Questions about food vocabulary when you first shop or
eat out is very common. Restaurant menus can be confusing
without knowing the words for all the foods. In the market
or supermarket you can often get away with pointing. If
you want to look like you know what you're talking about
I recommend brushing up a little on food vocabulary. For the food dictionary you'll
either have to know what a food is in English, or have seen it in
Spanish and wondered what in the world it means, so below
you can search for either word. While this dictionary took
a while to put together it is by no means complete. If you
would like to know a food or include one please drop
me an email so I can add it to the list.
English Food Dictionary
Spanish Food Dictionary
For the best fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood I recommend
one of the markets close to the center.
This is as fresh as it gets, at least with most vendors.
We go to the market in Plaza Encarnación at least twice
a week to buy what we'll eat that week or the next day.
Depending on our needs we'll hit a supermarket for cheeses, deli meats, drinks, etc. Many of the smaller
grocery stores are just fine if you're looking for a few
of the basics although they tend to be more expensive. When we're low on everything we'll head to
El Corte Inglés because they have everything including
the hard to find items. We tried doing this at smaller supermarkets
but always ended up having to make another trip to El Corte
Inglés to finish up our list. If you are looking
for pastries or bread there are many bakeries,
but a few which stand out from the rest. It's hard to find
bad bread or pastries, well, not that hard, but knowing
the good places will help you experience the best there
is in Seville. Finally, when you're missing home you may
want to know what types of foods you
can expect to find, as well as what
you won't. Keep in mind I am from the U.S. and it would
be impossible for me to list the foods you miss from home
if you live in another country. 90% of the time the international
or hard to find foods can be located in El Corte Inglés
and nowhere else.
are my favorite places to go. Much like the farmer's markets
you may have back home they offer the best produce, fish,
and meats. You generally have your choice of vendors for each,
so you can select who has the best each time you go. For fruits
and vegetables you wait for the person behind the stand to
attend to you and select the produce, although you can always
ask for a specific piece. If there are many people already
waiting it is common to ask who is the last in line so you
know when your turn is. Simply ask: ¿Quien es el
último? Someone will raise their hand and then
you simply wait until they are done with their order. With
meats and fish ask for them by weight or pieces depending
on what you want. Keep in mind there is no seafood available
in the markets on Mondays (Fishermen take Sunday off in most cases, and this is another reason not to order fish in a restaurant on Monday. A very few manage to get fresh fish on Mondays). Open early in the morning, all
of the markets close for the day around 2pm and are never open
on Sundays. There are various market locations, both in the
center and in some of the outlying neighborhoods. Some of
the main markets in and around the city:
Just behind the large construction (and archaeological) site
where the new market will eventually stand the current one
is in the corner of Plaza de la Encarnación. This is where the large parasols are going up, we like to think of them as mushrooms. ¡Mercado
About 10 minutes walk from the market in the Encarnación
located on Calle Feria as you head towards the new bridge
and neighborhoods further out. This market will soon undergo renovations: it is one of the oldest and most typical looking markets in the city. There is also an organic food stand towards the back. And there is a nice little tapas bar wedged between the market and church, serving up some of the freshest fish in town.
The newest market, and what the Encarnación will eventually
look like when the new construction is finished. It has air conditioning,
which makes it easier to shop in the summer heat. This is
located just across the Triana bridge to your right in a new
brick building. Below the market are some interesting ruins which you can visit, although I'm not sure of the hours.
Located on Calle Pastor y Landero, this market is close to
the Plaza de Toros. Inside you'll also find a Mas y Mas Supermarket and a few bars which take advantage of the fresh food in the market.
Puerta de la Carne
This is located on c/ Juan de Mata Carriazo, about a 5 minute
walk from the Puerta de la Carne. The market itself is fairly
ugly, with green cinder block stalls. It's interesting in
that it's covered by the roof of the old San Bernardo train
station. The original location, just next to the Puente de Bomberos, was going to be renovated but it seems to just be sitting there!
