Some first-rate places in Seville are determined by taking a wrong flip, like while you stumble right into a time-worn taverna peddling crisp nearby sherry or come upon the rickety domestic of Seville-born painter Diego Velázquez. This makes it a shame that many visitors to Spain’s fourth-biggest metropolis don’t venture a good deal past the sector’s largest Gothic cathedral. Although the cobbled streets and alleyways surrounding it are worth inspection, this captivating city has a lot of extra to provide a touch further afield.
Casa Vizcaíno is a classic Sevillano watering hollow visited by fedora-carrying veterans and hipsters. The bar, well-known for vermouth, is adorned in blue-and-white azulejo tiles, and its ground is strewn with sawdust. Behind the bartenders stand dusty sherry bottles, stubby all-right barrels, and framed photographs of Jesus and Mary. Most days, crowds spill out onto the road. But on Thursday afternoons, following the Feria flea marketplace, things undoubtedly kick into equipment. Traders and punters drink vermouth (and beer) and crunch olives. Servers chalk up tabs on the bar pinnacle, while the ordinary pressured guiri (traveler) seems bewildered.
From 1503, while Seville won one-of-a-kind rights to change with the Americas, its river became a primary artery, importing valuable metals and exporting goods, including olives and ceramics. Today, locals use the waterway for undertaking (kayaking, paddle boarding, rowing, strolling, biking) – the call comes from the Arabic for “exquisite river.” Start on the Moorish Torre del Oro and head north along the river to consider one of Seville’s lesser-recognized parks, Jardines del Guadalquivir. Wander its mazes, lily ponds, and avenues of orange timber before moseying returned to Triana for cold beer and churros. Take your spoils across the bridge to the warm golden flagstones, contrary to Calle Betis, to watch the sundown.
With walls included in things you’d locate at a car boot sale (vintage bikes, bric-a-brac, antique phones), Bicicletería is one of Seville’s coolest bars. Locals talk to it as Bici (motorbike), and it seems like a closed-down cycle keep – until you hit the buzzer to the right of the shutter. Soon, you’ll be guided to the smoky bar (smoking is still accredited internally). If you’re fortunate or charming sufficient, you may even find a seat, perhaps beneath an upcycled flamenco get-dressed or cassette-tape lamp. Tuck yourself in with a beer (around €1.20) and make new friends. It also has a cracking Britpop playlist.
Calle Feria is my favorite street. Every Thursday, a flea market takes over, with the slim avenue closed to motors from 10 am till 3 pm. Stalls sell everything from antique badges and hand-crafted picture frames to flamenco clothes. Down the street at the Feria grocery store, there’s local olive oil, Seville goat’s cheese, artisanal chorizo (all from Negrete 1934 gourmand save), and seafood (fresh tuna, salt cod, and octopus empanadas). Plus loads of fruit and vegetables. There’s plenty of on-the-move grub, too – from pizza and gyoza (Japanese dumplings) to fried chicken and plantain. A true spot for a chunk is Picasso, a veggie-friendly eating place with delicious falafel pittas from € four 20.