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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats

IS THIS THE BEST ACCIDENTALLY VEGAN TAPAS IN SEVILLE, SPAIN?


After Barcelona, our next stop in Spain was the magical Andalusian city of Seville. We were absolutely enchanted by the city: known for its oranges, Flamenco, and its Royal Alcazar, this city has an ambiance that was so different to that we'd just experienced in northern Spain. A delicious starter dish to our trip around the south of this beautiful country, Seville really made a strong impression when it came to culture and history. There is, unfortunately, still a bullfighting scene in Seville, and this is a truth that you will have to grapple with if you choose to visit the city. However, we really believe that Seville has a whole lot to offer vegans, and - bull cruelty aside - Seville was a place that we found very vegan-friendly and suitable for our needs.


When it came to Spanish cuisine made vegan, Seville really was second to none. We were so impressed at the quantity of authentic and traditional cuisine we were able to find in plant-based form, as well as the quality of the items on offer. Check our our Top Places to Eat Vegan in Seville blog for more insight on all of the incredible Spanish (and non-Spanish) plant-based cuisine we devoured while we were in Seville. But today's blog is a little bit different. When in Spain, we always want to try some tapas - but often dishes are very meat heavy. So we found a dish that is accidentally vegan, meaning that whether you're eating in a specialist veggie-vegan place, or somewhere chosen for convenience or the palates of your omnivore friends, you will almost always be able to eat it (though you should still always check they've not done something wild or innovative with their variant!) Introducing: espinacas con garbanzos!


But wait, what exactly are Espinacas con Garbanzos?

What sounds like a really complicated dish is actually extremely simple. Espinacas con Garbanzos, a very common and beloved tapas dish in Andalusia (and across Spain) is simply spinach and chickpeas!


As a traditional kind of stew dish, Espinacas con Garbanzos is served in homes and tapas bars across Spain - and has been for centuries, after the flavours of the dish were imported from Iran by Mediterranean traders. Chickpeas were popularised in Andalusia during the region's Moorish rule; this explains why Espinacas con Garbanzos is particularly popular in, and associated with, Seville.


Where did we try Espinacas con Garbanzos in Seville?

Given Seville's strong link to espinacas con garbanzos, we knew that we wanted to sample the dish while we were in the city: so we headed to popular tapas bar El Librero. Now, El Librero offer a strong selection of vegetarian tapas dishes, but they are not marketed as a specialist in veggie-vegan cuisine (so if you're ordering anything else from the menu, check the ingredients with the staff!)


However, this place gave us a real authentic tapas bar vibe. What appeared to be a tiny bar was full of twists and turns with plenty of chairs squeezed around the tables, and heaps of fascinating and historic decor. It felt really welcoming and friendly too!


So come on - tell us all about the Espinacas con Garbanzos! How did it taste?


I was a little hesitant when it came to trying this dish. I heard 'spinach and chickpeas' and figured it would be pretty bland. I think I was imagining the worst of iron-heavy spinach and plain chickpeas... and I was as wrong as could be here!


This spinach and chickpea stew was an absolute joy to eat. Served warm, the ingredients had softened so much that they had an almost creamy texture. They melted in the mouth! And the flavour, wow! I have never experienced such flavoursome spinach and chickpeas. Enhanced with some subtle spices and cooked to perfection, this dish absolutely blew me away. We had only ordered a small tapa version of the espinacas con garbanzos - and to be fair, with our bread, this was fairly filling between us. However, if we were to come back to El Librero to eat their espinacas con garbanzos again, I would even be tempted to order the full plate version of the dish. It really was that good! So flavoursome, so filling: absolutely delicious!


How much did the Espinacas con Garbanzos cost - and was it worth it?

Tapas is traditionally made up of lots of small plates, so that you can enjoy a lot of variety in the food that you eat, and share along with a nice drink. So with that in mind, usually espinacas con garbanzos would be ordered alongside other dishes, with a little portion served. At El Librero, the espinacas con garbanzos (or spinach with chickpeas, as it is translated on the English menu) can be ordered as a tapa, or as a full plate! So if you love it that much, or are keen to indulge in a whole bowl of this warming spinach and chickpea stew, El Librero has you sorted! The prices are pretty reasonable here: for €3.20 (approx. £2.75 or $3.53) you can get your hands on the tapas version of espinacas con garbanzos; for €9.80 (approx. £8.42 or $10.92) you can treat yourself to a full dish!


We were here especially for the espinacas con garbanzos of course, so we ordered this tapa along with some bread and drinks to maintain our focus - but as we've mentioned, there are plenty of veggie dishes on their menu (including some main dishes too), several of which can also be vegan. The prices were fairly consistent with the espinacas con garbanzos: with friendly and helpful service, so much to look at, and a small selection of well-priced vegan and vegetarian dishes, El Librero is a great place to check out for some authentic, accidentally vegan tapas.


For the full tapas experience made vegan, check out our Top Places to Eat Vegan in Seville blog to see where we headed. Spoiler alert: it was absolutely extraordinary!

Have you tried vegan tapas in Spain? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.




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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
Check out the secrets of the Royal Alcazar!

Where should I stay?

After our trip to Barcelona, we were relieved to discover that accommodation is much more affordable in Andalusia! Seville is full of quaint hotels with great reputations, at reasonable prices. One of these is the family-run Hotel Goya, which offers private, en-suite accommodation in a traditional Andalusian building, only metres from the cathedral and Alcazar! For even more affordability, there are lots of great hostels in Seville. New Samay Hostel is really highly rated across the board, and are particularly known for their modern facilities, excellent staff, location, and cleanliness. A great place to make friends!


Tours & Experiences


While you're in Andalusia, you absolutely have to go to a flamenco show! This traditional art form came from the villages of the region, and is particularly famous here both for its history and its quality! This flamenco show gets consistently high ratings, is choreographed by legendary flamenco dancer Cristina Hoyos, and is set in the Flamenco Dance Museum, so is definitely one of the best and most authentic performances to see.


There's so much to see and do in Seville though, so if flamenco isn't for you, why not check out some of the top-rated Viator tours displayed in the widget on the left!


Please note that the tours displayed on the left are automatically selected for their popularity by Viator, not chosen or recommended by us. Please check whether any food or drink based tours are suitable for your dietary requirements, and any animal-based experiences are ethical, before booking!





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