Are you planning a trip to Malaga and wondering where to eat? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll introduce you to the best bars and restaurants in Malaga. From traditional Spanish cuisine to international options, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Read on to discover the top places to eat in Malaga
The Costa del Sol offers a wide variety of places to eat out and there’s something to suit all budgets and tastes: from €6 for a menu del día (full meal consisting of a few menu choices) in a local bar to a gourmet meal costing more than €100 per person in a top restaurant. Eating out is a popular pastime on the coast, both with locals and foreigners, mainly because it’s a relatively inexpensive option – a family can eat out for as little as €40 in a restaurant. Weekends and public holidays are generally very busy, and Sundays are particularly busy from 2pm onwards. Unless you arrive early, it’s advisable to book in advance. The Spanish generally eat late: lunch around 2 or 3pm and dinner at 10pm.
Some people claim there are more bars in Spain than people… this may be an exaggeration, but certainly there are bars everywhere. Most offer breakfast and lunch, the latter usually a menú del día consisting of two home-cooked courses plus bread, a drink and dessert or fruit, which costs upwards of €6 depending on the food and venue. Some bars offer tapas (appetiser-size portions of typical dishes) in the evening. Most bars are cheap and cheerful, and the best are usually packed during opening hours. If you want lunch, you should arrive before 2pm to get a table. The best bars offer good food and value for money. To find the best ones, look around a town centre at lunchtime and see which ones are full. There are also many bars run by foreigners where you can get the ubiquitous all-day English breakfast, snacks and other meals.
Restaurants are obviously more upmarket and expensive than bars, although the food isn’t always better quality! Food tends to cost from €3 for a starter, from €5 for a main course and from €3 for a dessert, although many have special offers for two-course lunches or fixed menus. All have wine lists, but the majority include Spanish wine only or a very limited choice of foreign wine. Some restaurants specialise in fish dishes, or a Spanish regional cuisine such as Basque, Catalan or Galician.
Chiringuitos are an essential part of Costa del Sol living and are found on most beaches in the area. These peculiar restaurants are characterised by how they smoke sardines in aromatic outdoor pits. Many specialise in fish dishes, and paella and sardines are favourites. Beach restaurants are popular and get very crowded on weekends and in July and August. Prices have gone up in recent years at beach restaurants where it’s generally no longer cheap to eat, but most are in pleasant locations and have seaside terraces.
Ventas are a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the local cuisine and wondering where to eat in Malaga. These rural restaurants offer a unique dining experience that should not be missed.
Usually found outside main towns and often in the middle of nowhere, ventas offer country food that is usually home-cooked and often of excellent quality. With reasonable prices and rustic surroundings, these restaurants provide a taste of traditional Malaga.
Most ventas have tables both indoor and out, and are particularly busy with large parties of locals celebrating first communions or christenings. Some ventas also do wedding banquets.
As ventas are usually located away from urban centres, it’s often necessary to use a car to reach them. If you’re visiting us on holiday, Malaga car hire is a great way to explore the area and enjoy the exquisite cuisine offered at these rural restaurants.
Whether it’s your first time visiting Malaga or you’ve been before but never tried a venta, make sure to add one to your itinerary. The delicious food and unique atmosphere are sure to leave a lasting impression.
For those in a hurry and looking where to eat in Malaga, take-away options on the Costa del Sol are growing and include hamburgers (Burger King / McDonald’s); Chinese and Indian restaurants; fish and chips; take-away jacket potatoes (available with no frills or stacked with toppings); pizza restaurants; sandwiches and baguettes (Pans & Company); and the widely available tapas found at most bars.
The Costa del Sol is famous for its seafood dishes and in particular, fried fish (known as pescaito frito) in the form of squid rings, sardines and anchovies. Anchovies from Rincón de la Victoria waters are particularly prized for their taste and smaller size. Many fish restaurants offer a large platter of different types of fried fish called a fritura malagueña. Larger fish are also available and fish baked encased in sea salt crystals is a local delicacy.
- Fried fish (pescaito frito): squid rings, sardines and anchovies
- Fritura malagueña: a large platter of different types of fried fish
- Fish baked in sea salt crystals
Inland, fish is also on offer, although meat dishes tend to predominate. Local beef and pork are excellent and some restaurants also offer game such as venison, wild boar and partridge. Malaga sauce, creamy and made with Malaga wine and raisins, accompanies some pork dishes. Pork products such as chorizo and black pudding are popular fried and served with chips, fried eggs and fried green peppers – a dish commonly known as Plato de Los Montes.
- Local beef and pork
- Game: venison, wild boar and partridge
- Pork products: chorizo and black pudding
- Plato de Los Montes: pork products served with chips, fried eggs and fried green peppers
Locally grown vegetables and fruits – particularly avocados and other salad veggies – form part of many restaurant menus. Malaga salad is made with potatoes, oranges and cod dressed in olive oil. Fried aubergines with wild honey are another local delicacy.
- Locally grown vegetables and fruits: avocados and other salad veggies
- Malaga salad: potatoes, oranges and cod dressed in olive oil
- Fried aubergines with wild honey
Local desserts include almond pastries, ice cream with Malaga wine and raisins, custard-apple mousse and cheese cake.
- Almond pastries
- Ice cream with Malaga wine and raisins
- Custard-apple mousse
- Cheese cake
Cuisine from just about every nationality is represented on the Costa del Sol where there are Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Moroccan and Thai restaurants in most large localities. Other nationalities such as Colombian, French, Greek, Indonesian and Russian are also represented, although you may have to travel further to sample the food.
Eating with Children
Children are generally welcome at most restaurants and bars along the coast, although it’s probably best to avoid posh restaurants if there are children in your party. Many restaurants have children’s menus or you can order half-portions of a main course. Most restaurants provide colouring pencils and paper for children, and a few have outdoor swings or climbing frames.
About where to eat in Malaga
In conclusion, Malaga offers a wide variety of dining options for tourists visiting the city. From local bars serving traditional Spanish dishes to beach restaurants specialising in seafood, there is something for everyone. For those looking for something different, there are also many foreign food options available. Eating out with children is also easy as most restaurants are child-friendly.