Tapa Thursdays: Pescaíto

One thing that stuck out about my host mother and her eating habits was that she’d fry a fish and just suck the meat right off the bones, leaving the head. Emily and I claimed we were allergic to fish to not have to eat them, vying instead for her awesome tortilla de patatas.

My, how times (and tastes) change!

Just a few Mondays ago, the Feria de Abril’s festivities began with the lighting of the main gate, known as the portada, at midnight. Right before, around 9pm, the owners and members of the makeshift caseta tents gather for a traditional dinner of fried fish, known as the pescaíto. Seville’s isn’t exactly the gastronomical gem of Andalucía (minus its tapas scene), though fried fish, pescado frito, is one of its most typical dishes.

What it is: Battered and fried fish. My favorites are choco (cuttlefish), adobo (brine-soaked dogfish), puntillitas (baby squid) and sardinas (sardines).

Where it comes from: Owing to Spain’s many coasts, fried fish can be found throughout the country. It’s especially popular in Andalucía and considered one of Seville’s most typical dishes.

Goes great with: Beer, and fried onions and peppers, called calamares del campo.

Where to find it: Seville abounds with small shops called freidurias, places where fish are fried, weighed and served up hot in wax paper cones. While those I like best are in my neighborhood, I like Mara in Triana (San Vicente de Paul, 22-24), El Arenal in the barrio of the same name (C/Arfe, 8) and Frieduría Puerta de la Carne near the Jardines de Murillo in Santa Cruz. If you’re in Málaga, El Tintero is a great restaurant experience, and you can pick up sardines cooked over coals, called espetos.

 Have a favorite tapa you’d like to see touted on Sunshine and Siestas? Leave me a comment below, or on my Facebook page!

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. Wonderful how our taste change, isn’t it?
    Or when we try something that is prepared a little differently and realize wow, I’ve been missing out!
    Lauren @ roamingtheworld recently posted..A play on words: Creative pintxos in San Sebastian!My Profile

  2. Maybe someday you’ll like tuna too! :)

    You’re making me hungry. Too bad it’s midnight.
    Kaley [Y Mucho Más] recently posted..Running the Madrid Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2013My Profile

  3. My absolute favorite pescaíto is chocos fritos. I think I’ve had them every night at feria (now going on 4). So good with rebujito or just a glass of straight up manzanilla! When I’m explaining them to people who haven’t had them, I describe them as french fries of the sea. Chances are good I’ll be going back for more this weekend…
    MeghannG@HolaMatrimony recently posted..Are you ready for feria?My Profile

  4. I’ve learned to appreciate the fried fish in various countries, including Spain. Years ago, I tried my very first fried fish platter; a ‘barco’-load of various fish served with all parts still attached. It was at a place called El Ladrillo II in Granada. I was surprised at how good it all was! I’m much braver now because of that experience. That said, I also like tortilla de patatas 😉

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Will have to try it…though I must say I am partial to free tapas (and a good tortilla!).

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