A Top Tapas Bar Find in Seville, Spain: The Peregil

by Dr. Debra Payne / Aug 04, 2008 / 0 comments


My fellow vacationers and I know that beyond sight-seeing, beyond struggling with a map and trying to look cool at the same time, there exists the almost ever-present question of what and where to eat. In Seville, at least, our problems are solved.

My friends, I am happy to tell you I have found the ideal Tapas bar. The Peregil, located on Calle Aguila # 10 near Plaza Alfalfa, is one of those hidden gems that a traveller feels smug about finding. You may be asking, “Um..so what are tapas and why should I care about them?” The English translation of tapas is rather unfortunate. The word tapas translates in English to the words “snacks” or “finger foods.” What the translation does not convey is why you should care. The word tapas translates to access to an incredible variety of food in small portions, which allows one to try just about everything and not have to waddle away from it all later on. Tapas are the perfect way to go.

I asked Agustin, a waiter here, what the best tapas are and he tried to name some, but then shrugged and said he couldn’t decide. And that’s the beauty of it, actually. You don’t have to decide. Tapas are inexpensive. You can opt to buy bigger portions in the way of a ½ or a full ración, but that’s only for when you have gone there a few times and have identified your which ones you want to commit to. For Tapas beginners, it is recommendable to start small and aim for a breadth, rather than a depth, of Tapas knowledge. I initially thought of adding a list of my personal favorites, but then decided the waiter was right. You just really need to try them and see! Aside from the food and the atmosphere, it’s worth it to go inside just to see the winding metal staircase and the way the bar is decorated. Take a look:



That staircase, by the way, is usable. The people at the Peregil let me climb up there to take pictures. I, at least, found that to be pretty entertaining, and it’s where I got all these great aerial shots! Below, behind the bar, you can see Pepe, one of the waiters, and Álvaro Peregil, the owner, looking up at me like I’m slightly insane.



I also got some good shots of customers. I think I might have gone a little overboard taking pictures, but it was all so worth it! There were people who looked like they were engaged in deep conversation…




…and there were some who were just hanging out, doing the Tapas bar thing...



Back at floor level, and, okay, admittedly on a different day and at a time when the bar had just barely opened and it was easier to take pictures, I took a few pictures of customers and waiters and walls, and well, just about everything, but of course I couldn’t fit all of those photos in this one little article. Here are just a few:



Above is Agustín, waiter (right), and Antonio, a regular customer (left). Below is Pepe, another waiter. I consider Tapas bar waiters, by the way, to be completely amazing. They get your order, don't write it down, remember it completely, go back and cook it, and then bring it to you all within a matter of minutes. I still don't understand how they do this!




Just above Pepe, as you can see in the photo below, is all of this really interesting stuff on this beautiful wall:



And below are more customers, enjoying a little break after work:




So, you may be asking, exactly what is the point of this article? Really, it’s just to share, although now, after I’ve spent all this time telling you about it, I might be hurt if you don’t go. So just go there: you will be so glad you did! Peregil's hours are from Monday through Saturday from noon to 12:30 a.m.

Another little surprise to me with this bar is that there are more of these within the Peregil family. Alvaro has one more called the Taberna Quitapesares (Quitapesares means “take your troubles away”) on Plaza Padre Jerónimo de Córdoba 3, and his father owns La Goleta, on Mateos-Gago 20.

Well, thanks for listening and see you next time! Meanwhile, happy eating!


Your Spain editor for Wandering Educators, perpetually touristing around and almost always a little bit lost....