Arenal is a barrio just to the south-west of the centre of the Casco Antiguo. It’s bordered by the River Guadalquivir to the west and the barrio of Santa Cruz to the east (see next post). The district was once the port of Seville and contained the naval dockyards, until the river silted up so much that the port had to be relocated further south along the river.
On the river boundary of the barrio is the Torre del Oro, a famous symbol of the city. It was erected by the Moors in 1220 to control access to the river.
Arenal can be further subdivided into two with the northern half being called Barrio Museo (after the Museo de Bellas Artes in the Plaza del Museo, museodebellasartesdesevilla.es). This next place is in the north east corner of Museo which virtually puts it in El Centro.
Patio San Eloy (Elementary A), 9 Calle San Eloy, www.patiosaneloy.com
This is one of a chain of ten Cervecerias where you can get tapas and in particular, ham sandwiches and montaditos (tapa-sized bread rolls).
This branch has terraces of big ceramic tile covered stairs where customers can sit while they’re eating. Visually it’s quite impressive and a good place to get some vacuum-packed Jamon to take home.
Azotea (Intermediate B), 5c Calle Zaragoza, laazoteasevilla.es
This is another member of the small Azotea chain. I’m big fan of the one in Calle Jesús del Gran Poder (see San Vicente post).
I came for lunch and to start I had their Ajoblanco de Coco con Vituas de Confit de Pato y Huevos de Trucha (Coconut Ajoblanco with Duck Confit and Trout Eggs). Ajoblanco is a famous Andalucian soup which was given a twist here with the use of coconut milk instead of almonds.
Unfortunately it didn’t really work for me (C) although I know it can be better as I’ve had a similar version at Casa Antonio in Jaen which was excellent.
After this I tried the Cocido Croquettas which were pretty good (B). Cocido is a hearty stew with a multitude of ingredients so it was hard to work out what was actually in it but I’m pretty sure carrot, cabbage and chickpeas featured.
After this a Salmon Tartar which was fine but unremarkable (B).
A glass of excellent Sauvignon Blanc by Hermanos Lurton rescued things a bit (A).
So I was a little disappointed that the food and general experience wasn’t quite as good as it was in the original Azotea but it was still okay. Service was excellent though which seems to be a constant in all their restaurants. The décor and fittings are modern but uninteresting.
Bodeguita Casablanca (Advanced B+), 12 Calle Adolfo Rodríguez Jurado, bodeguitacasablanca.com
This is perhaps the most famous tapas bar in Seville and is a bit posh as a result. It comes recommended by the owners of Moro and the blog Eat Like a Girl. I first came on a very brief visit in 2015 but I was too busy to take notes. The food is excellent though, and nicely presented. I can’t remember what this fish was (hake maybe?) but it was very good…
…and I remember the prawns being pretty decent.
And the Coquinas (wedge clams) are pretty good too.
It’s a medium sized place that gets very busy, so it’s best to come here early to get a seat. The service is old school, friendly and efficient.
There are some nice old town houses in the barrio.
This one is in Calle Zaragoza, an important artery in Arenal.
Santa Cruz next!