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What to Eat in Malaga – The Ultimate Malaga Food Guide

What’s the first thing you think Malaga is well-known for?

Most people associate Malaga with beaches, warm weather, Marbella and Picasso, however, food is often forgotten.

If you’re planning a holiday in Costa del Sol, you can’t miss out on trying the delicious local ingredients and traditional meals. If you wonder what to eat in Malaga, keep reading!

Malaga’s cuisine, as well as Andalusian cuisine, was influenced by the Moors who were one of the greatest civilizations in the country. 

You can still see this influence in today’s cuisine with the use of spices such as saffron, cinnamon and cumin, as well as almonds, and dried fruits in many traditional dishes. These are also common staples in any house.

However, one of the most popular foods in Malaga is fish and seafood – from fried fish and grilled sardines to spicy prawns and clams.

In this Malaga food guide, you’ll find out all the tasty food you must try during your trip to Malaga and Costa del Sol.

malaga food guide

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What to eat in Malaga 

Incredible Main courses and Tapas in Malaga

Sardines

There’s nothing better than eating sardines in a chiringuito (beach bar) on a summer day.

Sardines are put in skewers which are placed on a small barbeque made in a little boat – just designed for roasting sardines and other fish.

Although you can find sardines all year round, they’re best enjoyed between the months of May and September as this is the time in which most chiringuitos open for the summer season.

What to Eat in Malaga - The Ultimate Malaga Food Guide What to Eat in Malaga - The Ultimate Malaga Food Guide

Fried fish

Pescaito frito or fritura malagueña is a must-try dish. It consists of several types of deep-fried fish and shellfish: anchovies, cod, squid, red mullet, etc.

It’s often served with a slice of lemon, and sometimes aioli (garlic mayo) or normal mayo. For me, the splash of lemon is essential because it gives the fish a little bit of freshness.

My top place to eat fried fish is Los Mellizos.

Porra antequerana

Porra antequerana is a different version of the popular gazpacho and salmorejo cold soups originating in Andalusia Southern Spain.  

If you’re wondering what porra exactly is, it consists of a thick soup made of tomatoes and dried bread. On top of this, it has toppings such as hard-boiled eggs, tuna and serrano ham.

You’ll find it as a tapa rather than a soup in most restaurants. Although some locals will serve it as a main course, as it can be quite filling!

Porra is definitely one of those dishes that are perfect on a warm day.

Gazpachuelo

Gazpachuelo is a typical fisherman’s dish that originated in Malaga. The soup is made of mayonnaise, fish broth, cubed potatoes, whitefish (monkfish, hake or kingklip) and/or prawns.

This soup has been a staple dish for humble families but turned into a popular dish in Malaga cuisine.

gazpachuelo

Ajoblanco

Ajoblanco, known as the white gazpacho, is another cold soup typical in Malaga as well as Granada. Despite being known as the white gazpacho, the ingredients aren’t the same as gazpacho.

It consists of bread, crushed almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and vinegar (optional). It’s also topped with grapes or melon slices.

Unlike porra antequerana, this is a great dish for any vegetarian or vegan.

Ensalada malagueña

Malaga salad is a popular starter to follow up with some delicious fried fish. So, what’s inside this salad?

The main ingredients are potatoes, salt cod, olives and oranges. Although the salad may sound a bit odd, it’s really refreshing, and yes those flavours go together.

Campero

You can’t leave Malaga without eating a campero, a traditional sandwich made with pan de campero – a rounded bread. 

The bread can be filled with anything from chicken, bacon, ham and cheese to tuna or kebab. After they’re filled, they are slightly toasted which makes it even better.

Although it’s simple to make, it tastes great! You can find them in any burger and sandwich bar, and believe me, they’re super popular.

Camperos are a top choice for a takeaway. Most locals will prefer a campero over a burger.

Bocatas Juanma is one of the best sandwich and burger places in Malaga. Although it isn’t in the city centre, it’s accessible by car or bus and it’s completely worth it.

Berenjenas fritas con miel de caña

Another popular Andalusian tapa is berenjenas fritas, fried aubergine served with miel de caña (sugar cane honey).

This tapa originated in Cordoba, however, it became popular across Andalusia.

Meson Mariano is a perfect family traditional restaurant where you can have the best berenjenas fritas as well as their well-known and popular dishes such as stewed goat, Iberico hams and prawns.

Berenjenas con miel recipes

Plato de Los Montes

This is a dish that you’ll only find in the region of Malaga, and it’s ideal for any meat lover. The translation of this dish is “dish from the mountains.”

This classic weekend lunch includes lomo (pork loin that has been marinated in lard), chorizo, morcilla (very similar to black pudding), fried egg, fried green peppers, fries and, sometimes migas (delicious fried breadcrumbs).

You must be hungry before ordering this dish, and you won’t have much space for dessert afterwards.

Plato de Los montes is served in ventas – these are restaurants that you typically find on the roads and motorways. I have great memories of going to ventas with my family on weekends and eating plenty of tasty and traditional food.

In ventas, you also can buy traditional pastries and bread. Every time I go to Antequera, a lovely town well-known for its stunning rock formations, I stop by a venta and buy some molletes, a delicious typical bread.

