If you’re planning a getaway on the Costa del Sol, make sure you don’t miss the tapas! Find out about the best places to eat tapas in Malaga, together with Ruralidays.
Getting to know the capital of the Costa del Sol also includes its delicious cuisine; and as with any authentic Spanish city, in Malaga tapear—heading out for tapas—is a great opportunity to get out and about and try a few specialities.
What are tapas?
Tapas are small servings of food that usually accompany a drink, whether it be a beer, a wine, or a soft drink if you don’t want alcohol. In addition, the affordable price of tapas makes them a cheap and delicious way to substitute a meal or pique your hunger, i.e. as an appetiser.
So, we’d like to recommend a few places where you can enjoy tasty tapas in Malaga. There are many options and everyone is free to order the tapa of their choice. If you like eating, we’re sure you’ll manage to try a wide variety of options in one day.
What are the typical tapas from Malaga?
Before we look at where to have tapas in Malaga, it’s only right you know which tapas are typical from this area. Being a coastal city, the tradition of fish and seafood runs deep, meaning you’ll find many tapas that include such ingredients.
One food you’ve got to try by the beach is the espeto de sardinas or sardines on a skewer. You will find this simple delicacy, so reminiscent of summer, in the many beach bars and it’s perfect for anyone who loves fish.
If you are a seafood lover, then give pipirrana malagueña a go, also known as salpicón. Amongst other ingredients, this includes mussels, prawns, octopus, tomato, pepper and onion, dressed in vinegar. Nor should you miss out on boquerones en vinagre/ pickled anchovies or pescadito frito/ fried fish, perfect for a snack by the beach.
Porra antequerana is another dish exclusive to this area, typical of the town of Antequera. In some restaurants this is available as a full-sized meal, although you will also have the chance to try it as a tapa. It is a cold soup with tomato as the main ingredient, served with a topping of egg, jamon serrano, tuna and croutons.
Gazpachuelo is a hot dish that is often served in winter, whether as a tapa or part of a three-course meal. This is a much loved dish made with fish broth, mayonnaise, bread and potatoes. Another hot option is caldito de pintarroja, a fish soup with a pleasing touch of spice.
And of course, let’s not forget about the meat and other farm produce that will leave a wonderful taste in your mouth, Enjoy Malaga’s own version of the famous croquetas, ensaladilla rusa/ potato salad, paella, gambas al pil pil/ prawns, and carne magra/ lean meat, which is served with tomato sauce.
Where to go for tapas in Malaga
It’s time to discover the best places to eat tapas in Malaga. Although there are many options throughout the whole city and something to suit every taste, here we outline the top rated places by locals and tourists.
1. El Tapeo de Cervantes
What: pimientos del piquillo rellenos (stuffed piquillo peppers) and croquetas (croquettes)
Average price of tapas: between €2.50 and €7 (for a half ración/ portion)
The ubiquitous tapas here at El Tapeo de Cervantes are the tostas (toasts), the delicious croquettes, Iberian hams and cheeses. They have a plentiful menu of recommended tapas, traditional tapas and ‘traditional menus’ to delight every palate. You can order a full portion or opt to try a variety of tapas and half portions, if you enjoy good food like the clientele that frequents this restaurant in the old town.
2. Cortijo de Pepe
What: ensaladilla rusa (potato salad), pulpo a la brasa (grilled octopus), montadito de lomo (tenderloin roll)
Average price of tapas: between €2 to €8 (for the squid)
If you’re looking for a traditional place to eat, the Cortijo de Pepe will enchant you. Although you can eat out at a restaurant, with tapas you have the opportunity to try out a variety of dishes from the Malaga coast such as pipirrana de gambas, at a great price.
3. Las Merchanas
What: ensaladilla rusa (potato salad), patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), croquetas de la abuela Mary
Average price of tapas: €2 for tapas and from €3 – €4 for the half portion
If you’re looking for an authentic and traditional place to enjoy tapas in Malaga, La Taberna Las Merchanas has exactly what you’re looking for. A friendly atmosphere, generous portions and delicious food at a price that will leave you speechless. Besides the tapas, they serve hot filled rolls for €2.50, rebanás/ fried bread, and broths.
4. Casa Lola
What: mini-burgers, pinchos (skewers), croquettes, patatas bravas, and ensaladilla rusa (potato salad)
Average price of tapas: €2.50
With colourful decor (the tiled facade is a sight to behold), high tables and stools, this tapas bar just a short stroll from the cathedral of Malaga serves a varied range of tapas, sharing plates, and wine (the vermouth is a highlight) to satisfy every palate.
5. Taberna Uvedoble
What: red tuna tataki with porra antequerana, ensaladilla rusa (potato salad), Spanish omelette with truffled potatoes
Average price of tapas: between €2.50 and €7 (for a half portion)
La Taberna Uvedoble serves up their take on gourmet tapas that you simply can’t miss. It fuses products from Malaga with top quality ingredients to produce unique dishes whose presentation is worthy of awards.
