Arrozeando – the best paella in Malaga
At Guide to Malaga, we’re often asked which restaurant we’d recommend for the best paella in Malaga. This used to be a question we found hard to answer, but no longer because we’ve discovered Arrozeando, a restaurant that takes rice dishes to a whole new level.
Although paella hails from Valencia originally, it ranks as one of the most iconic dishes in Spain. And like Spanish omelette, all Spanish families have their own way of making it. But getting a paella right the first time (and time and time again) is no easy feat unless, of course, you’re at Arrozeando.
We visited with two friends, both hardcore rice lovers and discerning when it comes to “a good paella”. We too enjoy rice – any which way in our case – but have had our share of bad paella experiences. However, we needn’t have worried because this restaurant creates rice dishes to absolute perfection.
What’s on the menu at Arrozeando
Rice obviously takes centre stage and as we discovered, you’re spoilt for choice in types of added ingredients. Fideua, a type of mini noodle dish that also originates from the Valencia region, joins rice as another star on the menu and comes in four different types.
Arrozeando also has a good list of starters, all perfect for sharing plates while you wait for your rice or fideua to cook. Some of them, such as the house-style octopus are mains in their own right.
Before the rice
We chose the house Russian salad, a cone of fried anchovies (we are in Malaga after all) and some langoustine gyozas, all to share.
Arrozeando top their Russian salad with pil-pil prawns and the mayo gets a touch of kimchi, both of which add a slightly spicy touch to what can sometimes be rather a dull dish. Top marks from all four of us. The boquerones were fried to perfection and together with the gyozas took the edge off our lunchtime hunger pangs but left us with plenty of room for the rice (we were going to need it!).
And now to that rice
The menu greets you with a long list of arroces caldosos, which come with plenty of liquid, and arroces secos, which are dry, paella-style. Once you’ve chosen caldoso or seco, the difficult bit begins.
Arrozeando serves 7 types of caldoso rice dishes and 20 seco versions. The ingredients range from classic Valencia paella (chicken, green beans and rabbit) to the unexpected such as cauliflower and cod. And there’s just about everything in between, except, of course, chorizo (hear that Jamie Oliver?).
We decided to go for one caldoso and one seco. For our first option, we went for the version starring monkfish, prawns and clams. For our paella, we chose Iberian pork, asparagus and broad beans. A sort of Mediterranean meets Malaga countryside combination.
Both dishes arrived promptly at our table and piping hot, the caldoso in a large pot and the seco in a typical paella pan (obviously). Each was as delicious as the other, making it impossible to choose a favourite. I love monkfish, particularly its flavour in stock, so I’d probably go for the caldoso if really pushed. But all four of us thought that they were definitely the best paellas in Malaga.
Two notes about the rice
One of the first things you notice at Arrozeando when you sit down at the table is the cutlery. OK, the knife looks like any old knife, but the fork is something else. It’s a kind of spoon-fork combo and turns out to be perfect for eating rice. The filled-in bit at the top ensures you pick up every grain without it dropping onto your plate again.
All rice and fideua dishes are made for two people minimum, meaning you can’t order a rice dish for just one person (unless you’re hungry enough to eat two portions). Servings are generous, so there’s plenty for everyone and two people in our party went around again.
What if rice isn’t your thing?
We think you’d be mad not to try the paella at Arrozeando but if you really don’t like rice, there are plenty of starters to choose from.
We didn’t have a dessert – we were just too full. But for those who always have room for a sweet bite, the choice at Arrozeando includes a delicious-looking homemade baked cheesecake, which we earmarked as a must-try for next time.
In your glass
Rice dishes lend themselves to any colour wine and Arrozeando has a good wine list with a selection from several parts of Spain. The verdejo white paired to perfection with our seafood caldoso rice (and the bottle was amazing value at just €14). The heartier rice dishes need a robust red and, in this case, the Jumilla would be a good choice.
But ask your waiter for recommendations – they do know their stuff.
Good for vegetarians?
Yes, because veggies get to taste the best paella in Malaga too because there’s a non-meat and fish option, ditto for the fideua. On the starters menu, the green salad, tempura veg cone and spicy potatoes are possibilities.
If you’re a pescatarian, around half the rice dishes are suitable, giving you plenty of scope.
Arrozeando sits on the main avenue in Pedregalejo, just a stone’s throw from the busy seafront and a couple of minutes’ walk from Los Baños del Carmen. You can walk or cycle here from the city centre along the pleasant seafront promenade – allow about 45 minutes on foot, 15 by bike. Or, if you’d rather take the bus, the 3, 8, 11, 33 and 34 all run here from the Alameda Principal and take around 15 minutes.
Arrozeando has an unusual entrance – don’t miss the bright blue doors set in the white walls.
And before or after your meal, be sure to explore the quaint neighbourhoods of Pedregalejo and El Palo on the doorstep.
This restaurant has unusually high ceilings, so it’s light and airy, complementing the décor that’s casual and rustic in style. The colour pops come in the chairs, painted in shades of blue and green in a nod to the Mediterranean, just over the road.
The outside terrace is secluded and has the benefit of the shade of an ancient tree, perfect for al fresco dining during the warmer months. And yes, you can smell the sea and feel the breeze while you’re eating.
We couldn’t fault its efficiency and politeness. All the staff were attentive and happy to help with suggestions and recommendations, always a help when you’re faced with nearly 30 types of rice dishes!
Excellent value for money because you eat well at wallet-friendly prices. Expect to pay the following:
- Starters – from €6.50 to €18
- Rice and fideua dishes – from €14.50 to €22, with most around €18 per person. Note that the minimum order is two people.
- Desserts – €6.50
Good for kids?
On the culinary side, yes because Arrozeando has a kid’s menu, but we think most children would give the nuggets and croquettes a miss in favour of the best paella in Malaga. And on the ambience side, yes too because this restaurant is family-friendly.
Yes – make sure you choose the second entrance with the ramp to avoid the steps.
Why put Arrozeando Pedregalejo on your list of restaurants in Malaga
- Best paella in Malaga.
- Great choice of rice dishes, so you could go back several times (30 even!) and try something different.
- Friendly and efficient service.
- Wallet-friendly prices.
Arrozeando Pedregalejo opens at lunchtime only, Tuesday to Sunday 1.30 to 6pm.
Tel: 951 624 632
Note that Arrozeando Pedregalejo has a sister restaurant in the west side of the city. Arrozeando La Térmica is near the western seafront and handy for lunch if you’re visiting La Térmica Cultural Centre.
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