Restaurants in Mijas
In the Mijas area there are many, many restaurants to choose from and there's something to suit all pockets. These are just a few of our favourites.
One of the joys of eating out in this region is the sheer sociability of the Andalucians. Family and friends, often with children in tow, start early with tapas and continue eating until well after midnight. Some of the best restaurants have grown from ventas and tapas bars serving food based on fresh produce and home cooking; all give excellent value for money.
Recommending a personal favourite is always difficult as anywhere can have an 'off' night but even so here goes - I'll tell you about my favourite watering holes and eateries.
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For authentic Spanish cuisine with an emphasis on dishes from the Basque region of northern Spain. This is a wonderful place in the summer to sit outside on the terrace overlooking the Plaza de la Constitution in Mijas Village centre.
In the winter you move inside to a snug room with the smell of burning olive wood ... whatever time of the year you will enjoy one of my favourite restaurants. My choice on the menu is caracoles (snails in a stew) followed by leg of lamb (but only if you like garlic) and you must finish off with the house specialty Soufflé (order for 2 ... will satisfy 5!).
The views to the coast from the Restaurant La Alcazaba de Mijas are nothing short of spectacular, on a clear day you can see all the way to the Rif mountains in Africa.
The menu del dia (a 3 course menu of the day) is excellent value for money. It is available at lunch time and in the evening on request. There is also an extensive a-la-cart menu featuring turbot "La Alcazaba" and a fabulous Chateaubriand.
The Moorish decor and attentive service make for a memorable meal. Ask for a window or terrace table with a view.
It is only recently that Jill & I have started dining at this marvelous restaurant after friends took us for a 'thank you' night out a short while ago. I have walked past the entrance many, many times and must admit I have never given it a second glance ...... but oh boy what have we been missing!
All the food is freshly prepared and beautifully cooked ... they will even do a paella for one ...... and excellent it is too. They also have a great pil-pil and their fillet steak is one of the best I have ever tasted. The waiters are friendly and helpful.
The view from the terrace across the square is wonderful and in the winter the inside is snug and cosy. The El Capricho is one of the oldest Spanish owned restaurants in the village and is located in the center of Mijas.
I've only recently stumbled across this great 'Gastro Bar'. Situated opposite the El Caprichio we decided to have a quick drink while waiting for our take away pizzas.
I had the best gin & tonic that I've had ANYWHERE (there were over a dozen different varieties of gin to choose from) and my drink came served with juniper berries, cardamom and cinnamon. They also have a menu which I haven't tried yet but if the gin & tonic is anything to go by - it's got to be good!
Until recently I had only eaten pizza and pasta at the Aroma Cafe ... and very good it was too. Then a friend of mine asked if I had been in their 'Secret Garden' and tried their fabulous Argentine BBQ ... I hadn't a clue what he was on about!
I then went & had a look for myself and was amazed to find in the back of the restaurant a door leading to a tranquil oasis in the middle of Mijas Village. If you take a look on TripAdvisor the reviews are fantastic ... I can't wait to return & try Aroma Cafe out for myself.
Occupying the highest point in the center of Mijas Pueblo, you can see this famous restaurant perched on a cliff above the Plaza Virgen de la Pena from miles around.
El Padrastro restaurant has been serving its visitors for more than 30 years. It is one of the oldest & finest restaurants on the Costa del Sol and features dishes such as duck magret smoked in tea with flambé fruit on the menu.
A place for a special night out.
Located in Mijas Pueblo next to the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), excellent value and consistently good ... frequented by many locals.
In the summer I can recommend anything from the BBQ but in particular the pork chop which is very cheap. It can get pretty busy in July & August so be patient and chill with a glass of tinto verano!
Closed on Saturdays.
If you are a lover of wine then this is a 'must' place to visit, there is a fantastic selection of cavas, reds, roses and white wines from all the regions of Spain ... most of which you will never see in the supermarket.
Try their selection of gourmet tapas paired with wines and olive oil.
The Fiesta Restaurante Bar is situated on the way into Mijas village. It has recently had a major face lift and is very popular with the locals.
The meat is exceptional, especially the Entrecote & pork ribs that the owner Jose cooks on the BBQ on the pavement next to were you eat. They also serve the best home made flan con nata (creme caramel with cream) around.
If you want a great home made paella to share with family & friends back at your villa they will cook you one to order ... must book in advance.
Situated near the church of Santa Ana in the Barrio Santana in the older part of Mijas Pueblo.
