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Malaga restaurants join the Macarfi Restaurants Guide

The best restaurants in Malaga city and province have joined the Macarfi Restaurants Guide for the first time this year. A classic on the Spanish foodie scene, the Macarfi Restaurants Guide usually includes the best places to eat in Barcelona, Girona, Madrid, the Basque Country and La Rioja. In 2024, the guide has shifted its attention southwards and ranked restaurants in Malaga and Valencia. 

Malaga eateries in the Macarfi Restaurants Guide 2024 

This first edition, including Malaga city and province, crowned Bardal in Ronda as the best restaurant. It heads an impressive list of the top ten, the majority on the Costa del Sol. Only two restaurants in Malaga city made the shortlist, both of which have Michelin stars. Kaleja and José Carlos García in Malaga city ranked second and ninth, respectively. 

Malaga winners in the Macarfi Restaurants Guide

The Marbella’s Michelin stars shone brightly at the award ceremony, where Skina, El Lago, Back and Nintai featured in the top ten best Malaga restaurants. 

Top 50 Best 

The Macarfi Restaurants Guide also ranked local restaurants in the top 50 best. This list of Malaga city restaurants includes: 

La Cosmo and La Cosmopolita, in 12th and 13th place. Dani Carnero, the chef at both and Kaleja, has gained a hat trick in this year’s edition. 

La Alvaroteca took 15th place. Well deserved because we think this is one of the best-value restaurants for fine dining in Malaga. 

suckling pig, mango and ginger at La Alvaroteca in Malaga

Beluga got 18th place in the top 20, a list that comes packed with great spots to eat up and down the province.

Aire Gastrobar, Ta-Kumi, Oleo, Mura-Mura and Mesón Ibérico were in the top 50. We like the way the Macarfi Restaurants Guide 2024 includes a wide range of eateries, including gourmet tapas spots. It can’t all be Michelin-star dining! 

All kinds of eateries in Malaga 

The Macarfi Restaurants Guide 2024 prides itself on providing a useful manual for foodies. The guide is compiled by the over 2,000 Macarfi ambassadors (everyday diners like you and me) plus journalists and chefs, who rank the restaurants according to several criteria.

They include food type, décor, price and service, meaning each section of the guide reflects a wide range of restaurants. For example, in the Malaga chapter, 

The choice also reflects Macarfi’s self-proclaimed democratic selection process. Taberna Uvedoble and Arrozeando Pedregalejo feature as the “Best Buys”. La Cosmo and Sollo get a mention among the top for interior design. José Carlos García ties at the top for best for service, along with Skina and El Grill, both in Marbella. 

Paella at Eme de Mariano

There are even sections dedicated to “Locals eat here”, “Sandwiches” and “Non-stop kitchen”. In short, it’s probably the most comprehensive guide to restaurants in Malaga and the other eight provinces. 

Best restaurants of all in Spain 

Two restaurants in Spain, Diverxo in Madrid and Disfrutar in Barcelona received the accolade of the “Top of the Tops”. Both have topped the rankings for three consecutive years (no wonder it’s almost impossible to book a table there!). 

Other top restaurants in Spain include well-known names such as El Celler de Can Roca (best in Girona), Cocina Hermanos Torres (Barcelona) and Asador Etxebarri in Vizcaya. 

The award ceremony 

We received an invitation to the Gala award ceremony at the NH Malaga hotel. It certainly was an evening to remember, with everyone who’s anyone in Spanish fine dining in the room. 

It was great to hear culinary legends such as Joan Roca and Sergio and Javier Torres talk about their profession. You could feel their passion for what they do and their gratitude to everyone involved, including the diners. 

Women chefs were definitely in the minority, although several up-and-coming restaurants in the Macarfi Restaurants Guide have lady chefs at the helm. Valencia province was the most encouraging, with three women prize winners on the stage. 

Best restaurants in Malaga 

At Guide to Malaga, we had a long list of recommended restaurants, all tried and tested by our ambassadors (us, friends and Guide to Malaga users). Do take a look and try them for yourself.

On the back of the Macarfi guide, we have some serious research to do to check out some of the restaurants currently not on our radar. Stay tuned. And if you have a favourite spot that isn’t included, let us know

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