In recent years Malaga, Spain, has received nearly 1.5 million visitors annually. A real surge in tourism for the region.
The capital city of the region, Malaga is a unique blend of a Spanish beach and fishing town with a rather significant historical city center and modern city districts.
When it comes to eating, more specifically where to eat in Malaga, there is a never-ending amount of options to choose from.
Recommended Food & Wine Tours in Malaga
As with most foreign destinations worth their salt, Malaga, Spain is no stranger to fine winning and dinning. With a history in brewing a special type of local sweet wine, Malaga’s wine-scene is just one of the many aspects that set it apart from other destinations in Spain.
Here are a few of the most highly recommended food and fine tours in Malaga:
- Private Winery Tour and Visit to Ronda (8 hours) – Highly recommended!
- Malaga: Flamenco, Tapas, and Wine Tour (3.5 hours)
- Málaga: Traditional Tapas and Wine Tour (2.5 hours)
- Malaga: 3-Hour Tapas Tour and Flamenco Show (3 hours)
- Málaga: Traditional Tapas and Wine Tour (3.5 hours)
Travel Tips for Eating in Malaga
When eating in Malaga, there are several tips to keep in mind that will greatly enhance your dining experience.
- Take your cues from the locals. The locals will teach you exactly where the best food deals are. The same goes for drinks and shopping. Simply following a group of locals to their favorite pub can save you time and money in your quest to find where to eat in Malaga.
- Find breakfast deals at local pubs. Some of the hotels and hostels in Malaga provide free breakfast, while others don’t. If breakfast doesn’t come with your room, don’t pay high hotel prices. Find a local pub and take advantage of a full breakfast and coffee for less than 3 euros.
- Always find a menu of the day deal for lunch. When lunch-time rolls around, it’s time to look for a menu of the day sign. If you look closely, they are just about everywhere. Dining from a menu of the day deal in Malaga often assures a full meal, drink, and dessert for well under 10 euros.
- Be aware that tapas are not free in Malaga. Unlike in many of the cities in Spain, such as Madrid and other popular destinations for Spanish cuisine, tapas are not free in Malaga and will need to be paid for. Knowing this before you go into a pub and eat five tapas with a few drinks can save you an embarrassing argument of the bill.
- You need to ask for your check when finished eating. Speaking of the bill, when you’re finished eating, in Malaga, you need to ask for your bill. If you don’t specifically ask for your check you could sit and wait for it all night long (literally – in Spain, once you pay for a meal, you’re renting the space until you leave regardless when you finish eating).
The 15 Best Restaurants in Malaga
Malaga is chock-full of fine eateries. Whether you’re looking for a fine dining setting or a couple of simple fish sandwiches, Malaga is sure to have it.
Here are 15 of the best restaurants in Malaga:
1. Spago’s • Calle Calderería • Inexpensive
One of the coolest little Italian joints in Malaga has definitely got to be Spago’s. If you like Italian food, such as pizza or pasta, and want a great atmosphere to eat in, Spago’s is one of the best in the city. It’s an excellent spot for couples and solo travelers looking for decent Italian at an affordable price as well.
Spago’s has an Ideal location and is quite inexpensive compared to other Italian joints in Malaga, for sure. Vegan, fast-food, Mediterranean, and European options are on the menu as well. Spago’s is one of those places you’ll remember exactly what you ate, and who you ate it with, for the rest of your life. So choose your meal wisely!
Tel: +34 951 28 69 70 • View on Map
2. LA TRANCA • Calle Carretería • Inexpensive
LA TRANCA is one of the best tapas bars in Malaga, and with plenty of local cuisine on the menu, it qualifies as one of the best places to eat in Malaga, period. Culture, traditional food like tapas and fish, and a friendly staff, it’s no surprise the place is rated as the #1 bar in all of Malaga by TripAdvisor.
What you will find at LA TRANCA is genuine spanish music, friendly staff and regulars, and a nice welcoming environment. Locals say their tapas are good and that they also have the best meatballs in town. So, if you’re looking to try yet another batch of yummy tapas from somewhere new, or just a quick sandwich, LA TRANCA has you covered.
Tel: +34 615 02 96 69 • View on Map
3. El Tapeo de Cervantes • Calle Cárcer • Moderately Priced
El Tapeo de Cervantes is a local tapas bar with a kitchen serving a smattering of tourist favorites and local cuisine including seafood. It sits in the old part of town, near the historic center and the Cervantes Theater, a lovely location for eating tapas and sipping a drink.