Without doubt this is the best tapas bar in the village bar none, and excellent value ... it's where all the locals come ... so get practicing your Spanish!
Fantastic choice and all cooked fresh at the bar. If you feel like something a little more substantial full meals are served on the roof terrace in the summer months.
Some nights you just don't feel like going out and you certainly don't want to cook so the next best thing is a take-away ... and they don't get much better than a roast chicken stuffed with herbs and garlic from the 'chicken shop' run by Angel & Sandra ... don't forget to ask for some salsa. You can even order the chips too.
Once tried you will be back!
Located at the edge of Mijas village, a few doors down from the Fiesta Bar.
Double-park outside ... everyone else does!
Just recently opened in Calle Malaga in the center of Mijas Pueblo by Barb & Erv we now have our very own American pizza take away.
The pizza's are prepared and baked while you wait - the family size pizzas are massive!!
No guide could be complete without a mention of this very popular restaurant. It really comes into a different class and is for a special night out, a birthday or a last night perhaps before returning home.
Opened in 1984 by Raffaele Morelli and his brother Vittorio, The Valparaiso Restaurant has created a reputation for excellent food, memorable evenings and great entertainment. The restaurant is popular with visiting celebrities and local residents alike, photographs of such celebrities as David Beckham, Bruce Forsyth and Sean Connery and many more.
You will really feel you have had a night out. Most evenings have live music and in the summer months a Flamenco night on a Thursday.
One of my Top 5! A wonderful typical Spanish restaurant housed in an old rural farmhouse.
The sea food platter is supposed to be a main course but it is great as a starter shared by 2 or 3 ... yes, it's really is that big! You can select your fresh fish from the cabinets & choose how you would like it cooking ... whole baked sea bass in salt is fabulous. Whilst mainly a fish restaurant the meat is just as good ... I can highly recommend fillet steak & the leg of lamb. Try finishing off with an Irish Coffee ... just don't drive home!
Many many years ago Jill & I tried this restaurant and came away with the impression that "wow that was expensive!". Anyway during our winter months in Mijas we drive past the Casa Navarra almost every day and it was only fair that we should try it again now that we are a bit older and perhaps wiser ... and am I glad that we did!
It's still a bit on the expensive side (by Spanish standards) but the experience of dining here is wonderful ... antiques, wooden beams, open log fires in the winter and full of Spanish flavour. The menu is mainly meat and traditional Spanish dishes .... more of a place to perhaps try without the children.
The Da Bruno restaurant group began operating in Marbella in 1994 with the launch of Pasta Da Bruno, Da Bruno Mijas is their latest addition.
Specialising in pasta and all Italian, Da Bruno is a welcome addition to the Mijas restaurant scene. Starters include Mussels a la Marinera & Vitello Tonnato ranging to home made fresh pasta, chateaubriand and all the usual wood fired Pizzas.
Take Away also available.
Located in a beautiful cobbled courtyard just on the outskirts of Fuengirola, this picture postcard setting is actually depicted on many posters and brochures used by the Spanish Tourist Board.
The restaurant is only small but the welcome is huge! The menu is a little limited with a slight Scandinavian bias, but the food is superb and very reasonably priced.
Front line in Fuengirola marina makes this a lovely setting ... the Ku Damm is also perfect for a lunch time snack whilst in town.
Great menu of the day for about 12€ Euros. Or if you want to eat of the a la carte menu the spit with 3 meats is usually my choice (approx. 14€ Euros). They have an easy to listen to country style singer 2 or 3 nights a week.
Credit cards not accepted
If its steak you are after then this is the place! ... Argentine beef at it's best. A good choice of starters including Argentinean meat pies ... still have to find out what they are!
The fillet of beef is fabulous and comes in 2 sizes ... only order the 'grande' if you are really hungry or just plain greedy. Only have the peppered steak if you really like pepper ... they push lots of black pepper corns into the meat.
This place buzzes with locals so a reservation is a 'must'. Located in the center of Fuengirola in Calle Martinez Catena, opposite the bowling alley.
[Tara Fishwick writes] As the only vegetarian in the family I've had some difficulty convincing everyone else to go au veggie for a night out but wow have we been missing out on something.
Situated in the Los Boliches area of Fuengirola this Vegetarian Restaurant is a real gem. Extremely reasonably priced (most mains around €10 and a buffet lunch), friendly staff who are happy to help and explain the dishes (which include vegan and lactose free), and most importantly great food.
