Best Restaurants in Malaga, Spain
Malaga, a city along Spain’s famous Costa del Sol, is what culinary dreams are made of. With beautiful sandy beaches and 300 days of sunshine a year, food might be the last thing you think of when you see Malaga for the first time. However, your gastronomic experience will be what stays in your memory (and your taste buds!) long after your time there has ended.
In Malaga, food is life. All social activities revolve around sitting down to enjoy some delicious and hearty meals. Even if it’s just an afternoon snack—skewered sardines or tortas locas—time spent together means time spent eating. Picture it: the sun shining down on you, a beach breeze cooling you down while sipping Malaga sweet wine and nibbling charcuterie…what more could you want from a tour through Andalusia?
Although the culinary options are virtually limitless, and fusion chefs are literally cooking up something new every day, it’s hard to beat the classics. Here are a few traditional Malaga dishes that you absolutely cannot miss.
Pan con Tomate – This dish is classic in its simplicity. Garlicky toasted bread, topped with olive oil and tomatoes… *chef’s kiss. You haven’t had a proper Malaga morning until you’ve started your day with Pan con Tomate.
Torrijas – Although some may consider this more of a sweet treat than a breakfast dish, we say…when in Malaga! Torrijas are pastries made similarly to French toast, except that they are infused with orange and cinnamon before being dipped in egg. These are seasonal dishes and usually served during Easter week.
Soups and Salads
Gazpachuelo—Gazpachuelo is a white soup made with monkfish, kingklip, prawns, potatoes, water, and mayonnaise. Being a coastal city, the fish is guaranteed to be fresh, although even so, this dish can be too fishy for some. However, it’s still worth a taste.
Ensalada Malagueña – This dish is basically a potato salad with an Andalusian twist. Made with potatoes, boiled eggs, onion, orange, tuna or cod, olives, salt, olive oil, and vinegar, it’s a traditional summer dish, perfect for a city that receives 300 days of sunshine.
Tapas and Street Food
Espeto de Sardinas – Considered Malaga’s most famous dish, you can find these skewered sardines almost anywhere. But, for the best experience, head to the beach bars, known as chiringuitos. These chiringuitos have barbeques set up on boats, where sardines are skewered and grilled. Think of this as Malaga’s version of a food truck.
Pescaíto Frito – For the most traditional tapas in town, you’ve got to find pescaíto frito. Various types of fish and seafood deep-fried and served with aioli, this dish never disappoints. You can find pescaíto frito in almost every restaurant or street vendor in the city.
Rabo de Toro – One of the most flavorful dishes that you are sure to find on every menu is the bull’s tail. Thick chunks of tail are stewed for hours in red wine, tomatoes, and other vegetables until the meat is so tender it literally falls off the bone. This dish is usually served with fries, making it a perfect meal.
Plato de los Montes – This dish is a meat lover’s dream made up of pork loin, chorizo, morcilla, peppers, chips, and a fried egg (for good measure). Although it’s a popular meal throughout Malaga, the best places to find it are the restaurants Venta Los MontesLink opens in a new tab and Venta El TúnelLink opens in a new tab.
Tortas Locas – Easily found in any bakery in Malaga, these rounded pastries are a local favorite. Filled with custard and covered in orange frosting, these are typically consumed as an afternoon treat. Although, our motto is that there’s no time like the present.
Vino de Malaga – Made with Malaga’s own Moscatel grapes from Pedro Ximénez, this sweet wine is perfect for slow-sipping your way through a breezy Malaga sunset.
Any restaurant you stumble into in Malaga is bound to be delicious, but there are a few tried and true places you’ll want to make time (and room!) for.
Café CentralLink opens in a new tab is Malaga’s most famous coffee shop, and for good reason. Enjoy people-watching in the Plaza over your steaming cup of café sombra.
Casa LolaLink opens in a new tab is a fine place for tapas and wine. Pro tip: order the tortillitas de gambas—a shrimp fritter—you won’t be disappointed.
Mercado MercedLink opens in a new tab is a food hall located near Plaza Merced where you’ll find vendors selling any and everything you can imagine. Cheeses, empanadas, grilled octopus…the options are limitless.
Taberna UvedobleLink opens in a new tab is a more modern restaurant that keeps gaining popularity. In fact, reservations are recommended. This is a great location to try out some inventive takes on traditional dishes. Malaga cuisine, while always authentic, is ever-changing. Taberna Uvedoble offers the full gastronomic experience.
Your Malaga Adventure
There is so much to discover along Spain’s Costa del Sol, and Malaga is at the top of that list. From traditional dishes to innovative fusions, the food culture is something to be admired. Your taste buds will thank you.