Seville is one of those beautiful historic cities that you can’t not love, but if you’re a vegetarian in Seville then prepare to be assaulted by huge pig legs hanging from the ceiling of just about every restaurant. Sevillians adore their jamón and they won’t let you forget it.
Being vegetarian in Seville, you can easily end up relying on the big bread basket and small ramekin of olives that comes with every meal. While bread and olives are pretty delicious, after the fourth or fifth time of them appearing on the table, you’ll be craving some variety and veggies.
Seville isn’t the most vegetarian friendly of places, but it’s not completely in the dark ages when it comes to meat-free cuisine either. Being a vegetarian in Seville takes a bit more effort and forward planning. Here’s our guide on how to survive as a vegetarian in Seville without just eating bread.
Tip! Fit in with Spanish meal times
Spanish meal times are something of a challenge to us early-eating Brits. While we’re used to sitting down to dinner at around 6 or 7pm, the Spanish eat as late as possible. Sometimes they eat so late at night that it’s almost like they’re in competition with each other to prove they can hold out the longest.
But when in Spain, do as the Spanish do. If you try and stick to your own eating schedule, it will only make being a vegetarian in Seville more challenging. Knowing what time to eat meals in Seville will make finding places to eat vegetarian food all that bit easier.
After some googling about Spanish meal times, this is what I found out:
Coffee. First cup of coffee after waking up at around 7:30-8am. Perfect.
Breakfast. At around 10-11am, actual breakfast time happens. Most often Sevillians seemed to eat tostadas (toasted bread) or croissants. Another coffee at this time as well.
Lunch. This is the biggest meal of the day and may include multiple courses, eaten at around 2:00-3:00pm, but sometimes even later.
Sweet. There are patisseries all around the city and 5pm is sweet o’clock for the Sevillians. This seemed to be an opportunity for people to meet for a gossip over a pastry and a coffee.
Dinner. Most restaurants open at 8:00pm in Seville but they’ll be dead until around 9 or 9:30pm when the Sevillians come out to have a drink before eating tapas. Even 9pm would be considered early to eat for most Spaniards.
I doubt there’s an exact science behind Spanish meal times, but these times certainly seemed to coincide with the opening times of cafes, restaurants and bars that were away from the main tourist street.
Best Vegetarian Breakfast in Seville
Breakfast is probably the best meal for a vegetarian in Seville. Tostadas are the food mostly commonly served at this time and they always come with vegetarian options. Locals douse their bread in olive oil or a mix of crushed tomatoes with olive oil – and veggies and vegans can do the same.
You’ll have seen La Cacharrería feature as our favourite slow brunch cafe in our Seville Slow Travel Guide and if you’re looking for the best breakfast in Seville then La Cacharrería is hands down the best. While the homemade brown bread tostadas looked delicious – and included vegetarian and vegan options – we couldn’t resist ordering muesli and yogurt, croissants, black coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. Everything was divine. Cost of brunch for 2 people was under €15.
Horno San Buenaventura
If you’re looking for the best value breakfast in Seville then this’ll be it. You can get a breakfast plate with a tostada, two fried eggs, orange juice and coffee for just €5. The interior here is very traditionally Spanish and funnily we felt like royalty being served up multiple drinks and plates for breakfast here.
There are two Horno San Buenaventura in Seville. One is located opposite the cathedral and is where all the tourists go (see TripAdvisor). The other one is the local’s’ spot and is tucked down a quiet backstreet off of Plaza Nueva (there’s no TripAdvisor page for this one). The latter is the one you want to go to.
Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Seville
There are very few actual vegetarian restaurants in Seville, but there are a number of places that have small vegetarian menus or at least have vegetarian options. While researching vegetarian restaurants in Seville, it seemed like a lot of places that were exclusively vegetarian ended up either closing down or changing to also serve meat and fish. It implies that there is a demand for more vegetarian food, but I guess it’s just not strong enough yet.
