Mechela Arenal

Brand new sister bar to the original Mechela in nearby Barrio del Museo, Mechela Arenal is a much more sophisticated sibling, spacious and chic, with hip art on the white washed brick walls, warm wood and leather tones throughout, and attractive lighting.

The menu is pretty much the same as at the original, with a few additions, such as the fish and meat main dishes. Happy to see some of my favourite tapas still on offer. The cashew ajoblanco with a crispy noodle-wrapped prawn is inspired, and the Ibérico rice is always a winner. Be sure to ask about the daily specials. Booking (by email only) is recommended.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Pastor y Landero 20
Tel 955 282 566
Open 13.45 – 15.45 / 20.30 – 23.45 Tuesday – Saturday
13.45 – 15-45 Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

cashew ajoblanco with crispy prawn, figs, herring roe

spinach and mascarpone “strason”

grilled octopus with vichyssoise and croutons

crispy arroz de Ibéricos

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Bajo Guia

The name Bajo Guia comes from the famous riverside street in Sanlucar de Barrameda, Bajo de Guia or Pilot’s Wharf, and this excellent restaurant specialises in the fish and seafood cuisine of that town. The original Bajo Guia was in Bermejales in south Sevilla, but a couple of years ago the team moved to this new location near the bullring, and are now doing nicely.

It is primarily a restaurant but most of the menu is available as tapas in the front area by the bar – and very good it was too. Everything from the tomato salad through boquerones fritos, tortillita de camarones (a speciality) and a whole fried choco (cuttlefish), to tuna in a delicious tomato sauce, was among the best I’ve had. Our waiter was great too, making recommendations and being attentive without being intrusive. I’ve rarely been this impressed by a first visit experience, and will definitely be back, with friends, to try some of the larger plates.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Adriano 5
Tel 954 097 452
Open 12.00 – 16.30 / 20.00 midnight
Closed Sunday evening
€ € € €

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Food 9 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

tortillita de camarones

fresh tomato salad

whole fried cuttlefish

boquerones fritos

tuna in tomato sauce

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Asador Salas

I’ve known about this place for a long time, and even have a vague memory of having been here back when I was fairly new to Sevilla, so another visit was certainly in order. Sister bar to El Cairo just around the corner, it has a very Sevillano feel to it. Part of the reason for this is that’s it’s built on part of the frontage of the neo-Mudejar building next door, designed by Ánibal Gonzalez, and the small dining rooms to the side are separated by one of those Moorish arches in brick and tile and are quite grand. The main dining room and the tapas and bar area in front are less obvious, but are quite airy and spacious with a more downplayed version of the style.

As the name suggests, Salas specialises in meats and fish cooked over a holm oak charcoal grill (asador). A fairly traditional menu with a seafood bias and just enough modifications to be interesting, everything is excellently prepared. The grilled swordfish was the star tapa of the day, but the presa skewer and whole deep-fried cuttlefish were really good too. Good service, great wines, nice cosy ambiance.

Bread/Service Charge: 0.50€ per person

Almansa 15
Tel 954 217 796
Open 12.00 – midnight every day
€ € € €

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Food 9 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

breaded whole choco

char-grilled swordfish

breaded grouper roll filled with jamón serrano

the grouper roll revealed

grilled presa Ibérica skewer with a fine herb sauce

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Luna ’10

Although not a new bar, Luna’10 has recently changed hands, and following a recommendation we went there for Sunday lunch. The bar itself is really small, with just a couple of tables, but there’s a good sized terrace in the pleasant little square outside, which it shares with another bar. This was lovely in the autumn sunshine, not so sure about midsummer or midwinter, though there are gas heaters on standby.

Good service and some delicious food that included the rice of the day and a tripe stew (both only available weekend lunchtimes), an excellent presa, and a breaded goat cheese & ham roll in a sweet sauce. There is also a selection of montaditos and “panes de la casa”. Looking forward to going again.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Escuelas Pías 10
Tel 605 961 235
Open 8.00 – 16.00 Monday – Tuesday
8.00 – 16.00 / 20.00 – midnight Wednesday – Friday
12.00 – midnight Saturday
12.00 – 16.00 Sunday
€ € €

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Food 8 | Wine 7 | Service 7 | Ambiance7

arroz del día

pisto with fried egg

goat cheese, ham & walnut roll

breaded rosada

grilled presa Ibérica

menudo (tripe stew)

preparing the stew of the day

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Bodega Mateo Ruíz

Bodega Mateo Ruiz is just down the street from Feria Market, and is at one and the same time a bar tipica, and not so tipica. It’s certainly of a typical style in appearance, with a small bar area and kitchen, several tables (including a barrel) and plenty of tiling, including in this case a couple of ceramic benches. The establishment was founded in 1918 by Mateo’s father, but as a wine wholesaler selling wines of Valdepeñas, the bar as it is today changed in 1983, now run by Mateo and his son, and is specialising in a wide range of salt cod (bacalao) dishes, of which we tried the trademark bacalao frito (excellent) and a bacalao in aceite. There are other typical dishes too, including gambas al ajillo, tortilla and ensaladilla, but it’s the bacalao for which the bar is now famous.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Palacio Malaver 33
Tel 954 387 754
Open 12.00 – 16.00 / 20.00 – midnight
€ € €

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Food 8 | Wine 7 | Service 7 | Ambiance 7

bacalao con aceite (salt cod in olive oil) with ground almonds & pinenuts

deep-fried bacalao

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La Grulla

Updated November 2017

chef and owner Marco Valcárcel

Offering traditional cuisine with an innovative touch, chef and owner Marcos Valcárcel has renovated both the space and the menu of his previous restaurant, Jarisa. The location serves his purpose well, as it is just next to the Estación de Cádiz market, and he offers not only a “seasonal” section on the menu, but also daily specials.

