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Where to eat in Malaga

Malaga’s culinary scene has improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years and some of its restaurants and tapas bars rank alongside the best in Spain. For better (and generally cheaper) food, take yourself off the beaten tourist track and look for venues that are busy with locals at Spanish eating hours (after 2.30pm for lunch and 9pm for dinner). These listings (in alphabetical order) offer ideas on where to eat in Malaga, the venues are all tried and trusted, and come recommended personally and/or by friends and acquaintances.

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Malaga restaurant opening hours

Spring 2024 update

We’ve just updated opening hours for bars and restaurants, but they may change so double-check with the venue via their website or Facebook page before you go. 

Discover where to eat out in Malaga

Taste the amazing local dining scene for yourselves at our recommended listings of bars, cafés and restaurants in the city. All our suggested places to eat out in Malaga come tried and tested, and all offer great value for money.

Tea Shops

Spain isn’t a tea-drinking nation, but Spaniards love a merienda (afternoon snack), which they have between 6 and 7pm to tide them over from lunch to dinner. All the below also serve breakfast – a good option if your accommodation doesn’t include it. Here are some of Malaga’s best spots to take your afternoon tea.

Chocolate & Churros

This deep-fried dough coupled with chocolate makes the ultimate comfort food in winter, a great breakfast at any time of year and a good end to a very late night out. The hot chocolate comes almost thick enough to stand a spoon in so if you’re looking for something lighter, go for a coffee or Cola-cao (instant cocoa in milk). Here are the best places in Malaga to try chocolate and churros:

Cocktail bars

Make the most of Malaga’s year-round balmy weather and treat yourself to an evening cocktail. The venues below have been chosen for their views and/or atmosphere.

Craft beer bars

Malaga has been producing two beer brands for years – the lesser known Victoria and the giant San Miguel – but as in the rest of Spain, the craze for craft beers has taken off in the city. Here are some suggestions for the best places to try a bottle or two:

International Cuisine

Malaga is pretty traditional when it comes to food so you won’t find a huge number of international restaurants apart from pizza and Chinese restaurants. However, if you’re wondering where to eat in Malaga at foreign restaurants, here are some of the best.

Ice Cream parlours

The Malagueños love ice cream and there are parlours selling homemade ice cream all over town – look for the sign helados artesanos – so there’s no excuse to make do with an industrial cornet or ice lolly. Here are the best.

Coffee Shops

Malaga is known for having the most types of coffee in Spain and there’s a different name for each cup depending on how much coffee and/or milk is in it. The city has now home to a number of international coffee shop chains, but for a more authentic experience (and definitely cheaper and possibly better coffee), try one of these. Most are open all day and offer snacks and afternoon tea too.

Fish and Seafood

Malaga’s nationally famous for its pescaíto – small fish (whitebait, anchovies, red mullet, etc) fried to a crisp and usually eaten whole. Fish on a wooden skewer (espeto) and grilled over an open fire are also a city delicacy. Sardines are the most common but you’ll also see larger catches such as squid and sea bream cooking nicely over the red-hot embers. As you’d expect, lots of places serve pescaíto but not everywhere manages to get the frying quite right. Here are some recommendations where they invariably do:

Pick of the Rest

Malaga restaurants in this section rank as some of the very best in town. The list below includes great places to enjoy tasting menus, excellent restaurants to sample local cuisine and the best venues for traditional Spanish food. They’re mostly located in the city centre, although if you want excellent paella you need to travel slightly east to Pedregalejo (well worth the trip!). If you have a favourite restaurant that’s not on this list, let us know!

Tapas bar (budget)

Malaga is packed to bursting point with tapas bars. Here are some suggestions for tapas and larger sharing portions that taste better than the usual tourist fare and won’t strain your wallet. Read on for some great suggestions on where to eat in Malaga when it comes to tapas.

Tapas bar (Gourmet)

If you want to take your tapas dining up a notch and get away from croquettes and Spanish omelette, try these great venues in Malaga where tapas and sharing portions come with a decidedly gourmet touch.

Treat Yourself Venues

If you want to treat yourself to a really good meal and have a budget that can accommodate a bit of a splurge, these restaurants in Malaga are for you. They include the city’s Michelin star restaurants and others that take dining to a slightly higher level. That said, don’t assume you’ll be maxing out on your credit card because all these eateries offer excellent value for money.

Worth The Trip

Malaga city centre has some excellent places to eat but there are also some great venues outside the centre. These Malaga restaurants involve a bit of a trip, usually a taxi ride although a couple of them are within walking distance of the city centre. They’re all well worth the trip and you’ll be glad you bothered to make the effort.

Unusual Pit-stops

Malaga has some unusual food venues. Here are a selection of the best, chosen for their location, ambiance and/or their décor.

Veggie Bites

Being a vegetarian isn’t easy in meat-loving Spain, but things are improving and most venues have vegetarian-options even if their menus are dominated by meat. Here are the best restaurants for veggies in Malaga:

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