First, a ward of warning. If you want an “American style” eatery, sit-down table service, patient waiters waiting for your order, familiar menu options, and hate crowds then skip the Las Columnas. However, if you like mixing with the locals, tasting new dishes, eating at a counter, don’t mind noise and a little shoving you should give the Bodega Santa Cruz a try.
For over a weeks we stayed just a few blocks away from the Giralda. We discovered the Las Columnas late on a weekday night. Around 10 pm it was packed with the locals. Other more “upscale” eateries in the area had surprisingly few customers. We ventured in, loved the place, and came back almost every night.
Once you walk in, find an empty spot by the counter. If just one person in you group can elbow through, you are set! He/she can order the food and pass it back to you. Spanish is a plus, but not a must. They do have an English menu. Staff can be busy, a little impatient, prone to make fun of every body, but always helpful.
The Bodega serves a typical tapas fare. Hams and cheeses are plentiful and are always a safe choice. Though do try something different. I loved boquerones (anchovies) in vinegar, bombas (fried potato balls with meat). For something sweat, try eggplant with honey. Beer is served in small glasses (copa). To keep track of your orders, they write it on the counter in front of you. At the end, they will also write the total. No paper checks/bills.
If you want some fresh, plentiful, tasty authentic tapas go to Las Columnas. It is one of the better tapas bars close to the Cathedral.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.