The corner space is bright and open, very minimalist (something I quite like) with a bar area for tapas as you enter, including seats at the bar and a few high tables. Beyond is the dining area, and there is also an ample terrace.

The chicken croquettes are some of the best croquetas I have had in Sevilla, and the other tapas we tried were all delicious. Staff are enthusiastic and friendly, there’s a good wine list, and you can also opt for the full restaurant menu.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ bar / 1.70€ restaurant PER PERSON

Juan de Mata Carriazo 4
Tel 954 41 02 67
Open 13.30 – 16.00 / 20.30 – midnight Tuesday – Saturday
13.30 – 16.00 Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

hake roe with bechamel

chicken croquetas

artichoke, cheese and spinach wraps with tomato sauce

“roast beef” carpaccio

grilled provolone cheese with two mojo picón salsas

smoked sardines on toast with avocado

huevo a la turca: soft cooked egg and bechamel, breaded and deep fried

huevo a la turca

filo trangles filled with hake and mussels

presa Ibérica with chimichurra sauce

selection of desserts

the bar

the restaurant

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Updated November 2017

Patronas

Patronas has only been in business for seven years, but its style is very much the Sevillano “bar tipico” of old, from the cast iron ceiling support to the stainless steel bar, plain tables, and some very attractive ceramic tiling. The menu is traditional Andalusian, and the croquetas de puchero, fried chicken and pork albóndigas that we tried were very good. Service was indifferent, particularly given that the bar wasn’t busy at the time. I’d give it another go.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Santas Patronas 11
Tel 954 564 990
Open 12.30 – 16.00 / 20.00 – midnight
Closed Sunday evening
€ € €

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Food 7 | Wine 7 | Service 5 | Ambiance 8

croquetas de puchero

pork meatballs

deep-fried chicken

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Ropa Vieja

The name Ropa Vieja is a tribute to the chef’s mother and her homecooking. It literally means “old clothes” and the original dish was made from left-overs, but later became a shredded meat dish with pork, chicken, garbanzos in sauce. Poor man’s food. But the bar is quite the opposite, upscale and modern, and very social media savvy. Walls are festooned with hand-written notes from happy clients and there is a large sign over the kitchen suggesting #hashtags to use (including the dread #foodporn).

The dishes we tried were nice enough, the service was pleasant enough, and it was overall an agreeable experience. But after three dishes we felt inclined to move on, rather than try more from the menu.

Bread/Service Charge: 0.80€ PER PERSON

Muñoz Seca 8
Tel 620 12 40 25
Open 13.15 – 16.00 / 20.45 – midnight Monday – Saturday
13.15 – 16-15 Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 7 | Wine 6 | Service 7 | Ambiance 7

Ropa Vieja manifesto

chicken croquetas with injectable “extra flavour”

octopus with bacalao & paprika potatoes

grilled presa with mashed leek & potatoes

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Bar Casa Eme

One of the most delightful and delicious “discoveries” in a very long time. This bar has been run for over 25 years by Emeterio (Eme) Serrano, who does absolutely everything. He runs the bar, does all the cooking, and also sings – there is a speaker outside and Eme (literally) sings the orders into a microphone behind the bar when they are ready to be picked up. For example “gambas al ajillo for the señora with the little dog”. He is a wonder.

At first I thought this would be one of those places where it was more about character and ambiance than the food, but in fact the food (albeit a limited menu) is fabulous. Montaditos (small toasted buns) are the name of the game, with a range of the traditional fillings – cod, gambas, tortilla, carne mechada, solomillo. There’s also a mean gambas al ajillo, as well as clams and snails in season, all prepared by Eme in what is possibly the city’s smallest kitchen (basically a single gas burner and frying pan next to the bar). Secret weapon is the best whisky sauce I’ve ever tasted.

I just love everything about this place, from the cosy bar (there are also some tall tables outside) to the wonderful tiled walls, to Eme himself. I’m really glad I found this bar (thanks to some friends) before it was too late, as Eme is retiring next year, although he is hoping to sell the business as a going concern. I hope it works out, as the loss of this gem would be a sad day for Sevilla.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Puerta del Osario 5
Open 14.00 – 16.30 / 20.30 – midnight
Closed Wednesdays
€ €

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Food 9 | Wine 8 | Service 9 | Ambiance 10

the menu

the microphone

cured lomito

tortilla al whisky

solomillo al whisky

gambas al ajillo

egg yolk flan

the kitchen

Emeterio (Eme) Serrano

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Casa Santos

Casa Santos can be found in a little square near the city centre, but on a back street away from the main thoroughfare, and I was barely aware of its existence until being invited there by a couple of friends who live in the neighbourhood (which is now my new neighbourhood too!). And this is certainly one of those bars that’s obviously for the locals, in the shiny ceramics and metal counter top style of its time. Nothing flash, but with a good tapas list.

Until recently, the proprietor was Santos Chamarro García, whose family was among those who came to Seville from the north of Spain at the time of the 1929 expo, and contributed so much to the gastronomy of the city. Santos retired after 52 years and the bar has now passed to a younger generation. Casa Santos opens for breakfast at 7.30 in the morning and stays open until midnight, with an all-day kitchen.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Fernán Caballero 22
Tel 954 212 225
Open 7.30 – midnight
€ € €

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Food 6 | Wine 6 | Service 6 | Ambiance 6

ensaladilla

papas aliñá with tuna

artichokes with jamón

spinach cannelloni with carbonara sauce

lasagna bolognese

chicken teriyaki with veggies

barman David

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