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10 incredible dishes you need to try in Malaga, Spain

10 incredible dishes you need to try in Malaga, Spain

by Yulian Rohmy
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Table of contents

  • 1. Ajoblanco — delicious cold almond soup
  • 2. Albóndigas — mouthwatering small meatballs
  • 3. Porra Antequerana — fresh and nutritious soup
  • 4. Fritura Malagueña — an outstanding mix of fried fish
  • 5. Gazpachuelo Malagueño — the legendary soup of Malaga
  • 6. Berenjenas con Miel — eggplants with molasses
  • 7. Ensalada Malagueña — refreshing Malaga-style salad
  • 8. Gambas al Pil-Pil — spicy garlic prawns
  • 9. Espetos — the freshest sardine skewers
  • 10. Divine seafood paella
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Malaga, Spain, is the capital of the Province of Malaga that is a part of Andalusia. It's is one of the oldest cities all over the world, the port was established by Phoenicians around 770 BC. The colony was called Malaka which means "a factory" or ''salt''. It was a waypoint on trade routes between the Strait of Gibraltar and Phoenicia. Nowadays, this city is one of the busiest Mediterranean ports.

Being a gateway to the Costa del Sol, Malaga is worldwide famous for its sandy beaches, leisure activities, and historical monuments related to Phoenician, Roman, Arabic, and Christian eras. It's the hometown of Pablo Picasso and it is regarded as the city of museums. There are 320 days of sunlight a year. It's a must to visit Malaga, enjoy its beautiful coastline and degust traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Check out this guide and find out the best restaurants where you can try authentic Spanish dishes in Malaga. 

1. Ajoblanco — delicious cold almond soup
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Eboka Restaurante
C. Pedro de Toledo, 4, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Closed
Ajoblanco
Ajoblanco

Ajoblanco is a cold soup that contains four main ingredients: water, oil, garlic and bread, and sometimes vinegar or almonds. It is usually served with grapes or slices of melon. The annual Akhoblanko Festival is held on September, 2 in the city of Almachar, Malaga.

This light cold soup is very popular in Southern Spain. Ajoblanco is also known as white gazpacho, to be more precise, it is considered the precursor of gazpacho and it originated during the Moorish middle ages. It is a great starter on a hot summer day. There's even a special festival held on the second of September to honor this dish. Ajoblanco is made with garlic, blanched almonds, and stale bread moistened with water and vinegar. Visit the Eboka restaurant to enjoy its flavourful ajoblanco.    

2. Albóndigas — mouthwatering small meatballs
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La Cosmopolita Malagueña Dani Carnero Restaurant in Malaga
#30 of 4555 restaurants in Málaga, Spain
C. José Denis Belgrano, 3, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Closed until 1:30PM
Meatballs
Meatballs

It's delicious and satisfying meat cutlets, where the main secret of their preparation is well-ground minced meat. The shape, size, products used and the method of heat treatment can be different. For example, they are prepared from different types of meat, all sorts of vegetables, cereals, with herbs, spices, etc. Some housewives cook them deep-fried, others fry in a pan, some stew, and some bake in the oven, on the grill or in coals.

These small meatballs have the size of hazelnuts. It's an iconic Spanish dish, one-bite nibble in a tomato sauce that you can find in all tapas bars. Albóndigas are usually made with grounded pork and beef, parsley, garlic, paprika, fresh white bread crumbs, and a number of spices. It's worth visiting the La Cosmopolita restaurant and trying this juicy appetizer.

 3. Porra Antequerana — fresh and nutritious soup
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Mesón Mariano
#285 of 4555 restaurants in Málaga, Spain
C. Granados, 2, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Closed until 1PM
Porra antequerana
Porra antequerana

This cold soup originated in Andalusia, Southern Spain. It's cooked with dried bread, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. Porra Antequerana is traditionally eaten with ham and hard-boiled eggs. It's very thick and tasty.

It's a very delicious hearty soup, Malaga's specialty that can also be served as tapas. The main ingredients are tomatoes and bread, there's no water, that's why it is much thicker than classic gazpacho. The name of the dish consists of a porra (a mortar — this tool was used to puree all the ingredients) and the Antequera city where this soup was originally introduced. Porra Antequerana is usually served with tuna, ham, and hard-boiled eggs. Have a nice portion of this soup at the Mesón Mariano restaurant.

