Seville like any reasonably sized city is made up of very distinct barrios (neighbourhoods), each with their own unique flavour. The Alameda is home to the relaxed Boho crowd, who flit from one Cruz Campo serving drinking establishment to another, with optional pooch in tow. Arenal is Pijo central, particularly on weekend afternoons, when the immaculately dressed Plaza Salvador regulars move on from their lunchtime cervecitas to goldfish bowl proportioned gin and tonics.
And then there´s the Macarena, a neighbourhood steeped in working class tradition and pride, far beyond the inane nonsense of the 1993 hit by Los del Rio of the same name. It spans both sides of the last remaining portion of the Almohad wall, but if you´re a tourist you´re unlikely to make it past the ornately decorated Basilica which houses the much revered sculpture of Our Lady of Hope of the Macarena.
But dear intrepid travellers, I implore you to be brave, and make a dash across the busy Calle Muñoz León, because on the other side is Blanco Cerrillo Pio XII, a little gem of a tapas bar, just waiting to serve you with a selection of deliciously fresh and economically priced dishes. Having been in the business for over 50 years, its reputation lies mostly in its Boquerones en Adobo, which are unsalted anchovies in a spicy marinade. But if that doesn´t float your boat, don´t be deterred, the menu brims with a wide selection of homemade, fresh dishes that gave me food envy every time I saw another table´s offerings come out.
The place is always busy and if you can´t get a table you can always cosy up to the gravelly voiced locals propping up the bar whilst straining to see the football. But they generally don´t bite and what´s more, you can be sure you´ll be looked after as the staff are warm, friendly and attentive.
Blanco Cerrillo Pio XII, Dr Jiménez Diaz, 16, Barrio Macarena
Tel 954 35 10 08