I’ll be honest: I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food and when I travel, food isn’t something that I’m particularly interested in. In fact, I’m the type who tends to miss meals or eat on the go just so I can fit in just one more thing to do in the day.
But I think I’ve been doing it wrong because there’s so much you can learn about a country and its culture when you indulge in its food and learn about its traditions.
With the help of Devour Food Tours, I went on my first ever food tour while I was in Seville, Spain. (Spoiler alert: it was amazing!)
Why Go On a Seville Food Tour
A major city in the south of Spain, Seville is a vibrant, charming city that is considered the heart of Andalusia. Full of culture and history, Seville is also home to its own brand of Spanish cuisine, with food and wine that is unique to the city and as delicious as anything you’d find elsewhere in the country.
With so many tapas bars and restaurants scattered around the city, it’s easy to fall into the “tourist trap” and only eat at establishments near the center or those which only have English menus.
It’s also too convenient to only select food items that seem or sound familiar when you’re faced with a menu full of items you’ve not heard of before (that’s me; guilty as charged!).
Going on a Seville food tour is an excellent way to get an insider look on the best eats Seville has to offer. With the help of a local guide, you’ll be introduced to bars and taverns that are steeped in Sevillano history where you’ll sample high quality food and perhaps even try something you never would’ve otherwise!
A food tour in Seville is also a great way to meet other like-minded travelers and enjoy a relaxing evening, discovering the soul of the city with good food and wine.
My Experience: A Night of Tapas and Flamenco in Seville
I had heard only good things from Tom and Anna’s experience with Devour on their Barcelona food tours, so I was super excited to be signed up for their Seville Tapas and Flamenco Tour. Food and dance are two of my favorite things, so it seemed like the perfect first food tour for me!
The meeting spot for the tour is Plaza Nueva, which is located in the center of Seville and only a few minutes walk from the monument area where the Seville Cathedral and Real Alcázar are. The city is fairly easy to navigate so I had no trouble finding the spot.
Upon my arrival, I was warmly greeted by our guide for the evening, Alejandro. Alejandro is not only a Sevillano and a foodie, he is also a flamenco history professor which made him the perfect person to guide us through the evening.
The Devour Food Tours are run in small groups, with a maximum of ten people, to help keep the experience personal and intimate. On my tour, we were the full ten and represented all corners of the world such as America, Australia, Asia, and even from the north of Spain!
It was a lovely mix of people who were curious to learn more about Seville through eats and culture.
Once everyone had arrived, Alejandro explained the plan for the evening. We would be visiting three tapas bars and restaurants in total. In the first two, we would have small bites as well as drinks.
Then we would attend the flamenco show which would last about one hour. Afterwards, we would cap off the evening at the third establishment where we would have more of a sit-down dinner and try a few dishes and drinks.
Eating My Way Through Seville
Our first stop was a five-minute walk away, a cozy establishment with a rich history called Maestro Marcelino. This old-fashioned abacería (grocery store cum bar) is a local favorite from a family-run company that has existed in Seville for decades.
Here, you can buy good quality cheeses, fish, and meat to bring home. Or you can enjoy them at the small tables available. And while you’re here, don’t miss out on the regional and local wines!
At Maestro Marcelino, our group had the opportunity to try Spain’s special cured meats such as chorizo, mojama, and chicharrones as well as grilled pork loin sandwiches. To wash it all down, we also had a glass of the house vermouth which was a beautiful, smooth and sweet red vermouth.
While everyone chowed down, Alejandro told us about the different meats as well as the vermouth we were drinking.
In lieu of the cured meats, I had a tomato-based soup as well as a light, thin pizza-like bread. Everyone else really raved about the cured meats; I enjoyed my food as well and could’ve endlessly snacked on the tasty, crispy bread!
The sweet vermouth was also really lovely. That was my first time having vermouth and I was surprised at how easy it was to drink.
After a short stroll around the cathedral and into Barrio Santa Cruz (where Alejandro gave us some local tips on how to pick a good place to eat!), we made it to Las Teresas, a traditional tapas bar that has been around since 1870.
Their house speciality is jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn-fed Iberian ham), and that’s exactly why we were visiting.
Walking into the bar is like talking a walk back in time. It seemed like little had changed since the bar first opened! I was greeted with the sights and smells of jamon hanging from the ceiling, and behind the bar were faded photographs of all sorts of famous people who’ve been to the bar.
In addition to the jamon (I had a local red pepper salad instead), we also tried some aged sheep cheese along with a dry manzanilla sherry. In between the tasting, we learned a bit about the tradition of jamon, how it’s made, and how much a leg of quality jamon costs (you’ll be surprised!).
Watching Flamenco in Seville
Tummies comfortably full, it was then time for the flamenco show.
