There is a lot going on in Malaga, and one of the area’s most celebrated features is its culinary scene. Malaga is replete with top-notch restaurants, cosy cafes, and truly tasty cuisine. Whatever you are in the mood for, you are bound to find it in fine fashion during your stay in this beautiful corner of Spain. With that being said, we thought it wise to assemble a collection of the top places to eat in Malaga, helping you to narrow down just which spot you would like stop by at during your next visit.
Before we look into exactly what’s on offer, we reached out to Malaga Turismo, Malaga’s tourism information authority, for a few words about the city’s wonderful and unique gastronomy.
“Today, the city of Málaga offers exquisite cuisine, blending what the mountains and the sea have to offer in its dishes. All the city’s produce combines tradition, innovation, quality and originating from nature’s best; these qualities distinguish Málaga’s cuisine as one of the country’s finest, which reflects the quality of life that permeates Málaga.”
Advice and suggestions from Devour Malaga Food Tours
Devour Malaga Food Tours know a thing or two about great food, and a few more things about great dining experiences in Malaga. We spoke to the outfit and asked them for their top Malaga restaurant recommendations, which you can see below:
- “La Campana: A truly local experience, La Campana is smack dab in the historic centre, and famous for its fresh fish and seafood! Location: Calle Granada, 35.
- “El Tintero: A famous chiringuito where you flag down waiters when you see something delicious passing by! Location: Avenida Salvador Allende, 340.
- “Wendy Gamba: Tucked away in a tiny alley, this locals’ spot has delicious shrimp, of course, but great burgers, too! Location: Calle Fresca, 10.”
Devour Malaga Food Tours also offered us a few very helpful food related tips for those visiting Malaga, so make sure to jot these down!
- “Eat dinner late! The best restaurants don’t open for dinner until about 8 pm.
- “You can’t visit without trying one of Malaga’s most traditional dishes called espetos. These grilled sardine skewers are normally served at beach bars called chiringuitos, where they grill them right outside!
- “Take a food tour! With Devour Malaga you’ll learn about the city’s storied past and colourful culture through delicious food! It’s a great way to get to know a city.”
Finally, we asked them just what it is about Malaga that makes it such a great place to visit.
“Malaga is great because it has a little bit of everything—beaches, mountains, and the city itself! With such incredible surroundings, there’s much to see and do. Throw Malaga’s incredible gastronomy scene into the mix, though, and it’s just a clear winner. From freshly caught fried fish to deep-flavoured stews and braises, there’s no shortage of great things to eat while visiting this amazing corner of Spain.”
“One of Malaga’s most emblematic bars, where celebrities sign the wine barrels in back! Location: Calle Granada, 62” – Devour Malaga Food Tours
El Pimpi is another Devour Malaga Food Tours recommendation and one of our featured eateries. El Pimpi is one of Malaga’s most popular restaurants and is highly recommended by many. Located in a rather unique location – an 18th century mansion house – El Pimpi is able to offer its guests a range of traditional Spanish dishes. Diners can enjoy the first-rate southern food on display in one of El Pimpi’s themed rooms or on its large outdoor terrace which provides some terrific views of the surrounding scenery. Some of the sights that can be seen from El Pimpi include historical monuments such as The Alcazaba, Roman Theatre, Picasso Museum, and Carmen Thyssen Art Museum.
For a taste of what’s in store, you can take a look at El Pimpi’s menu via their website.
Next up on our list of fine Malaga restaurants is Vino Mío, which is located right next to Cervantes Theatre. Vino Mío opened its doors in 2003 and today fits the bill as one of Malaga’s most trendy and modern restaurants. Visitors to the establishment can look forward to live flamenco performances (Wednesday to Sunday) while dining on Vino Mío’s renowned tapas offerings.
We asked Vino Mío what they believe makes their restaurant such an attractive proposition for visitors to Malaga:
“Because Vino Mío makes you feel at home but with a Spanish touch. Vino Mío has a nice atmosphere, friendly staff, a creative kitchen, and is great to enjoy on the terrace next to the most important theatre in town. It will surely be an experience to remember.”
Vino Mío also recommended to us a dish that they believe visitors need to try while dining with them:
“The bacalao, Saté Bali and the salads, I would say, but there is a lot more! To try something you might have never tried, consider the crocodile.”
Vino Mío is also a great spot for quality steaks, if you should so desire. To take a peek at what’s on offer, have a gander at Vino Mío’s menu, which includes desserts, children’s options, and wine lists.
Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro
With its mountainous surroundings along with elegant pines, Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro is a restaurant that offers beautiful views to go along with the sublime culinary treats available. If traditional Andalusian dining is what you are after on your trip to Malaga, this is a wonderful location to seek it out. Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro help to describe exactly what guests can expect upon their visit:
“Eating at the Parador de Gibralfaro is not just eating, it is being able to enjoy a gastronomic experience in a unique location in Malaga. The restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of the hotel, at the top of the mountain of Gibralfaro, next to the castle of the same name. From the magnificent terrace of the restaurant you can see the whole city and the port of Malaga with stunning views and sunsets.
