Seville has always been known as a foodie destination – it is where tapas were invented, after all, as a dish to cover (tapar) your drink to stop pesky flies getting in.
As well as, literally, thousands, of tapas bars, you can find some superb covered food markets bursting with fresh local produce, from the finest jamon iberico de bellota (acorn-fed Iberian ham) to fresh shellfish from the Huelva and Cadiz coasts, and fruit and vegetables grown in the area around the city and further afield in Andalucia.
Brick-built Triana market has a historic location in this characterful district of Seville, on top of the Castillo San Jorge, which was the headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition (you can visit the museum under the market) – located on the banks of the river Guadalquivir, next to Triana bridge.
This traditional market is visited daily by local Trianeras for their grocery shopping – as with all markets, you should go in the morning.
In this market you will find stalls selling prime-quality air-cured mountain ham, from the Sierra de Huelva. Sweet, delicate Jamon iberico is considered one of the prime delicacies of Spanish gastronomy. Cheese stalls introduce visitors to the glories of quesos made from cow’s, goats’ and sheep’s milk, such as the famous manchego, and payoyo from the Sierra de Cadiz, plus goats’ cheese from family farms near Aracena. You can also taste craft beer, Taifa, made on the premises, part of Seville’s burgeoning craft beer scene. Several tapas bars offer a refuelling stop, and you can even see flamenco and concerts here on some evenings.
Like the other markets in Seville, this has moved with the times, and now has stalls offering offers cooking classes, as well as a bakery which offers home-made cakes, juice and smoothies, as well as a sushi and oyster stall.
Lonja del Barranco Market
Just over the river, on the other side of Triana bridge, is the Lonja del Barranco market, opened in November 2014 in a beautiful example of Seville’s industrial architectural heritage. A glass and iron building from the 1870s, it was designed with Gustave Eiffel’s influence. Now the building has 25 stalls selling every kind of food from croquetas in many flavours (bull’s tail or spinach and mushroom), to octopus cooked in various ways, to rice dishes.
Worth trying is Salmoreteca, which offers innovative flavours of salmorejo (smooth chilled tomato soup), with creative toppings to replace the customary chopped boiled egg and jamon. Why not try avocado and plankton, with a topping of ceviche; squid ink with grated caviar; or mazamorra made with almond, topped with apple and chlorophyll foam?
Another big attraction of this gourmet market is Cruzcampo Origen, a special variety of Seville’s own beer stored in vast tanks which has to be drunk “fresh” – within two days.
You can eat your delicious goodies inside the market, or one of three terraces. This market has a lively atmosphere is a fun place to choose some different plates, take a seat in the sun (or shade), and soak up the buzz.
Feria market, which dates from the 18th century, is located on Calle Feria next to the beautiful mudejar-Gothic church Omnia Sanctorum.
This market is housed in two traditional white-and-albero-yellow buildings, one behind the other. The first, nearest the street, has narrow aisles lined with fruit and vegetables, meat and embutidos (cold cuts), while the next one is an open area with fish stalls, including sushi.
Don’t miss the stalls around the outsides, which have everything from lightbulbs to organic food. Two particular highlights on the far side from the church are the ice-cream stall, which has seasonal specialities like torrijas and orange blossom, and the tuna stall, with delicacies of atun rojo de almadraba (blue-fin tuna) from the fishing town of Barbate, in Cadiz – the best cuts as well as heart and mojama (dried tuna). The freshly-made fruit juice stall is another attraction, as are the bakery stalls with home-made bread and cakes.
Hugely popular with locals is one of the city’s best fish bars, offering a huge range of grilled market produce, from vieiras (scallops) and ortiguillas (sea anenomes), to boquerones (anchovies) and acedias (baby sole), all at excellent prices. You eat on a small terrace right next to the magnificent medieval stone church walls.
Feria market even has DJ events on Sundays, and also activities like cooking classes.