The Spanish Breakfast and Where to Eat it in Seville, Spain
Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day. It’s my favorite meal to cook and my favorite meal to eat. The Spanish people don’t eat the typical American breakfast foods that I love– pancakes, waffles, French toast, and bacon & eggs. But their breakfast is just as delicious, if not more. It’s simple, but sometimes simple is good. I’ve been having a love affair with the Spanish breakfast for the past month or so. Shhh! Don’t tell my American breakfast. It would KILL me.
Visiting Spain? Wondering what and where to eat for breakfast?
I’ve made a list of must-try foods that make-up the typical Spanish breakfast as well as a list of my favorite breakfast restaurants in Seville.
Typical Spanish Breakfast Foods
Toast with Toppings
The Spanish love their toasts. They call them tostadas. The typical and most basic toast to order for breakfast comes on a rustic white bread roll that has been sliced in half horizontally. Each side is slightly toasted to create a hard surface to hold the toppings so the bread doesn’t become soggy. More modern restaurants might have different types of bread, some more healthy with whole wheat and rye, etc., but most standard breakfast places stick with the simple rustic white. It is so good – a thick and crusty outside and a soft and chewy inside.
The most basic topping combination to go on top of your toast is tomato, olive oil and salt. It sounds so simple. Boring even. But dang! Even my husband who is a total meat lover thinks this simple combo is the best. It’s all he orders anymore. The tomato is blended or even better, grated, turning it into a delicious tomato puree that you spread right on top of your toast. Sometimes they add a pinch of garlic or a sprinkle of dried oregano. It has totally grown on me and I crave it every morning. It’s a build-it-yourself type of food. You take your sliced toast halves, drizzle some local olive oil over it, pour the ramakin of tomato puree on top, spread it around with your knife, and finish it up with a sprinkle of sea salt. You eat it open faced, one half at a time.
If you want your toast to have a little more substance, then try it topped with some famous Iberico jamón. The Spanish love their jamón. It’s the most famous tapa here in Seville. It’s a dried chewy ham from a special breed of pigs in Spain. The pigs are fed a strict diet of acorns their whole life, making their meat have a slight nutty flavor to it. You can spruce up your toast a bit more by adding some sliced manchego cheese on top. Some people like tomato, jamón and cheese, while others prefer just tomato and cheese. Another possible combination is fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Another is jamón york and cheese. Jamón york is similar to the traditional American deli style ham. No matter the topping selection, tostadas are always served with olive oil and salt. No butter. Olive oil is the preferred condiment to put on bread. It’s up to you to build your perfect toast combination. Pick what you like!
Ordering in Spanish –
"Quiero una tostada con tomate natural rayado, con aceite y sal (y jamón, y queso) por favor."
Spanish people love their coffee. Most drink a small cup 2-3 times a day. If you want a traditional latte, you need to order a “café con leche.” If you prefer a little foam on top, then a cappuccino is a better choice. Compared to America, the portion size is super small and the quality usually isn’t as good, but sometimes you find a good place and you’re surprised at how good it is. Whether the quality is the best or not, the coffee combined with all the other breakfast foods makes for a great combination of flavors and ties it all together. The coffee here isn't sweet like in America. They don't add all the sweeteners, like chocolate powder or vanilla and caramel syrup. Instead, they prefer the simple real coffee flavor, serving it with a sugar packet on the side if you choose to add it. If the café con leche just isn't sweet enough for you even with a sugar packet, try ordering a "café bon bon." It is espresso mixed with sweetened condensed milk. It might just hit the spot.
Ordering in Spanish –
"Quiero un café con leche por favor."
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
Seville is known for their orange trees that blossom in the spring. It is one of my most favorite things about this area of Spain. However, they don’t use these oranges for juice. They are too bitter. The juicing oranges come from a different part of Spain. I’ve drank so much freshly squeezed orange juice since moving to Spain. It is just so good. I don’t think I will ever be able to get myself to drink “normal” store-bought orange juice again. There is no comparison when it comes to taste. No Spanish breakfast is complete without a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. It is always made minutes after you order it. In fact, you can often times see them making it right there in front of you while you wait. It’s that fresh.
