I think of all of the places we have been to, the best food we have had to date was in Seville, Spain. Since we spent NYE weekend there, most places were all booked up and we weren’t able to make reservations. Luckily, through a combination of luck & a list provided from my cousin (who used to live there), we managed to fall into the perfect spots.
The first thing you should know about eating in Spain is that they eat at the weirdest times. Most places close in between each set of meals so if you don’t make it in those times, you are out of luck for the best places. The second thing is that all you should be eating is tapas. I honestly don’t even know if there are restaurants in Seville that aren’t tapas but I don’t ever need to find out. All I want is tapas all day every day.
When we finished dropping our bags at the hotel at 1130am, most places were closed or would only serve drinks. We walked to a couple places with no luck before walking past a restaurant, Cafeteria Donald, that our cab driver had recommended down a side street. They didn’t start serving food until 12 but they were happy to let us come in and start with a glass of wine.
Cafeteria Donald was the perfect place to start our trip because it really felt like solid, local food. The menu was only in spanish and the staff spoke almost no english but we were able to google translate our way into some unique bites (tuna stuffed egg) as well as the classic Spain must-haves (manchego & jamon (ham)). This is the kind of place where the food doesn’t photograph well but you feel right at home. We enjoyed everything, so that really set the bar high!
For New Years Eve Eve (yes, two eves) we couldn’t make a reservation so we walked through the center of the city to Mamarracha, one of the spots on our list of recommendations. It was fun because the whole city was so alive as we walked around! We were able to catch (what we thought was) an early spot on the waiting list and proceeded to grab a seat at the bar and a glass of rioja to wait it out. Like most places in Europe, the Spanish aren’t really interested in getting people in & out to increase profit so we ended up waiting a little over an hour at the bar and but thankfully were able to snag some tapas there as well to go with our wine.
Eventually we were escorted to a table in this small restaurant and the food was well worth the wait. We had amazing risotto, eggplant, steak, octopus, & wok veggies just to name a few!
Manolo Leon was the only spot we actually had reservations for an it was also the largest restaurant by far! It’s inside (what I think is) an old home and so it is spread out between lots of smaller rooms and a beautiful indoor/outdoor patio area. The food was delicious but there is tough competition for the number one spot in a city full of fantastic food!
Mariatrifulca was another spot on our list of recommendations but whenever we called no one answered the phone. At one point we saw another restaurant across a bridge that was all lit up and packed with people. We really wanted to hit that spot but weren’t able the first couple days. When we finally crossed the bridge to Triana, we decided to check that place out and it WAS Mariatrifulca! They didn’t have any free tables but we were able to grab a couple stools and sit/stand at the bar to drink and order tapas.
We loaded up on seafood here with shrimp carpaccio, octopus, & oysters as well as snagging some jamon and cheese. This was some seriously fresh seafood and perfectly prepared. I think it was decided that this was the top meal of the trip!
What do you think? Does eating in Spain seem like a dream? If it doesn’t…I obviously didn’t do my job on this post!
Tapas for life!