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Gastronomy on the Costa del Sol

Gastronomy on the Costa del Sol

Spain is flying high in the culinary stakes at the moment, with seven Spanish restaurants making it into the coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants List. Three of those seven made it into the top 10, which is an amazing feat. However, it’s not really a surprise, given the rich food culture in Spain, the excellent quality local produce and passion for eating out which runs through the whole society.

Andalucia has a fabulous food heritage. It is famous for its fish dishes, hams and produces wonderful wines and sherries. The locally grown fruit and vegetables and the fresh fish available on its coastline means that delicious food awaits you at even the most humble restaurant.

There are an enormous array of restaurants to choose from. They start with the cheap and cheerful “ventas” which specialise in Menu del Dia set menus which can be under 10€ and offer a great way to enjoy local favourites at an excellent price.

However, it’s not just simple fare on offer! The Costa del Sol has a number of amazing Michelin starred restaurants too. These are a foodie’s dream, with the finest ingredients prepared in the most elaborate ways. Most offer taster menus to allow you to really experience the best dishes on the menu and recommend you go for the wine pairing for the full monty. They are not cheap of course, but they are wonderful if you want something very special.

Marbella has the most Michelin star restaurants, with Skina, Messina and Restaurant Dani Garcia all having one Michelin star. If you’re staying in a holiday rental in Elviria you’re very close to the amazing El Lago, which also boasts a star. Visitors to Fuengirola have a huge number of great restaurants to choose from, with El Sollo showcasing the very best local fresh water fish and caviar.

Please ask us for our recommendations for great places to eat near your holiday rental. There are restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes in all the areas where we have properties, but it can be hard to know which ones to choose.

But of course it’s not all about the restaurants! If you’re staying in a holiday rental, a trip to the local market is a must. Juicy ripe tomatoes and local artisan cheese, Jabugo ham, fresh bread and olives makes for a perfect light lunch. You could even try making your own gazpacho, a classic Andalusian dish – it’s very easy to make. If you want a barbeque, the locally produced beef from Cadiz has a stellar reputation and the tuna down the coast in Barbate is some of the best. With ingredients this good, plus a fully equipped kitchen and barbeque, you’re sure to make a feast.

Another treat for foodies is the increasing number of gourmet markets opening up around the Costa del Sol. Last year Marbella’s gourmet market opened, with its stalls, bars and lovely atmosphere and it has become a firm favourite with tourists and locals alike. Estepona is following the trend and opened their gourmet market last month, with the difference being that they offer table service from all the different stalls, for a more relaxing experience.

By booking a holiday rental on the Costa del Sol you have the flexibility to enjoy browsing the local shops and markets and cooking when you want to, or popping out to restaurants, knowing you have a home from home to return to. We know whatever you do, you’ll love the food and the restaurants on the Costa del Sol and if you’re like us, then it will be one of the highlights of your holiday!

Marbella’s new gourmet market

Marbella’s new gourmet market

The Costa del Sol has always been a fantastic destination for gastro tourism, but now it has even more to offer, with the opening of a new gourmet market in the heart of Marbella last month.

This indoor market is open from midday to midnight from Sunday to Thursday and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. It is located on Marbella’s high street Avenida Ricardo Soriano number 19, is 470m2 in total and has been designed to resemble a town square, with stalls around the outside and a mix of modern and traditional design elements. There are 14 stalls serving a range of delicious food and produce to buy including sushi, cured Iberian meats, cheeses, traditional Spanish food, fine wines, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish.

You can go and shop for great local produce to cook back at your holiday rental, you can take away freshly prepared food, or you can eat on the premises. It is proving very popular with locals and holiday makers alike and has been buzzing ever since it opened. There is seating outside and inside so you can relax and enjoy a coffee, good wine, a beer and delicious food.

There is sushi available from 4€, and a good variety of dishes, but early feedback shows that it’s best experienced in a group so you can share and try a good selection. Look for stalls offering “medio raciones” or half portions if you’re in a smaller group but want to try different options.

It is great to see yet another addition to a thriving restaurant scene and excellent weekly markets which take place in every town along the Costa del Sol. There are also a number of food festivals  which are a must for every foodie traveller. The first one of the year is Fuengirola’s Feria de Los Pueblos at the end of April, where you can try food from all over the world, which is highly recommended.

There are also a range of excellent fine dining restaurants, including four Michelin starred restaurants in Marbella alone, so if you like to travel and eat, come down to the Costa del Sol for a spot of gastro tourism.

If you want to be close to the new gourmet market and the stunning restaurants in Marbella, this central Marbella holiday apartment is a great choice. With stylish, modern interiors, plenty of light and space, 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, it’s a stunning property, but the location is what really sells it! It’s just 650 meters from the beach and a short walk into the centre of town, with a shared pool and secure parking. A real find!