Boquerones al limón

Anchovies are also a popular fish option in Malaga, you can eat them grilled, fried, etc. In this case, boquerones al limón consists of anchovies that are marinated in a lemon, garlic and parsley sauce and then deep-fried in olive oil.

For an extra lemon flavour, squeeze the lemon often served next to it. You can also enjoy it with some aioli sauce.

Delicious Sweets in Malaga

Mantecados

If you’re visiting Malaga in winter or during the Christmas period, you need to try these crumble cakes, which are made in Antequera, but you’ll find them anywhere in Costa del Sol and Andalucia.

These crumble cakes are made with lard, sugar, wheat flour and ground almonds. However, there are many flavour variations: lemon, cinnamon, coconut and even nougat.

You’ll find mantecados at every local’s table during Christmas!

Tortas locas

From a local point of view, tortas locas (crazy cakes), also known as locas, are the best dessert or afternoon sweet snack.

They consist of two rounded pieces of puff pastry filled with delicious creamy custard and topped with a delicate orange frosting and cherry. 

Tortas were considered luxurious treats and “hunger-killers” that only wealthy people could afford during the 50s. Nowadays, they’re affordable to anyone and you can find them in any bakery.

loca cake from malaga

Torta de Algarrobo

Torta de Algarrobo originated in la Axarquia, a village located in the province of Malaga. This torta, which looks more like a biscuit than a mini cake, has been popular for years (it dates back to the Moorish Empire).

They used to be a sweet served during big celebrations and special occasions, however, they’re now consumed at any time any day. 

They’re made of ingredients such as flour, olive oil, almonds, cinnamon and aniseed.

Torrijas

Torrijas are sweets that are normally eaten during the Holy Easter in Malaga. They can be confused with French toast, but the recipe is slightly different.

To make torrijas you need to dip “old bread” in cinnamon-infused milk and egg before frying them and dust them with sugar or honey.

You can find them in any bakery around Malaga and Costa del Sol just a bit before and during Easter week.

torrijas

Yemas del Tajo

If you go on a day trip to Ronda, you definitely need to try yemas del Tajo, a delicious little cake that is made of egg yolks and sugar. 

Although they sound like very simple cakes, it’s all about getting measures right and patience. 

📌 Related post: 19 Best Free Things to do in Malaga You Can’t Miss

Malaga Food Experiences

There are many different ways to have a food experience in Malaga – from visiting Malaga’s food markets to joining tours or going solo.

Bodega El Pimpi

The most popular restaurant in Malaga that comes to my mind is Bodega El Pimpi. Located opposite Teatro Romano (Roman Theatre) and Alcazaba in the city centre, there’s no way to miss the opportunity to try its outstanding food.

The interior is beautifully decorated with historic feria posters, photos of celebrities that have visited the restaurant and enormous barrels.

However, my favourite part is eating on their open terrace overlooking the Roman Theatre. 

Apart from great food, you can also experience live flamenco singing and dance.

Roman Theatre view Malaga

Food tours

Malaga tapas tour

On this tour, you’ll explore Malaga streets and eat in popular places where locals eat.

The tour lasts 3 and a half hours and you’ll visit Atarazanas market, taste seven dishes, enjoy up to four drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and try the famous Spanish Iberian ham.

Private winery tour

If you fancy going on a day trip from Malaga while tasting delicious regional wine and food, you must check this winery tour.

The tour lasts 8 hours and not only you’ll taste exclusive wines and tapas in wine cellars, but also visit the beautiful town of Ronda.

Malaga evening wine and tapas tour

Malaga is very beautiful at night and an evening tour is just perfect. If you visit Malaga during the summer months, the nightlife is very lively and you’ll see locals having food late at night. 

This tour will take you through Malaga’s popular streets in the city centre and you’ll stop in four great tapas bars, and try delicious dishes and wines.

This tour is also for you if you prefer reduced groups (there’s a maximum of twelve people on this tour).

Mercado de Atarazanas

Malaga’s central and main food market is the place you want to be to taste some of the best locally grown ingredients. 

From fresh and juicy fruits like oranges, watermelons, peaches and large size vegetables like tomatoes and peppers to expensive spices like saffron (included in dishes like paella) to cured meat and outstanding fish.

It’s amazing to walk through the market and taste some of these ingredients, but also, you can have some tapas in the market’s bar (Bar Mercado Atarazanas) which is very popular for its delicious fried fish and prawns.

Alternatively, the market is surrounded by many good restaurants, bakeries and bars where you can enjoy traditional dishes and sweets too.

atarazana market in malaga city centre

Rooftop bars

If you’re after a nice meal with a view, you must check Malaga’s rooftop bars.

One of my favourite rooftops is La Terraza de Valeria which is located in Room Mate Valeria Hotel. Not only has an amazing view of the port but they serve great drinks and food. 

Other rooftops you may want to check are:

Orange drink on a table with a city view

Malaga is full of culinary experiences, from great fried fish served in chiringuitos to tapas in the Atarazanas market. Apart from these delicious dishes and experiences, you also must try Malaga’s sweet wine and ice creams.

