Seville, the city & culture!

A southern Spanish city to lose yourself in and surrender to its magic.

But to do so you must embrace the heart of the city and it’s culture. So when in Seville, do as the people of Seville do: promenade along the river, grab yourself some tapas and a cerveza (a glass of beer), spend the day outside and see where the city takes you. Living in Belgium I have to deal with a lot of cloudy and rainy days. So spending all day outside in the Spanish sun? I need nothing more to be honest.

I, for one, love strolling around the old city centre and observe the way of life. Walking around until my legs can’t carry me any further! Let yourself be amazed by all the authentic architecture the city has to offer. Standing under the Giralda or strolling in the stunningly gardens of the beautiful Alcazar Palace. Take a walk up to the Barrio Santa Cruz, which is the old Jewish quarter.

In the narrow streets you can often find small inside gardens where you can relax and escape the warm temperatures. If you had enough city for a while, take the bike and escape the to the Parque Maria Luisa. It’s an amazing place, a bit of nature in the city. Absolutely try to see the beautiful Plaza de Espana.

Sevilla

Sevilla

One of the things that are important to me as well is the experience of the culture and to try to capture a few special moments with my camera. Luckily I was in Seville during one of the main cultural events in Seville: Semana Santa (the holy week which takes place around Easter).

The Semana Santa is religious event, but for most of the week, there’s a lot of frivolity. I am not religious at all. So for me it was amazing to see how a city could change overnight in to this holy place and how everyone goes along in this tradition, young and old. It’s amazing how everybody gets dressed up putting on his or her Sunday suits for the procession. Throughout the week, the processions leave churches all over the city from early afternoon onwards, strolling through the city and back to their resting place many hours later.

 

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Seville, where to eat?

I enjoy cooking a lot but maybe not as much as I love going out to dinner and discovering everything a city can offer on a culinary basis.

The Spanish cuisine is very typical. When you think about Spanish food you think of tapas, right? I tried out several places in Seville during my two-week stay and ended up with a few places where I went several times just because I simply adored the food they served and I loved the typical Spanish look and feel of the restaurant or bar.

In my opinion the best way to find good restaurants in a city is to try out as many restaurants as possible, and that is how I found my 3 favourite restaurants in Seville that blew my mind away in terms of taste, service, ambiance and creativity.

 

LA AZOTEA

 Out of all the restaurants this is for me the treasure of Seville. I won’t be the only one saying this but I was so happy to discover this small restaurant in the Calle Jesús de Gran Poder. The staff and service are amazing and I got the chance to meet owner Juan. It’s a small and cosy restaurant but very popular. If you want to eat here you’d better get there in time or you will have to wait in line. Not only popular with tourists, but also a go-to restaurant for locals.I went there on my own a few times so I sat at the bar where I could really take it all in. Everything is done with an eye for detail and with great care. It was lovely to observe the running of the restaurant while enjoying a few of the best meals I have ever had with a superb glass of wine.

 La Azotea, which means terraced roof, is the original and first restaurant in Seville, but they have expanded into two other restaurants in other parts of town. They even have a wine bar. I took my breakfast, for example, every morning in the restaurant in the ‘barrio Santa Cruz’ cause it was closer to my apartment. In the evening I enjoyed walking through Seville on my way to the restaurant in the Calle Jesus de Gran Poder.The dishes either come in tapas, media ración (half-portion), and ración (full portion), and everything, including the wine, is incredibly low-priced for its quality. I took tapas all the time cause I was so greedy and I wanted to taste as much as I could. The menu changes a lot because it depends on what looks good and fresh at the market that day. So definitely look at the ‘specials of the day’. They also have incredible fresh fish that they put on the menu with different creative takes each time. I absolutely loved all their fresh blue fin tuna dishes.

Here are some of my favourite dishes with of course the photos to make you drool.

Address: Calle Jesús de Gran Poder, 31

 

ESLAVA

Packed with locals, the Eslava tapas bar in the ‘San Lorenzo’ neighbourhood is another restaurant I can strongly recommend. This is a good place to go for lunch. You can sit inside at the bar or outside in the hot sun at high tables. It’s always very busy but it’s worth the wait. Don’t worry! If you do have to wait to get a table you can already order an ice-cold cerveza to endure the wait 😉 It’s a tapas bar so everything comes in small portions but believe me that is what you want. Pick 4 or 5 different dishes and I can assure you: it is plenty!! Unique about these tapas is that they aren’t made in the traditional Spanish way. They make Spanish tapas with all the same products but in a modern, different and innovative way.

