"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

Iberian Ham Malaga.

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

2016-2017. The Spanish city of Málaga really has it all. Sweeping squares, a large jungle park, beaches, gorgeous architecture and a vibrant art scene to name just a few highlights. Oh, and the food ain’t bad either! In fact, in this article I’ll be going through my favourite culinary spots with a guide on Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

Apartment balcony Malaga.

Home sweet home, Malaga.

During my year in Málaga I often took breakfast at home. After all, I had an amazing Nespresso machine and a lovely, leafy garden balcony from which I could slowly wake up each morning.

However, there were of course days when I felt I just needed to get out of the apartment. One favourite breakfast joint was Cafe Noviembre on Calle Alamos in the historical centre.

Cafe Noviembre.

Cafe Noviembre Where to Eat and drink Malaga.

Cafe Noviembre.

With a focus on fresh, healthy food, Cafe Noviembre has a diverse menu with plenty of mix and match deals. They also cater to vegetarians and vegans. Usually, I’d go for a latte and a pastry. From time to time, one of their simple but highly tasty fried eggs with bacon and toast.

Cafe Noviembre Malaga.

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

As with so many restaurants and cafes in Málaga, the service was…. meh. I was always polite, made sure to order in Spanish and, after a few months, became known to them as a regular customer.

Nevertheless, there was rarely a smile or an “hola!” thrown my way. Overall, I would say the waiters and waitresses were just a little too cool for school.

Where to eat and drink Malaga.

Cafe Noviembre’s famous toast.

One of the things that kept me coming back to Cafe Noviembre were their amazing toasts. Firstly, you get to choose your own bread type, in my case a thick, springy wedge of multigrain.

Next, plump for three of ten available toppings. The above shot shows a combination of feta, avocado and a creamy, sun-dried tomato paste. Mmmm.

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

Churros in Malaga.

Churros time!

When I really needed to satisfy my incurable sweet tooth, I’d seek out one of several churros spots. Oh lord how I loved a plate of churros, a fried, sugared dough twist that stands as Spain’s answer to the doughnut. Moreover, some Málaga cafes serve their churros with a sublime pot of chocolate or caramel sauce.

Cafe Madrid Where to Eat and drink Malaga.

Cafe Madrid.

One of my favourite churros joints was Cafe Madrid, where no-nonsense black and white waistcoated waiters move efficiently between the tables.

The cafe dates back to 1892, so this really is one of the most authentic churros restaurants in town. For a deeper look at Málaga’s many churros options, check out this guide by

Breakfast at Tiffany's Cafe Malaga

Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Regarding coffee, I was far from in love with the bland cafe con leche (coffee with milk) on offer in most places. As someone who likes his caffeine fixes to be a bit richer and sweeter, I was always on the lookout for a place that bucked the trend. One excellent choice is Breakfast at Tiffany’s, who do a fantastic Café Bombón.

Where to eat and drink in Malaga.

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

This half shot espresso with sweetened condensed milk comes topped with whipped cream. I loved it so much I was able to shrug off the shitty service and disappointing food.

With lovely views of the fortress, Breakfast At Tiffany’s became my Café Bombón spot. What’s more, I heard from several people that it’s one of the cheapest cocktail cafes in the historical centre. 3 Euro Mojitos anyone?

El Jardin Restaurant.

El Jardin Restaurant Malaga.

El Jardin Restaurant.

Staying with cool locations, how about El Jardin Restaurant, sat snugly next to the garden of Malaga Cathedral. Specialising in traditional Spanish food from Málaga and Córdoba, the restaurant opened its doors in 1887. I used to come here for pancakes, either sweet with lemon and sugar, or savoury with ham and cheese.

El Jardin Restaurant Where to Eat and drink Malaga

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

It’s also the perfect spot for an afternoon drink, under a parasol out of the sun. If you want to come for dinner, it’s advisable to make a reservation, as their nightly Flamenco and Tango shows are hugely popular. Furthermore, the waiters are a bunch of characters, with two of them photobombing my friends and I one afternoon.

