7–9 Alcalde José de la Bandera
Tel: 34 954 540 000
Don't be fooled by Abantal's location in an anonymous small street near the city center, or its low-key, neutral interior. This contemporary Andalusian restaurant is one of only two Michelin-starred options in Seville (you'll find the other at EME Catedral hotel). The tasting menu offers either seven or nine good-size courses, with or without wines (including sherry, cava, and dessert wine). Dishes include unusual regional ingredients such as sweet chivo lechal malagueño (milk-fed kid from Málaga) and tender liebre (hare), as well as the popular tartar de atún (tuna tartare), plus a new twist on famous Andalusian dishes such as salmorejo, a thick, smooth chilled soup that here is made with tangy beets rather than the typical tomatoes. Regional wines feature prominently on the list: There are semisweet whites and reds from Seville province, plus a pinot noir from the award-winning winemaker Los Aguilares in Ronda.—Fiona Flores Watson
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 2 to 4:30 pm and 9 to 11:30 pm.
76 Alameda de Hércules
Tel: 34 954 900 591
With a quiet, shady patio full of climbing plants, just off the bohemian Alameda avenue, Al Aljibe is one of the prettiest and best-located tapas spots in Seville. The Colombian chef combines Asian, Spanish, and South American elements in his small plates. Offerings include mussels with spicy sauce, cucumber, and mint; and pork with white corn pancakes and coriander Huancaína (Peruvian cheese sauce). The first floor has a cozy dining room where you can order full meals (try the suckling pig with tropical fruit), but it's the second-floor terrace that is hard to beat, with views over the Alameda and beds of aromatic herbs to scent your evening meal (avoid lunch times in the searingly hot summer). Service isn't always sharp, so just sit back, watch the local eccentrics passing, and soak it up.—Fiona Flores Watson
Open daily 1:30 to 4 pm and 8:30 pm to midnight.
1 Plaza San Lorenzo
Tel: 34 954 906 475
Az-Zait's decor is a strange mélange of baroque and classical, with gold chairs and murals of Roman gods, but that doesn't reflect the contemporary cuisine or the informative, friendly service. Four- or eight-course tasting menus include pan-fried scallops with a tasty, wispy fennel foam. Don't miss out on the superb homemade bread (five types, including amazing tomato and basil). An extensive wine list, almost exclusively Spanish and reasonably priced, features some fine Ribera del Duero reds from the famed ten-year-old Vega Sicilia to the humbler but serviceable Emilio Moro.
Open Mondays through Saturdays noon to 4 pm and 8 pm to midnight, September through July.
1 Calle Mateos Gago
Tel: 34 954 228 250
There's some stiff competition among Seville's tapas bars, and Cerveceria Giralda is one of the best. Take a pavement table, order a glass of sherry and a tapa (we recommend skate with seafood sauce, and pork sirloin in whisky), and watch the Giralda take on an orange glow as the sun dips. This is a great spot to witness the parade of people on a tapas-bar crawl along Mateas Gago. If there are no tables outside, the interioran old Arab bathhouse with a vaulted stone ceilingis almost as atmospheric.
Open daily from 9 am to midnight.
41 Calle San Fernando
Tel: 34 954 227 211
With its splendiferous dining room set inside the conservatory of a restored mansion beside the Jardines de Murillo, Egaña Oriza is a long-standing destination restaurant.The cooking is an upscale fusion of Basque and Andalusian, and the restaurant is known for its sourcing of excellent raw materials (much of the game was shot or trapped within Andalusia). Dishes might include ceviche of monkfish and grouper with clams and virgin olive oil, and partridge salad with sherry vinegar and spider crab in the San Sebastián style. Three different eating spots—opened in October 2010—have broadened Egaña Oriza's appeal. All serve the same menu: Terraza Oriza has outside tables and is more expensive than the others because of its larger portions and view to Carmen's tobacco factory (now occupied by the University of Seville); Bar España is a traditional tiled tapas bar with a light and elegant vibe; and Pequeña Oriza is the most casual, with its simple dining room and unadorned wooden tables.—Updated by Fiona Flores Watson
Open Mondays through Saturdays.
31 Jesús del Gran Poder
Tel: 34 955 116 748
This tiny bar is always packed with a loyal crowd of locals and anyone else who can squeeze in. The husband-and-wife team of Sevillano Juan Gómez Ortega and Californian Jeanine Merrill change the tapas menu weekly; a daily fish special comes paired with a glass of wine. The fish and seafood are outstanding and imaginative, mixing robust flavors (tuna, smoked mozzarella, and caper salad). Unusually for Seville restaurants, La Azotea serves an excellent selection of wines by the glass, mostly Spanish with a few Californian offerings. Reservations are not accepted, so if you're not there at opening time to bag a table, you'll have to put your name on the list (it's a fast turnover, and worth the wait). The same couple owns a deli/wine shop across the street (it holds regular tastings of wine paired with excellent local cheeses) as well as a second, slightly larger bar that's more centrally located at 12 Calle Conde de Barajas.—Fiona Flores Watson
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 1:30 to 4:30 pm and 8:30 pm to midnight, September through July; Sundays 1:30 to 4:30 pm, September through June.
20 Calle Zaragoza
Tel: 34 954 502 721
The stomping ground of politicos and visiting diplomats, Alabardero is one of Seville's most upscale restaurants, furnished with European antiques and oil paintings. Other branches in Madrid and Washington, D.C., have helped to establish the reputation of this one (the outposts were founded by priest Fray Luis de Lezama as a training ground for young unemployed people). Alabardero serves classic Spanish food, such as Cordoban soup with quail eggs and Jabugo ham, and sirloin of beef with red wine and truffle sauce. If you overdo it at dinner, there's also a small, seven-room hotel on the upper floors of this 19th-century town house.
22 Calle Albareda
Tel: 34 954 229 992
This bustling bar is frequented by a chic designer crowd, fresh from shopping at Loewe and Carolina Herrera just around the corner. Its long, narrow interior has tables with low round stools. Reliably excellent fancy tapas include a burger of super-tender Kobe beef, tuna tataki, and a delectable, creamy mussel cappuccino featuring fishy consommé topped with a layer of coconut foam. Service is smooth and professional, and the decor understated and contemporary. The perfect refueling stop before you head off for more shopping or some late-night Sevillano entertainment.—Fiona Flores Watson
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 1 to 6 pm and 9 to 11:30 pm, Sundays 1 to 6 pm.