This blog post was originally posted on April 22th, 2016 and was updated on November 9th, 2017
Going out for tapas is part of the Andalusian dream, but where are the best tapas bars in Malaga to be found?
There are many great places to eat in Malaga which makes it hard to select the few that you will visit on your tapeo– a tapas crawl to eat your way around the city, so we thought we would share some of our favorites to help you plan an exciting and delicious trip to the capital of the Costa del Sol.
Best place for traditional tapas in Malaga
Without a doubt, our favorite traditional tapas place in Malaga is Mesón Mariano— it’s so good that we feature it on our Devour Malaga Food Tours! There is a restaurant where you can sit down and make a whole meal out of the experience, or gather around the barrels and bar to have a drink and a tapa as you do a circuit around Malaga’s bars. We love trying the range of artichoke dishes (one of their specialties) as well as the atún encebollado“, tuna cooked with onion, Malaga’s own delicious raisins, and dates.
Best place for modern tapas in Malaga
Uvedoble (Calle Císter, 15) is a wonderful place in the center of the city where traditional meets modern. The menu features traditional malagueño favorites done in a fresh and interesting way. We love digging into old favorites such as ajoblanco (cold almond and garlic soup, but with the added touch of sardines) and albóndigas (meatballs) made with bull tail. There are a choice of smaller tapa size portions or larger plates available, making it a great choice for all occasions!
Best place for fried fish tapas in Malaga
Fried fish is a staple in the diet in Malaga, so you might as well do it well! We love going to Marisquería Casa Vicente (Calle del Comisario, 2), a no-frills fish joint located right by the famous Atarazanas Market. As well as their delicious fried fish, the house specialty, gambas (prawns) are also worth trying– throw the tails in the plastic buckets on the table. The plates here are actually large plates (raciones) so if you are on your own and looking for smaller “tapas” sizes, stop by La Campana (Calle Granada, 35), located right in the middle of Malaga’s historic center.
Best place for a wide variety of tapas
El Tapeo de Cervantes (Calle de Cárcer, 80) is a tiny tapas bar with a huge menu to choose from! Make sure you book to avoid disappointment if you want to eat here, as it is no secret that this is a great spot to come for a range of tapas. There are traditional tapas, modern and fusion tapas to choose from, as well their own specialties such as sea bream wrapped in aubergine with carrot puree and goats cheese sauce (we love this one!). To top things off, the wine list is great so can try some of Malaga’s own dry wines from the Sierras de Malaga wine making region.
Quirkiest tapas bar in Malaga
While we love going to La Recova (Pasaje Nuestra Senora de los Dolores de San Juan, 5) for breakfast, this is also a wonderful place to come around lunch time as well (it is closed in the evening). After midday La Recova trades in their simple “farmer’s breakfast” for a range of wonderful local tapas. Try the pulpo (octopus), as well a range of cold cuts (order the “plato de Malaga” to try a selection) and caracoles (snails) when they are in season. Not only is this a great bar, it is also a shop selling a quirky range of artisan and antique homewares and decoration.
Tapas bars with specialties that you can’t miss
There are some places that just have that standout specialty that makes it worth seeking it out just to try it, and there are two things that we can’t resist trying when we are on our tapas crawl around Malaga. La Tranca (Calle Carretería, 93) is a great little local bar always busy and popular with locals, but for a good reason– aside from their wonderful homemade vermouth, they specialize in freshly cooked empanadas that come with a range of filling, including some vegetarian options. The other is the bull burger, found at Wendy Gamba (Calle Fresca, 10), and an absolute must-eat on our tapeo around Malaga’s historic center.
Best place to start a tapas crawl in Malaga
The best way to ease into the evening is with a glass of Malaga’s own sweet wine, of course! There are a couple of iconic places in Malaga to try this, but our personal favorite is the Antigua Casa de Guardia (Alameda Principal, 18). The symbol of this small bar is the barrels of sweet wines that line the back wall– all 24 of them! — and sampling a variety of wines with varying degrees of sweetness is all part of the fun. If you want a snack to go with your wine, there is a small range of simple seafood tapas available, we always opt for a small skewer of smoked tuna and cheese to wash down with our glass of Pajarete 1908.
If you want to try Malaga’s delicious sweet wines, dry wines, and of course, tapas and local specialties, make sure you join us for a foodie exploration of Malaga’s historic center on our Devour Malaga Food Tour!
Since 2005, Cyra has lived in the UK, Portugal and Spain working as a professional tour guide. But it was Seville’s charm that captured her heart, and she hasn’t looked back since moving to her favorite city for food, wine and quality of life.