Depending on your location the best place to shop for groceries
Corte Inglés. They are often more expensive
but they have everything, including full service
deli, cheese, butcher, and seafood counters. Some of these
counters require that you take a number and wait your turn.
They also have fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats
already packaged to go if you don't want to wait. There is
a bakery for bread and a separate one for pastries, as well
as a prepared foods counter and display if you want to pick
up a sandwich, salad or dish which you can eat right away.
Liquor and wine are also sold here, as well as the best beer
selection in all of Seville. In the last 5-10 years Mexican
food has finally arrived in Seville, and there is an aisle with
a decent selection. A few middle-eastern and Asian foods can
be found in the same aisle as well. The key is the selection.
Aside from a few items, El Corte Inglés offers more
selection and more options. If you are living in Seville for a while
keep in mind the recent changes in their home delivery: orders over 120€ with an El Corte Ingles card are free. For cash, you have to order over 200€ for delivery to
your home to be free. Otherwise they add a 6€ delivery charge. Mercadona is another large
chain which in general has cheaper prices than El Corte Inglés.
The location most convenient to the center is in Plaza de
Armas, the old train station which is now a mall. The supermarket
takes up most of the basement floor. The Mercadona brand items
are where you can expect to save the most money. They have
more selection for some items (for example: frozen pizza),
while less options for international or specialty foods. If
you are in the Sam's Club/Walmart type of mood you can head
further out of the center or even to Camas (suburb of Seville)
They have a large selection of foods, similar to El Corte
Inglés, as well as furniture, TVs, stereos, computer
equipment, kitchen appliances, outdoor and gardening supplies,
clothing...you get the idea. It's chief competition is Hipercor,
owned by El Corte Inglés, which offers everything Carrefour
offers. There are several locations, the closest to the center
perhaps being in Los Arcos mall, several blocks past Nervión
Depending on where you are there may be a smaller supermarket
which is more convenient to you. Expect all of the basics
in the smaller places but don't expect a big selection. And
in general I have been disappointed in the quality of fruits
and vegetables at the smaller supermarkets. They are located
throughout the center and outlying neighborhoods, the main
chains being: SuperSol, Mas y Mas, and El Jamón.
Both Super Sol and Mas y Mas seem to have the most locations
in the center and outlying neighborhoods. You will run into
plenty of them, with most being on the small side. El Jamón
is less common but similar in size. The cheapest of the supermarkets
are (Super) Plus, Lidl and Dia, although all generally have a limited
selection of foods. Lidl has the largest selection by far,
plus a lot of bargain non-food items. We often shop for cleaning
supplies at Plus, Dia or some of the cheaper dollar type stores.
We also try and bring our own bags, as most charge you 0,03€
per bag. Plus and Lidl are also known for carrying many German
One note on price comparisons. After some careful checking
in between El Corte Inglés, Mercadona, SuperSol, Mas
y Mas and El jamón I don't see the differences that
I've read about in other web sites. Granted that on some weeks
I've purchased items in El Corte Inglés only to notice
it was 65 cents cheaper in one of the smaller chains. But
on other weeks I've seen just the opposite. On one occasion
Mas y Mas charged me a full 2€ more than El Cortes Inglés
for one item. In comparing prices on things like coffee, milk,
sugar, soft drinks, beer and some other necessities I've noticed
1-2 cent differences either way. When all is said
and done I am tempted by the offerings in El Corte Inglés,
so I probably do spend a little more. If I went straight off
a list and bought nothing but what I had planned to buy I
may save 40-50€ a year by hitting the smaller chains.
For budget conscious folks this may make a difference and
I don't frown upon that at all. But for me...I'd rather go
to one place and get my shopping done than hop around to several
different supermarkets to save 40-50€ a year. Because
every time I go to a smaller chain for a large grocery run
they have most of what I need, but not all of it. I end up
back at El Corte Inglés every time. Shopping at Dia
and Plus will save you money, but the selection is probably
the worst around. I might save buying an off-brand, but if
I find myself avoiding eating certain things in my kitchen
because the off-brand doesn't taste the same then I'm losing
money. Las cosas barratas salen caras, as they often
say here. And while Mercadona is cheaper for several items
by a few cents here and there, I did a comparison and noticed
while I win on several items by a few cents there were other
items (soft drinks being one) where they charged 80 cents
more for a 12 pack than in El Corte Inglés. By the
time I added up my cents saved on many items it still didn't
make up that difference. Mercadona also charges for home delivery no matter what the total spent.