Picasso Bar Tapas Malaga.

Tapas at Picasso Bar!

Naturally, a great deal of Malaga’s food and drink scene devotes itself to tapas. There are a million and one tapas bars across the city to suit all tastes and wallet sizes. One of my favourites is Picasso Bar on Plaza de la Merced, already reviewed on these pages.

If you’re short on time and want someone to take you to the best places, a number of companies do Malaga Tapas tours. One of the most popular is The Taste of Malaga.

Mercado Provencal Malaga.

R.I.P. Mercado Provenzal.

While putting this article together, I was sad to see that one of my most treasured Malaga drinking spots is no more. Mercado Provenzal on Calle Granada was home to the much celebrated 40 cent beer.

As a result, it was often impossible to get a seat at one of their streetside tables. Despite my research, I was unable to find out why they’d closed. Perhaps those 40 cent beers was an ill-conceived idea.

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

Cafeteria Granier Panaderia Malaga.

Granier Cafe & Bakery.

Pleasingly, Malaga is a great bakery town. Wherever you are, you’re most likely just around the corner from Granier, which has several cafes across town. From croissants, egg custard tarts, cookies, pretzels and cakes, to doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and freshly baked slices of pizza, these guys do it all.

My only complaint is that it was far too frantic to sit down and relax and definitely no place to blog. Therefore, I chiefly used Granier for a quick bite to go.

Julia's Bakery Malaga.

A sweet bite from Julia’s.

Julia’s Bakery on Calle Carreteria was another favourite takeaway spot. This is Malaga’s best store for sourdough, artisanal pastries and scones. They also do a mean Eggs Benedict.

The above shot shows off one of Julia’s more unique desserts. Shaped like a muffin, this fluffy, sweet bread creation has a caramel sauce in the middle and chocolate icing and buttons on top.

La Princesa Bakery Malaga Pasteleria La Princesa.

La Princesa Bakery.

And yet, Malaga’s Best Bakery Award probably goes to La Princesa on Calle Granada. Even their front window, lovingly tended to by a chatty local woman, is a work of art.

The bakery specialises in traditional Spanish pastries and desserts, including cakes, liquorice, pasties and cookies. They also have a fine range of wines and sherries. Expect to dig a little deeper into your pockets.

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

Taberna Los Barrigones Where To Eat and Drink Malaga

Taberna Los Barrigones.

For dinner, I was lucky enough to have a bunch of low key restaurants right across the road from my apartment. One of these was Taberna Los Barrigones, which translates roughly as The Pot-belied Tavern. I used to go crazy for their fried eggplant in honey sauce, a towering volcano of greasy goodness.

Fried eggplant in honey sauce Malaga

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

When I was particularly ravenous, I’d go for the below dish, which sadly I cannot recall the name of. It’s a sticky, flavourful delight from top to bottom, with egg, potato, carrot, shrimp, peppers, mushrooms and more.

What to Eat and drink Malaga.

Taberna Los Barrigones.

After a day at Malagutea Beach, I’d head over the road to Calle Reding for a meal at El Sacromonte Tapas. This is one of the beach district’s most cherished seafood restaurants, home to the famed 9 Euro lunch deal.

Where to Eat and drink Malaga Spain.

El Sacromonte Tapas.

My staple was Boquerones en Vinagre (anchovies in vinegar), served with salted crisps, olives and fresh bread. I always thought the food at El Sacromonte was great, though a scan of recent online reviews suggests standards have dramatically slipped.

El Sacromonte Tapas Malaga.

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

Finally, a special mention for my favourite Malaga restaurant, El Pimpi. This city institution opened in 1971 within the rundown walls of an 18th century mansion.

Its large, outdoor terrace is one of Malaga’s most idyllic al fresco spots, beautifully decorated with wall art, flowing bushes and iron lanterns.