As the birthplace of flamenco, there’s definitely something special about watching a flamenco show while in Seville. There are many venues where you can catch one, but we were headed to La Casa del Flamenco.
What’s special about La Casa del Flamenco is that it’s a small, intimate venue which means nothing has to be mic’d. You also get an upclose view of every single move and facial expression as well as the unfiltered sounds of the guitar, vocals, and the rhythmic tap of heeled shoes.
I have seen flamenco before in Barcelona, but it was a stage performance. When I entered the venue, it was immediately clear to me that this would be a very different experience.
What’s more, I learned from Alejandro that flamenco is an improvised art, meaning that it’s essentially just a huge jam session between the musicians, singers, and dancers. Obviously, within the context of a stage performance, this wouldn’t be possible — so I was extremely excited to get a more authentic taste of the art of flamenco.
I’m a dancer myself, so I’m keenly interested in all forms of dance and I just love seeing dance being performed in person. There’s something so universal about the language of dance and I love how everyone can understand it, whether you’re a dancer or not.
Learning about the improvised nature of flamenco completely blew my mind because I know how challenging it is (to improvise) and how much skill it takes. I was definitely anticipating the show!
That night, the flamenco performance was put up by a guitarist, two singers, and two dancers. It may sound like a small cast but they managed to capture everyone in the audience for the duration of the show.
During the one-hour performance, we saw the traditional Sevillanas dance, a guitar solo, a vocal solo, and then a solo by each of the dancers. Even though I only understood a fraction of the song lyrics (thanks to my paltry grasp of Spanish), I was completely enraptured by their display of emotion, passion, and skill.
All I have to say is, if you’re in Seville, you absolutely have to watch some flamenco!
I felt so moved by the performance: the emotive, soaring vocals; the deft plucks of the guitar, every swish of the dancer’s ruffled skirt, the heart-pumping dynamics of the footwork, the graceful hand movements.
The Spanish have a term for this feeling, “el duende”, and I definitely felt it.
And, as a dancer, I felt that thrill of satisfaction wherever there was a moment of amazing musicality — and it was all improvised in the moment! Amazing.
Ending the Night with Fusion Tapas in Seville
Oh no, the night didn’t end with the flamenco show! We had one last stop to refill our bellies, this time at a fusion tapas restaurant called Vinería San Telmo.
While fusion tapas has now become a bit of a trend in Seville, Vinería San Telmo was one of the first to offer it. Started by an Argentinian, the restaurant offers a slight twist on traditional Spanish tapas, infusing culinary influences from around the world.
My absolute favorite dish here was the oxtail dish. Instead of being served on the bone, the meat from the oxtail was cooked into a delicious stew-like texture and wrapped into a pastry. It was absolutely beautiful; the crunch of the pastry was a gorgeous contrast to the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the oxtail. ¡Qué bien!
Aside from the food, we also sampled some local wines as well as a dessert wine to top off the night.
Devour Seville Food Tour Review
In case you couldn’t already tell, I had an absolutely wonderful time on the Seville Tapas and Flamenco Tour!
On the tour, I definitely had food that I wouldn’t have necessarily even known to try and was introduced to some of the best places to eat in Seville. Every single bite I had in each of the three bars and restaurants was totally delicious, and I ended the night with a happily full belly!
One of my favorite things about Devour as a company is that they aim to support local, family-run businesses on their tour. And they also only include places that they themselves love and patronize!
As a solo traveler, it was also really lovely to meet other travelers in a more social setting. Everyone on the tour was super friendly and we had some nice chats throughout the evening. It really felt more like an outing with new friends than an actual food tour.
And, of course, our guide Alejandro was a warm and friendly presence who was happy to answer any questions and chat with us and always made sure that we were having a good time.
Bonus: at the end of the tour, I received a mini guide of the best places to eat in Seville which meant that I ate well for the rest of my time in the city!
Booking a Devour Seville Food Tour: What You Need to Know
You can easily book a Devour Seville Food Tour on their website.
In fact, they run several different tours in the city so you can pick what interests you the most. If you’ve already seen flamenco and want a more history-based food tour, they’ve got you covered with their other tours!
Just check out their website to see all their offerings. It’s also a good idea to book in advance as spots fill up quickly, especially during high season. They can also do private tours, if that’s what you’re interested in.
Regardless of which tour you choose, you’re guaranteed a delicious time!
Devour also runs food tours in other major Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, and San Sebastian. They’ve also branched out to Lisbon so you can go eating with them in Portugal as well.
As mentioned, if you have a dietary restriction, Devour can accommodate you in most cases by making substitutions where needed. Just let them know in advance when booking so that they can make the necessary arrangements.
Once you’re booked, just bring a hearty appetite and your walking shoes… and enjoy!
I would definitely recommend doing a food tour in Seville with Devour, and I have a feeling this won’t be my last Devour experience!