So when I finish saving a cumulative 6€ on my shopping
bill I then give it back to them to bring it to my door. If
you buy less and take it with you then perhaps it's worth
it! Oh, and check delivery times. Mercadona once was kind enough to inform us over the intercom (midway through our shopping) that delivery times were backed up 2 - 3 days.
Online grocery shopping
As an avid internet user I have recently tried my hand at
online grocery shopping with El Corte Inglés. I had
some trouble navigating through the food categories but was
able to use the search function (by brand or type) to locate
what I needed. They called when two items were missing from
our order due to being out of stock. They made two mistakes
by selecting the wrong flavor of one beverage and the wrong
type of olive oil. Otherwise it worked quite well and in the
end we were pleased enough to try it again. As with any good
online grocer you can save your last list and create a "habitual"
order. This means the next time around you don't have to select
everything again. Mercadona also offers online grocery shopping
and I don't recommend them versus El Corte Inglés for
two reasons. First, they offer no photos which can be important
when the description does not provide enough information.
Second, their search function does not work properly which
means it is more difficult to find products when you are not
sure of what category they would fall in. Maybe they have fixed this recently, but I have not been back to the site since late 2006.
What better way to finish off your food shopping than to
look for dessert, or maybe breakfast. You can find a place
on about every corner offering bread and a few pastries.
Depending on what you're looking for below are my recommendations:
: Avenida Constitución (Center)
: Plaza Alfalfa (Center)
: Calle Carlos Cañal (Center)
: Plaza Jeronimo de Córdoba (Santa Catalina)
: La Resolana (La Macarena)
: somewhere in Los Remedios (Los Remedios)
With maybe 7 locations this is one of the most common in
Seville. A few locations are franchises, but all offer wonderful
pastries, bread and coffee. All locations also have a smaller
deli and cheese counter, as well as some prepared dishes
and a few tapas. Notes on a few central locations:
Avenida Constitución (Center) - across from the cathedral,
this is the largest location with two floors
Plaza Alfalfa (Center) - if you like bad service and surly
waiters this is the location for you..
Calle Carlos Cañal (Center) - on a side street near
Plaza Nueva, this is the original San Buenaventura
which has been recently renovated to finally include some
: c/ Sierpes (Centro)
Only one location at the end of Calle Sierpes near the Plaza
del Duque, this is likely the most famous pasteleria. If
you do nothing more at least window shop, although their
display windows will likely tempt you inside. Not only do
they offer some incredible pastries but have some of the
best trufas (truffles) you will find in Spain.
As for getting coffee here I don't particularly like the
waiters - usually a bit surly and hardly ever nice.
Pasteleria San Pablo
: c/ San Pablo (Centro - Plaza Magdalena)
A few locations, but the one in the Plaza Magdalena just
down from one of the El Corte Inglés locations is
closest to the center. Like La Campana their display window
attracts a lot of attention with tartas and glazed
fruits that may draw you inside for a closer look.
: c/ Sierpes (Centro)
Recently reopened in their famous Calle Sierpes location
with a stylish new interior. Ochoa has other locations,
including Los Remedios, and is a favorite of locals in search
of everything a horno has to offer. But I have
to admit after my last two trips to the one on Sierpes I
came away less thrilled with their pastries. Perhaps I am
picking the wrong things, rather I am almost certainly picking
the wrong things, because I've had better pastries out of
a bag at the corner store. And I know the reputation isn't
: (Los Remedios)
In Los Remedios and one of the best places for pastries
you will find. I have distant memories of finishing off
some sweets in Nova Roma about 5 years ago. It's time for
a trip back.
