The unmissable food markets’ guide in Seville to experience Spanish food and culture in an authentic atmosphere.
After the discovery of America, the city of Seville takes on a crucial role in both national and international trade. The monopoly of the transoceanic trade with Americas leads to the golden age of the Arts and Literature and economically, proliferate markets and meeting points to exchange goods. This trade centre had a double purpose: it was the center of redistribution of goods to international markets, and at the same time, a sourcing centre of its population. In this sense, the food markets represented an important aspect of the urban development of the city and its gastronomy. To such extent as we couldn’t imagine the traditional Spanish recipes without influence of this time, e.g. the gazpacho or the tortilla without the presence of the tomato and potatoes respectively, both products imported by the colonists.
Sadly, until recently most of our emblematic grocery markets were languishing in favour of the big supermarkets. They had no choice more than adapt or die. New proposals and formulas explain its resurgence. But Seville is not an isolated movement, previously other food markets like “la Boquería” in Barcelona or the reopening of “Mercado de San Miguel” in Madrid, shook up the Spanish food market creating this new national food trend.
The Mercado de Triana is a good example. Settled in the old Castillo de San Jorge, headquarter of the pitiful Spanish Inquisition; this food market has the charm and authenticity of the most famous neighbourhood in Seville. Old and new faces with fresh ideas are behind of the transformation. Thus, along with the usual food stalls, the market counts with a wide offer from a tasteful jamon in Jamonería Luis Romero to with a very decent sushi and oysters at Ostrería y Sushi de Mercado. Very interesting it’s also the proposal from La casa fundida where live concerts live up the original menu. There is even a tiny theatre inside the market at Casalá, with children’s theater plays on Saturdays at noon and intimate flamenco shows at night. The market is a well deserved break after a visit of the Castillo de San Jorge or a walk along the colourful Betis Street.
In front of the Omnium Sactorium, the oldest church of the city stands the oldest market (1719). The Mercado de la feria takes its name from the street where it is located, which in turn takes its name from a flea market that occurs every Thursday since the S.XII. This low-key market it has been also updated to serve the customers preferences, including international cuisine like Japanese or Mexican. From Thursday to Sunday you can also enjoy live music (jazz, flamenco, funk or R&B) while hobnobbing with the most chilled and relaxed atmosphere. For 3,5 € —tapa and drink— you can’t do any better. Highly recommended on Thursdays to have a look also to the aforementioned flea market. The terrace in the warm Sevillian nights is a plus.
From the oldest market to the newest one: Lonja del Barranco. Recently opened, the market is an example of the “gastronomic boom” that the Spanish cuisine is experimenting. We were a bit sceptical about a market created ad-hoc to join the gourmet demand. That said, just the building and probably the atmosphere is worth to try. The structure was built as a fish market in the nineteenth century, and it is located in an unbeatable place, just next to the river at the end of puente de Triana, only 10 minutes distance from the Mercado de Triana. It constitutes one of the few examples of Iron Architecture in the city, and as soon as you can see the building you can recognise immediately the style —it is indeed a project from Gustave Eiffel.
And if that were not enough, Seville is awaiting for the end of the remodelling in 2016 of one of its most beloved markets, the Mercado del Arenal, located in a beautiful historic building by Juan Talavera y Heredia. For vegans, there is a stall with healthy and delicious sweets called Veganitessen. But that is not all, the market has also interesting proposals like a Flamenco school or a Tea Club which organises regularly tea tasting. We are looking to (re)discover all!