3. Gastronomical guide Best tapas places, Chirinquitos and Restaurants in Almuñecar. About tapas and restaurants. If we wanted to treat this topic in detail then we should write a long book. Therefore we only want to high light the very best, and then you can find the rest by yourself. We have chosen the 5 best tapas restaurants. Our focus will be on tapas that characterise the Andalusian culture and life. But before we continue with the tapas, we want to mention that all the restaurant/bars that serves tapas also normally has a menu card, if you do not want tapas. The word “tapas” normally has a long history and description but here you will get a fast and short introduction. In the old days a bartender got the idea to protect the wine glasses (with served wine) with a piece of bread so that insects could not get into the glass. Later on the bartender decided to put a piece of ham on top of the breads, and suddenly it got a habit and tradition that whenever you drink wine you also automatically will get something to eat – with any extra cost. In Andalucia (and note especially in Almuñecar) the concept has developed in many positive directions, and now everytime you order something to drink then you also get something to eat. Most of our guests fastly get used to this nice tradition. Enjoy it.
TAPAS RESTAURANTS: (The references T.X. is marked on the city map.)
Reference T.1A. “Antonia Andaluzi” is placed on Paseo de Cotobro – not so far away from the tall building “Chinasol” and close to the other tapas place T.1.B. “ La China” – described below. When we started out the writing of this guide it was imposible to determine if Antonia is better than la China, so therefore we decided to give both tapas bars the reference T.1. But finally if we were forced to select then we would choose Antonia Andaluzi. Antonia is originally from Bulgaria but this you will not realise because both food and wine is Spanish. She serves excellent tapas starting with small burgers, fresh fish dishes, Chili con Carne, Meat balls in tomato sauce. Only the fantasy is the limit of the tapas in Antonias. If you mention that you are the guests of “Ana from Cuba and Brian from Denmark” then you will probably get some extra attention.
Reference T.1.B. “La China” – is also not so far from the building/hotel “Chinasol” but you have to walk towards the Cotobro beach. On your way you also pass by another tapas place “Rinconcillo JR” placed just below our apartments A.2, A.3.and A.4. La China was always among our very favourite tapas bars but in January 2017, la China was transferred to a Belgian couple, so now we cannot guarantee that they are running the business like before…. It is up to you decide if you want to give it a try. The description below was made before the Belgians took over: The owner was called Joaquin and he is still helping the Belgians and the son is called David. They are great persons and La China is really worth a try. We recommend you only order something to drink because the tapas is enormous, and after 2-3 tapas you will be full. Here you can try many Spanish tapas such as Paella, Tortilla de Patatas, Shrimps in Garlic called “Gambas pil pil” etc. Here you will get a fast introduction to the Spanish kitchen. Do not drive. If you are not satisfied with the service in la China then you close by have Rinconcillo JR and T.1.A. Antonia Andaluzi.
Reference T.3. “Los Pajaritos”. This tapas bar is something special even if you have tried some Antonia Andaluzi and La China. Los Pajaritos is a tapas bar and therefore not a restaurant – eating place. Here you only get tapas. Before you will get to try “Los Pajaritos” then you have to be prepared because the open when they want – after 8 years in Almuñecar I still do not know their time schedule. But when they open then you will be experiencing a great part of Spanish culture – you really encounter the local part of Almuñecar. Our best advice is to order a beer or glass of when, be relaxed and then just enjoy what is around you. The bill is normally VERY reasonable. “Los Pajaritos” has been awarded as the best tapas in all Andalucia by the Danish newspaper “Politiken” – even though it is no. 3 on our list.
Reference T.4. “La taberna la Cabaña” – in how many places in the world you will get free food and then they even give you a menu, so you can select the free food yourself. The answer is La Cabaña in Almuñecar as far as we know it is the only tapas bar in Almuñecar where you get a menú and you freely can choose your own tapas – with no extra cost. You only pay for what you drink. And furthermore the tapas are big and rich dishes. The also have offers on 5 special beers for EUR 11 (2017 price) – and yes with 5 free tapas of your selection. “La Cabaña” is placed just besides the parquet Majuelos and marked T.4. on our city map.