: c/ Santa Maria la Blanca (Santa Cruz)
Quite possibly the best place to buy bread in Seville it
is close to the Hotel Casas de la Juderia in the Puerta
de la Carne. Look for a few intricately woven loaves of
bread in the display windows.
Avda Constitución (Centro - just next to the Cathedral)
Avda Constitución (Centro - just in front of the Archivo de Indias)
La Campana (Centro)
Puerta Jerez (Centro)
Reyes Catolicos (Centro) CLOSED
Nervión Plaza (Nervión)
We were invited to the grand opening of Sevilla's
second Starbucks just before the Christmas holidays. The
second location is in Nervión Plaza on the ground
floor close to where the supermarket Mas y Mas is located.
This is a little smaller than the first location on Avda
Constitución near the Cathedral, but they are serving
up the same coffee and pastries. Why in the hell Seville needs 3 Starbucks within 1km of each other I do not know! There are now 3 along Avda Constitucion as you make your way to Puerta Jerez. For those seeking a smoke-free
place to enjoy coffee they also have a non-smoking section.
The location by the Cathedral offer wireless internet access
(WiFi) but at a price.
More options were popping up for shopping for organic foods
in tiendas ecologicos. In making some rounds to
visit the locations I learned that many of the places offering
organic foods are closing their doors or changing from organic
to something else. As many have explained the market and
demand in Sevilla just isn't there. Sevilla does have a
co-op in the center where plenty of organic products are
available. There are other specialty stores which I will
be adding as I find them. For now:
La Casa de las Especias
: c / (Centro)
Just a few blocks from La Campana, this store has been around
for ages. If you are looking for a particular spice this
may be your best bet - they carry just about everything,
including some hard to find spices. They also carry a large
selection of organic packaged foods. No fresh meats or vegetables,
but plenty to choose from.
: c / Cristo del Buen Fin (San Lorenzo)
On calle Cristo del Buen Fin, a true co-op with over 1,000
products. A large selection of vegetables and fruits according
to season. Fair prices in a producer direct to consumer
: Avda. Ciudad de Jardin
Less central with a location on Avda. Ciudad de Jardin,
passing Nervión Plaza for a few blocks. Alacena is
dedicated to foods and preparation methods for living a
with healthy lifestyle. Offering a good selection of organic
vegetables, fruits and meats they also offer home delivery.
They have cooking classes as well!
Ecotienda de Rosa
: c/ Santiago (Santa Catalina)
Just down the street from my house, a smaller store on the
corner of calle Santiago offering a small selection of organic
foods, herbs and supplements. The fruit and vegetables are some of the best we've found in Sevilla. Hint:
go in the morning when the staff seems to be more pleasant. Hint: the nice person working in the mornings is now gone! Still worth the trip.
: c/ Arjona (Arenal)
On calle Arjona, I only know they sell some organic foods,
but nothing else until I make a visit.
La Huerta de la Alegria
: c/ Feria Market (Alameda)
The first organic food stand to open in any of Seville's
markets. They specialize in produce and other goods which
come straight from organic farmers.
There are much more international foods in the supermarkets
than there were about 10 years ago. Still, there is a lot
of searching to be done when tracking down some of the more
: c/ Imagen (Centro)
Opposite the Facultad de Bellas Artes, Contenedor is popular with out family for a small selection of American foods and drinks, as well as plenty from other parts of the world: Greece, China, Japan, Argentina, India, Italy and more. There are several American items you can't find anywhere else, while some I have located in El Corte Ingles. Some are well priced, while other items are amazingly overpriced! Still, if you can't find them anywhere else you can't complain too much.
: c/ Aponte (Centro)
: Avda. Kansas City 1-3 (Nervión)
Just a block or two from Plaza del Duque on calle Aponte
is a nice Chinese supermarket with a lot of choices. From
sauces and oils to 50 types of noodles, rice, frozen dishes,
vegetables, drinks, cooking utensils and tea. They also
have Chinese newspapers, music, clothing and shoes. Another
location which appears to be a bit bigger is on the corner
of Avda Kansas City and Luis Montoto, convenient to Nervión
and Santa Justa.