Ordering in Spanish –
"Quiero un zumo de naranja natural por favor."
Churros and Chocolate
Chocolate for breakfast? Yes please! Even though this isn’t a food that’s eaten daily, it is very traditional Spanish. It is more often eaten for breakfast on the weekends or for special occasions than day to day. I love eating them along with the traditional tomato tostada, because I love mixing sweet and savory foods together in a meal. Not all breakfast spots serve churros and chocolate, so if this is what you are wanting, research a place beforehand to make sure they actually make them. For more information about churros and chocolate and my favorite café to get them from in Seville, read my post here. None of the breakfast places listed below have them on their menu.
Ordering in Spanish –
"Quiero una media racion de churros con chocolate por favor."
Where to Eat Breakfast in Seville?
Now that you know WHAT to eat for breakfast, the question is, WHERE should you eat? There are hundreds of places to eat the traditional Spanish breakfast in Seville but some places are definitely better than others.
Here are my favorites –
Bar Alfalfa is a typical Spanish breakfast experience. There is nothing fancy about this place. It’s full of locals enjoying their food in a standard Spanish setting. The food here is good and very traditionally old fashioned. No frills, just simplicity done right. It’s an experience in and of itself to eat here. It’s fun to pretend like you belong here within these old walls while you nibble your tomato tostada. It is located near Plaza de la Alfalfa, one of my favorite areas of Seville. Calle Candilejo, 1.
If I had to choose a favorite breakfast spot in Seville, it would be Otto. It has traditional Spanish breakfast food items done with a modern twist. Everything that I have eaten here is delicious, but the standout is their coffee. It is delicious and one of the best in Seville. They even have an option to order a larger size, which is unheard of in this country! Their cappuccino has the perfect amount of foam on top and is beautifully made. The staff pay close attention to detail, making it just right for you. They have an outside seating area that is nestled in a cute corner of Seville. The service is fantastic, some of the best service for breakfast in the area. Besides all the traditional Spanish breakfast items, Otto also does croissant breakfast sandwiches, crepes with fruit on top, and an old English style breakfast with eggs, grilled tomato, and beans. The hours are a bit odd so check them before you go. They are closed on Thursdays. Plaza Monte Sión, 8.
Café Mamá Ines
This is a little hidden place near Las Setas that is off the main road a bit, making it go unnoticed by most people unless you know where you are going. It is fun to sit outside and enjoy your breakfast here under the trees. It's a great area for kids to run around a bit too. I like how they organized their menu. You choose your toast, your coffee or tea, and your juice, as a breakfast set. Often times when you order a breakfast set it is cheaper than ordering them all individually. The food is very good. They serve traditional Spanish breakfast food in a creative and modern setting. Besides orange juice, they also make super juices, with many different juice combinations. Delish. If you want something sweet, they also serve cakes and baked goods. Plaza Zurbarán, 4.
Bodega Santa Cruz
This place is really cute with great food, but good luck getting a table. It is located in Santa Cruz, one of the most tourist populated barrios in Seville, so it’s always crowded. If you happen to snag an empty table then you’re very lucky. Guard it with your life. This restaurant is very cute inside, giving you the typical old fashioned Spanish dining experience. There are tables on the inside to sit at, but the tables on the outside are for standing only. Their breakfast is traditional and done very well. Their tomato, oil, and salt tostadas are fresh and delicious. Their montaditos during lunchtime are also worth a stop. You can’t go wrong here. Calle Rodrigo Caro, 1A.
Now what are you waiting for? Stop reading this post and go get yourself a typical Spanish breakfast! What’s your favorite breakfast place in Seville? Let me know in the comments below.