5 Best Tapas Bars in TrianaDec 21, 2019
You’ve heard of Triana. That over-the-river Seville neighbourhood which has famously been the home of proud flamenco dancers, bullfighters and wonderful ceramic artists.
Well, it’s also a fantastic neighbourhood for tapas!
This barrio is awash with local tapas bars full of history, character, local characters and excellent food. So if the best tapas bars in Triana are what you’re after, read on—or watch the video below to take a peek inside.
Last year, I was in the city with some of the Devour Tours crew (a number of whom live in Seville) and we were running a test of our new Tapas Like a Local: Triana Neighbourhood Tapas Tour. In other words, we went out for tapas and pretended it was work.
We hit five of the best tapas bars in Triana, and ate everything from perfectly grilled pork loin to freshly-carved jamón to stewed pork cheek to the most amazing radishes you’ve ever tried in your life (the last one may sound a little strange, but trust me).
What’s the big deal about Triana, anyway?
If you haven’t visited Triana, you haven’t really visited Seville.
This lively barrio across the Guadalquivir from the city centre has long held its local identity near and dear. Home to flamenco dancers, artisans, bullfighters and Gypsies throughout the centuries, it’s developed its own unique culture over time. In fact, even today you’ll hear residents (like my friend Enrique at the end of the video above) referring to themselves as being “from Triana” rather than “from Seville!”
A trip into Triana is a great way to experience a side of local life that just isn’t as easy to find in Seville’s busy touristic centre. It’s at once both off the beaten path and right in the heart of the action. It may be more of a local, down-to-earth neighbourhood away from the big sights and monuments, but it’s anything but boring.
The 5 Best Tapas Bars in Triana
1. Bar Santa Ana
The inside of this century-old bar is covered with images of Seville’s most famous statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Even if you’re not religious, it’s still cool to see this integral part of local culture up close. What’s fascinating is the fact that these images were actually given to the bar owners over the years—and as you’ll see, they’ve amassed quite a collection.
PEPE, BAR SANTA ANA’S CURRENT OWNER. THE BAR HAS BEEN IN HIS FAMILY FOR THREE GENERATIONS.
There’s no better way to start a crawl through the best tapas bars in Triana than with vermouth. So naturally, that’s exactly what we did. Here in Spain, vermouth is an aromatized, fortified white wine—and so much better than those martini mixers you might be thinking of.
I paired mine with a cured cow, sheep and goat’s milk cheese that was nice and creamy. In this case, I ordered the tapas size, which is perfect for one person. Here in Seville, menus are often divided based on portion sizes: tapa, media ración and ración).
And of course, there was ham…
2. Cervecería La Grande
If no-frills bars are your thing, you’ll feel right at home at Cervecería La Grande. There are no fancy, unheard-of menu items; the interior is almost devoid of decor. And it doesn’t need any of that. What makes La Grande so great is its fresh, top-quality seafood—especially the boiled shrimp.
In Spain, shrimp come unpeeled with the shell, head and tail all attached. Peeling them properly takes some practice, but by the time you reach the end of your plate, you’ll be a pro.
THE PERFECT BOILED SHRIMP AT LA GRANDE PROVE THAT A GOOD TAPAS BAR DOESN’T NEED A TON OF BELLS AND WHISTLES TO STAND OUT. THE AMAZING FOOD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
One bite of these shrimp, and you’ll almost forget you’re in inland Seville. The flavour is so fresh that if you close your eyes, you might even feel like you’re eating them on the beach. Throw in an ice-cold draught beer to wash it down, and you’ve got a match made in heaven.
3. Las Golondrinas
This place may just be my favourite tapas bar in all Seville.
The star tapa at Las Golondrinas is so famous that you don’t even have to ask for it by name. Just say “dame una“—”give me one”—and your server will know what you mean.
The tapa in question: puntas de solomillo, or grilled pork loin, served over a bed of fried potatoes. You could easily fill up on these alone, but to balance it out, we also ordered a veggie-based tapa of radishes with olive oil and sea salt.
Those radishes might sound like an odd tapa – but my God, the crunch, the flavour, the oil, the salt. I bow to them.
THE TAPA SO FAMOUS THAT IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE TO BE ORDERED BY NAME.
But we weren’t done yet. We couldn’t leave without trying the other star dish at Las Golondrinas (yes, this place is that good!). These were perfectly grilled mushrooms topped with a garlic and parsley alioli. And we love this place so much that we even ordered a fourth: lightly boiled carrots in a cumin, garlic and vinegar marinade. Even if you’re not a veggie person, trust me—Las Golondrinas will change your mind.
LAS GOLONDRINAS’ FAMOUS MUSHROOMS.
4. Casa Cuesta
After three bars’ worth of standing up to eat, it was nice to know that we had a sit-down reservation at stop #4. Casa Cuesta is a beautiful wine shop complete with high ceilings, gorgeous marble work and vintage posters on the walls.
Our journey through the best tapas bars in Triana wouldn’t be complete without ordering Spain’s most ubiquitous dish: tortilla española, or potato omelet. Here at Casa Cuesta, they serve it in a whiskey sauce—made with reduced whiskey, olive oil and garlic—to give it more of a sevillano twist.
TORTILLA AL WHISKY: A SEVILLIAN TWIST ON A SPANISH CLASSIC
After devouring the incredible tortilla, we went with some carrillada, or slow-cooked pork cheek. It’s so tender that you don’t even need to cut into it with a knife—it just falls away from itself as you sink your fork into it. Simmered to perfection in a Pedro Ximénez sherry sauce, this is the type of dish that reminds you of your grandmother’s cooking. Even if you didn’t grow up in Spain, cozy comfort food like this is universal.
5. La Antigua Abacería
Think of an abacería as a sort of old-fashioned grocery store with a bar. La Antigua Abacería isn’t just one of the best places to come and buy local products—it’s also one of the best tapas bars in Triana.
We ended our tapas crawl with sherry poured straight from the barrel by the bar’s owner himself. These are the kinds of places that make me love living in Spain—they’re full of tradition and history, and enjoying a glass of sherry in one of them with some of my best friends is the perfect way to end any night.
INCREDIBLE AMONTILLADO SHERRY AT LA ANTIGUA ABACERÍA.
Get my FREE tapas mini-guide
Why not also check out my free TAPAS mini-guide. It’s got my top 5 favourite tapas bars (plus other tips) in Seville, Barcelona, Madrid and San Sebastian. Click here to download the guide! Salud!