Reference T.5. Almuñecars tapas street is called“Calle Manila” the streets starts from the beach front – just after the popular bar “Lute y Jesus” – who by the way are 2 of the most successful within restaturants in Almuñecar. Lute and Jesus owns 5 places in Almuñecar. In the other end of the tapas street you will find “El Amiguito” where our guests always have been treated well. But we have to understress that in between this bars mentioned above there are MANY other bars, so if one if full you simply just try another one. Our guests Tove and Flemming highly recommend “La Tralle”, Calle Manila 10 – excellent tapas, service and wines.
RESTAURANTS (ordinary): (The references R.X. is marked on the city map.) Minimum 3-4 of the restaurants below, a standard tourist will never find. Therefore we recommend them – as an additional experience to your holiday in Almuñecar. R1 and R2 are the most Spanish ones whereas R3-R5 are more luxury restaurant.
Reference R.1. “El Mirador de Cotobro” is placed above Almuñecar, so you need or your own car or a taxi. But the view from this restaurant and the food is worth the drive. The serve good food in large sizes for fair prices. Typical Spanish place. We recommend Pacos taxi: 0034 617 792 408 or Sonias Taxi 0034 649 121 831. or if you are a bigger group then we recommend Octavio (super service) 0034 607 545 521
Reference R.2. “Miguel y Mari”. This bar is hidden away but in the centre of Almuñecar, on the 2nd floor. It is normally not a place that the typical tourist will find. Mary and Miguel is running the restaurant with their children, and there is a very good atmosphere. Food is Spanish and in good quality and again prices are in the very fair end. Furthermore, Miguel serves probably the best Red Wine from Ribera del Duero in Almuñecar. It is not the luxury restaurant but probably the most Spanish we can recommend. The restaurant is a short walk from the tapas street “Manila”
Reference R.3. “Don Olivo” (close to T.1.A on the city map) – not very far away from the tapas bar Antonia Andaluzi – you have an excellent restaurant called “Don Olivo”. Here you find food in the high end but still for reasonable prices.
Reference R.4. “El Chaleco” – Michelin stars speak their own language. According to our information “El Chaleco is the one restaurant in Almuñecar with Michelin star. It is recommended because of its superior food. It is not placed close to the beach neither in the centre but just after Joerns “Rent a bike” shop “Costa Tropical Cycling” on street Costa del Sol – marked D.1. on our map. Just on the other side of El Chaleco you have another restaurant that several of our guests have recommended “El Arbol Blanco” – this restaurant is placed in connection with the building complex “Costa Banana”
Reference R.5. “Los Geraneos” . Right in old town Almuñecar. This restaurant has probably one of the most beautiful facades of a house in Almuñecar. But furthermore they have great foods. We suggest you just share one of their salads for a starter. Or try the great soups “Crema de Calabaza”, garlic or onion soup. For main meal try their “Solomillo” does not really matter if it is beef or pork – this is the best meat you will get. If you want a cheaper main menu then go for an Entrecote or a Hamburger. Desserts are also great if you still have room for this.
RESTAURANTS/BARS (on the beach) – “Chirinquitos”: Official translation of the Spanish word “Chirinquito” is: A chiringuito (also known by other nicknamesin Spanish; in Catalancalled a guingueta, or, by influence of Spanish, a xiringuito) is a small enterprise, usually a bar, selling mainly drinksand tapas, sometimes mealsin a more or less provisional building, often on a beachor loose surfacewhere a more permanent structure may be inviable. But lets just leave the official translation and then call it a great place to eat if you want to spend the day at the beach OR if you want to have a evening meal right on the beach.
Reference C.1. “Piliki” – if you want to try this beach bar then we will give you the same advices as by the tapas bar “Los Pajaritos” (T.3.) – be prepared for a cultural choque, be patient and start with ordering some drinks. The menu card of this bar is quite simple – their specialities are barbecued shrimps and sardinas. Fresh, good quality, abundant but cheap. There is no doubt that in this family the women “also” rules. Piliki is only open in Medium and High season.
Reference C.2. “BOTOS”. If you want a real good lunch or dinner then Botos must be tried. Prices are higher than in other restaurants because their quality of fish and shellfish is absolutely excellent. Restaurant was recently renovated. You are right on the beach. Try the Paella if you like this Andalusian dish.
Reference C.3. On the beach “el Tesorillo” you have 2 good Chirinquitos. And when you are there then it is worth having a lunch or dinner. The beach is further out than the Velilla beach so either you must drive by car, take the local bus or use a taxi.