Café Sevilla Restaurant and Tapas Bar

Nestled in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego is a wonderful Spanish restaurant. During our last visit, my husband and I came upon Café Sevilla — a tapas bar, restaurant and nightclub — which felt true to its claim for an authentic Spanish cultural experience. Though I still have yet to visit Spain to verify this claim, I can tell you that we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch on their outdoor patio.

Café Sevilla
Patio of Café Sevilla

We started with red sangria, a classic house-made recipe, which was truly the best that I have tasted. It was light and fruity — balanced in flavor without being overly sweet or tart — and perfectly refreshing on the warm, sunny Southern Californian day.


We then shared a small traditional Paella Valenciana. The seafood variety (mussels, clams, calamari, prawns) tasted extremely fresh and clean. These delicious morsels from the sea combined perfectly with chicken, sausage, and toasted saffron rice, served in a small paella pan. My husband, who is not typically a fan of mussels, enjoyed them in our paella.

Traditional Paella Valenciana

Our bread pudding was served with fresh berries and also in a small paella pan. Although I would have preferred for the center of the bread pudding to have a more custard-like texture, which would have contrasted well against its toasty edges, the ingredients and flavor were delicious. Paired with a cappuccino, it was a nice ending to our meal.

Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding and a cappuccino

Overall, we enjoyed good service; our server was attentive and friendly, and each order came perfectly timed, feeling neither rushed nor delayed. The decor felt authentic to the Spanish style. The ambiance was relaxed, encouraging the leisurely dining experience that one would expect in Spain.

On our next trip, I would like to take my family to enjoy their weekend three-course, two-part Flamenco dinner show (for kids over 10). Or throughout the week, they feature live musical acts. Listening to Spanish guitar while enjoying some tapas also sound enticing. Next time you’re in San Diego, I recommend trying Café Sevilla for yourself. Then let me know what you think (especially if you’ve traveled in Spain).

Flamenco dancing is a thunderous, soulful, sometimes melancholy dance that originated in Andalusia, Southern Spain. Watching these dancers expose their emotion and passion through their strong and precise motions is not only beautiful, but extremely moving. –Café Sevilla

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