Tapas in Málaga
Tapas is more than food - it's a lifestyle. Going out for tapas in Malaga means participating in a completely social experience when you go from bar to bar and share a meal with friends.
We have created a simple guide on how to order tapas in Málaga, to get the best possible experience when you enjoy the city's best pieces. We have also made an overview of the 8 best tapas places in Malaga and what characterizes each of them.
You may have heard many things about tapas. They are small! They are Spanish! They come for free with your drink! Forget the latest when you're in Malaga. While free tapas are the norm in places like Granada, you have to cough up a few euros per bite in Malaga.
"One size" does not fit everyone
In the menu you will see different columns showing different prices for the same dish. As for the confusing sizes, here is a quick explanation:
Tapa: The smallest available size, usually an individual serving (some can be shared between two people)
Media race: Half a serving. This is the next step up from the tapa, and is ideal for sharing between three or four people.
Ración: A full portion. This full plate of food is great to share among a crowd.
Tapas words and expressions
Just as malagueños (people from malaga) have a rich vocabulary for coffee, so there are similar local expressions for local food and tapas:
Pitufo: This word literally means "smurf", but there are no whimsical blue characters involved here. Instead, it is a sandwich made with a miniature bread, eaten for lunch. Toppings vary widely, including olives, tomatoes, butter, jam and ham.
Chacina: Refers to cold cuts such as ham, salami or chorizo.
Moraga: Beach Grill. Since the 19th century, people have been fishing in shallow water and cooking their catches right on the beach.
Chiringuito: Any restaurant located right on the beach. Usually serves fish.
Espeto: A spear. Chringuitos are known for sardines that are skewered and fried over a pit of charcoal.
Mesón Mariano: The best traditional tapas bar
Among tapas bars in Malaga, this is a classic. At Mesón Mariano you can sit down and enjoy a sophisticated meal in the restaurant, or hang out at the bar and order a few rounds of tapas - the choice is yours. Traditional and family-run, this place serves tasty home-made dishes made with the finest and freshest market products. Do not go without trying the artichokes - they are the house specialty.
Opening hours: 1 - 4:30am & 8 - 12am Mon to Sat
Address: Calle Grandos 2
The artichokes from Mesón Mariano
Caracoles (snails) from La Recova
La Recova: The most special and unique tapas bar
La Recova is known for its excellent breakfast service, but believe it or not, this unique and charming café also offers a fantastic selection of local tapas. With seafood favorites like pulpo, a delicious selection of cold cuts and caracoles (snails) for those willing to step out of their culinary comfort zone, this cozy place is the perfect stop for a bite to eat.
Opening hours: 8:30 - 4am Mon-Fri (till 2am Sat)
Taberna Uvedoble: The most "modern" tapas bar
This is one of the best tapas bars for those looking for something fresh and new. The bar is often referred to by Spanish food critics as a new generation of "Gastrotapas." "Tataki de atún con porra Antequerana" is one of the flagships that must be tried, tuna with thick tomato and garlic sauce. Another dish that is recommended is "Fideos negros con calamaritos de Málaga" local squid on a bed of black noodles.
Opening hours: 1 - 4am & 8 - 12am Mon to SatAddress: Calle Cister 15
Tataki de atún con porra Antequerana from Uvedoble
Croquetas caseras de Pollo from El Tapeo de Cervantes
El Tapeo de Cervantes: The largest selection of tapa
This small tapas bar has a huge selection of both traditional and more modern tapas, as well as a large selection of wines. It is recommended to try "Ibérico y queso manchego" (Iberian ham and manchego cheese) and "Croquetas caseras de Pollo con mermelada de Piña" (chicken croquettes and pineapple jam). This is one of Málaga's most popular tapas bars, but seats only 28 people. They have a website in English where it is possible to book a table.
Opening hours: 1 - 3.30am & 7.30 - 11.30am Tue-SunAddress: Calle Cárcer 8
Marisquería Casa Vicente: The best seafood tapas bar
If you want the fresh seafood flavors, there is nowhere that beats Marisquería Casa Vicente. Just a few blocks from the legendary Atarazanas Market, the bar is famous for its relaxing atmosphere and fresh seafood tapas served in generous portions. One of the most popular tapas dishes they have is without a doubt "gambas" (shrimp)
Opening hours: 12pm - 4am & 8 - 12am Mon-Sun
Address: Calle Comisario 2
Gambas fra Marisquería Casa Vicente
Smoked tuna and cheese skewers at Antigua Casa de Guardia