New restaurants on the Costa del Sol

New restaurants on the Costa del Sol

One of the many pleasures of a holiday on the Costa del Sol is the food! Spanish food is delicious and the culture of long leisurely lunches, popping into different bars to try tapas and dining under the stars in the evening is truly wonderful.

On the Costa del Sol you’re spoilt for choice, with over 1,000 restaurants listed on TripAdvisor in Marbella alone and seven Michelin starred restaurants in a very small area. No matter what kind of food you fancy, there are restaurants for you. The Top 10 rated restaurants in Marbella include Argentinian, Italian, European and of course Spanish, so you’re sure to find something you like.

There are lots of new restaurants popping up all the time, such as the new gastro concept at The Puente Romano El Patio Dani Garcia, which offers stunning food from Spanish Michelin starred chef Dani Garcia, alongside entertainment and music out in the open air. This will be running Tuesday to Sunday through the summer and is sure to be a hit with the tourists.

The team behind the legendary Argentinian steak house Patagonica have just launched their new restaurant Origen Argentinian Grill with a wood fired grill which is promising something very special for meat lovers – wood, meat, wine and a restaurant with soul. This is a hotly anticipated new restaurant and definitely one to try. Don’t miss the original Patagonica either if you love steak!

On the Western Costa del Sol, Estepona is starting to become a real foodie destination, with the long pedestrianised Calle Real packed with great restaurants and bars buzzing into the night and the marina full of international restaurants. Two noodle bars have just opened on the main road as well – Mr Noodle and Pad Thai Wok and there are a host of great beach restaurants too. This is set to improve still further with a gourmet market in the historic town centre near to the castle. There is expected to be 28 delicious places to eat and drink in this foodies’ paradise and it is due to open in 2017, making Estepona an even more desirable place to holiday next year.

The Kempinski Hotel Estepona has recently opened another great restaurant called Oushi Toro, combining the flavours and techniques of Japanese and Spanish cuisine. Chef Raúl Cob is recognised as one of the 20 most influential chefs in Spain and wants to take the guest on a culinary journey of exciting new dishes created from the finest Spanish meats, fish and organic vegetables. Sounds very interesting!

Finally, Japanese noodle bar Wagamama opened a brand new 166 seat restaurant in Gibraltar’s Ocean Village at the start of the summer, their first ever restaurant in the Iberian Peninsula. They are famous for their ramen; bowls of fragrant soup filled with noodles plus meat or vegetables. The menu also boasts favourites such as the chicken katsu curry; succulent chicken breast fried in golden breadcrumbs, served with the famous katsu curry sauce, rice and salad and delicious chicken gyozas (fried dumplings). It will be interesting to see how the iconic Wagamama canteen-style benches work under the hot sun and to see the terrace, breakout areas and booths which aren’t the norm in the UK restaurants. www.wagamama.gi.

Where will you try on your holiday? Let us know your favourite Costa del Sol restaurant, we’d love to share recommendations with all our holiday rental guests. For more great information download our free Costa del Sol Holiday Guide

Michelin Star Marbella

Michelin Star MarbellaThe Costa del Sol just keeps getting better for foodie fans, boasting seven Michelin starred restaurants, plenty of food festivals and a new gastronomic market set to open in Marbella soon. This month it will be the epicentre for super star chefs, with 20 chefs with a remarkable 71 Michelin stars between them descending on the Puente Romano for a series of cooking events.

Between 18th and 21st of April, celebrity chef Dani Garcia is hosting the event “A Cuatro Manos” at his restaurant at the Puente Romano. As part of this amazing event, chefs including Ferraán Adrià, Joan Roca, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Ricard Camarena, Quique Dacosta, Daniel Humm and Sebastian Frank, will honour the legendary Joël Robuchon by preparing their versions of his signature dishes.

They will also be hosting three very special dinners where Dani Garcia cooks alongside other chefs and delights diners with the amazing results. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be cooked for by not one, but two Michelin chefs using classic methods, but as such it’s not a cheap night out, with prices ranging from 350-450€ per person.

Despite the prices, places are expected to book up fast, with the first night already sold out. To book your place for the event, contact the Hotel Puente Romano

If you love food, but that’s a little out of your price range, come and visit Fuengirola’s “Feria Internacional de Los Pueblos”, a wonderful celebration of the different nationalities that call Fuengirola home. Your taste buds can take a trip around the world at this great event, by visiting the different stalls, sampling the national dishes and washing it down with some of their local tipples. Come hungry though, as over 30 different areas are represented! Find out more here

Finally, if you’re staying in a holiday rental on the Costa del Sol one of the nicest things to do is to head to the local market, pick up some delicious, fresh produce and cook up a storm in the comfort of your own apartment or villa. The produce in the south of Spain is fantastic, and a trip to the market is a real treat for your senses, which we’d highly recommend.

