Málaga in 7 Bites
31 August, 2015
Málaga has become the hot capital of culture, due to the recent opening of local branches of the Centre Pompidou and Saint Petersburg State Russian Museum Collection, added to other art successes with the Carmen Thyssen Museum, La Térmica, the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) and the Picasso Museum (a fine retrospective of Louise Bourgeois is currently running until 27 September). The city centre’s beautiful pedestrian precinct – distributed around the stately Marqués de Larios street as its hub – it’s pleasant climate all year around, its beaches and its gastronomy make it the ideal getaway destination. Here are 7 essential eateries you should not miss in Málaga.
1. El Pimpi
You can’t leave Málaga without stopping off at this emblematic bar with its eminently Andalusian patios filled with potted carnations. One of its draws is the casks autographed by the most variegated celebrities who have dined there, from Antonio Gala to Miquel Barceló and Pablo Alborán. It has a huge terrace, too. The food is very good and prices average about €30.
2. Los Baños del Carmen
This former spa opposite the beach, once a luxury baths and now decadent, preserves a charm of its own. Refurbished as a restaurant boasting an enormous terrace with a stately air, this is the ideal spot for soaking up the twilight hours. The menu du jour costs €18 and the à la carte is very Malagueñan: tapas de la bahía (from the bay), fish on a skewer, charcoaled meat… and concerts are usually held on weekend afternoons.
3. Mercado Atarazanas (Atarazanas, 10)
This lovely market with wrought-iron ceilings, colourful stained glass and a marble, Mudéjar entrance features several stalls that sell their tapas on the street, with tall tables for eating standing up. Dogfish, octopus, razor clams, prawns, venus shells, Malagueñan mixed fry… fittingly all very fresh and at excellent prices (averaging €3.5 for a half-portion). Ideal for having an aperitif.
4. Andrés Maricuchi
El Pedregalejo beach offers one of Málaga’s most prized specialities – espetos or skewered fish, particularly the sardine variety. They are charcoaled on cute barbecue boats set in the sand. Prominent among the many beach bars with a carefree, happy ambience is the Maricuchi. Instead of a menu, they recite their dishes to you. Their sardines are crisp on the outside and tasty on the inside. Around €20.
If you are seeking a more curated cuisine in romantic surroundings, this town palace has a gastronomic restaurant upstairs and a tapas bar below, set in a gardened terrace. Some of the recommendations: scrambled egg with whitebait and peppers in yuzu sauce, ox carpaccio with olive oil ice-cream and wasabi cheese, and timbal (tartlet) with griddled bacon, field mushrooms, foie gras and balsamic reduction. Classicism and modernity in one. Average price – €45.
6. José Carlos García Restaurante
Haute cuisine for gourmets. The chef, Carlos García, was awarded the province’s first Michelin star for creative cuisine in his Café París restaurant. They recently opened another, more distinguished, upmarket restaurant in the harbour. It comprises an intimate dining area with just six tables, a kitchen enclosed in a cube in full view of diners, a priceless terrace and an events room. Tasting menu – €110.
The more daring foodies should head for Kisco García Bar, a trove of world cuisine. One of their hits is pure Asian and Andalusian fusion – the Vietnamese nam de pringá (€4). They also give a nod to Russia with their vodka omelette, and to other parts of the world, as with their Peking Express bread. They also feature an array of thoroughly southern dishes, like the Ángel León-style shrimp omelette. A curiosity – the premises once housed Dani García’s gastrobar and, as a lot of the latter’s guests still came to order their excellent ox-tail hamburger, the dish has been incorporated into the menu of the bar opposite, belonging to the same owner as KGB – Wendy Gambas.
Málaga seems to have just everything. A good climate, excellent museums and endless culinary delights to wit. Come and live it out for yourself. Check out our flights here.
Text by Isabel Loscertales (Gastronomistas)
Photos by Isabel Loscertales, Montana, José Carlos García Restaurante
31 August, 2015