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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El Manijero

One of the joys of moving house is an opportunity to explore a new neighbourhood in more detail. Which (together with a recommendation) brought me to renew a long-forgotten acquaintance with Restaurante El Manijero. Typical and traditional, El Manijero has been around for a long time, with a restaurant-dining room on one side, and a bar-tapas area on the other, with something of a bull-fighting theme.

The bar staff have been there forever and are friendly and chatty, and the tapas are great, with cheese-filled breaded mushroom and fried chicken coming top of the bill. I’ll be back.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Trastámara 15
Tel 954 221 740
13.00 – 16.30 / 20.30 – midnight
Closed Sunday
€ € €

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Food 9 | Wine 10 | Service 9 | Ambiance 9

barmen Jaime & Antonio

marinated potatoes

fried hake cheeks

cheese-filled breaded mushroom

fried chicken

grilled presa Ibérico

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Casa La Viuda


Casa La Viuda (because of its location) is kind of the “tourist version” of the other members of the chain, Bodega Dos de Mayo and La Bodega, and shares the house style and colours – a traditional décor that’s easy on the eye, and without too much faux antique. Although it’s in an excellent location and has a pleasant enough ambience, it lacks a little of the liveliness of its brethren. The tapas menu is quite extensive, with most dishes coming as full or media raciónes, though there are a few tapas too. Lots of seafood and other traditional dishes.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Albareda 2
Tel 954 215 420
Open 12.30 – 16.30 / 20.00 – 23.30 Monday – Thursday
12.30 – midnight Friday – Sunday
€ € €

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Food 7 | Wine 6 | Service 7 | Ambiance 6

Manuel with a selection of charcuterie

marinated pork liver with cilantro

arroz del día

flamenquín

breaded aubergine

bacalao confitado

buñuelos de bacalao

mini pavía de bacalao

lagrimitas de pollo with soy sauce

grilled mackerel – a daily special

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Bar Amarra

This is a bit of a “bookmark” post, as we only popped in for a quick beer and to sample the house speciality – tortillitas de camarones – which have been recommended by several of my foodie friends. The bar itself is very “typical” with a bar section at the front and a dining area in the back, and it is clearly loved by locals.

The menu is mostly fish and seafood based, and the bar staff are very friendly. As for the tortillitas? Well, I liked them, but they were a bit “clunky” in that the camarones were much bigger than I am used to, which made them chewy rather than crispy, as the shells were more developed. But they may be different at different times of year, so I’m quite willing to go back and try them again, plus a few more items on the menu.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Pagés del Corro 43
Tel 954 338 224
Open 11.00 – 16.30 / 20.30 – 00.30 Tuesday – Saturday
11.00 – 16.30 Sunday
€ € €

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Food 7 | Service 5 | Ambiance 6

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Berrinche

I actually stumbled on Berrinche by accident (although it’s close to the main Avenida, just behind the main post office) a few days before it opened, and thought it looked promising. Finally a couple of weeks later I came back – and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s quite cosy, with about half a dozen tables around the bar, unpretentious but with a nice open feel. Also with friendly barman/owner Pepe to give us a few recommendations. Pepe also runs the Tenderete bar in barrio Santa Cruz, an earlier version of which used to be one of my late night stop (back when I was young enough to do late night stops). Berrinche is Pepe’s second venture and it looks – and tastes – like it’s going to be a success.

The food was excellent, including some properly crunchy Patatas Berrinche (like patatas bravas but with Moroccan spices), prawn croquettes with lovely chunks of prawn in them (this doesn’t often happen), wonderful breaded swordfish, and a grilled pluma from heaven. I always love it when I can recommend small neighbourhood bars like this.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Tomas de Ibarra 20
Tel 954 966 390
Open 13.00 – 16.30 / 20.00 – midnight
Closed Monday
€ € €

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Food 8 | Wine 7 | Service 8 | Ambiance 7

croquetas: prawn & chipirones ; duck mousse

breaded swordfish sticks with citrus mayo

bravas Berrinche – with Moroccan spices

grilled pluma Ibérica and veggies, mashed potato, hierbabuena mayo

affable owner Pepe

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Otto Café

Open from 8 till 8, Otto is more of a breakfast and “merienda” snack bar than a tapas bar, specialising in bread and toasts with quality coffee and olive oils, but also serving pizzas, focaccias, cakes and pastries, cocktails and other goodies. Though the star of our particular show is definitely the house made bagel with a smoked salmon and cream cheese filling.

