This blog post was originally posted on October 21th, 2015 and was updated on August 24thth, 2017
When people think of tapas in Malaga, most often the foods that come to mind are fried fish, espetos of sardines, and little else.
It’s logical considering that Malaga has always been a fishing city, with its prime position on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Of course, one cannot “tapear” on fish alone, so we have a range of delicious typical tapas from Malaga that you must try while you are visiting!
This delicious cold almond and garlic soup is served during the summer months and often garnished with a few green grapes. The garlic flavor is not too strong and it is a light soup usually served as a tapa or a starter. One of our favorite vegetarian tapas in Malaga.
Boquerones en Vinagre
People from Malaga are nicknamed “boquerones” or “anchovies.” Of course, these marinated white anchovies are very different from the salty ones you might put on a pizza. The boquerones en vinagre are more similar to a ceviche and are great paired with a glass of cold white wine.
Berenjenas con Miel
This is one of our favorite typical tapas from Malaga. Thinly sliced eggplant is fried using only a bit of flour and fresh oil, then drizzled with cane honey (miel de caña) which is very similar to molasses. The salty sweet combination is absolutely perfect, and the honey comes from the white town of Frigiliana (Malaga), so it’s all local!
Perhaps the simplest of the typical tapas in Malaga, the marcona almond is also extremely tasty! The almonds are fried and salted, and often they are sold in a little paper cone on the main streets of the historic center. We can’t think of a better snack to nibble on as you enjoy a cold drink or a glass of wine with friends!
We can’t resist stopping in the market for almonds on our Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Malaga Food Tour— why don’t you come along and try them for yourself!
The same white anchovies we spoke about earlier are back again in another of the typical tapas from Malaga. You can eat these little fish whole, the bones are so tiny that you don’t even notice. Also, they make the best tapa by the sea!
A potato salad with a twist, the ensalada malagueña is made with potato, orange, hard boiled egg, onion, salt cod and olives. The dressing is simple, just a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, but you wouldn’t want anything else, as the flavors of the ingredients marry perfectly together. It’s an unexpected treat and you’re not likely to find it outside of Malaga.
As we are a city on the sea, there are lots of tapas in Malaga involving fried fish, however we especially like to order a tapa of boiled shrimp, as it makes us feel a bit healthier. The catch? You have to peel your own, so don’t be surprised when the shrimp arrive with the heads still attached.
Porra is a thick cold tomato soup similar to salmorejo (which is more typical in Cordoba). Porra, like salmorejo is made using bits of stale bread, tomato, olive oil, and garlic. However porra antequerana is generally topped with tuna, hard boiled egg and ham. It is delicious in the summer as a tapa or a starter.
Spain has a wide variety of olives and you might be surprised how much the taste varies across the different regions. In Malaga, the typical olives are the aloreña olives. These olives are generally flavored with herbs and have a very distinctive taste which we love, although it might be stronger than what you’re used to. This is one of the most typical (and common) tapas in Malaga.
Salpicón de Mariscos (or Pipirrana)
The first time we heard the name pipirrana it sounded like something to do with Pippi Longstocking or frogs, as “rana” is the Spanish is the word for frog. The truth is this is a seafood salad made with shrimp, mussels, onion, green and red pepper. It makes for a great choice when you are looking to try some seafood but would rather avoid something fried.
Cold Cuts and Cured Meats
There are various types sausage including salchicón and chorizo made right here in Malaga. You can also enjoy cured meats including Iberian ham from the area. Make sure to ask if the cold cuts you try are local, as this is another of the many delicious tapas in Malaga.
Learn all about Malaga’s delicious local dishes– and more!– on one of our Food Tours! We spend over 3 hours rambling around the streets of Malaga’s historic center to visit the best locally-owned establishments, try our favourite local products, and sample some wonderful local wines.