“Here you can taste typical dishes of Malaga such as:
- Salad of oranges, tomatoes, potatoes and cod
- ‘Porra malagueña’ and Iberic ham (Cold tomato soup with garlic bread and olive oil)
- ‘Ajo blanco’ with figbread (Cold soup with almonds and garlic)
- Gazpachuelo with fish (Fish soup with mayonnaise)
“And other dishes of the earth such as:
- Salt bream fish with potatoes
- Cod ‘ajoarriero’ Paradores & Mario Sandoval’s recipe (Sauce made with tomato, red peppers, garlic and onion)
- Confit suckling pig with aromatic herbs and crispy skin with mango chutney
- Casserole of lamb with chestnuts confited with red wine
- Paella with seasonal vegetables
- Fish and seafood paella
“Hoping to meet the expectations of our customers, everyone is welcome.”
For more information on Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro, feel free to visit their website.
Cafe con Libros
Café con Libros is a wonderful option for those in search of a more bohemian style dining excursion. Opened in 1998, this cosy café has become a much sought after location for a quiet moment of tranquillity while enjoying a selection of teas, coffees, cakes and more. Perfect for those looking to read a nice book with some top refreshments after a long day exploring Andalucía in a Malaga car rental, Café con Libros also has a lot of tasty dishes to complement the welcoming atmosphere. Highlights include their chocolate crepes, sole with onion and rice, as well as their ham and cheese omelette. Café con Libros also have a range of smoothies on offer and a series of cocktails that can be enjoyed with some fine musical performances.
To read more about the dishes and drinks available, a selection from their menu can be viewed online.
Antigua Casa de Guardia
Founded in 1840 by famous liquor dealer and supplier to Queen Elisabeth II, D. Jose De Guardia, Antigua Casa de Guardia is thought to be the oldest tavern in Malaga. This is a wonderful spot for a slice of history while also enjoying some of Malaga’s finest wines. At Antigua Casa de Guardia visitors can drink among the numerous sherry barrels, with many often lured inside the premises by the alluring smell of the establishment’s wonderful wine list. Antigua Casa de Guardia also offers its guests a section of perfectly matched cheeses, salads, and tapas to complete the experience.
For those interested, a description of some of the wines available can be found on Antigua Casa de Guardia’s website.
Image credit: Los Patio de Beatas.
Los Patio de Beatas
To round off our introductory list to Malaga’s top places to eat, we head to Los Patio de Beatas. The restaurant is located in two converted 18th-century mansions which today can be found serving traditional Spanish delights among the premises’ fascinating original features – including a stained-glass ceiling which is quite something to see.
Los Patio de Beatas told us that they have the “biggest wine cellar in Andalusia”, able to boast a selection of 600 wines (40 by the glass), as well as tapas, and a delightful four-course menu which pairs each course with one of Los Patio de Beatas’ range of vintage wines. The kitchen is run by Head Chef Christopher Gould – a quarterfinalist on UK MasterChef – who serves up some classic Andalusian dishes like mushroom with truffle croquettes.
For more information, a look at the restaurant itself, and a glimpse of the menu, visit Los Patio de Beatas’ website.
Tips and advice from El Boqueron Viajero
El Boqueron Viajero (also known as Uncovering Spain) is a bilingual travel blog from Abby and Pedro who love to share their travel stories. Before we go, we wanted to bring you the couple’s top dining recommendations to help further enhance your stay in Malaga:
“For breakfast we love Reciclo Bike Café in the Plaza Enrique García-Herrera. They make great smoothies and have lovely options for toast or croissants. You also can’t go wrong at Julia Bakery on Calle Carreterías. All their baked goods are homemade and the coffee is some of the best in Málaga, in my humble opinion.
“As for savory options, you can’t miss a chance to eat at Mainake Casual Gastro just behind the Plaza de la Merced (Pasaje De Campos 10). The owner (José) is a friend of ours and everything that they make is delicious. The potato salad (ensaladilla rusa) is especially delicious and José always has a great wine recommendation to go with your meal. Another great place for tapas is Las Merchanas, a unique bar that has a Holy Week theme. We always order the “montadito de pringá” which is a little sandwich made from the leftover yummy bits after you make a stew.
“Last but not least, stop by La Odisea de los Vinos in La Coracha just opposite the Bull Ring. They make delicious oxtail croquettes and have every kind of local sweet wine you can imagine in the barrel. It’s also a former family home, so you can enjoy the cosy patio when it’s nice weather.”
And finally, Abby and Pedro offered us their must know tips for which delicious foods to try in Malaga:
“Make a stop at the Mercado de Atarazanas for an aperitif and to experience the whole atmosphere. I guess as far as tips go, you must try an espeto (sardines cooked over a fire on a skewer, it’s the Málaga specialty). If you’ve got a sweet tooth, the “locas” are a pastry that is typical, although it’s basically covered in sugar, so you might want to split one with your friends.
“In general, malagueños love to eat at terrazas and near the beach at the little bars or “chiringuitos”. Join right in as it’s nice weather I would say 11 or 10 months out of the year. Oh, and ask for recommendations, malagueños are very proud of their city and their gastronomic heritage, so they will be quick to suggest the best tapa to try at that particular bar!”