El Corte Inglés Gourmet
: Plaza del Duque (Centro)
: Nervión Plaza (Nervión)
There are some nice, but expensive, specialty items in the
Club Gourmet on the ground floor of the El Corte Inglés
in Plaza del Duque. Beware that it is expensive! But some
items you won't find anywhere else, including some pastas,
sauces, soups and cheeses. Some of the same items can be
found in the basement supermarket as well.
El Corte Inglés Supermarkets
: Plaza del Duque (Centro)
: Plaza Magdalena (Centro)
: Nervión Plaza (Nervión)
If you are looking for some basic international foods you
can find a little bit of everything in El Corte Inglés.
Mexican foods include jalapenos, flour and corn tortillas,
salsas, jalapenos, taco and burrito kits, seasonings, chile
con carne, frijoles, and a little more. Middle eastern is
limited to some varieties of cous cous, tabouli mix and
a few sauces (no falafel mix! no humus!). Chinese foods
are a little better, including several varieties of rice,
chili oil, sauces, noodles and more. Indian food includes,
at times, a few types of bread, rice, and a variety of sauces,
including some chutney. Greek options are slim, with feta
and maybe some olives, but plenty of pita bread. Italian
is always around so I won't go into the details, except
you can get (fairly) fresh pasta and can manage to make
your own pizza. German is around in the form of sausages,
sauerkraut and plenty of mustard.
Tea and coffee
You can always find a few varieties of
tea and coffee in about any supermarket. If you are looking
for specialty coffee and tea below are the best places to
por el Té
Pasaje de los Azahares (Centro)
C/ Castelar (Arenal)
This is hidden away in the shops of Pasaje Azahares, just
a few blocks from the Campana and the main shopping district.
They offer over a 100 different types of tea, plus just
about everything you need to take it home and brew it in. A more recently opened location is just 3 - 4 blocks from the Cathedral and a little easier to locate.
c/ Arguija (Centro)
More than just tea, they are dedicated to the hot beverages
in general, including coffee and cacao. Just down
the street from Pasión por el Té.
c/ Aponte (Centro)
: Avda. Kansas City 1-3 (Nervión)
If you are looking for varieties from the Far East then
Hiper Oriente has a good selection.
El Corte Inglés Gourmet
: Plaza del Duque (Centro)
A decent selection of teas, plus four or five types of coffee
in bean form which you can grind in store to suit your preferred
I've been successful at tracking down a lot of things but
have hit a wall on many others. Sometimes I'm hell-bent
on a certain food from a craving that just won't go away.
One day I wanted a chili dog and I searched high and low
for days and days until realized I was never going to find
hotdog chili. So I brought some with me on my last trip
from the U.S. As mentioned before, El Corte Inglés
will be your best bet when searching for this stuff. Once a year they also have an international food fair where they feature foods from 15 - 20 countries. If
you're a good cook (or don't mind getting online and learning
the meaning of "making it from scratch") you may
be able to put together something resembling what you're
missing. The list of food items fall into a few categories:
- I haven't been able to find them at all.
- I've found them on rare occasions, they disappear for
most of the year and of course they're very expensive.
- You have a choice of 1 (i.e.: "I want some BBQ
sauce, but I'll have to choose between this bottle of
Hunts BBQ sauce and that bottle Hunts BBQ sauce")
- Fast Food restaurants and sandwiches/dishes such as
a real cheese steak.
Keep in mind I don't like all of these as many friends
have contributed to this page. This list is also specific
to Seville. Maybe some of you have found this stuff in Madrid
or Barcelona. There are plenty of other excellent foods
which are better than anything I could find in the U.S.
And last of all, please, please, please let me know if you
have found any of this stuff in Seville. The list:
- oysters - rare and expensive
- italian sausage
- hot dog chili
- Cool Ranch Doritos - flavors are Tex-Mex, Ham, and Salsa
- sour cream & onion potato
- pancakes or pancake mix - but maple syrup is around
- breakfast sausage
- chocolate chips - there has been one sighting.