My recommendations:

  • Costillitas a la miel y romero (pork ribs with honey glaze)
  • Pimiento relleno de merluz
  • Cigarro para Becquer
  • Solomillo al Cabrales
  • Carrillada

On the menu you can also find award-winning tapas! Try those as well! Come to think of it, whatever you pick on the menu, everything will be heavenly and tasty!

Address: Calle Eslava, 3

BODEGA DOS de MAYO

Not to be missed if you are in Seville and want authentic tapas in a typical Spanish ‘bodega’. Dos de Mayo is my favourite place for traditional Spanish food. The thing that sets this place apart from the rest is the atmosphere: the bartenders are loud, orders are screamed over the bar, dishes are called out to be picked up. It is a whole other experience than the usual restaurants! Let’s get one thing clear: there are no waiters; the bartenders call your name when your food is ready to be picked up. Just make sure you give a clear name and try to speak in your best Spanish. They will appreciate it. The food is simple but so flavourful. The best time to go is for lunch, because there is no better time! The tapas are not expensive at all. Each tapa may cost you 2 to 3 euro each, which let’s face it, isn’t much. The place gets crowded quickly, though; you might have to wait for some time at the bar to get a table.

 My recommendations:

  • Paella
  • Bacalao con salsa de tomate (cod in a tomato sauce).
  • Carrillada ibérica (stewed pig’s cheek)
  • Ensalada de pulpo

Address: Plaza de la Gavidia, 6

Seville, what to do?

Take a cooking class in Seville!

Seville, Spain has always been one of my favorite top destinations to go on a city trip. To me this Spanish city has something special. I have visited Barcelona and Valencia as well, but Seville just conquered my heart a little bit more. So not surprisingly when I chose Seville for a two-week trip to practice my Spanish and take some Spanish lessons.

If you haven’t noticed in my blog posts below I have a tremendous love of food. Yes, I am that person who takes pictures of every dish I get in front of me. I just couldn’t resist, I wanted to learn more about the Andalusian cuisine during my stay.

What better way to do that through a cooking class?

After some research I found this cooking class by Travel & Cuisine. A one-day cooking lesson in traditional or modern Spanish cuisine, beginning with a visit to the market where you will discover the products that will be used later in the kitchen, and followed by a nice tasting lunch or dinner.

As my mum was with me for a few days in Seville, it was fun to take the class just the two of us. Amelia Gomez, the chef from Travel&Cuisine picked us up at the apartment where we were staying. From there we walked to the Triana Market. In my opinion it’s the best market in Seville. Everything is so fresh here and you will find all the traditional Andalusian products: Payoyo cheese, Jamon Iberico, Fresh Seafood and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Amelia explained so much interesting things about the Spanish food it blew my mind. I expected to learn how to cook Spanish food but it was so great to also learn about tradition, culture and the stories behind the ingredients we would use later that day.

Fun fact: Amelia told me this great story about the origin of the word ‘tapas’. But I won’t give that away. I mean, you should just go to Seville and take the cooking course shouldn’t you?

Typical for the Spanish cuisine are fresh seafood, tortilla, chorizo (spicy pork sausage), salmorejo  (a cold tomato-based soup), olives, Payoyo cheese from Cadiz, and jamón ibérico. Those were the dishes we made and the products we used.

We started out by tasting delicious jamón ibérico at the market, freshly cut from the ham leg. The flavor of the ham was incredible. After our shopping we arrived at the ‘cuisine’ near the Plaza de Magdalena to spend our time cooking.

We learned to make a traditional salmorejo but Amelia also taught us to make a modern version with beetroot and avocado called SALMOREJO de REMOLACHA. We made the famous tortilla with chorizo and of course seafood paella. At the end we had a strawberry chocolate dessert.

The biggest surprise for me was this simple but delicious dish with beans, a poached egg and jamon iberico, which was called HABAS CON JAMON. A simple recipe and a perfect appetizer to serve to your guests.

Amelia was the perfect woman for the job. She has so many interesting stories to tell and she explains everything very well. I love the way she takes an interest in the quality of the products. I really feel like I learned to make these Spanish dishes with the best products available.

I definitely recommend spending one day in Seville like this. Visiting the market, cooking and eating Spanish dishes. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day, could you?

Contact Travel&Cuisineinfo@travelandcuisine.es