El Pimpi.

El Pimpi Restaurant Malaga.

El Pimpi.

Lift your head up to one of the towering buildings that cocoons the square and you’ll see a rooftop penthouse belonging to the Malaga born movie star Antonio Banderas.

It’s every bit as beautiful inside too, with a sizeable jamón station, tiled antique wall advertisements and hundreds of wooden, beer and wine barrels. For private parties, there are several rooms decked out with mediaeval style banquet tables.

El Pimpi Malaga.

Inside El Pimpi.

Don’t miss El Pimpi’s Wall of Fame, which runs alongside the main bar. The restaurant has attracted a host of celebrities and politicians for decades, thus it’s fun to check out all the old photos.

Among the many names, look out for Rafael Nadal, Tony Blair, John Malkovich and Banderas himself, often with his ex wife Melanie Griffith.

El Pimpi Wall of Fame Malaga.

Where to Eat and Drink in Malaga.

Criminally, I failed to photograph any of the numerous dishes I enjoyed at El Pimpi. Nevertheless, I can wholeheartedly vouch for the Acorn fed Iberian Sirloin Steak, the braised pork cheeks in sweet wine and the seasoned fish balls. I really do Miss El Pimpi.

Braised pork cheeks El Pimpi.

Braised pork cheeks.

Photo courtesy of

 Like this? Why not check out more of my travel reports from Malaga.

To delve further afield, I’ve also written articles from across Andalusia and all over Spain.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

Leighton Travels logo travel reports and short stories.


  • pedmar10

    The best is chiringuitos on the beach in summer and the boquerones! cheers

    January 8, 2021 - 9:04 am Reply
    • Leighton

      I kinda miss boquerones. Thanks for reading!

      January 8, 2021 - 9:17 am Reply
      • pedmar10


        January 8, 2021 - 10:03 am
  • Memo

    I want to tag along the next time you go out scouting for food. Churros with chocolate, anchovies in vinegar, mojitos for breakfast. What more could I ask?

    January 8, 2021 - 6:59 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Let’s do it! Does Monday work?

      January 8, 2021 - 7:00 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    I just had dinner, and now you’re making me hungry again! Spanish food is severely-underrated, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my food adventures whenever I visit the country. Malaga especially looks like foodie heaven (especially that Café Bombón and braised pork cheeks, the latter my absolute favorite). I’d love to see more of your food adventures on your travels, should you do more of them in the future!

    January 9, 2021 - 5:17 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Ah thanks Rebecca, glad you also liked the Bombón. Yeah, I think I have a few more culinary roundups up my sleeve 😉

      January 9, 2021 - 8:21 am Reply
      • Rebecca

        Ah, I actually haven’t tried the Café Bombón before (only the pork cheeks). But the cafe looks lovely, so that’s why I’d love to give it a try!

        January 9, 2021 - 3:45 pm
  • Lyssy In The City

    They all look so amazing! If I had to choose, I would go to El Jardin Restaurant. Looks so beautiful and peaceful!

    January 10, 2021 - 4:28 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading Lyssy! Hope 2021 has gotten off to a good start for you guys.

      January 10, 2021 - 8:17 am Reply
  • Rosemary Nowlan

    Missing Spain a lot,great reading your recommendations. Have you tried the ruta de tapas along the coast in Torre del Mar or Velez Malaga ? Great showcase of original tapas and a drink for 1 – 2 euros each Spring.You can trail around the participating cafe bars and restaurants and vote for your favourite.

    January 10, 2021 - 10:54 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hi Rosemary, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Appreciate your recommendation, will definitely make a note of that. The voting aspect sounds fun!

      January 10, 2021 - 11:00 am Reply
  • 100 Country Trek

    A great place to enjoy a wonderful meal. It’s been a few years since we have been there. Thanks for bringing back memories.

    January 14, 2021 - 2:35 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for reading!

      January 14, 2021 - 8:14 am Reply

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