A top 10 pick of the best tapas bars in Malaga.
Discover the ultimate places to feast on tapas in the Costa del Sol capital. These local eateries are centrally located, within easy walking distance of each other, so if you can't squeeze into one busy bar, you can head on to the next......
Cafe-Bar Mercado Atarazanas
Cafe-bar Mercado Atarazanas is situated right in the heart of Malaga’s central market - the Atarazanas. The bar puts a whole new meaning into the word ‘fresh.’ All the ingredients are sourced within the market itself and right on the spot. Tapas will vary according to what is fresh on the day. Expect noise and atmosphere, there are several chairs at the bar, but chances are, you’ll be standing and struggling to make yourself heard. A small price to pay for some reasonably priced and brilliant food.
Recommended - fried fish tapas "Pescado frito," or grilled "Pescado a la plancha" , "Boquerones" anchovies, "Calamares" squid, "Rosada a la plancha" grilled hake with olive oil, garlic and parsley, the "Brocheta de gambas (prawns) and pulpo (octopus)" were fantastic. "Tomate picado con anchoa," tomato salad with anchovies.
Opening times and address - 9.00 – 15.00 Monday - Saturday. Closed on Sundays. Mercado de Atarazanas, Calle Atarazanas 10, 29005 Málaga.
If meat is more your thing. The newer Bar Cafeteria El Yerno (stall 218) that sits just across the hall has a good reputation…..and offers meat dishes.
For more information on Malaga's Ataranzanas market
El Refectorium Catedral
The original Refectorium in La Malagueta first opened its doors in 1972. It has long been considered to be a leader in local Malagueño-styled cuisine.
The more central and newer sister of the famed El Refectorium is situated just across the street from the cathedral. It opened in April of last year and has quickly gained a name for itself as being every bit as good as its older sibling, which has now been renamed to El Refectorium Malagueta.
The food is top notch with the owner Sergio Ramírez, personally selecting the best ingredients on offer. Fish from Malaga’s bay area, red Garrucha prawns from Almeria, lamb from Burgos and red tuna from Barbate.
Recommended - "Guiso de bacalao con garbanzos," cod with chickpeas, "Arroz negro con sepia," black rice with sepia, "Croquetas caseras con jamón ibérico" house croquets with Iberian ham, "Ajoblanco" a cold garlic and almond soup.
Opening times and address - 13:00 – 17:00 and 20:00 – 00:00 Closed on Sunday afternoons and Mondays. Calle Postigo de los Abades 4, 29015 Málaga - 952218990 website.
A little gem of a restaurant in the centre of Malaga. Taberna Uvedoble is easy to miss and one you'll regret you did. The bar is often referred by Spanish food critics as being one of a new generation of "Gastrobars" or "Gastrotapas." The minimalist and modern decor has a very different feel to it than to the traditional Andalusian bar. Clean, light and modern.
Recommended - "Tataki de atún con porra Antequerana," is one of his flagship dishes and one that must be tried, tuna fish with a thick tomato and garlic sauce. "Ensaladilla Rusa con gambas" Russian salad with prawns. "Bacalao con patata y alioli de piquillos," cod with potatoes, garlic mayonnaise and piquillo peppers, "Fideos negros con calamaritos de Málaga," local squid on a bed of black noodles.
Opening times and address - 12:00 – 16:00 and 20:00 – 24:00 Monday to Saturday. Calle Cister, 15 29012, Málaga - 951248478 website.
KGB - Kisko Garcia Bar
Dani Garcia's much loved Manzanilla has recently closed down, after two years in Malaga. It has been replaced by another extraordinary restaurant. "KGB" run by the chef Kisko Garcia, from Cordoba.
The Michelin star chef's promises his latest venue, KGB to be a "Gastronomic spying venture."
Kisko Garcia made a name for himself working with the Malagueño chef Jose Carlos Garcia in "El Cafe de Paris" and gaining his own Michelin Star in Cordoba's El Choco restaurant.
Recommended - a visit to KGB will take you on an authentic culinary adventure. Combining contemporary Andalusian cuisine with Asian specialities. Spanish favourites such as "Flamenquines Cordobeses" and "Tortillitas de Camarones de Cádiz" are served alongside Chinese Spring rolls. Whatever is on the menu, it's bound to be good!
Opening times and address - Calle Fresca, 12. 29015 Málaga. Opening times are not available at present.
Taberna Las Merchanas
Tapas bars don't come much more Spanish than Taberna Cofrade Las Merchanas! Decorated from floor to ceiling in traditional artifacts that celebrate one of the most important traditions in Andalusia: Easter (read more about Easter in Malaga).
With everything from paintings of Jesus on the cross to funny small figures of Nazarenos (procession participants dressed in the distinctive pointy caps) and classic Easter music. Las Merchanas have been in Malaga for four years and is very popular among the locals, young and old alike. The food is traditional, well cooked and tasty.
Las Merchanas located in a small side street to the Plaza Martires, and it does not look like much from the outside. But you move through the "garden path" to get into the back room, where there is plenty of room, and there are several more rooms upstairs.
