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

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. 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
Closed Sunday evenings
€ € €

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Food 8 | Wine 8 | Service 8 | Ambiance 8

croquetas de jamón

breaded bacalao

pavía de bacalao

grilled setas with prawns, jamón and bechamel

gambas al ajillo

lagramitas de presa Ibérica

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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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Patas de Gallo

Patas de Gallo opened in March 2016 and bills itself as a “grunge” (?) fusion gastrobar, and owner Felipe Oliver Cousinou is also the proprietor of food and wine shop Catabuche in the Puerta Real. The premises are very pleasant, with a kind of “bistro style” feel to them that includes a substantial bar area, plenty of patterned tiles and even a “Star Wars” wall.

Food is generally good, but the staff could do with a bit more training. There are plenty of nice wines on offer, but our server didn’t know much about them, or the dishes. I think the Andalusian dishes worked better than the fusion attempts, but that’s me talking. I often think fusion bars here in Sevilla count on the local clientele never having eaten the original real deal. Anyhow, it’s a nice bar, good for snacks and wine.

Bread/Service Charge: 1€

Carlos Cañal 32
Tel 689 714 365
Open 9.00 – 16.00 / 20.00 – midnight Tuesday – Saturday
12.00 – 16.00 Sunday
€ € €

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Food 6 | Wine 7 | Service6 | Ambiance 6

cruquemoles… guac croquetas

crispy gyozas

grilled solomillo Ibérico with mojo mayo

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Zalata

Zalata is a slightly off the beaten track neighbourhood bar run by husband & wife team Younes & Viviana. And lucky for me that they happen to be in MY neighbourhood! The modest sized menu is a fusion of Spanish, Moroccan and Peruvian, with a few touches acquired by Younes on his travels, and includes salads, hot and cold meat and fish dishes and desserts.

We enjoyed a varied selection that included really crunchy & tasty chicken croquettes, a deliciously light and citrusy ceviche, and perfectly grilled presa Ibérica. All of which served to bring me back again a few days later to test out some more of the menu – fried chicken bits with fried spiralised potato? Wonderful! Swordfish with a radish slaw? Equally good. I even went so far as to have a dessert (well okay, my friend did) – a dark chocolate cake with a light fresh chestnut sauce.

Excellent friendly service makes you feel right at home. And they’re even open Sundays and Mondays! Already a neighbourhood favourite, as you can tell.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Doña María Coronel 17
Tel 854 550 358 / 692 901 092
Open 9.00 – midnight  Monday – Sunday
Kitchen closed 17.00 – 19.30
€ € €

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Food 8 | Wine 7 | Service 8 | Ambiance 7

artichoke salad with red & green peppers, sun-dried tomato, burrata

sea bass ceviche

chicken croquetas

fried chicken bites and potato spirals with 2 sauces

squid ink ravioli filled with chocos & prawns

swordfish with radish slaw

char-grilled octopus brochette with celery purée and bonito flakes

presa Ibérica with potato purée
(usually it comes with sweet potato croquetas)

beef tenderloin with tortilla de patatas

chocolate cake with chestnut orange cream

Younes & Viviana


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Zero Tapas

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Chef Ernesto Malasaña likes to keep busy. After his hip and stylish Bar Antojo became one of the most popular tapas bars in calle Calatrava, at the north end of the Alameda, he then extended his scope by opening two other spots in the same street: La Niña Bonita (abacería and wine bar) and Nikkei Bar (Japanese-Peruvian fusion). His MpuntoR Group also includes Perro Viejo and Perrochiko near Plaza Encarnación and, further afield, a beachside restaurant and bar in Málaga called Pez Tomillo.

Zero Tapas is essentially an updated version of Bar Nikkei, which occupied this location until recently. It maintains the previous rustic chic ambiance with exposed brick walls, nice tiled floors and a corrugated iron ceiling, but mismatched tables and chairs have been replaced with more classic wood and leather furniture. There are a couple of tables at the front of the bar, and a bigger dining area in the back, but the place to be is still at the bar with a view of the open kitchen. We had one minor wait staff blip (yes, we know buñuelos are FRIED, thank you), but the service was otherwise efficient enough.

Can’t say too much about the food at this point as we had just stopped by to see the changes and then stayed for a couple of tapas. The menu is mostly “Mediterranean” with a few Asian fusion touches left over from Nikkei (here’s hoping they will bring back the fabulous presa nigiri!). There are a few tapas available, though it’s mostly large plates, good for sharing. Plenty on there to warrant another visit, but our tapas were a bit hit and miss. The buñuelos de bacalao (cod fritters) were super greasy and almost inedible, in contrast to the super tender and tasty pork tenderloin. Will update here when I’ve had a chance to revisit, hopefully soon.

Service Charge: 1€ PER PERSON

Calatrava 30
Tel. 955 440 030
Open: 13.30 – 16.30 / 20.30 – midnight
Closed: Tuesday all day and Wednesday lunchtime
€ € € €

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Food 5 | Wine 7 | Service 5 | Ambiance 8

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zero-bunuelosbuñuelos de bacalao

zero-porksolomillo Ibérico with sweet chilli sauce and potato purée

zero-5

zero-6

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Taberna Azahar

azahar

A bar named after ME! 😉 I’ve actually known about this place for some time, but as it’s a way off the beaten path it took me awhile to finally get here. Taberna Azahar still maintains the traditions of a typical neighbourhood bar. The menu is written in chalk on the bar, there’s sawdust on the floor, walls are covered in knick knacks and memorabilia, and it’s busy and buzzy with locals. Owner Juan and barman Josema have been running the show since some time in the 80’s. With only a limited kitchen the tapas menu is short and full of typical Spanish comfort foods like spinach with chickpeas and albóndigas. Not really a place for a full meal, but it’s a great little beer and snack stop if you’re exploring this part of town.

Bread/Service Charge: 0€

Plaza San Julián
Tel 954 416 794
Open 13.00 – 17.00 – 20.00 – midnight
Closed Sunday evening and Monday
€ €

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Food 5 | Wine 5 | Service 7 | Ambiance 9

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azahar-albondigaspork meatballs in tomato sauce

azahar-arrozrice of the day

azahar-espinacasspinach with chickpeas

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azahar-juan-josemaJuan & Josema

azahar-18Josema does the math

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azahar-terraza

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