Visit Bar Zurbarán for a taste of authentic Spain—warning, not for the faint of heart. This little nook, near Sevilla’s famous “mushroom” structures, yet still hidden from the city’s main touristy avenues, serves up platters of southern Spain’s most famous dishes. Not sure what caracoles are? How about cola de toro? Huevas planchas? Better buy a Spanish dictionary or keep up with Google translate before heading to Zurbarán. (For the uninformed, those menu items are, respectively: snails, oxtail, and grilled frog eggs.) No, the waiters don’t speak very good English, and menus are offered only in Spanish, but that’s a good sign, right? You’ll be hard-pressed to hear anything other than Spanish in this restaurant, in addition to the little plaza it occupies. Plus, tapas prices from €1 just go to show that this place is far from a tourist trap.
Despite the slightly frightening menu items listed, you’ll still be able to find something for your non-adventurous palette. Try some classic croquettas (croquettes, small breadcrumbed dumpling-like tapas, only fried and stuffed with mashed potatoes or cream and Iberian ham), Jamon Iberico, and delicious tomato and olive oil paste with baguettes or other breads. Your satisfaction at this restaurant honestly depends on whether or not you have a dictionary in hand.
* Tapas €1-2. Raciones €4-8. ~ Open daily 8am-midnight.
Located in a city that’s full of expensive tourist traps and a central plaza known for these traps, Los Coloniales provides its guests with authentic food and great service, all for a cheap cost. The restaurant has a dimly lit, intimate feel about it, with beautiful mosaic tiling and pots and pans hung up on the walls, just like your mom’s kitchen. Eat inside, at the bar, or at a table (near to which hang large, chunky legs of Iberian ham) and enjoy a fair amount of people watching while savoring large portions of quail egg and chorizo, cheese fritters, or tenderloin with port sauce.
The staff is friendly and well versed in English (it is located in a touristy area, after all), and often the place can get so packed near dinnertime (anywhere from 8pm-10:30pm) that reservations may be necessary for those hoping to beat the crowds. Sip on some delicious white or red wine while watching a fútbol game with some energized fans. If you’re looking for a spot to try some tapas, this is it. Additionally, Los Coloniales is popular among both locals and tourists, so while you’ll have the typical German, British, American crowd, you may also strike up a conversation with a true, born and bred Sevillian (we challenge you to find these in the city center. They’ll be of great use to you later).
€2-15. ~ Open daily 12:30pm-12:15am. www.tabernacoloniales.es
Opened in 1670, El Rinconcillo is the oldest tapas bar in Sevilla, and the tiled walls and warm lighting are clear relics of this historic past. El Rinconcillo’s staff serves so many people that they manage to keep tabs chalked on the bar without getting a speck of white powder on their uniforms. Ask anyone for the house special and they’ll tell you to try the pavia—deep fried bacalao (cod) served straight from the fryer. The gazpacho is cheap, fresh, and served straight like a smoothie (cup €2, bowl €3). The other clear favorite is the espinacas con garbanzos
(spinach stewed with chickpeas; €2). Surprisingly, even El Rinconcillo’s signature grilled entree dishes come at reasonable prices, including the lamb chops (€13) and steak (€14.) The real attraction is the bar, where you can try the best and oldest Andalusian tapas recipes in the city.
From Pl. de Ponce de León, C. Gerona is a tiny street behind Iglesia Santa Catalina. Tapas €1.80-2.80. ~ Open daily 1pm-1:30am.