Let us know if we can find you a great place to stay for your gastronomic getaway or browse our full list of holiday rentals on our website.

Gastro Tourism on the Costa del Sol

Gourmet market MarbellaSpain has always been a foodie’s paradise and since the meteoric rise of El Bulli, the country has been on the gastronomic map for ground breaking modern cuisine, as well as tapas, paella and cured ham. In the 2016 Michelin guide, Malaga province has been recognised as a hub for amazing food, with seven restaurants being awarded the coveted Michelin star and so there’s never been a better time to have a gastronomic getaway on the Costa del Sol.

There are four Michelin starred restaurants in Marbella, including celebrity chef Dani Garcia’s spectacular 2 starred restaurant in the Hotel Puente Romano. The Puente Romano has firmly put itself on the culinary map with the development of their Plaza Village. This is a foodie’s paradise around a beautiful square with 5 amazing restaurants featuring food from around the world. It’s not a cheap night out, but it is a wonderful experience for any foodie traveller.

More exciting still for the general level of cuisine in the area is that three new restaurants have been awarded their very first star in the 2016 guide. There’s Sollo’ in Fuengirola, Messina in Marbella and Kabuki Raw in Casares, great news for these chefs and their towns.

Last month we were telling you why we love Malaga and The Guardian has featured it, not only for its art galleries and culture, but also for its amazing food. Chef José Carlos García has gained another star for his restaurant in the wonderful Muelle Uno in the newly developed Malaga Port and Malaga as a whole is a mecca for tapas with stalwarts such as El Pimpi producing delicious food with an amazing atmosphere. Now there’s a new kid on the block – a recently unveiled food market in the heart of the city. There are 22 stalls with Spanish and international cuisine and you can browse the stalls, buy great produce and sit and have a drink and a delicious bite to eat, so there’s something for all budgets.

If you like gourmet markets, but don’t fancy a trip to Malaga, check out Ambrosia Market in Puerto Banus which opened in summer 2015. It hosts regular events and you can shop, eat and drink in the market. Due to its location close to the Antonio Banderas square and the amazing shopping in the port, it’s a good place to visit over the Christmas period.

Marbella has also recently pedestrianized one of the main streets from the centre down to the sea, with great effect. Always full of restaurants, now that the street is pedestrianised it’s got a wonderful atmosphere with all the restaurants spilling out onto the street and a wide range of cuisines including traditional Spanish, Italian and American diner style.

The Costa del Sol is a wonderful choice for a foodie holiday, any time of year and by using a holiday rental property rather than a hotel, you can enjoy the delicious produce in your home from home for breakfast and then save yourself for a gastronomic treat for lunch or dinner. Let us know if you need restaurant recommendations around your holiday rental property or any advice on the best places to stay for a foodie getaway.

Gourmet market planned for Puerto Banus

market_gourmetMarbella Town Hall has announced that there will be a new gourmet market opening this summer. The first of its kind on the Costa del Sol, it will be located just 250 meters from the heart of Puerto Banús, in the area of La Alzambra.

This gourmet market called Ambrosia, will be set over 1,000 square meters and two floors with three terraces. It will be an exciting combination of stalls, bars, cafes and restaurants in a market setting with high tables and stools. You will be able to buy stunning products from stalls and delicatessens and enjoy a wonderful meal, snack or drink in a fun, and bustling market environment – sounds like a great combination! They will also organize lots of special events during the year. Due to open this summer, this will be another wonderful draw to the Costa del Sol, an area rightly famous for its gastronomy.

Visitors to the Costa del Sol are really spoilt for choice when it comes to fantastic places to eat and drink, with a wide range of Spanish, International and Michelin starred cuisine, and you can check out our previous posts for more information about the Costa del Sol as a gourmet destination. However, we recommend that you consult TripAdvisor, and move away from the main tourist traps, as the best places are often hidden away. Look for a good bustle and try to eat at the same time as the Spanish (2pm for lunch and from 8pm earliest for dinner) to experience a great atmosphere as well as delicious food.

To help our holiday guests enjoy the Costa del Sol to the full, we’ve produced a guide to Marbella and the surrounding areas, including loads of great information and listing our favourite restaurants, so you know you’ll eat well! Download it for free on our website.

Gourmet Costa del Sol

IMG_4334Marbella hosted the presentation of the Michelin Guide 2015 in November 2014. The event was a great way of positioning Marbella as a top destination for food tourism, something which was often overlooked. Food lovers have always enjoyed the traditional Spanish tapas, delicious paella and grilled and fried fish dishes, but very little has been made of the fine dining restaurants which are pushing the boundaries for Spanish cuisine following in the steps of El Bulli.

