Tapas at la Carbonería in Seville
April 19, 2024

La Carbonería

By W2SFadmin

It was Saturday evening in the gorgeous city of Seville. Just coming up to Holy Week in the run up to Easter and the crowds were already starting to flock into town. We had other interests. We had heard of a super cool venue for flamenco. And it was free, so we headed to La Carbonería. This is a former coal factory located very close to the old Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz. The venue has something of a reputation for grass roots flamenco. There is quite some history to this venue which will be covered in a future blog post. For now I’m eager to share my own impression of my first visit there.

We entered through a charming, tree-lined courtyard and into the main hall where the flamenco is performed. There are a few performances per evening each lasting about half an hour. We chose the earlier performance starting at 8:30. The hall was rather reminiscent of a Bavarian Bierhalle. Or perhaps a casita at the Málaga feria. There were long benches and tables, quite basic, quite spit and sawdust. The stage was in a small corner, so not so easy for everyone to see and hear the show.

A choice of tapas were available to munch on. You simply take an order sheet that lists all the available tapas and tick off your choices. Very practical. Especially with the noise going on and if your Spanish is not quite fully up to speed. The tapas were not too shabby at all and reasonably priced. A nice filler before the performance.

The venue was starting to heave now. There was an international mix of visitors. Just close to us there were US Americans, Brits, a Singaporean and a German. And of course a good contingent of Spanish speaking people. It was a nicely mixed age group too. This is one of the huge strengths of flamenco for me. It is absolutely a living, evolving art, here right now today, but with a long and fascinating history. And flamenco is a developing art form. At the vanguard I have heard flamenco mixed in with other music forms from around the world. But it is very traditional at the same time.

The hall was at capacity now. Many people were standing, craning their necks, perching on the edge of tables or squeezed in on the benches. Anticipation. That sangria was flowing. The performance was about to start. One of the artists welcomed us and gave us the regulation info about not filming the performance and taking photos. She spoke both Spanish and English.

There was a three piece lineup of guitar, singer and dancer, although from where we were sitting it was somewhat difficult to see and hear. Also annoyingly some people were talking over the music. But hey ho how, this was as much about the atmosphere as the technical performance. For the flamenco purists and to thoroughly observe the performance you might be better off in a smaller more intimate tablao. And of course you would be paying for the experience.

The crowd were loving it. I had the vibe that for many of them this might have been the first time they had been to a flamenco gig. For others this was just a cool place to visit with their mates. Not one that all the tourists know about.

The show was not so long. About 30 minutes. There were more shows to come that evening, but we decided to head back to our hotel. It had been a long, fun day in Seville. They always are. The performers lined up outside for their propina (tips). I managed to snatch a little bit of a chat with the singer and learned that they were freelance performers.

My end impression was that this is another side of flamenco that I hadn’t experienced before. Much more accessible in some ways and a tad more raucous than some other shows that I have seen. Our visit was in March. I do wonder what the hall might be like on those steamy, hot Sevillian nights in July and August. But that is for another time.

Some practical information and links to the venue:



For us the doors opened at 7:00pm and first performance was at 8:30pm, but definitely check out before going.

Address: Calle Céspedes 21, 41004 Seville, Spain