Spain’s coastal towns are among the prettiest and most enticing in the world, and that’s something that can definitely be said for those along the Costa del Sol. It’s fun, inviting and easy to get to, which makes it consistently popular, and always high on our agenda too.
One of the best feelings in the world is a good meal with good company over whispering sea waves, cool beach breezes and with the sun shining down on your table. Beachside dining is always a treat in Costa del Sol, but which venues really give the best combination of flavour, value and aesthetics?
Take a look at our 10 favourites, and you’ll definitely not go away hungry.
1. Panorama Bistro Bar in Benalmadena
With a name like that, it’s pretty clear you’re going to get a stellar view, and Panorama definitely delivers. The open plan dining area extends out to a sweeping vista of the sea, where dolphins frolic and sailboats skim the waves, while the sounds of families enjoying the beach below lilt up to mix with the stylish music and happy chatter of the restaurant. A good mix of British, Spanish and Italian dishes makes up the menu, while the wine list is sure to satisfy too.
2. Gutierrez Playa in Malaga
You owe it to yourself to try some true blue Spanish home cooking, and Gutierrez Playa delivers that and more. Its namesake family have run this chringuito (traditionally Spanish beach café) for over a decade, and the smoked seafood on offer here is hard to resist. Paella and other traditional treats give some variety to the menu, but the location of Gutierrez Playa is perfect for views of the Med over a meal.
3. La Marmita in Fuengirola
When you’re ready for meals that are a little more upmarket, make sure your visit to Fuengirola also factors in a stop at La Marmita. European, Mediterranean and British dishes mingle on the menu, while the presentation and modern rustic aesthetics are definitely top notch. That’s before you get to the sea views, which perfectly complement a meal here and give this place a proud spot on our list.
4. Lime & Lemon in Benalmadena
Gourmet burgers by the beach. Who could say no? You traditionalists don’t need to worry either, because there are patatas bravas, tapas, paella and seafood aplenty to choose from here. While you’re enjoying your meal though, make sure you ask the friendly owners about their cocktail recommendations, because they mix some of the most sensational drinks on the whole Costa del Sol here.
5. The Lounge at Pinoccios in Benalmadena
Once you’ve got Lime & Lemon under your belt, why not head up the coast for another treat? At The Lounge at Pinoccio’s, tapas and light bites are accompanied by great music and a stunning open view of the beach. Sitting here by sunset is a true delight, which definitely comes recommended, as does the cheesecake.
6. The Waterfront Bar & Grill in Fuengirola
We’re back to Fuengirola for this one, if only for how honest and down to earth everything is here. Family owned and run, The Waterfront gives a great menu that encompasses sirloin steaks, cheesecakes, fish dishes and succulent puddings, and as the name suggests, the beautiful blue sea is just a stone’s throw away. Gaze wistfully at the yachts in the marina as you savour the flavours brought to your table.
7. Le CocoRico in Marbella
Mojitos by sunset are hard to improve on, unless that sunset is reflecting hot orange flickers of light over a sapphire sea, of course. Le CocoRico isn’t the biggest restaurant in Marbella, but it’s definitely one where you can expect to taste some of the finest seafood in town in a pristine environment, with staff who are always on hand with smiles and recommendations.
8. Bakus in Nerja
The views of the bay of Nerja that can be found at Bakus are nothing short of stunning, and luckily the food is top notch too. The menu offers Spanish, European and fusion cuisine, which means there’s everything from lamb shanks to gazpacho to enjoy. Sip wine on the pavilion and let your cares wash away.
9. Palm 5 Beach Bar in Benalmadena
Pizza, pool tables, happy hour cocktails and great sea views. There’s a lot to love about Palm 5 Beach Bar, so a visit morning, noon or night is sure to leave you with a happy tummy and a feeling of easy-going leisure. It’s a people-watcher’s paradise, assuming you can take your eyes off the stunning shoreline.
10. El Gato Lounge in Torremolinos
Our top 10 tour ends in Torremolinos at El Gato Lounge. ‘El Gato’ means ‘The Cat’, and the cocktails menu definitely gets visitors purring, to say nothing of the tapas and meals, each of which boast home-cooked flair. A pristine ocean view rounds off the experience fantastically, which means it’d be remiss of us to not include this sensational spot on our list.
Have you any other favourite beachfront places to dine on the Costa del Sol? Do you think we’ve missed out on a hidden gem? Get in touch with your recommendations.