This isn't a vegetarian restaurant of the purely lentil, brown rice and bland variety but is far more exciting and innovative than that. I highly recommend the freshly squeezed juices, it may even tempt you away from the wine and sangria! One of my favourite restaurants in this area, I'd recommend to everyone including a carnivore on a day off.
A terrific bar/restaurant located in Avenida de Mijas, Fuengirola (just round the corner from the Euromarket) ... my favourite bar in town ... great bocodillos (sandwiches ... but much much better!), try a Serranito or Jamon Pata (york ham on the bone) with a coffee and maybe a brandy too!
The restaurant opens just for lunch and is packed every day with local workmen & business people ... the leg of lamb is fantastico and not to be missed ... the house Rioja is pretty decent too!
Located near the entrance to Mijas golf course. If I had to pick one place that I love eating at more than any other, this is it. It is not smart or stylish but noisy and bustling and to top it all the food is fantastic.
I first came here in the early 80's when it wasn't much more than a shack... some say it still is! It really has changed quite a bit since then and now caters for tourists but is still very popular with the locals. Jeans and casual cloths are very much the order of the day.
On the menu my choice to start is usually either an excellent gambas pil-pil (prawns in a very, very hot garlic and chili oil) or boquerones frittos (whitebait to you and me), followed by something from the BBQ ... the pork ribs are to die for! Jill enjoys the lenguado la plancha (grilled sole) but if you don't like garlic ask for it sin ajo.
Another favourite of Jill's is the Hake Basque Style - a bit like a bouillabaisse with a hard boiled egg and asparagus thrown in (and very filling!). Round your meal off with a coffee - try a "grande" or a "cafe solo" if you prefer black. Either way it comes in a copa (glass). By the way, the "vin de la casa" house red is quite rough. Go for the one up on the menu, the especial, which costs only a 1 € Euro or so is infinitely better.
A very special place to be spoilt ... I have taken Jill here several times on her birthday. The chefs, waiters, waitresses, sommeliers are all 'in school', but don't let this put you off ... they are under the very careful eye of the maître d!
The atmosphere is friendly & the food exceptional.
A booking is a 'must', open only for lunch (closed July & August).
The Faro Playa Restaurant is located right on the beach at El Faro.
Their Paella, a house speciality, is one of the best around and reasonably priced too. The house wine is 'Don Darios', a very pleasant red.
Besides restaurant meals they also have a good lunch time selection of snacks.
One of the most established and popular restaurants along the Costa del Sol is the Restaurante Mijas Playa which is situated on the beach front at La Cala de Mijas. With their fabulous new sea front cocktail bar and chill-out terrace, this is a stunning location.
Beautiful surroundings, excellent food and superb service make the Mijas Playa a first class restaurant for a special night out. The menu is extensive with many regional specialities and a wine list to satisfy all pockets. I probably prefer this restaurant to Valpariso but it's a close thing. Prepare to be spoilt!
Alberts in the port overlooks the boats in the beautiful harbour of Puerto Cabopino, the location could not be more perfect.
Excellent food with great value for money & friendly service. Choose from starters including king prawns pil pil or seared scallops followed by a rack of lamb or a pizza from their Italian corner.
Open every day for breakfast, lunch & dinner.
Jill & I recently discovered this fabulous beach front restaurant ... we were really looking for a quieter, secluded beach when we stumbled upon The Beach House. We spent a very pleasant morning on the beach ... very civilised, waiter service to your sunbed & if you want a massage, you can have that too!
The restaurant fills quickly for lunch so make a reservation beforehand if possible. I had one of the best Caesar salads with shrimp I have ever had followed by whole dorada steamed in banana leaves which was also cooked just perfectly. Jill wasn't disappointed either with her home smoked duck breast followed by a prime beef homemade beefburger ... the way it should be! Live music added to the relaxed & friendly ambiance.
After a bottle of wine there was only one thing to do ... sleep it off back on my sunbed in the shade!
If you find yourself in Marbella and want somewhere good to eat, either for lunch or dinner, you must try this restaurant. It is located right in the Marina, the main Club Nautico. The view from the balcony across the boats is fantastic ..... and there's a menu to match!
When you walk in the entrance it all looks a bit 'stuffy' and expensive .... it isn't. Take a table on the terrace, order a beer and select some tapas from the list. PS: the gazpacho and calamares are the 'best'!
Our inland selection
Venta Los Morenos, not to be confused with Venta Morena, is located inland at the roundabout on the Mijas to Coin road. I haven't been there for a while since it was 'discovered' by the Sunday Times!
