
Address: Calle Gamazo, 6
This bar has been kept in the family since the 1850s and is one of Seville’s oldest bars. They are famous for their montaditos (snacks served on top of bread), with almost every option on the menu available as either a tapa or montaditio. This is a spot with a timeless atmosphere – think waistcoated waiters, old concrete wine vats lining the wall, and an energetic atmosphere, this is also one of our favorite wine bars in the city.
Address: Garcia de Vinuesa, 11
Freiduría La Isla
Fried fish is a staple in the diet of Seville, and our absolute favorite place to partake in this tasty tradition is Freiduría La Isla. Another old joint, this place has been in business since 1938 and serves up a range of fried fish, a delicious tomato salad, as well as their own homemade potato chips and fried almonds. Our favourite fish is cazon, which is served marinated adobo, a tasty marinade of lemon, vinegar, oregano and cumin which pairs beautifully with a cold glass of manzanilla sherry.
Address: Calle García de Vinuesa, 13
Seville’s gastro-tapas scene is booming so we can’t talk about El Arenal’s restaurant without mentioning at least one new, modern offering. Petite Comite does plates rather than tapas, with the ingredients carefully selected to ensure that the food is of high quality and paying respect to the traditional ingredients and recipes of Andalusia. We absolutely love the bream with creamy rice and lumpfish roe, and the Ootopus with truffle topped with an egg yolk.
Address: Calle Dos de Mayo, 30
Abacerías are an old concept which has grown in popularity in recent years in Seville. These places are stores that sell conserved goods, cured meats, and cheeses, alongside simple tapas made from the aforementioned ingredients. Now you find them dotted all around Seville, but Casa Moreno is the oldest surviving one of them all. Although it seems like a spot strictly for those who are in the know, this really is a surprisingly welcoming little spot with great food to go along with it.
Address: Calle Gamazo, 7
Bodeguita Romero is a go-to place for the perfect combination of food and ambience, all served up with a friendly smile. Another part of Seville’s history, this bar dates back to 1939 and is still run by the same family today. The menu is extensive, with a range of tapas available, and while they are famous for their pringá sandwich, our personal favorite is actually their montadito which is topped with a smoked sardine and mojo verde (green spicy sauce).
Address: Calle Harinas, 10
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Since 2005, Cyra has lived in the UK, Portugal and Spain working as a professional tour guide. But it was Seville’s charm that captured her heart, and she hasn’t looked back since moving to her favorite city for food, wine and quality of life.