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Malaga: In search of the best “espetos”

Malaga has earned a spot on gastronomic tourist routes, and rightly so. We already talked about this in the post “Foodie Essentials in Malaga”. If you want to enjoy all kinds of experiences (sun and sand, culture, good food...), Malaga is a must.

If there is one speciality in Malaga that we have to mention, it’s espetos. These fish skewers are grilled on the barbecues of beach bars and will delight those who love fish and shellfish. And they are more than just food – they represent a relaxed lifestyle, just chilling and having a good time by the sea. That is why we went in search of the best places to enjoy espetos in the capital of the Costa del Sol. Hop on a plane with Vueling... and enjoy!

El Balneario

We’re off to a good start. This restaurant is on the promenade in Malaga and is nothing like the informal “chiringuitos” (beach bars). It’s an old spa turned into a restaurant where you can sit at a table and enjoy delicious seafood. Slow-grilled espetos are ready to welcome visitors when they arrive. But be warned: one of the restaurant’s specialities is HUGE squid (which can weight up to 2 kg!), so make sure you order the right portion or you may end up with too much! As well as being a treat for your palate, El Balneario also offers a stunning view as it is built on some rocks, so we can enjoy our food surrounded by the immense blue sea.

El Tintero

This is one of the most popular beach bars in the city, which is waiting for us with open arms and top-notch espetos next to the sea. This feisty and charismatic bar is a must if you come to Malaga and want to enjoy a show like no other, because the dishes are auctioned! The waiters shout out and customers have to stay alert if they want to nab a delicious treat. Espetos are their speciality... washed down with beer! To El Tintero we say... ¡olé!


This bar is a proper “chiringuito”, complete with plastic tables and chairs on the sand. It’s a place not to be missed at La Malagueta Beach, and you have to follow the tradition: ice-cold beer + grilled fish. They offer a wide range of espetos and the most famous one is octopus (there is also sardines, squid and other catches of the day). But the best part is when the friendly “espetero” (the person who cooks the fish), Carlos Cañete, treats us to a song. We are absolute fans!

El Cachalote

Just like the rest of beach bars, barbecues are the main feature, and we can savour juicy espetos, but also squid, gilthead bream and horse mackerel. You can also order fried fish, paella, salad and snacks, which you can enjoy as you gaze at the sea and feel the sea breeze on your face. El Cachalote is so popular that it’s often visited by celebrities when they come to Malaga.

El Zagal

In Malaga, espetos are not to be trifled with. Did you know that the sardine espeto is hoping to be awarded the Intangible Cultural Heritage status? So, if the locals all flock to the bars to enjoy this speciality, surely it is an institution. That’s what happens in El Zagal, a traditional beach bar that hasn’t changed over time. Situated in the district of El Palo, it’s known for its salted prawn espetos and sardine espetos.

We’re sure your mouth is watering already! Go to Vueling’s website and book your ticket to Malaga and the Costa del Sol now!

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