Newcomers to Malaga may think that the city’s ubiquitous tapas bars are all part of its new “cool” image, but they would be wrong. Tapas and Malaga have long gone hand in hand, it’s just that restaurants that would have once only served up pescaito frito (fried fish) are now dishing out traditional staples such as juicy hams and Manchego cheeses alongside Asian and exotic takes on these classics.
So next time you find yourself in Malaga, don’t rush off to the beach as soon as you pick up your car from the airport’s Malaga car rental desk – head to the city for a tasty treat instead! Need inspiration? The following are some of our favourite tapas bars…
Located in the Plaza de Uncibay, this lively tapas bar serves up Ajo Blanco (a type of chilled garlic soup) as well as lots more besides…
Critics and diners agree that Ajo Blanco is home to some of the finest gazpacho in Malaga, but if you’re not a fan don’t worry, the menu also features a fine selection of paté, baguettes and smoked meats.
Diners are warmly welcomed at Ajo Blanco, and the old style tavern and restaurant certainly adds to the authentic ambience.
Situated within a stone’s throw of the Cathedral at C/Molina Lario 4, La Rebana is famous for its patés and cured meats as well as unusual combinations such as scrambled eggs and asparagus and wild mushrooms.
La Rebana oozes rustic charm and has an extensive wine list – perfect for those who like to peruse the drinks menu.
El Orellana is located in C/Moreno and has something of a reputation for being a tapas bar with a difference. It is no wonder the restaurant attracts guests from the worlds of music and theatre as well as all the Spanish ‘slebs you can imagine.
It first flung its doors open to the public in 1938. The warmth of the restaurant’s traditional façade continues inside to its friendly tapas bar, and its menu which contains over 60 tapas dishes.
Snails, meatballs, black pudding and cured hams are just some of the bite-sized dishes awaiting you.
El Trillo can be found in C/Esparteros and is one of Malaga’s best loved restaurants. It specialises in traditional fish and meat dishes, including cod loin vizcainza and wild boar with berries, but delivers them with a finesse that is hard to find elsewhere. Veggies are also well-catered for with a varied selection of snacks.
El Pimpi la Florida
Located on the Ctra de Almeria, 13, at El Palo, El Pimpi la Florida is one of the most traditional tapas bars in the Malaga district. If you’re curious to know what the interior of a Malaguenan tavern looked like, say fifty years ago, then you should definitely take a gander inside this bar. The walls have been carefully decorated with photos of famous flamenco dancers from Malaga. Locally netted seafood and tasty smoked meats are another specialty here.
Rincón de Mata
Nestled in an unassuming corner, tapas in Rincón de Mata costs just €1.20 and includes “habas con jamon” (broad beans with ham) “gambas al pil-pil (spicy fresh prawns) and “caracaoles (snails).
Taperia Siglio XXI
This is a cute and old fashioned tapas bar located right in the heart of Picasso territory – Plaza de la Merced. In fact it dates back to the time the artist lived here so it’s not surprising that it looks ‘well-loved’. Thankfully, it has embraced modern air-conditiong and now does a great line in local cheeses and Serrano ham. It can be found at Pza de la Merced, 12.
Bar Logueño is especially popular with locals probably because it offers over 75 different dishes including sautéed oyster mushrooms, (known as setas), and deep-fried peppers starting at just 1.50 each.
This funky, boho bar on Calle Sáncheq is no stranger to an impromptu flamenco session. It’s located in an historic passageway that leads to the Cathedral. The buzzing atmosphere more than makes up for the lack of choice in terms of tapas dishes. Seafood dominates the menu but the selection of wine and sherry is second to none.
About the Author: Fiona Hilliard is a travel writer/blogger from Dublin Ireland. When not sharing her tips for eating out in Malaga she can be found writing the Glove Box blog.