El Paladar was a very small, low-key place which had a vegetarian tapas menu as well as a meat menu. The restaurant is run by a husband and wife duo, and she is apparently vegetarian, which explains the half-and-half approach. El Paladar seemed to attract an older studenty crowd. The food was pretty good, though seemed to have been made in advance. The falafel and yellow rice and veggies bowl were good picks. (veg-friendly)
If you love Caribbean style food, then you’re going to want to eat here. For vegetarians, there’s a number of options including rice and beans, fried yucca and banana balls. The food is simple but good. I noticed some people saying the food was “too cheap” but actually we found the prices for tapas (half-size portions) to be a little above average for vegetarian tapas in Seville. The owners were also the unfriendliest – verging on hostile – people ever. They were really stressed out when we didn’t want our bread basket and tried to charge us for it anyway. It seemed like this may have been because the restaurant was completely empty except for us and business looked slow.
Not far from El Paladar, Alameda Rock is more of a snack bar than a fully fledged restaurant. The whitewashed, rock-themed tapas bar was completely empty when we went there one evening. All of the food is pre-made and then reheated when ordered in the tiniest of ovens, which is partly why it’s a better snack place than it is restaurant. The spinach and walnut pizza was a hit with us, as were the “meat”balls in tomato sauce. (vegetarian and vegan)
A good place for a simple and light lunch, Coq & Roll serves up toasted brown bread sandwiches and healthy smoothies. It probably doesn’t quite deserve the rave reviews that it has on TripAdvisor, as the portions are small for the price. Nonetheless, the ingredients are good and the woman who runs the cafe is super friendly. (veg-friendly)
Ecologico Gaia was definitely the healthiest and most wholesome vegetarian food that we ate in Seville, but it was a little bit more expensive than the average meal in the city. The wild rice with tofu was really delicious and the veggie burgers were pretty good too. The restaurant itself is quiet with strange calming music and gives you the impression that it’s aimed at middle class hippies. Can’t fault the food though. (vegetarian and vegan)
Best Patisseries in Seville
As two people who don’t have a sweet tooth, Luke and I surprisingly got into this 5 o’clock sweet time. I guess that when you push dinner back so late and you’ve been on your feet all day, a sweet treat and strong coffee is a welcome energy boost.
Tipped as the best patisseries in Seville, this place was jam-packed at 5pm everyday with both locals and tourists. The cafe solo was really strong and one of the best we had in Seville, and the cake selection is huge. We tried a couple of different pastries and cakes, but the almond sponge topped with whipped egg whites was the one really worth going for.
Best Ice Cream in Seville
On a warm afternoon, sometimes an ice cream seems like the better option for 5 o’clock sweet time.
We tried a couple of different ice cream places, but the quality of the homemade ice cream at Heladeria La Fiorentina was far superior to the others. There are some crazy seasonal flavours and being November we opted for a Christmassy candied fruit ice cream.
Probably the most garishly branded black and pink chain ice cream shop in Seville, it’s the delicious looking ice cream which is always piled high that draws people over. If you’re wanting to grab an ice cream on the go in the centre of town then La Abuela’s is a good shout. We shared a two-scoop pot for €3.50 with a scoop of super tangy and refreshing lemon, and a pretty out there toasted egg yolk flavour.
Best Places to Buy Vegetarian Food in Seville
If you’re staying in Seville for more than a couple of days, like us you’ll probably find that you’d like some more fresh vegetables and wholegrains in your life. I have to say that for a vegetarian in Seville, having a kitchen to cook your own food in for at least part of the time you’re there is probably a good idea.
I saw clocked this place while taking photos from above on the Espacio Metropol Parasol and couldn’t resist getting a loaf of artisan bread for lunch at our Airbnb apartment. There are lots of different crusty loaves, all freshly baked at the back of the store. The young guy serving there was excited to speak English with us too.
This very friendly cooperative organic grocery store has fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as different types of cheese and a variety of grains in stock. You can buy dried beans and grains in bulk here, which is really useful if you’re going to be in Seville for a little while.
Travelling as a Vegetarian in Seville
Seville might not make it as a top destination for vegetarians, but it’s certainly not an impossible one. Being vegetarian in Seville is still a fun experience as long as you have these list of veggie-friendly restaurants and patisseries to hand (and a couple of healthy snacks in your backpack!) If you’re a vegetarian travelling in Spain for a little while, then Granada and Barcelona are absolutely gems for vegetarians in Spain.