- sour cream - quark is close, but it just ain't the same
- bbq sauce - 1 kind, Hunts.
- blueberries - very rarely they will appear in El Corte
- a really sweet peach - they just aren't the same.
- corn on the cob, well make that fresh corn on the cob.
- US micro-brewed beer such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale,
- Gold Schlager - thank fully my days of drinking this came to an end several years ago...
- okra - just found this frozen in the Hiper Oriente.
- collard greens
- donuts - I mean real, fresh donuts and not those in
- bagels - but you can get cream cheese - update - The Tequila Connection on Calle Betis is serving up
bagels alongside an internet connection, coffee and more.
- corned beef - found in a can in El Corte Ingles, and this was just not the same.
- good cheddar cheese - you can get regular cheddar, but
nothing sharp. Recently El Corte Ingles has had a few sharper options, but nothing like I can find back home!
- american cheese - there are some very close imitations.
- fresh humus - in a restaurant or two but not on any store
- falafel mix - supposedly in Hiper Oriente but not on
my trips and they didn't know what it was.
- Wendy's or Subway - we have McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Burger
King now a KFC!
- a slice of authentic NY pizza - there are many decent
pizza places, though.
- a good Chinese meal - there are plenty of Chinese restaurants,
but as for a good Chinese meal...
- Vidalia or any other sweet onion
- ranch dressing (found once in Lidl during their American food fair, which was pretty lame)
- a real cheese-steak - I say real because one place here
offers one but it just ain't the same
- a meatball sub
- pepperoni - a very close alternative, also known as
pepperoni, but not quite the same.
- Breyers ice-cream - but hey, Rayas kicks butt any day
- Dunkin Donuts - there is at least one in Madrid.
- KrispyKream - the empire hasn't landed here yet.
By no means could I cover every food
you may be craving, but below are some I've been happy about.
If you have any questions about foods let
me know and I'll tell you if I know where you can (or
if you can't) get them in Seville. If you can't find some
of these in the regular supermarkets head to El Corte Inglés:
- roast chicken
- a real steak: now found in several places. A great filet is served up in Restaurante Jano. I've also had good experiences in El Rinconcillo restaurant. I'll add a few more places soon.
- hamburger - many are ground pork, but you can find a
real one in the Tex-Mex bar by the Cathedral or in La
Casa de las Costillas in Nervión Plaza.
- hot dog - just don't ask for chili
- french fries
- onion rings
- pasta - almost any version you have in the U.S.
- peanut butter - in Cotnendor or El Corte Inglés
- taco kits
- burrito kits
- enchilada kits
- refried beans
- tortillas (mexican kind)
- salsa verde
- cous cous
- pita bread - but always smaller in size.
- ricotta cheese - recently discovered in El Corte Inglés.
- tortellini, ravioli, etc.
- humus - in a jar and not fresh in Contenedor
- cole slaw - usually called "american salad"
which is a bit different but I found the real deal one
time in El Corte Inglés.
- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - in Contenedor
- Snickers - El Corte Inglés
- Oreos - El Corte Inglés
- Honey roasted peanuts - El Corte Inglés
- Budweiser...but why?
- Salt & vinegar chips - El Corte Inglés
- salsa - Contenedor has the best, also in El Corte Inglés
- tortilla chips - Contendor and El Corte Inglés
- iced-tea - can, plastic bottle and some off brand instant
- Dr Pepper - in Contenedor (calle Imagen)
- Root beer - in Contendor
- Grape Soda - in Contendor
- Mountain Dew - El Corte Inglés
- Orange soda - Fanta, and much better than the others
in the U.S.
- Gatorade - El Corte Inglés
- Ben & Jerry's - they just opened a store last year.
- Kentucky Fried Chicken - 1 location
- Burger King - several locations
- McDonalds - several locations
- Pizza Hut - several locations