If you love good ice cream, you’ll be happy to hear that there are great ice cream shops (heladerías) with plenty of traditional and unconventional flavours like avocado and anchovies.

The best ice cream shops in Malaga are Helados y Turrones Casa Mira in Larios street and Kalua which you can find in several locations across Malaga and Costa del Sol.

Lastly, prices can determine whether we visit a destination or not. If you’re asking yourself if Malaga is cheap for food and drinks, all I can say is that it really depends on where you go.

Avoid eating in very touristy areas to save money and have an authentic experience.

Other great culinary Spanish destinations you must check are Sevilla, Barcelona, San Sebastián and Madrid.

If you have any questions or want any advice about Malaga and Costa del Sol, reach me on my email at cristina@mylittleworldoftravelling.com or on Instagram. I’m always happy to help.

Cristina xx

Pin this guide on what to eat in Malaga for later 

Frequently asked questions about food in Malaga

Is the food good in Malaga?

I am a bit biased as I am from Malaga, however, I do believe that Malaga has incredible dishes. From the traditional fried fish, also known as fritura malagueña, to hearty dishes like plato de los montes and delicious desserts.

What food is Malaga famous for?

These are traditional dishes you must try in Malaga:
– Fritura Malagueña
– Espetos de sardinas
– Porra antequerana
– Ajoblanco
– Campero

What are the best rooftops in Malaga?

If you love having a meal or drink with a view, Malaga has plenty of rooftops that you’ll love. Some of my favourite rooftops are La Terraza de Valeria, the rooftop at AC Hotel by Marriott Malaga Palacio and La Terraza de la Alcazaba.

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34 Comments

  1. I think I have tried out most of the food on your list – apart from the fish because I’m not a fan. Now you’re making me want to visit the city centre again!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      That’s great to hear 🙂 I miss visiting the city centre too!

  2. All this food sounds amazing. I especially like the sound of all the fish dishes. And those torrijas had my mouth watering, I could do with some of them right now. Hopefully I can get to Malaga one day. I would love to go on one of those food tours.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I’m glad you like the sound of them. Torrijas is one of my favourite sweets, they’re delicious, and you can easily make them at home too 🙂

  3. So interesting! I discovered many dishes I have never heard about before! Thanks for sharing I hope I can eat some of these yummy dishes one day in Malaga!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Ophelie! I am glad you have discovered new dishes by reading the post 🙂

  4. Oooo! This all looks delicious! Now just to get to Spain!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Absolutely 🙂 I hope you try them someday.

  5. I don’t know what looks nice, the food or the views. The torrijas look so good I want to try those for sure. I love learning about local food and trying it all on my trips so this is such a great guide

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Emma! I am happy to hear you’ve enjoyed reading my food guide 🙂

  6. Natalia Hasenkampf says:

    Your post made me so hungry! I want to try it all!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I hope you can try them one day 🙂

  7. Rachel - Rays of Adventure says:

    This all looks amazing! I haven’t been to Malaga yet but I’ll definitely check out all these ideas when I get there. And I love rooftop bars as well!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Rachel! I think you’ll love the city, it has plenty of things to offer, including the food, of course 🙂

  8. Elena Pappalardo says:

    Malaga looks so pretty and all of this food is making me hungry! I will definitely be keeping this guide handy for when I return to Spain 🙂

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      That’s amazing to hear! I am happy you found this guide handy 🙂

  9. I am *totally* convinced I have to add Malaga to my bucket list now! I really had no idea their cuisine was so unique, and I am so inspired to try it all, especially the yamas and campero.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I’m so happy to hear that!! I’m sure you’ll love visiting Malaga and trying Yamas and campero. They’re delicious.

  10. Sounds delicious! I’d love to try some of these!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I hope you try them one day!

  11. Sarah | Travel for a Living says:

    Looks so yum. I am not much of a fish / sea food person, but the other bits sounded really delish.
    Málaga I’d high on by travel list, so can’t wait to go and try it all.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      It’s incredible to hear that Malaga is on your top list 🙂

  12. Malaga is definitely on my list. I’m going to save this post for sure because these recommendations look AMAZING! And your food photos are lovely 🙂

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Diane!

  13. South Spain is always an amazing place to go! Although I’m not a big seafood fan it’s always interesting to see different foods from other places!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I totally agree with you, Southern Spain is full of beautiful places to visit.

  14. Oh my! This post made me so hungry! Everything sounds super delicious; we love Spanish food and will have to try these when in Malaga.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      If you love Spanish food, you’ll definitely enjoy Andalusian cuisine 🙂

  15. I am such a foodie– although I don’t know if I could handle the sardines haha. Everything else sounds lovely though, and I love that you included rooftop bars! Those are my favorite!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I love a good rooftop bar too! It’s amazing to have some food and drinks while watching the sunset.

  16. It’s the sweets for me. I would definitely try those first 😍

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      They are all delicious 🙂 I’m sure you’ll love them!

  17. I love the Atarazanas market. We drive down to Malaga every couple of months and always stay in the hotel Atarazanas directly opposite!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I love it too! I always find the best ingredients there.

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