4. Fritura Malagueña — an outstanding mix of fried fish
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Los Mellizos Málaga
#29 of 1193 seafood restaurants in Málaga, Spain
C. Sancha de Lara, 7, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Closed until 1PM
Fried fish
Fried fish

Fried fish gets a tender golden crust and has juicy flesh inside. To prepare this dish, one can use sea bass, flounder, cod, haddock, pollock, tautog, and other types of fish.

This dish consists of different species of fish that the fishermen caught today. Fritura malagueña usually includes fried anchovies, sardines, squid, cuttlefish, red mullet, monkfish, mackerel, and small hake. Fresh flour and extra virgin olive oil are used to cook this dish. It's so tasty and light! Los Mellizos provides one of the best fritura malagueña ever.  

5. Gazpachuelo Malagueño — the legendary soup of Malaga 

It's a very curious dish of Malaga that originally was a meal of poor fishermen. It is a hot soup made with white fish, shrimps, clams, potatoes, and egg yolks. It is thickened with bread and eggs. So simple and very delicious. Gazpachuelo Malagueño is commonly consumed in winter.   

 6. Berenjenas con Miel — eggplants with molasses
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Restaurante Venta El Túnel
#1290 of 4555 restaurants in Málaga, Spain
Carretera, MA-3101, km 2, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain, 29014
Closed until 10:30AM
Fried eggplants
Fried eggplants

It's very tricky to fry thinly sliced eggplants. To make them crunchy and juicy, take starch and flour in equal proportions, and crumble the slices very tightly. Fried eggplants are usually served with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and olive oil as an appetizer.

It's a very common Andalusian tapas made with fried eggplants that are thinly sliced, seasoned, coated in flour, and fried until golden. Aubergines are arranged in one layer on a big plate and topped with miel de caña (also known as molasses or sugar cane honey). It is an outstanding vegetarian option! You can try berenjenas con miel at the Venta El Tunel restaurant.    

7. Ensalada Malagueña — refreshing Malaga-style salad

This dish is an explosion of flavor as it is a perfect mix of surprising ingredients. Ensalada Malagueña is cooked with cod (it's put into cold water for about 24 hours to lose its high content of salt), boiled potatoes, oranges, olives, eggs, onions, and extra virgin olive oil. This salad is delicious and contains a number of nutrients, such as proteins, vitamin C, calcium, carbohydrates, etc.  

 8. Gambas al Pil-Pil — spicy garlic prawns
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Restaurante Hermanos Alba Málaga
#13 of 4555 restaurants in Málaga, Spain
Av. Salvador Allende, 15, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Closed until 11:30AM
Prawns
Prawns

Prawns are delicious, whether stir fried, tossed through pasta, cooked in spicy curry, or placed in salads. Prawns can be served on their own, as a side dish, an appetizer or a snack.

It's a famous dish of Malaga, this tapas is traditionally cooked in clay pots. The name of the meal is derived from the subtle sound that olive oil makes when it's hot. The recipe of gambas al Pil-Pil was created 200 years ago. The dish is made with peeled prawns, garlic, and dried chili peppers. It's always served in the pot with piping extra virgin olive oil. Restaurante Hermanos Alba offers its guests exceptional prawns and other seafood dishes. 

9.  Espetos — the freshest sardine skewers
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Miguelito El Cariñoso Restaurante
#121 of 4555 restaurants in Málaga, Spain
P.º Marítimo el Pedregal, 77, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Closed until 1:15PM

Espetos are six freshly-caught sardines (calamari and shellfish can also be used) that are speared on long flat sticks and barbecued over a hot fire. The name is derived from the Spanish verb "espetar" which means "to skewer". Sardines become so smoky, tender, and golden. Espetos are so common in Malaga that there's even a statue depicting a man who uses the espeto. Visit Miguelito El Cariñoso for the greatest espetos.

10. Divine seafood paella
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La Proa de Teatinos
#68 of 4555 restaurants in Málaga, Spain
C. Andrómeda, 11, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Closed until 1PM
Seafood paella
Seafood paella

Seafood paella is a variation of the classic Spanish rice dish where chicken is replaced with fish, shrimp, squid, mussels and clams. It is most popular on the beaches of Valencia and Barcelona.

Paella is the most authentic Spanish rice dish, it was originally introduced in Valencia, however, it's also very popular in other parts of Spain. Malaga isn't an exception and the local paella differs from the classic paella as it is cooked with squid, mussels, shrimps, and other seafood. Enjoy gorgeous seafood paella at the La Proa de Teatinos restaurant.

Have a great time in Malaga and enjoy its iconic dishes!

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