Marbella and the Costa del Sol has many fine restaurants which represents cuisines from all over the world and TripAdvisor is a great place to start if you want to find a restaurant which comes highly recommended. However, there are also amazing Michelin star restaurants and those with their sights set on the stars!

Dani Garcia Restaurante at the Puente Romano promises to bring “an innovative gastronomic experience, where the forefront of cooking techniques are applied to traditional Andalusian recipes” . The bijou Skina in Marbella’s Old Town boasts one Michelin star and a sumptuous taster menu. El Lago on Greenlife Golf in Elviria is a wonderful option if you don’t want to travel into Marbella to enjoy the finest cuisine and we can highly recommend their taster menu with wine pairing.

The key to fully appreciating the fine food on offer on the Costa del Sol is to do your research, book in advance and try not to fall into the trap of the highly tourist orientated eateries, which tend to offer the worst food at the highest prices. If in doubt try a busy beach restaurant, they will rarely let you down for Spanish classics, but if you want something more special make sure you look around before you get here!

You can also download our Marbella guide which includes a list of our favourite restaurants and don’t be afraid to ask our helpful team what they recommend in the area you’ll be staying in.

Costa del Sol a Gastronomic Treat

gastroSpain is well known for its food, whether it’s the famous specialities such as paella and tapas, or the extraordinary eating experiences produced in El Bulli, the country is certainly on the culinary map. However, less people travel to the Costa del Sol for a foodie feast and can sometimes be disappointed with the quality in some of the tourist traps. There is fantastic food all over the Costa del Sol, the key is to know where to look! We have produced a great guide to holidaying on the Costa del Sol which includes a large list of restaurants we know and love which you can download on our sister website. Plus local newspapers and magazines always have a current list of well-regarded restaurants to enjoy. No matter what kind of food you crave there will be something here for you, it’s just a case of looking around.

If you want to really treat yourself to fine food then there are a number of establishments recognised with coveted Michelin stars which will delight your taste buds. These are expensive restaurants of course and require prior reservation, but they are a real experience.

The best known Michelin chef is Dani Garcia who has just made the move from Calima on Marbella’s beachfront to his own restaurant at the Puente Romano Hotel. Skina in the Old Town is tiny but boasts one Michelin star and a personal experience with a sumptuous taster menu. Jose Carlos Garcia heads up restaurant JCG in Malaga Port and El Lago on Greenlife Golf in Elviria finishes the list of Malaga stars.

To celebrate the gastronomy at the area, Dani Garcia brought together 14 Michelin stars to cook in 2014 at the Puente Romano hotel. This series of gastronomic evenings  saw where Dani García (two Michelin stars) cook with guests Andoni Luis Aduritz, from Mugaritz de Rentería (two stars), Joan Roca, from Celler de Can Roca (three stars), Quique Dacosta, from the restaurant of the same name in Denia (three stars); Ángel León, from Aponiente, in Puerto de Santa María (one star) and the Malaga “all-stars”, José Carlos García (JCG Restaurant), Diego del Río (El Lago), and Jaume Puigdengolas (Skina), together with Thomas Stork, from Puente Romano.

Events like this confirm the status of the area as a gastronomic hot-spot, so come on down and check out what the area has to offer. Our experienced team can help you to choose the best restaurants in the area, or any other local knowledge so just ask for advice on holidays on the Costa del Sol!

Marbella Restaurants for families

Marbella and the Costa del Sol in general has an amazing wealth of restaurants ranging from relaxed economical options to fine dining. It can be quite hard to choose where to go and often tourists to the area end up eating second-rate food in the tourist traps just because they aren’t sure where to go and what to do.

Thankfully, the excellent website Marbella Family Fun has compiled a list of Family friendly restaurants in Marbella, tried them all out for us and rated them depending on how good they felt they were. The reviews feature contributions from different members of the family so you get the kids’ feedback as well as the adults’. They’ve even categorized them by location and food type so you know what you’re getting next time you visit the Costa del Sol.

We’ve also compiled a few Costa del Sol guides which can be downloaded from the website free of charge to help you with your research and make sure you enjoy your holiday to the full.  If you have any questions about the area or self-catering accommodation Costa del Sol please feel free to ask us and our helpful team will make sure your questions are answered.

Spain’s tapas culture

One of the joys of holidaying in Spain is sampling the many varieties of tapas available in most bars and cafes. As they are small plates and not usually expensive, you can afford to try lots of different things and share as a group. This is very sociable, fun dining and can be a very good value way to have your evening meal. 

It has a rich history and really is an integral part of Spanish life. Irene Palmer has written an excellent article all about Tapas and its history including some Spanish words for the most common tapas which is well worth a read. Continue reading “Spain’s tapas culture”