Being consistently good is a challenge, especially when it comes to eating out.
Sadly of late, a few places that promised much on a first visit have failed to deliver on my return.
The array of disappointments have included undercooked/ overcooked food, shrinking portions and surly service. A further trend in culinary cock-ups in more experimental establishments has been a complete failure by the chefs to taste their dishes before sending them out – tuna and beetroot tartar with wasabi ice cream being just one stomach churning example.
And don’t get me started on the ever expanding tapas empires that are dominating certain parts of the city, whose giant, flagship, eateries have become soulless examples of style over content.
But as any regular readers will know, I’m not normally a ‘hater’ but am in fact a celebrator of the good, the brave and in this case, the consistent. So I have consulted with some fellow bloggers and general lovers of great grub, to see which eateries deliver time after time.
You know where you are with ConTenedor and that is somewhere you’ll find quality ingredients, exquisite flavours and textures that never disappoint. It may be just that smidge over affordable for some, but even if it’s just for a special occasion, ConTenedor won’t surprise you with an ‘off-night’.
Consequently, it’s imperative to book a table in advance, particularly at weekends.
2. La Azotea
One of the original ‘gourmet tapas’ ventures, La Azotea is small and discreetly positioned on Calle Jesus del Gran Poder, near the Alameda. But miss it at your peril, as the Azotea delivers quality, delicately flavoured tapas that delight its loyal, local following.
As is often the case with tapas bars in Seville, booking is impossible, so get there early and even still you might have to wait at the bar until a table becomes available.
Another ‘clasico,’ Eslava features highly on almost every tourist guide for its award winning tapas and good value menu. As a result, it can be full of tourists, but at least they’re ones that have taken the time to do some research and haven’t just stumbled straight out of the cathedral. Again, booking isn’t an option, so getting there early might get you a table quicker.
I am slightly biased about this entry as it is about 10 steps from my flat, but Yebra is widely acknowledged by Sevillanos as one of the standout tapas bars for elaborately presented and flavoured tapas (think foie foams and balsamic jellies). I prefer eating tapas there rather than raciones – it feels better value and somehow more special and are only available in the bar and not the restaurant opposite. Tables can be booked if you are eating before 2pm at lunchtime or 9pm in the evening.
5. La Brunilda
I loved La Brunilda the first couple of times I went. Subsequently, it scored the number 1 spot in my top ten tapas blog post. Last time I went it was still tasty, but it didn’t quite leave me writhing in delight. Also the ‘get there early strategy’ no longer worked as we found ourselves in a queue with about 30 other foreigners all trying to get a table ‘guiri o’ clock.’ They’re not daft though at La Brunilda, and have opened up another bar called Bartolomea nearby which mops up the overspill.
6. Arte y Sabor
Recently, when I’ve been lacking inspiration about where to eat with a dog-friendly outside terrace, I’ve found myself at Arte y Sabor on the Alameda. For any vegetarians it’s a winner as there are plenty of dishes either with legumes, seitan etc. I also really love their tuna tataki.
7. Los Coloniales
It’s somewhere I don’t often go to these days because I ate there too many times when I first arrived in Seville, but when it comes to price, portion size and tastiness, Los Coloniales in Plaza Cristos de Burgos still has people waiting to get a table every night of the week.
Condendé is a little gem found in Feria market, near the Alameda. It isn’t much more than a market post, but from its tiny kitchen comes delicious street food such as arepas filled with carrillada, pakora, and Lebanese salads. The warm welcome from they guys working there also creates a feeling of belonging to a family, so that going back after the first visit becomes an inevitability.
Best of the rest
Other places I haven’t personally eaten at but have been recommended by other bloggers and foodies are: Vega 10, Puratasca, Las Golondrinas and Sala el Cachorro in Triana, Petit Comité, Casa Roman, Las Teresas, Palo Santo, El Gallinero de Sandra, Zarandaja.
But I’m sure you’ve got some ideas of your own, so please leave you thoughts in the comments section below.