Recommended: Try the house croquettes, tomato salad with tuna, patatas bravas or the ensaladilla rusa; classic, simple and good. The montaditos de la cresta are great, a simple sandwich of white bread with spicy meat.
Opening times and address - 12:30 to 16:30 / 20:00 to 23:30 daily. Calle Mosquera 5, 29008 Málaga.
Bodega-bar El Pimpi
Bodega-bar El Pimpi is a Malaga institution. When people think of Malaga, El Pimpi often jumps to mind. So much so, that El Pimpi representatives often travel with the official Malaga tourism board when they go on international trade shows.
The food isn't as good as in some of the other bars mentioned here,but the setting, the atmosphere and the history more than make up for it. The new outdoor terrace is a joy on those long, hot summer nights with views of the floodlit Alcazaba and Roman theatre.
Drinks, food and a great ambiance. A popular haunt with all nationalities, at any time of the year and most nights of the week.
Recommended - Malaga's sweet wines, salads, cheese and ham platters, but best of all, are the "Tostas" and "Molletitos" mini-sandwiches. "Surtido de tostas Pimpi" the "Bacalao y salmorejo," and "Queso de cabra" goats cheese ones were fantastic.
Opening times and address - 10.00–03.00 Monday - Sunday. Calle Granada, 62, 2015 Málaga - 952228990 website.
For more information on Malaga's wines and El Pimpi
Bodeguita el Gallo
Bodeguita el Gallo is situated in Calle San Agustin in one of the most picturesque areas of Malaga. A stone’s throw from the Picasso museum. A visit provides a welcomed break from a day’s sightseeing.
A family run restaurant, Pepe Vega uses recipes that have been handed down throughout generations. The emphasis is on simple,wholesome food at affordable prices.
Recommended - "Magro con tomate," pork in tomato sauce, "Huevos rotos con jamón," egg and ham tortilla, "flamenquines caseros," various kinds of flamenquín, "croquetas de puchero," "Vinos de Málaga," local Malaga wines.
Opening times and address - 12:00–16:00 and 20:00–00:00 Monday - Saturday. Sundays 12:00–16:00. Calle San Agustín 19, 2015 Málaga - 654553963.
Cerveceria Los Gatos
A stuffed bull, beautifully painted ceilings and an open plan kitchen, welcome to Cerveceria Los Gatos. Located right in the heart of Malaga’s historic centre on Plaza Uncibay.
Consistently voted as being one of Malaga’s best. The service in particular, is often singled out for praise. Quick and friendly, a bit of novelty for many places in Malaga. You also get a free tapa with every drink.
Cerveceria Los Gatos is run by Miguel. Having established and run a successful tapas bar in Madrid with the same name for over 30 years, Miguel wanted to take the same theme back to his home town - opening Malaga’s Cerveceria Los Gatos in Easter of 2012. "Los Gatos" is a slang term used by Spaniards to describe people from Madrid.
Recommended - "Salmón con queso de cabra y cebolla caramelizada," salmon with goat’s cheese and caramelized onion, "Gambas con alioli," prawns in garlic sauce, Montadillos - particularly the Cantabrian anchovy with tomato and grilled solomillo (steak) with peppers.
Opening times and address - 11:00– 01:00 Monday– Sunday. Plaza Uncibay 9, 29008 Málaga - 952222340.
Cortijo de Pepe
Traditional Andalusian food at its best. Cortijo de Pepe is situated right on Plaza de la Merced and is a firm favourite with locals. The no frills bar serves exceptional tapas at very reasonable prices.
Cortijo de Pepe has stood the tests of time and was first opened over 40 years ago, in 1971.
Recommended - Known for its "Montaditos de Lomo," "Pimiento del Piquillo, habas con jamón" pepper and bean salad with ham. The bar has a wide selection of cheeses and Iberian hams.
Opening times and address - 12:30 – 16:00 and 20:00– 01:00 Wednesday - Monday. Closed on Tuesdays. Plaza Merced, 2, 29012 Málaga - 952224071 website.
El Tapeo de Cervantes
El Tapeo de Cervantes is located next to the Teatro de Cervantes. One of Málaga’s most popular tapas bars is also one of its smallest. With space for just 28 people. Reserve beforehand, arrive early or be prepared to wait. The wait is most definitely worth it, the food is excellent.
Run by an Argentinian who speaks several languages, El Tapeo de Cervantes is a popular haunt with tourists and expats.
They recently opened a sister restaurant, just around the corner and one that offers more space. They both have pretty much the same menu and wine list.If El Tapeo is heaving, just walk around the corner and check out El Meson de Cervantes.
Recommended - "Ibérico y queso manchego," Iberian pork and manchego cheese, "Croquetas caseras de Pollo con mermelada de Piña," chicken croquets with pineapple marmalade. "Porra Antequerana," Antequerana tomato soup, "Tostas de anchoas, salmón y sardinillas," anchovy, sardine and salmon sandwiches, "Revuelto de salmón y espinacas," scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and spinach.
Opening times and address - Calle Cárcer, 8, 29008 Málaga - 952609458 website.