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The incomplete list of Seville's delightful restaurants.

Seville is one of the most beautiful cities of Spain. Stepping into Seville feels like stepping back in time: The historical buildings, the cobblestone alleys, their horse-drawn carriages.

It also has a different vibe. Culture comes alive. While walking to the Catedral de Sevilla on a Saturday morning, I had to pause to appreciate the wonderful classical music being played by a five-man band of (what looked like) music students. I was also in awe of the fact that there seems to be no simple cardboard sign anywhere; instead, every corner has an arresting mosaic indicating street names, house numbers or other signs.

The food, to be honest, is only secondary to the beauty of the city. You come here for history and culture, not necessarily for the food. But, thanks to tips from a few friends, especially Antonio Sanchez de Mora, the head archivist of the Archivo General de Indias whom I met at Madrid Fusion Manila and when he launched his book 'Flavors that Sail Across the Seas,' I was pointed to the right direction.

Here are few recommendations in case you happen to visit this beautiful city:

El Cabildo

El Cabildo also makes excellent paella.

El Cabildo is an elegant restaurant located in Plaza Cabildo, which is a charming monumental square just beside the Seville Cathedral and off the main avenue Avenida de la Constitucin. The plaza preserves the remains of an important city wall built in the 13th century.

El Cabildo serves reputedly the best traditional Sevillian cuisine. This would be a great place for a proper lunch or dinner after a day at the Cathedral or the Giralda or if you would like to take a break from the crowded tourist diners on Avenida de la Constitucion.

They have a variety of platters for sharing, from jamon to vegetable fritters to seafood. They also make an excellent paella.

Churripapa

If you must choose one stand outside the church, go for Churripappa. They make great churros con chocolate.

Confiteria La Campana

For a proper appreciation of Sevillian desserts, head to Confiteria La Campana. From breads to pastries to yemas, it's Seville's response to Paris' Angelina's. The adorable interiors have that 1920s vibe.

El Rinconcillo

For tapas, since you are in a historical city, head over to El Rinconcillo. This is the oldest tapas bar in Seville. If you are not too tired, do as the locals do, and just stand while drinking and eating. Or, you can ask for a table at the back or on the second floor and explore the whole menu. Their waiters and cooks seem to know their history since the food is traditional yet very delicious.

La Esquina de Arfe

For a quick breakfast or lunch, just off Avenida de la Constitucion is a street called Arfe. There are many affordable restaurants on this street.

We ate at the La Esquina de Arfe and had traditional sandwiches. Interestingly enough, there is no menu. 'That's not how we do it here,' Mr. de Mora said and simply told the waitress what he wanted.

Mercado

If you have time, go to the mercato beside the river. It is the most beautiful market with many stalls you can order food from. I especially loved the pulpo stand and went back for thirds.

After dinner, you can take a stroll by the river and across the bridge.

I cannot say that this list is comprised of 'the best' but I loved every restaurant we visited.

By the way, do get a copy of Antonio Sanchez de Mora's 'Flavors that Sail Across the Seas.' It was a project in cooperation with the Spanish Embassy inspired by Madrid Fusion Manila. It is an excellent book that shows, among other things, real records of the food that the Spanish brought on the galleons to Manila as well as what they 'discovered' upon their visits. Chef Chele Gonzalez also plays a role in the book, sharing recipes of his interpretations of Filipino cuisine.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Aug 20, 2017
Words:755
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