Málaga’s gastronomic offer is great. Whether you go the the chiringuitos at its wonderful beaches or to the bars and restaurants, it’s very easy to enjoy a good meal with their traditional dishes, some local good wine and a unique atmosphere that will make you feel at home. It’s important to play a bit safe and learn what to eat and where to do so.
And yes, we know that Málaga is marked by being the “pescaíto frito” region, but it can offer so much more and there are many other recipes you can enjoy at Costa del Sol’s capital to get the most out of the real Málaga’s gastronomy. We give you our own personal route to live an experience that we hope will leave you with a good taste in your mouth (and wanting more).
WHAT TO EAT IN MÁLAGA: TYPICAL DISHES
Before telling you where to go to eat in Málaga, you need to know what to eat. Costa del Sol’s capital ciy has five very traditional dishes that are known way beyond its borders. It could even be said that you have not been to Málaga if you have not tried one of these. Do you know which ones are we talking about?
- Espeto de sardinas. This is, no more no less, a few sardines skewed through a stick (usually reed, but also found in a metal choice) that are cooked on wood embers. Its taste is unmistakable and delights every visitor, and also locals. Without a doubt, skewing the sardines requires some technique so you don’tbreak them and they don’t fall off when turned. Best places to taste this? The chiringuitos at El Palo or Pedregalejo beaches.
- Pescaíto frito. Malaga’s king par excellence. Anchovies, calamari, dogfish or fried fish delight… Whatever it is, it always should be crisp, juicy on the inside and not oily. Málaga rivals with Cádiz for the perfect fried fish. Have you tried it yet? Finger-licking good!
- Málaga’s ajoblanco. This dish is a cold soup made of almond, that is usually served with grapes, which give a very interesting sweet counterpoint. The recipe is very simple: crumbled bread, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, wáter and almonds, food that most of the population had in hand. A great dish to get some refreshment after a hot day around Málaga’s beaches.
- Málaga’s gazpacho. It’s nothing alike typical andalusian gazpacho, it doesn’t even smell the same! This dish, created by sailors, it’s made with fish and potato broth. To give flavor and texture to the mix, mayonnaise is added, and sometimes whipped egg whites (or boiled), or even shrimp.
- Coquinas. A kind of mollusc that does not need a lot of cooking or a magnificent recipe to be a success. Just cooked “a la marinera”, or with garlic and lemon, are a real delicacy that the Málaga folks know how to cook like no other (under permit of the Valencians, where these are also typical, although called “tellinas”).
WHERE TO EAT IN MÁLAGA
Once we’ve learned what to eat, it’s a must to know where to do it (so you don’t get lost on tourist-only focused establishments). We compiled for you a list of bars and restaurants that are mandatory if you visit Málaga. Write them down!
“Tapeo” at classic spots you can’t miss
Málaga is recognized by having many bars that offer tapas and delightful portions. The option of getting full only by bites, switchingplaces a couple of times, is a very popular plan, fun and very appealing. Don’t you want to try?
We should start at Los Gatos, a tavern located at the city center, low-budget and often full, that serves tapas, montaditos and portions. La Cosmopolita is another of these Málaga’s symbolic places that you can’tmiss. You can’t miss either the chance of trying their warm Russian salad, their shrimp tartar with marrow or their anchovies.
Another two places that are a must are El Refectorium Catedral and the KGB, two top quality gastrobars. On the first one, you should be asking for their Russian salad of tuna belly and grilled octopus, a classic Spanish omelette or grilled mushrooms. On the second one, try their tempura, their croquettes or their melon ajoblanco, those won’t leave you indifferent.
And of course, El Pimpi, classic of the classics at the city of Málaga. It’s placed right at the city center and it has a pure Andalusian style, where good flamenco and good wine will prevail. Every visitor should check out this bar, that has built its own place at the gastronomic route of the city.
Other lovely places are El Tintero, where you can enjoy a fantastic “pescaíto frito” that is auctioned: their waiters walk through the place with portions and these are served to the table that first asks for them. Another classic is El Cortijo de Pepe, with more than 40 years of experience on their backs, they offer the most traditional andalusian dishes a very reasonable prices.
What about you? Do you know any other classic of Málaga’s culture?