Sevillanos are experts in thirst quenching and heat-beating activities. Most prominent on the list is of course steadily imbibing small glasses of Cruz Campo beer, but also during the summer months ice cream eating makes a daring bid for poll position.
Ok, so we´re not in Italy, and while there are some city centre establishments that peddle the lesser quality products such as Carte D´or, there are also a growing number of artisan ice cream joints selling a plethora of flavours to suit the most demanding of palates.
So as a celebration of the first official day of summer (although we actually hit 40 degree mark on the thermometers as far back as early May), here are my top 6 ice cream shops in Seville.
If you´re a Spanish speaker you might notice the play on words here, and their ice creams really do feel like a work of art. They are the kind of heladería (ice cream shop) that vary their flavours according to the season, which for me is a mark of a quality establishment. Right now, it´s fig season and so much to my fig loving delight, they´ve got a delicious fresh fig ice cream, which along with the rest of the flavours is made daily, and is free from any artificial flavours or colourings. They´re smack bang in the tourist area of Santa Cruz, which means they´re kind and patient with tourist types, and there´s a little seating area outside for you to perch your heat exhausted behind and lick away before everything melts.
Bolas Helados arte-sano, Calle Puerta de la Carne 5, Barrio Santa Cruz
Another quality purveyor of iced goods is Italian Heladería Freskura in the Alameda. Slightly hidden away in a cobbled corner, Freskura is another artisan ice cream maker, and if you peer out the back you can see the kitchen where all the action takes place, confirming their promise that their ice creams are made daily and on site. As well as the usual ice cream suspects, they´ve got a whole load of Italian cakes and desserts on offer, so if you´ve already had your first ice cream of the day, you could satisfy your sweet tooth with a homemade Tiramisu or slice of chocolate tart.
Freskura, Calle Vulcano 4, Alameda
I thought I’d checked out every ice cream joint worth knowing in Seville until recently when on a tapas tour with Devour Seville the final stop was at La Fiorentina. I guess I’d never been due my tendency to never leave the Macarena or Alameda unless pulled kicking and screaming. But this is classy, inventive ice cream, with some Seville themed flavours such as Azahar (orange blossom) and Torrijas.
Calle Zaragoza 16
4. Heladería Rayas
A Seville institution, Rayas for many years cornered the market in quality ice creams. Conveniently close to the main shopping streets and Plaza Encarnación, its ice creams are luxuriously creamy and mix tradition with innovation. So if you´re right in the heart of the city centre, and find yourself wilting under the heat, then they´re definitely the place to head to.
Heladería Rayas, Calle Almirante Apodaca, near Plaza Encarnación
5. Heladería Villar
As regular readers will know, I reside in the working class district La Macarena. So faithful as I am to barrio life, it´s only fitting that my local Heladería should feature. If you want to see real Seville life unfold in front of your eyes, then get yourself one of their delicious ice creams (my current favourite combo is their black cherry with dark chocolate), bagsy yourself a table outside and just people watch. It couldn´t be further from the cool boho vibe of the Alameda or touristy Santa Cruz, but if you wanna see grannies in their finery, teens in the throws of first love and toddlers high on sugar, then this is the place for you.
Heladería Villar, Avenida de la Cruz Roja 74, La Macarena
Another place rocking the whole artisan ice cream vibe is Elhada at the back of Feria Market. It’s a great spot to watch the world go by and they do some innovative flavours such as curry ice cream. Not my cup of tea, but good on them for pushing the envelope.
Mercado de Calle Feria