El Rinconcillo - Sevilla, Spain
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Sevilla is a city known worldwide for its tapas. When you step into this city, you are suddenly surrounded by food, laughter, and cold drinks.
After living in Sevilla for over a year, I have had my fair share of extraordinary food experiences. When I reflect back on my time there, I am flooded with memories of mouthwatering flavours and trying new exciting dishes.
If you have ever gotten to know a Spanish person, you know their passion and attitude towards food. I have never seen so many people share such fantastic love and appreciation towards food.
I consider myself very lucky as I have gotten to know a Spanish person inside and out, my boyfriend, Fernando.
Even writing this now, I can't help to smile as I think about how passionate he is about all things Spanish and more specifically, Sevillan.
Every food experience I have had the opportunity to share with Fernando has changed me in some way.
I have always loved food and food has forever played a significant role in my life. When Fernando and I first met, I quickly fell in love with our shared passion for GOOD food.
El Rinconcillio is so incredibly Sevillan, and my experience here was definitely one to remember.
As you are planning your trip to Sevilla, I can tell you one thing for sure, your food experience in this city will be incredible, but you cannot let yourself get intimidated by lively, Spanish only speaking bars and restaurants. The ones that are full of Spanish people and busy are usually the best ones, so you have to just go for it.
For this article on El Rinconcillo, I decided to ask Fernando to guest write for me. After all, a post about Spain's oldest bar should be spoken by a true Sevillan.
Spanish people recognize Sevilla as the city with "a special colour." Sevilla is also known for its magnificent architecture, music culture and its people. But there is nothing as important in the city as the bars and taverns.
Sevilla is an icon in the bar culture, and if we are going to talk about bars in Seville, we need to talk about El Rinconcillo.
El Rinconcillo is the oldest bar in Spain, back to the 16th century, this old house with two different entrances from two streets became half a bar, half a 'ultramarinos' (Spanish word to define little shops where you find everything). For over 300 years, the family maintained the same structure on the inside; the Arab walls, the open light patio, the ceilings and the same decoration.
This is the one and the most folkloric bar in the history of Sevilla, the waiters still write down your order with chalk on the bar or the table, and they erase it with their own hands when the bill has been paid. The ground floor is still the standing bar, where bottles and decoration invite everyone who comes in to travel to the past.
El Rinconcillo has seen 15 different dynasties of kings, hundreds of commercials and tv shows, but the most important thing is that they have witnessed tapas to be born and to have remained.
Tapas at El Rinconcillo is on the list of MUSTS in Sevilla. So, if you want to have the tapa experience in the oldest bar in the city you should try these classics:
Pavía de bacalao. One of the stars, this fried cod with garlic mayo and red pepper is one of the classic tapas that people from Sevilla have been elaborating for centuries.
Espinacas con garbanzos. What is really rich about Spanish food, is that it comes from ancient 'poor' traditions. And that's the perfect example of this tapa. A stew of spinach with chickpeas and flavours of cumin and paprika. As I said, 'poor' old traditions and cultures play the game.
Punta de Solomillo. The king slice of the pork. It is the tender side of the back of the pig, for us, it is not just a referent, but also the tastiest bite of the pork (after Jamón of course).
Croquetas caseras. Queen of Queens. The recipe will always be different, but they all taste like the ones that grandma used to make.
Ensaladilla Rusa. This is one of my favourites. Because nobody ever thought that with boiled veggies, some seafood and mayo, you could create such a delicatessen.
Spoken by a true Sevillan, these are the 5 tapas Fernando & I highly recommend you try. Like I mentioned earlier, from the street, El Rinconcillio may seem a little intimidating. If it looks full, just walk inside and take a look around to see if there is an open spot. I recommend coming straight up to the bar for a super authentic experience.
Your server will most likely not speak English, but using this guide, you can go ahead and ask for these 5 dishes. After all, you are in Spain, give your Spanish a go!
Here is the menu if you would like to brush up on your Spanish before arriving. You can also take a look at their website here.
If you would prefer to do a guided tour around Sevilla tasting amazing tapas and drinking incredible Spanish wine, I HIGHLY recommend you check out these tours here. *These ones are my favourite.
Tours in the city are fantastic as you have your own personal, local guide. They will show you around, teach you about the history, and do all the Spanish speaking for you. If you are a solo traveller, these tours are great as you will be introduced to other solo travellers. Highly recommended.
Have you ever eaten at El Rinconcillo? Planning a trip to Sevilla and want other tapa recommendations? Leave me a comment below. Happy eating!