6. Bodeguita El Gallo
What: flamenquín, huevos rotos (runny fried eggs with serrano ham), oxtail, croquettes, courgette omelette
Average price of tapas: between €4 and €7
El Gallo is another tapas bar that is held in high regard by the local malagueños and tourists who visit the city. Notable dishes are delicious flamenquines and huevos rotos (runny fried eggs with serrano ham), so good you’ll be asking for more. The prices are very affordable, so it’s no surprise that this place is often packed. As a recommendation, try one of the many wines served here, as this is their speciality.
7. La Peregrina
What: flamenquín (a traditional dish with ham), croquettes, tuna skewer
Average price of tapas: €2.50
If you fancy some fish, you have to visit this restaurant in the middle of Malaga’s old town, next to the Cervantes theatre, whose origins date back to a historic seafood restaurant in the city’s western suburbs. The dogfish broth for colder days, a large variety of croquettes, montaditos (rolls), shrimp omelette, the best lemon anchovies, as well as a wide range of fish and seafood dishes at affordable prices, make this restaurant the perfect place to try some authentic Malaga cuisine.
8. La Tranca
What: tripe with chickpeas, ensaladilla rusa (potato salad), tortilla (Spanish omelette), montadito de pata, and toast.
Average price of tapas: between €2 and €6
The bar owner’s Argentinian roots are reflected in the Argentinian-flavoured dishes served up here, together with Mediterranean and local Malaga cuisine of course. The tavern, which opened in the 90s, is ideal for savouring some tapas served with delicious vermouth, in an authentic atmosphere and accompanied by live music performances.
What: home-made tapas of the day
Average price of tapas: €3
A tasty range of home-made tapas, which changes every day, and a long list of wines, beers and cocktails to choose from, quirky decor and affordable prices make a visit to this bar in the centre of Malaga a must. Salads, toast, and typical Spanish tapas mix with delicacies from Belgium (where the owners are from) and France. Enjoy with a refreshing glass of wine or beer—you’re sure to be back for more!
10. La Farola de Orellana
What: meatballs, ensaladilla rusa (potato salad), mini-burgers
Average price of tapas: from €3
Located on Calle Moreno Monroy, 5, near Calle Larios, you can enjoy the exquisite tapas at La Farola de Orellana. It’s normal to find this place crowded because its tapas are truly worth it. There is plenty to choose from when it comes to fish, seafood and of course typical Spanish dishes and others from further afield. From migas (a dish based on breadcrumbs) to a plate of prawns or a mini-burger, as well as meatballs, ensaladilla rusa (potato salad), and pickled anchovies among others. From 3 euros per tapa you can have a veritable feast in one of the most highly praised bars by tourists.
11. La Casa del Perro
What: meatballs, croquettes, sirloin skewers
La Casa del Perro describes itself as a ‘restaurant for snacks and bites to eat’. In its case, you’ll be savouring their fantastic creations mostly featuring tapas with typical Mediterranean ingredients. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, this eatery has plenty to offer. Try the best traditional dishes (meatballs, croquettes, sirloin skewers, etc.), all with a gourmet touch and at a range of prices.
12. El Mesón de Cervantes
What: cuttlefish, buttered salmon, piquillo peppers
Average price of tapas: from €2.50
El Mesón de Cervantes is located between Calle Álamos, 11 and Calle Cacer. Its tapas menu is so big that you won’t know where to start. Chipirones (cuttlefish), buttered salmon, piquillo peppers, flamenquín, sweetbreads, Padrón peppers, boletus and much, much more, for really affordable prices; from 3 euros up, ensuring you don’t miss out on a single one of Malaga’s delicacies.
13. Mercado Atarazanas
This popular market is home to a bar that you’ve just got to visit. You’ll notice many people popping in to try their little tapas, which are delicious and varied. Here, you can find all sorts of fish and seafood in all manner of dishes, such as octopus, anchovies, prawns and everything else you can imagine. Prices are very affordable. However we recommend that you don’t go on Sundays, as it’s usually closed.
Bonus: El Pimpi
What: croquetas de puchero de la abuela (croquettes), and pimpi prawns
Average price of tapas: from €8 – €11
El Pimpi is one of Malaga’s most emblematic eateries, whether restaurant, bodega, or tapas bar. Visitors are aware of its reputation as a must-try place, and famous visitors who holiday in the city often stop by. The price of the tapas varies, although they tend to be more expensive than other places in Malaga. However, the quality of the food and the authentic, picturesque setting make El Pimpi an unmissable stop.
So, now you know all about the best tapas in Malaga and where to find them. Many bars await you in Malaga city, why not pop in after a dip in the sea or a relaxing siesta? A cool beer with one of these savoury treats will be a great memory from the city.