Re-opened in 2009, El Tapeo de Cervantes has a focus on serving the best food in Malaga. The atmosphere is quite nice, and the medeiterranean food is tasty as well. And, as far as tapas go, you can get them just about any way imaginable at this local bar.
Tel: +34 952 60 94 58 • View on Map
4. Trattoria Mamma Franca • Av. Imperio Argentina • Moderately priced
One of the main Italian restaurants in Malaga is without question none other than Trattoria Mamma Franca. Don’t let the small package fool you with this one. Homemade calabrese food with an impeccable selection of the finest Spanish and Italian wines await you at this little joint.
Pizza, pasta, and bread are of course a few of the house specialties. Even though its moderately priced Trattoria Mamma Franca is well worth the extra euros according to reviews. Probably not the first place to go out with a family of 15, but a romantic couple for two, or a quick bite for a solo traveler? Most definitely.
Tel: +34 951 15 39 13 • View on Map
5. La Luz de Candela • Calle dos Aceras • Moderately priced
For those searching for the ever-elusive gluten-free food spots, including vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurants, La Luz de Candela is one for the books. A Mediterranean restaurant, La Luz de Candela has more gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan dishes than most restaurants or pubs in the area. It also serves French, European, and Spanish dishes as well as alcohol.
Just keep in mind that if you book this restaurant you better not be late. They have a cancelation policy of just 10 minutes after the reservation hour due to their popularity. That said, you can expect some of the freshest and most popular seasonal cuisines in the region.
Tel: +34 951 38 22 51 • View on Map
6. El Pimpi • Calle Granada • Moderately priced
One of the most frequented tapas bars by Malaga locals is El Pimpi with its Mediterranean kitchen and accommodating staff. The building itself that houses the bar is quite memorable, originally the wine cellar of a massive old house built in the 1700s. The bar is said to be a fair representation of the Malaga spirit. So, if you have to choose only one or two bars during your visit in Malaga, definitely give El Pimpi a try.
Aside from well-made drinks and amazing tapas, the local seafood at El Pimps is also supposed to be off the hook (haha). Local wine, fresh ingredients from the local market, and an atmosphere steeped with the likes of Picasso and Carmen Thyssen. The bar has outdoor seating as well as inside seating and serves alcohol as well as food.
Tel: +34 952 22 54 03 • View on Map
7. Restaurante Vino Mío • Plaza de Jerónimo Cuervo • Moderately priced
Vino Mio is one of Malaga’s most beloved restaurants among recent tourists to the region. They are open for lunch, dinner, and late-night as well as serving Mediterranean, European, and Spanish dishes and alcohol. Seating is available indoors as well as outdoors and reservations are available as well.
The menu has plenty of options for those on special diets, just check out the Vegetarian-Friendly and Vegan Options sections when you get there. Or, you can call in and have the kitchen whip something up for you to pick up. Prices are moderate but the food is supposed to be more than worth it.
Tel: +34 952 60 90 93 • View on Map
8. Mesón Ibérico • Calle San Lorenzo • Moderately priced
Another prime tapas location is Meson Iberico, a local establishment serving Mediterannean and Spanish cuisine (including tapas, of course!). If you’re looking for a nice calm place to do some light drinking or eating (especially of the tapas), this little spot is hittin’.
Lunch, dinner, or late night, Meson Iberico is open and serving meals. The drinks are cold, the staff is friendly, and the seafood is to die for. This may not be the restaurant to pop the question to your future husband or wife, but it sure does make a great place to grab a quick bite and kick back for a few minutes while already out and about.
Tel: +34 952 60 32 90 • View on Map
9. BYOKO • Calle Strachan • Moderately priced
If you’re looking for the hipster spot, look no further. Or, for those interested in French cuisine, or who want to skip the calories and stick with healthier food options in Malaga, BOYOKO could be the eatery for you. A cafe serving French, Mediterranean, and Spanish food, BOYOK also specializes in healthy choices including gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes.
Not only is this hip cafe ripe with great drinks and food, its located just a few steps from the Malaga Cathedral and other great attractions. In addition to lunch, dinner, and late-night, which most of the best restaurants in Malaga operate, BYOKO is open for all of these shifts as well as breakfast, brunch, and late-late night. If you enjoy the late-night scene, BYOKO is where it’s at.
