Monday 17 April 2023

3 Seville restaurant recommendations

Seville was on my bucket list for a long time. It was a beautiful city but meal times could be quite challenging. If morning sightseeing overran and you needed a later lunch, hardly anything would be open as it fell into Spanish siesta hours where shops and restaurants close their doors and don't open up again until much later. Although restaurants technically opened again at 8pm, some wouldn't start serving food until 9pm onwards. I did struggle to eat this late as having done my 10,000 steps by 11am most days, my exhausted body had given up and wanted sleep more than it did food!

I wasted so much time walking around looking for food - some nights being at a loss of what to do when restaurants are full, it's nearing 10pm, and there are no empty seats anywhere. One night I was so exhausted, I grabbed some fries to go and that did the job! So for this reason I wanted to write this guide to mark my top three favourite places to eat in Seville, which offered something a little different, were less busy, had beautiful interiors, and above all else, had delicious food.

1. Burro Canaglia Bar&Resto - Centro

One day we wandered further afield and stopped at this lovely restaurant for lunch. Being out of the way and away from the main hustle and bustle of town, it was fairly empty, but I liked that as it felt private and intimate. The interiors were magical. I'm talking exposed brick walls and beautiful tiles

Cosy corners and greenery hanging overhead

And dim lighting and huge palms bringing jungle vibes

We ate arroz negro, a rice dish coloured with squid ink. Whilst Valencian and Catalan versions are usually made with cuttlefish, this one contained prawns, garlic and chilli and was topped with aioli and octopus which had been grilled to perfection. 

It was an incredible dining experience - just like sitting in a secret garden!


2. Nación Sushi

The pleasant surprise of the trip! We'd scoped out a nice looking café for lunch which did brunch, fresh juices, salads and other lighter options, but after a long morning at the Royal Alcázar, said café now had chairs up on tables and a lady mopping the floors said they were closed. We later found out that we'd annoyingly only just missed out!

At that time in the afternoon in Seville, food options are limited and most restaurants were closed. As luck may have it, Nacionsushi was something we'd passed before and it appeared to be open all hours, so we decided to check it out.

We ordered a pot of green tea and some bao buns to share. I did feel guilty for not having something local or traditionally Spanish, but Nacionsushi blew us away.

We had hoisin chicken bao buns which were as fluffy as a cloud - like bao should be - but a special mention has to go to one of their new specials: baos fritos de costilla de cerdo or crispy pork rib bao. The golden, crispy shells were filled with finger-licking good pork and topped with crispy onions and peanuts. The textures in this dish were spot on. I'd never had fried bao before but it's the future!

A special mention also needs to go to the interiors which were really quirky and memorable. I'm talking cherry blossom trees, bird cage lights, beautiful tiles, a living wall and hot pink accents, all merged with a travel theme. It was all very Instagrammable (if you're that way inclined)

Nación Sushi also has a wealth of sushi, noodle and rice dishes - the choice is real! - and they have restaurants in other countries too - not just Spain - and are well worth a visit.


3. Universal People Bar de Tapas

This came highly recommend by my sister and her boyfriend and one of my ex work colleagues so I ventured here on the first night and it didn't disappoint! We had two different types of croquetas or croquettes which were rather filling and we quickly learnt that one plate would have been enough! The mushroom croquettes were earthy and wonderful, but we weren't so enamoured with the oxtail ones. I'd heard that oxtail was a regional speciality so I wanted to try it, but knew then and there that it wasn't for me! 

There were however two other dishes that got my stamp of approval and I highly recommend if you're ever in Seville. The slow cooked beef cheek melted in your mouth and the sauted potatoes were beautiful - especially when dipped in the very moreish accompanying sauce. 

And last but not least, their grilled octopus. There was a bit of wait time for this one but it was worth every second. A good grilled octopus should cut like butter and melt in the mouth (anything rubbery or chewy is indicative of over-cooking) and this delivered. 

We had three different types of potato - these were surprise accompaniments added to our plates and not detailed on the menu - and after consuming all three portions, we were rather full and this prevented us from trying anything else. So bear this in mind when thinking about how many small plates to order!


Have you ever been to Seville?