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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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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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

Blanco Cerrillo


Founded in 1926, Blanco Cerrillo has a semi-legendary status as the purveyor of the best boquerones en adobo (fried marinated anchovies) in Sevilla. It’s a small no frills, no fuss place (metal counter, tiny kitchen) just off the main shopping street of Tetuan, and is extremely popular for a pre or post shopping snack, so the bar and terrace are almost always packed. It’s a limited menu, but the fried fish and seafood are very good and most tapas cost about 1.80€. The anchovies really are worth going for: filleted, marinated, crispy fried deliciousness.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

José de Velilla 1
Tel 954 227 384
Open 11.30 – 16.30 / 19.30 – 23.30
Closed Sundays
€ €

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Food 7 | Wine 6 | Service 6 | Ambiance 7

boquerones en adobo

fried calamares

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Cruo Reyes Católicos

This is one of two new slightly upmarket bar-restaurants recently opened  by the Cruo group (the other is on the south side of the Alameda de Hércules), and which take them in something of a new direction. The locale is light and spacious – big windows, high ceilings, lots of exposed brick, and light wood floors and tables. The effect is both classy and comfortable.

The menu is quite extensive, with a lot of quality charcuterie a mix of traditional and more modern mainly large plates and some tapas. The best dish we sampled was a carpaccio of presa Ibérica with a strawberry vinaigrette, celery and wasabi. Definitely something to go back for. Service gave the impression of being a little bit inexperienced, but polite and helpful, and actually quite efficient. I like that they are open all day, making it a nice spot to stop for a late afternoon drink or snack.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€

Reyes Católicos 14
Tel 955 648 822
Open 13.00 – midnight Monday – Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 9 | Service 8 | Ambiance 9

ensaladilla with prawns, toasted garlic, carabinero mayo, red onion, pickle

presa Ibérica carpaccio, with strawberry vinaigrette, celery, wasabi

flamenquín XXL

beef and pork burger

the green-eyes cocktail: orange wine, PX, vermouth

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El Bacalao

El Bacalao, which currently has two restaurants in Sevilla (one in Plaza Ponce de León, the other in Calle Tarifa), has been a fixture in city for as long as anyone can remember. They have recently renovated both the restaurant and menu at their Ponce de León location, and I was invited to sample this new menu with a group of other lucky food writers, bloggers, etc. I like what they’ve done with the place. It looks fresher and more welcoming, with a long bar as you enter and a few dining rooms both on the main floor and upstairs, though I would always opt to sit at the bar.

Our meal was served in a dining room at the back of the restaurant, and took the form of a tasting of thirteen menu items – four starters, seven main courses and two desserts, with either manzanilla sherry or white wine. And as you might expect given the name of the restaurant, bacalao (salt cod) figured prominently in the menu, from the signature bacalao al ajo confitado, through pavias and croquetas to an excellent bacalao tartare, though one of the dishes – the bacalao dorada – was too much salty for me (and that almost never happens, I love salty food). Other personal favourites included a lovely fresh spinach salad and the milhojas de cola de toro (oxtail).

And so a disclaimer here: my rating of the bar is based only on this one occasion, which overall was a very good experience. I shall try to pop in again soon as a “regular customer” at the bar, to see how things go during regular service. The good thing is I actually want to go back! So many thanks to El Bacalao for such a pleasant – and delicious – afternoon.

Bread/Service Charge: 0.90€ PER PERSON

Ponce de León 15
Tel 954 21 66 70
Open 8.00 – 12.00 for breakfast
12.00 – midnight Monday – Saturday for tapas
8.00 – 16.30 Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8| Service 8 | Ambiance 8

Cantabrian anchovies on toast with courgette alioli and lime foam

ensaladilla with king prawns, dried cherry toms, mayo foam

salt cod tartare, confit tomato, fresh chives, wasabi and balsamic vinegar spheres

spinach salad with walnuts, pine nuts and goat cheese ice cream

bacalao pavía with squid ink mayo, bacalao, spinach & pine nut croqueta

bacalao dorada

bacalao with confit garlic and tomato

bacalao loin with creamy leek brandada

bacalao cocochas “pil pil” with toasted garlic and chilis

oxtail in red wine with wonton pastry and slow-cooked egg yolk

selection of desserts

a lovely new rosé wine by Delgado Zuleta

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Maravilla Social Club

Maravilla is among a number of traditionally-styled-hipster small neighbourhood bars that have opened recently in Sevilla, in this case in the Macarena neighbourhood. It’s very much no-frills, with about half a dozen tables and a small terrace outside, but the food, a blend of traditional Andalucian and Italian, and vegetarian and eco friendly, is actually rather good. We especially loved the cauliflower in tempura and grilled pluma Ibérica.

Off the tourist beat, and not that easy to find if you’re not familiar with the barrio, but definitely worth a visit if you’re in that part of town.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Maravillas 1
Tel 643 371 148
Open 9.00 – 17.00 / 20.00 – midnight Tuesday – Saturday
12.30 – 16.30 Sunday
€ € € €

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Food 8 | Wine 7 | Service 7 | Ambiance 7

aji and chicken croquetas

tempura cauliflower

ginger-marinated salmon

pluma Ibérica

co-owners

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