It's very noisy, very Spanish and very cheap.....if you want serving wave your arms and hope for the best!
More a place for a long Sunday lunch than an evening meal. Great fun.
Jill and I have recently revisited and I'm pleased to say it's just the same!
Run by South Africans and specializing in South African dishes - braai's, potjie's, spit roasts and great home made burgers cooked on the BBQ. Boma is more a bar that does food with a daily specials board.
Relaxing terrace with elevated views across the countryside.
Located opposite Venta Los Morenos.
Restaurant Santiago - The large wooden front door is always closed ... knock to be let in! In the winter months dine in their inviting dining room & in the summer months in the garden ... they provide cosy blankets should you feel a little chilly.
Santiago's is a superb international restaurant with an exciting and innovative menu, I'll guarantee you won't be disappointed!
Set in sumptuous Moroccan surroundings Santiagos has a warm feel about it, great atmosphere and friendly staff. Reservations are a must.
Located in Alhaurin el Grande ... as you enter the town from Fuengirola/Mijas you will come to a junction with a Tobacconist on the corner (there is also a sign directing you to Santiago's). Go straight on at this junction, Santiago's is approx. 300 metres on your left.
A lovely Venta / Restaurant located close to the town of Alhaurin El Grande with great food - the mussels in a saffron sauce are historic (I'm beginning to sound like Michael Winner!).
The house specialty is Avila chops, fresh fish & seafood which you can view in the cabinet behind the bar. The staff are very welcoming, a popular restaurant with the locals and can get very busy on a Sunday afternoon. Highly recommended.
For fans of the "Menu del Dia" ...
A great little Venta by the side of the MA404 near Alhaurin el Grande.
When in the area Jill & I pop in often for a quick tapa or menu of the day. Frequented by lots of locals & foreign residents .... nothing fancy but good inexpensive food and friendly service!
A lovely country restaurant that also has stables ... if you're lucky you might see an Andalucian horse being put through it's paces!
A good selection of tapas at the bar & an extensive menu in the restaurant ... Juan is always there to make a recommendation. I rather liked the peppers stuffed with cod & the "Campillo" was as good as ever!
Finca la Mota was originally a farmhouse built over 350 years ago. It is now a rustic Andalusian Inn full of charm and character both of which has been carefully maintained during its recent renovation.
The restaurant and bar is situated in the picturesque garden and offers you a place to relax and dine in the delightful atmosphere of the Andalusian countryside.
A great wine bar with biggest selection of tapas you will find anywhere. The choice is just mind boggling ... everything from simple patats bravas to sushi.
Bit quiet during the day but in the evening the place just buzzes!
A very well know fish restaurant run by a father & son which is located on the main street in Alhaurin el Grande, close the the stone cross. Friendly service and a good 'menu del dia'.
Casa Paco's always has a good selection of fresh sea-food as well as meat. You can either dine in the cosy restaurant or al fresco in the street! Great reviews on TripAdvisor & rated 2nd best restaurant in Alhaurin ... try it and you will see why!
One of my favourite places in Alhaurin - always full with locals. At lunch time I usually have just a few tapas and a beer whilst sat at the bar.
But in the evening I usually choose the restaurant ... they have a fantastic choice including, surprisingly, Kobe beef ... mind you it's pretty expensive!
Loads of atmosphere and charm.
This majestic 15th century Moorish castle is situated above the white village of Monda, just a 10 minute drive from Coin and approximately 30 minutes from Mijas ... the drive though is well worth the effort! Jill & I have been told many times that we must try the restaurant here but never seemed to get round to it ... until now ... and have we been missing out!
The food is absolutely superb, and beautifully presented ... not cheap but if you would like a special night or Sunday lunch then Castillo de Monda is a 'must'.
I just love this place, so much so that Jill & I spent New Year here last year & we have booked again for the following New Year's Eve. It's not fancy but very traditional Spanish ... you can either have a long leisurely lunch in the dining room or opt for a snack on the terrace. The choice of wines is staggering ... over 70,000 bottles are laid down in the bodega!
El Refugio de Juanar was built on the foundations of the old Juanar Palace, property of the Marquees de Larios, at the beginning of the century, as a hunting lodge where on one occasion King Alfonso XIII was invited to hunt. Many illustrious visitors have visited el Refugio de Juanar, amongst these was the General Charles de Gaulle who stayed in room 3 where he finished writing his memoirs in 1970.