Ten places to discover cuisine from around Spain without leaving Malaga

Ten places to discover cuisine from around Spain without leaving Malaga

At local eateries you can find the rice dishes of the Valencia; Malaga cuisine beyond pescaíto; and the hearty and delicious dishes of the north of Spain, from rugged Castile to green Asturias. And of course, the best-known format of Spanish cuisine: tapas

Esperanza Peláez

Monday, 5 June 2023, 15:17


Malaga is a very international place, and culinary fusion and international cuisine are very present in its restaurant offer. But there are also places to discover the most authentic Malaga dishes and even to immerse yourself, without leaving the province, in other Spanish regional cuisines, at the hands of people who, like you, have decided to make the province their home.

In this list we take a look at ten top places to find the rice dishes of the region of Valencia, the food of Malaga beyond 'pescaíto' fried fish (and also special chiringuitos), and the hearty and delicious dishes of northern Spain, from rugged Castile to green Asturias. And of course, the best known format of Spanish cuisine: tapas. ¡Buen provecho!

  1. Paella and rice dishes

In Malaga city : Beluga. Plaza de las Flores, 3, Malaga. Diego René is a young chef from Santa Pola (Alicante), and has mastered the technique of rice dishes. Up to ten different rice dishes, meat, fish and vegetarian , listed according to the type of rice used. All the rice dishes come from a small producer in the Albufera area of Valencia. It also offers an excellent wine list with wines from the Spanish Levante, Catalonia and Andalucía.

In Torre del Mar: La Dama de Elche. Paseo Marítimo de Levante, 16, Torre del Mar. Valencian paella is very famous, but purists say the name paella should only be used for a rice dish with a base of tomato, garlic, paprika and saffron, with chicken or rabbit, snails, green beans and local white beans. Alicante competes with Valencia with more complex recipes, adding pepper to the tomato base, and many more ingredients. Up to fifteen types of traditional Alicante rice dishes are offered in this restaurant, where in addition to excellent value for money, you will receive extremely friendly service.

  1. Local Malaga dishes

In Malaga city : Restaurant del Candado Golf. C/ Golf del Candado, Malaga. Winner of several awards, including the Best Chef award from the Malaga Gastronomic Academy and the National Russian Salad championship, Javier Hernández is undoubtedly one of the best chefs with traditional Malaga recipes. On his menu you will always find gazpachuelo, fish soup with mayonnaise, his fantastic Russian salad, fresh fish and seasonal stews. A privileged location, a great atmosphere and a carefully selected wine list make it one of the best traditional restaurants in Malaga.

In Antequera: Arte de Cozina, C/ Calzada, 27, Antequera. This restaurant is a unique find, not only because of its location in an old 17th-century Antequera house that has been tastefully restored as an inn, but also because its chef, Charo Carmona, rescues and masterfully prepares forgotten Andalusian dishes and recipes that cannot be eaten anywhere else. She is also a master at making 'porra', the traditional thick gazpacho from Malaga, and offers three varieties, including a delicious one with orange. A place to fall in love with.

  1. Traditional tapas

In Malaga city : Mesón Ibérico. C/ San Lorenzo, 27, Malaga. A benchmark for the best tapas for Malaga locals, although they have a menu in English to guide you through the enormous variety of tapas on offer. Always full of people, the Mesón has three secrets: very good products and friendly service. Here you can try the best anchovies, authentic old Manchego cheeses, excellent ham and Iberian cured meats, Russian and 'concrete' salad (similar, but with prawns, potato and mayonnaise only), seafood, fried fish, pinchitos (meat on skewers), meats, egg dishes... A classic wine list with many suggestions to enjoy.

In San Pedro de Alcántara : Bar Guerra, C/ Andalucía, 2, San Pedro Alcántara. Bar Guerra is a genuinely local bar in a town as international as Marbella. Open since 1954 in San Pedro Alcántara, in recent years it has made a great effort to improve its wine list. The tapas were already unbeatable. Russian salad, fried squid, stews such as meatballs in sauce or mussels in marinara sauce, 'pinchitos morunos', 'flamenquines', prawns, razor clams and other fresh seafood, 'patatas bravas'... And a fantastic wine by the glass offer that includes sherry wines, sparkling wines and champagnes and a great selection of local, national and international wines at very sensible prices considering this is Marbella.

  1. Chiringuitos (beach restaurants)

In the city of Malaga : El Balneario. C/ Bolivia, 26. The location in an old spa resort opened in 1920, and on the rocks overlooking the bay of Malaga, makes El Balneario the most charming beach bar in Malaga city. It is true that it is usually full, especially at Spanish lunchtime and in the evenings, but during 'guiri' hours (the kitchen is open non-stop from 12h to midnight) there is no problem, and of course, the atmosphere, curious, lively and decadent, and the breathtaking views, especially at sunset, are worth the visit. Simple but appetising cuisine. Sardine and squid 'espetos' (cooked on sewers), good fried fish, rice dishes, salads and other alternatives for meat lovers.

On the Costa del Sol : El Parador Playa. Ctra. De Cádiz, 131, Benalmádena. With 50 years of history, this chiringuito is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in Benalmádena, called Playa Bonita. The building, with its retro architecture reminiscent of the early days of tourism on the Costa del Sol, back in the 1960s, has a charming pergola overlooking the sea. In addition to the classic menu of this type of restaurant, espetos, fried fish and high quality seafood, if you come on a quiet day, you can enjoy the creative cuisine of Fran Muñoz, chef and son of the owner, considered one of the most promising seafood chefs in Malaga. Well-stocked wine list.

  1. Regional cuisine

In Malaga city : Verum Asador. C/ Flamencos, 3, Malaga. This restaurant, located in the residential neighbourhood of Cerrado de Calderón, offers an immersion into the best of Castilian cuisine, famous for its meats, especially roast lamb. Here you can also enjoy an excellent range of tapas and dishes to whet your appetite: ensaladilla rusa, albóndigas de la abuela, fideos tostados, flamenquín, tartar de salchichón, chistorra de Navarra, pimientos de Padrón, anchovies, fabada asturiana (beans from Asturias), and so on. But leave room for the main course, which here is grilled beef and Iberian pork, along with lamb and roast suckling pig. Exceptional wine list, good value for money and friendly staff.

In Fuengirola : El Higuerón restaurant. Autovía de la Costa del Sol, Exit 1008, Fuengirola. In addition to the charming atmosphere and breathtaking views over the sea, El Higuerón combines from its beginnings a very careful Mediterranean cuisine with an offer of meats, fish and grilled vegetables, signature dishes, and traditional Asturian specialities such as fabada (bean stew), fabes with clams, rice with pitu de Caleya (an Asturian breed of hen with a special diet), or the famous spider crab pâté, which is served here au gratin. They also have a breakfast menu, snacks, and a non-stop bar menu, which allows you to stop for a light drink in one of the best viewpoints on the Costa del Sol.

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