3 nights, 30 Tapas

Tapas are an absolute staple of Spanish culture, as you have surely realized. Quick, affordable, and light, these little snacks are an authentic piece of Spain. However, as many of us in the API program live with host families, or in residencies that already provide meals, there is minimal desire to go out of the way and spend extra money on more food, as delicious as tapas may be. Then there is also the dilemma of, which of the hundreds of tapas restaurants should I choose from? Which barrio has the best ones?

To ease hungry eyes and tight schedules, my fellow Cultural Liaison, Lindsey, had an idea for a tapas-hopping event. She created an event spanning three nights to get the most out of Sevillian food and culture. In order to facilitate a successful language exchange; there were signups for only 5 Americans for each night! This way, everyone signing up was dedicated to speaking Spanish and mingling with locals, and all the Spanish liaisons from UPO as well.

The first night, a Friday, included tapas-hopping in the Triana barrio. Filled with tiles up and down the bars and streets, this barrio is one of the most historical of Sevilla.

The night started by watching local fishermen bring in their day’s catch under the Triana bridge. Surprisingly, one of the UPO liaisons brought all her Spanish friends to the event, so only Spanish was spoken the whole night! Then we made our way to the Triana Market and then O’Tapas Albahaca. Everyone ordered a tapa, and then passed all the plates in a circle, explaining what dish they had ordered. The traditional standing bar, Las Golondrinas to enjoy mushroom and Iberian grilled sirloin. We walked across the bridge to eat fresh churros and chocolate, and ended the night back in Triana to eat some fried eggplant with honey.


Saturday night it was time for tapas hopping in Santa Cruz. This barrio has so many tapas bars, you would need many months of studying abroad to visit them all! We headed to the oldest tapa bar in Seville; El Rinconcillo, soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying stews and drinks. Strangers and Americans struck up conversations. The Spaniard Cultural Liaisons also took us to their favorite place – Cien Montaditos, and we ended the evening with pastries from La Campana.


Sunday night, back in Santa Cruz, and to Boca a Boca for traditional Spanish food with a twist. After satisfying our palates, we headed to the Jardines del Prado de San Sebastian, where the Feria de Las Naciones had been taking place for the few months. This Sunday was the last day of the Feria; a last great opportunity to have dozens of countries’ authentic foods just meters away from each other! Some other students joined us here, getting falafel from the Egyptian booth, bocadillos from the Cuban booth, or desserts from the Spanish pastry booth. The variety of little New York City, right here in Sevilla! About 9 of us sat around a table and caught up on travel stories, a mix of both UPO and University of Sevilla students.


Nothing like a weekend of great gastronomy in Sevilla! As our time is dwindling down, go to that one tapas place you’ve always wanted to try, because an authentic Sevillian tapa will be hard to find outside of Sevilla, not to mention outside of España.

Patricia Oprea is a student at the University of New Haven and an API Cultural Liaison. Patricia is studying abroad with API in Seville Spain.

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