Nice location with a light, pleasant interior and a small terrace in the square outside. Staff are very friendly and helpful, though service can be a tad slow at times. This has easily become my new go-to place for breakfast.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Plaza Monte Sión 8
Tel 955 357 842
Open 8.00 – 20.00
Closed Thursday
€ € €

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Food 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

toasted bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon

tostadas with excellent olive oils

co-owner Isidro

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BaQvs


BaQvs is Luis Gutiérrez’s new restaurant located in the Hotel Casas de la Judería, one of Seville’s most historic and fascinating architectural ensembles. The restaurant occupies three spaces in the hotel – a walk-in restaurant/tapas bar at the front, a second dining room inside, and a gorgeous colonnaded patio with a marble fountain and potted greenery – one of the prettiest patios in town. The front room is divided between the restaurant section (tables with tablecloths etc) and a more basic tapas section with tall tables and chairs. Wooden floors, beamed ceilings and padded wall coverings produce an ambiance that is both picturesque and luxurious.

Cuisine is Spanish/Mediterranean and ranges from simple traditional dishes such as ensaladilla and croquetas to more modern and elaborate dishes, either as plates for sharing or smaller tapas. The standout dish for us was a timbal of Jamón Ibérico de Bellota – definitely worth going back for. There is also an excellent wine list, including a wide range of sherries.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Santa Maria La Blanca 5
Tel 657 539 132
Open 12.00 – midnight
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 9 | Ambiance 8

bric-wrapped prawns with hierbabuena and tartar sauce

buñuelos de pescado (fish fritters)

timbal of jamón Ibérico with seasonal veg

the timbal opened up

chipirones (small squid)

the patio

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Palo Santo

Updated September 2017

This corner of the Plaza de la Gavidia was for many years the home of the classic Amarillo Albero, but has recently changed name and ownership (Francisco Javier Palacios) and is now the Bodega Palo Santo. We ended up there more or less by accident one day, in search of cold beer at the end of a long late-morning walk, and stayed on for a light lunch. We’ve since been back and it is definitely a place I will keep returning to.

Palo Santo a typical small neighbourhood bar, but more open and less cluttered than most, with a pleasant atmosphere, good service, and a nice view of the Plaza Gavidia, including a small sidewalk terrace. The tapas are generous, and very good value for money. Favourites (so far) are their fritos, but the stews also look tempting. Gambas al ajillo are also recommended, as well as the grilled presa Ibérica topped with jamón. Nice wine list, including some very good sherries. Check it out.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Plaza de la Gavidia 5
Tel 854 700 892
Open 8.00 – midnight
12.00 – 17.00 Sundays
€ € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8


La Gitana manzanilla on tap

verdiales

croquetas de jamón

chocos fritos

breaded bacalao

pavía de bacalao

grilled setas with prawns, jamón and bechamel

gambas al ajillo

lagramitas de presa Ibérica

grilled presa Ibérica with jamón and potatoes

ice cream chocolates

owner Francisco

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Updated September 2017

Parpatana

Parpatana is a little off my usual beat, out towards Nervión and the Santa Justa train station, but I’d heard good things about it, and chef Alberto Carrasco, so despite the heat of a sunny Sevilla day, I recently made my way there for lunch. Parpatana has been going for about a year now, and has already got its feet under the table, gastronomically speaking.

The bar is open and uncluttered, with plenty of light. Nice touches include a large diagram of the different cuts of the tuna, a reproduction of the famous painting “The surrender of Granada”, and a wood frame entrance way that reminded me of a Japanese temple before the lacquer goes on. This is probably appropriate given that tuna is the speciality of the house, and one of our chosen tapas (which were quite generous) was the parpatana from which the bar takes its name. Quality and presentation were both good, and I will certainly be back.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€

Plaza del Sacrificio 1
Tel 955 186 745
Open 7.00 – 20.00 Monday – Wednesday
7.00 – 23.00 Thursday – Friday
9.00 – 17.00 Saturday
(kitchen open 13.00 – 17.00)
Closed Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

chef Alberto Carrasco

the Parpatana team

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