Ronda is one of the most beautiful locations in all of Andalucía. The sights and scenery are truly breathtaking in this idyllic Spanish town so it’s no surprise that many flock here on day trips from across the region. One of the best ways to do this is by using a great car rental in Malaga, with the drive taking little over an hour. Fortunately, there are some incredible places to eat to accompany the picture-perfect surroundings and, in this guide, we are going to highlight some of the very best. Let’s take a look.
Before we begin, let’s set the scene a little with a few words from Katy of the travel blog Untold Morsels. Katy is a big fan of Ronda and told us why she believes it is a haven for foodies: “Ronda is a foodie paradise with many local dishes to try including the melt in your mouth jamòn serrano (cured ham) and local queso curado (hard cheese). Of course, they taste even more delicious with a glass of wine from the Serranía de Ronda wine region. If you’re after a heartier dish, rabbit is often on the menu served with mushrooms and garlic.”
The modern-looking tapas joint known as Tropicana is located in the non-touristy part of town but is well worth a visit. Their kitchen produces an incredible range of eye-catching dishes and with a friendly atmosphere, this family-run location is truly welcoming. The team at Tropicana spoke to us about what makes them a must-visit in Ronda: “Tropicana was born from a dream of a father and a son doing things together. Working in prestigious restaurants they have joined to create Tropicana with more than 30 years of experience behind them.”
Describing the restaurant to us as a place “where friends and families can stay and enjoy a great gastronomic experience,” the team then spoke about their menu: “We could highlight the meat and fish, but we have a wide range of possibilities: gluten-free food, food for vegans, rice, vegetables, salads, without forgetting the Wagyu beef burgers – being the first burger that saw the city of Ronda born in the 80s. Today we make bread, meat is of high quality without additives, without gluten, without preservatives, without lactose and accompanied by a large green salad or organic homemade potatoes.”
De Locos Tapas
Located in Ronda’s oldest quarter, De Locos Tapas is one of the best places to be with delicious. Traditional, and modern tapas. With an everchanging menu of national and international offerings, diners can look forward to the likes of Basque tuna stew and Turkish-style meatballs.
The team at De Locos Tapas describe what they are all about: “We offer our clients an attractive menu of warm and cold tapas, with a modern style and neatly presented, but never forgetting the best traditions.”
All this and more are cooked up from head chef Guillermo, who learned his trade in the kitchens of the Basque Country and Marbella. This popular little spot with just six tables will truly show you a good time when in Ronda. For a sample of what to expect from the menu, click here.
Pedro Romero Restaurant
Named after one of Spain’s greatest ever bullfighters, the Pedro Romero Restaurant is located just across from Ronda’s magnificent 18th-century bullring – an attraction certainly worth visiting. The restaurant looks to capture the style of the bullring with posters and iconography from the activity. Certainly, a unique atmosphere can be found here and the food itself is emblematic of southern Spain, featuring rustic classics like slow-cooked bull’s tail and pork cheeks with mushrooms. With menus of the day, fresh fish, a cellar full of nearly 500 wines, it’s easy to see why Pedro Romero has been a Ronda staple since 1971.
Speaking to us about the restaurant and what visitors can expect, the team at Pedro Romero Restaurant said: “The restaurant has been open for 45 years. In this time, it has always tried to offer a good quality kitchen as well as thoughtful service. Our menu consists of products from our area with a traditional menu that also includes some more modern dishes but without leaving our philosophy of producing native cuisine.”
Bodega San Francisco
Situated in one of Ronda’s oldest neighbourhoods, Barrio San Francisco, this next restaurant has a top reputation, with its kitchen known for its traditional regional cuisine. Bodega San Francisco is influenced by the Mediterranean diet, offering its hungry diners a great wealth of choice, with healthy ingredients and a personal touch.