Tel: +34 951 46 70 63 • View on Map
10. Kortxo • Calle Salinas • Inexpensive
Another great restaurant in Malaga with a strange name but an awesome rating is Kortxo. Located in the old part of town, Kortxo is a small bar and restaurant with a fun atmosphere and excellent food. Quality cuisine with local flair and plenty of selection is the kitchen’s main focus at this restaurant-bar. Tapas are, of course, on the menu, and plenty of them too.
Kortxo’s staff has a love of culinary arts and creates each dish with love & pure passion. And, from the reviews customers leave, it sounds like some rather tasty passion! All of the food is made from raw and fresh materials with as much local produce and seafood as possible. Reservations are available and aren’t such a bad idea it’s a pretty popular food joint.
Tel: +34 640 73 64 98 • View on Map
11. La Barra de Zapata • Calle Salinas • Inexpensive to Moderately Priced
With an international cuisine including popular Mediterranean, European, and Spanish dishes La Barra de Zapata easily carries one of the most diverse menus in Malaga. Not only do they have a whole lot of variety in meals and drinks, but they also have some of the best prices in town as well as an extra special view of the Malaga Cathedral.
La Barra de Zapata’s has indoor and outdoor seating, wheelchair access, and serves alcohol, including beer and wine. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options can be found on the La Barra de Zapata menu as well. The spot also has free WiFi, so if you’re looking for a great place to grab a quick bite to eat in between sightseeing, you can take advantage.
12. Antigua Casa de Guardia • Alameda Principal • Inexpensive
One of Malaga’s best places to eat, and less expensive places, if you want to wash your meal down with some local wine is the Antigua Casa de Guardia. According to TripAdvisor, the place is the third most popular tavern in Malaga for nightlife. But, even if your not after drinks, the place is still a great option to grab a bite to eat.
Sweet wine crafted by locals may be one of the house specialties at Antigua Casa de Guardia but the food is second to none. Just ask any of the locals, or better yet, count how many regular dine here! Seafood and a fusion of local and Mediterranea dishes are likely to be on the menu depending on the time of year that you visit. Locals suggest the mussels with the sweet wine, by the way.
Tel: +34 952 21 46 80 • View on Map
13. El Meson de Cervantes • Calle Álamos • Moderately priced
If an ambient setting is important to your dining experience, El Meson de Cervantes is a Spanish food joint worth giving a try. Though technically a Spanish restaurant, the menu also offers a variety of popular Mediterranean and European dishes as well. Even more, according to customer reviews, the staff are among the most professional and friendliest around.
Heading out for a solo night in Malaga? Or, perhaps planning a romantic evening for two? El Meson de Cervantes is a great starting point either way. Drinks, an authentic Malagaian atmosphere, and some of the greatest food you’ve ever tasted (everything from tuna kebabs to Moroccan lamb)… what’s not to like?
Tel: +34 952 21 62 74 • View on Map
14. Buenavista Gastrobar & Tapas • Calle Gaona • Moderately priced
The Buenavista Gastrobar & Tapas is another local eatery with some class located within less than a half-mile from the Malaga Cathedral. Their menu consists of local options including Mediterranean, European, and Spanish dishes. Tapas and drinks are also to be had at this popular Gastrobar.
If you’ve never eaten in Malaga before, stop into Buenavista Gastrobar & Tapas for some Tuna tartare, or Cod with melon and mango. You never know what will be on the menu depending on the local market at the time of your visit. But, you can rest assured that whatever it is will be tasty!
Tel: +34 951 38 74 64 • View on Map
15. Restaurante Italiano Da Saveria • Calle Ancha del Carmen • Moderately priced
An Italian joint approximately a half-mile from the Malaga Cathedral, that you don’t want to miss out on, is the Restaurante Italiano Da Saveria. Good drinks, an ambient atmosphere, and excellent food are waiting for you here. The locals rate it as one of the best places to eat, and based on their moderate prices, it is highly likely that they well may be.
Being an Italian place, pizza, hand-made pasta, and other fine Italian dishes are of course the house specials at Restaurante Italiano Da Saveria. However, authentic Mediterranean, European, Sicilian, and Southern-Italian food are also on the menu. And, according to locals and tourists alike, it holds its own to any Italian restaurant (anywhere).
Tel: +34 602 68 95 80 • View on Map