Yes! Tapas tours in Seville are worth it
You must go on a guided tapas tour or tapeo in Seville. Going from bar to bar with a knowledgeable, local guide is the best way to discover the true food culture and diversity, and even some history of Seville. The best part is that during the course of your evening, you will also meet real local residents of Seville standing around the same tapas table.
Shawn Hennessey of Azahar Sevilla offer a great tapas evening in small groups. Shawn creates unique food & wine experiences. She herself could end up being your guide, or it could be another from her very knowledgeable group. The best part is that the guides know their tapas, and Seville culture. And they are able to narrate stories about the neighbourhood, and what you are eating.
Only tapas tour is better than tapas and flamenco tour combined
You will realise that there are many kinds of Tapas tours on offer in Seville. Quite often tapas tours will be combined with another activity like flamenco, or a visit to a local market.
I suggest that you stick to tapas-only tours in Seville. Do not be tempted to combine tapas with flamenco in one tour unless you have a time constraint. Flamenco and tapas are the 2 pillars of Seville culture and each deserves an independent evening in Seville. You can easily find a great flamenco place in Seville on your own.
On the other hand it could make sense to combine your tapas tours with sherry tastings because they are both done at the same bars that you will visit on your route.
You miss the fun on self guided tapas tours
I would avoid self guided tours and instead take a guided tapas tour in Seville. This will guarantee a real tapas experience, on a planned route, in a small group of 2-6 people. Good tour operators will take care of your personal food preferences, and will be able to explain many cultural and language nuances as you walk down Seville streets from bar to bar.
Seville has almost 4000 tapas bars and restaurants and so you can imagine how difficult it will be for you to choose an authentic, traditional tapas bar yourself. Making your own tapas route for the evening can be even more challenging with many bars involved, each with their own specialty.
Who should go on a self guided tapas tour?
Foodies love self guided tapas tours so they can get deeply involved in food details, ingredients, and cooking. Or self guided tours could work for you if you have a lot of time in Seville and don’t mind spending a few evenings to get the right tapas. Visitors on a budget also do a great job planning self guided tours in advance, based on some helpful advice and reviews available online.
Tips for going on a self guided Tapas tour
If you decide to go on a self guided tour, plan the route in advance, with a map and the names of some bars you will stop at. And if you understand some Spanish you can have a chat about what exactly you are eating.
Another good idea is to browse the site of the local paper ABCdeSevilla for a list and updates on Tapas bars in Seville.
Recommended tapas routes in Seville
If you decide to do a tapas tour in Seville, here are my top 3 rutas de tapas. They vary in length and are in different parts of Seville. Pick one that suits your location and stamina.
I personally prefer to do the Triana route because it is in a working class area of Seville and this is the best way to interact with residents of the city.
Tapas Route 1 - Historic Quarter El Centro: 4 stops, 1.5 km long, convenient, popular with tourists
- Start at Bodega Santa Cruz which is known for its traditional tapas, and a place to people watch. The place is always full with tourists more than locals, but you can feel the buzz of Seville in the area. Make sure to have the Berenjenas con Miel, a tapas of fried eggplant with honey. (Calle de Rodrigo Caro, 1A)
- Move on to Casa Morales and you will notice that the local component of the crowd goes up. Apart from the excellent Chicharrones of fried pork and roasted garlic, Casa Morales is known for its unique decor of large jugs, the wine selection and yummy jamón. (Calle García de Vinuesa, 11)
- Now you are near the Cathedral at Bodeguita Casablanca. This standing only bar can be a short stop on a longish tapas route. Have the Carrillada which is roasted pork in white wine. (Calle Adolfo Rodríguez Jurado, 12)
- Finish at Bar El Baratillo next to the Plaza de Toros. You must try the real treat of toro (bull!) in a rich brown sauce, eaten amongst prized bull heads looking down at you from the walls. At the end of your route you will welcome the seating available here! (Calle Adriano, 22)
Tapas Route 2 - San Lorenzo, near Las Setas: 3 stops on a short 200m route
- Start at Casa Ricardo near Iglesia de San Lorenzo. This place is a favourite with Semana Santa crowds and the walls have amazing pictures for celebrations from many years ago. Here you should eat the Croquetas Caseras of jamón and bechamel cream. (Calle Hernán Cortés, 2)
- Next stop is at the gourmet ingredients and tapas place, Albacería San Lorenzo. This is a good place to buy Spanish food souvenirs like chorizo, and olives. Try the cold tapas and wine, at this Abaceria. (Calle Teodosio, 53)
- End at Eslava with fusion tapas. My pick here is the Yema de Huevo, sponge cake topped with poached egg. (Calle Eslava, 3)
Tapas Route 3 - Triana, across the river: 3 stops on a 600m long working class route
- Start at Las Golondrinas, an intensely local bar. Have the grilled squid Chipiron a la plancha. (Calle Antillano Campos, 26)
- Next, Cervecería Abacería Alboreá for the cod with pepper sauce and honey mustard. (Calle San Jacinto 28)
- Finish up at O’Tapas Albahaca with modern fusion tapas in a traditional Spanish setting. Fish is the specialty here. (Calle Pagés del Corro, 119)