Bodega San Francisco also comes highly recommended by Lauren of the travel blog Never Ending Footsteps. Lauren visited Ronda on her travels and told us that this particular restaurant is her favourite in the area: “My favourite restaurant in Ronda is Bodega San Francisco, as it offers up some of the tastiest and best value tapas in the city. I especially recommend ordering the avocado pears, jamon croquettes, and fried anchovies. This place is super-popular with Ronda locals, so make sure you arrive early in order to get a table.”
Overlooking the stunning Ronda gorge, Abades Ronda has a truly special view for diners to enjoy, combining the town’s most iconic feature with fabulous dining. Gazing out across to the Serrania de Ronda in the distance from this a la carte restaurant with outdoor spaces and viewing terrace is a true Ronda highlight – especially as the sun is setting. Utilising local produce that fuses tradition and innovation, as well as the authentic flavours of the land, you can be chowing down on everything from Iberian meats, Malaga fish, and some mouth-watering desserts. Read more about their impressive menu here.
Image credit: Bardal
Winning its first Michelin star back in 2017, Bardal is one of two restaurants by popular chef Benito Gomez to feature on this list. Wowing critics and diners alike since 2016, Bardal aims to reflect the essence and authenticity of the region’s producers by serving up locally sourced and recognisable dishes. With a kitchen rooted in the region, this sustainable restaurant has to be on your Ronda to-do list. The seasonal menus include the likes of oysters, scrambled eggs and caviar, goat gizzards, and Grilled fish with seaweed gazpachuelo. Take a look at their two tasting menus here.
Chef Benito Gómez spoke to us about what Bardal has to offer: “Bardal is an Andalusian restaurant, a ‘food house’ where you can taste Ronda with each recipe and bite. We try to be a comfortable restaurant, where diners can feel like at home, with a simple, fine-dining and tasty seasonal cuisine.”
The second restaurant by the celebrated chef Benito Gomez on our list is the equally excellent Tragata. This high-end, stylish Ronda dining experience has people raving about its innovative tapas and modern take on Andalucía cuisine. Once seated, diners can look forward to indulging in lime vanilla marinated salmon, fried porky ear with spicy sauce, and Stewed Iberian cheek with chestnuts. With tapas, sharing options, and main dishes, Tragata has got everyone covered. With a mix of modern elegance and a classic Spanish feel, the space is bright with a warm yet distinguished atmosphere. This spot overlooking the Tajo de Ronda cliff is not to be missed.
Vegan-friendly options in Ronda
For those looking for vegan options in Ronda, we spoke to Sarah from the blog My Veggie Travels, who has fond memories of her time in the town. She started by telling us about some of the foods that must be tried when in this part of the world:
“It would be a crime to visit the south of Spain without sampling the local tapas. With Andalucía (and Ronda in particular) famous for its wine, tapas plates are a popular way to enhance flavours and slow down the effects of the alcohol. With dinner usually being a late affair throughout Spain, it’s not uncommon to spot both locals and tourist alike tucking into a few plates between meals. Seasoned olives, fluffy croquetas, hearty patatas bravas and flavoursome Padron peppers are just some of the regular favourites.”
Regarding vegan-friendly spots, Sarah advises: “With tapas in mind, one of the best places to head to for vegan-friendly plates in Ronda is Toro Tapas. This relaxed restaurant is incredibly popular due to its low prices and reputation for authentic flavours. Many of their snack dishes start from as little as 1.50 – 3 Euros, so you can enjoy fresh bowls of gazpacho, hummus dips and seasoned potatoes without worrying about your budget. As an added bonus, Toro Tapas is also home to a local art gallery, conveniently located on their first floor.”
The best places to eat in Ronda
- De Locos Tapas
- Pedro Romero Restaurant
- Bodega San Francisco
- Abades Ronda
- Toro Tapas
As you can see, Ronda has some fantastic dining options waiting for you to enjoy. The beautiful sights and sounds of this charming Spanish town are not to be missed and when you combine them with the must-try local food, it’s an exciting prospect indeed. We hope you will try out one or two of the above during your next trip!
To get the best out of the entire region, consider hiring a car from Malaga airport so you can explore at your leisure.