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Top 15 Things to Eat in Málaga

If you love to travel, you know that trying new foods is part of the fun. A cruise to Málaga, Spain promises a variety of new and exciting ways to tickle your taste buds. From sardines grilled over an open fire to churros dipped in warm chocolate, this beautiful seaside city has plenty to offer when it comes to tasty bites.

the coastal region of malaga, spain

1. Gambas al Pil-Pil

When prawns are flash-fried with fresh chilies, garlic, paprika and a little white wine, they take on true Spanish flavor. The pil-pil sauce in this Basque recipe gets its name from the sound the oil makes when cooking. In addition to prawns, pil-pil sauce pairs well with snapper, barramundi and other types of seafood.

2. Carne en Salsa

Translating to “meat in sauce,” this Andalusian entrée features pork stewed in a savory sauce made from tomatoes, pepper, garlic, olive oil, wine and a few more essential ingredients. You can find carne en salsa on tapas menus in Málaga or enjoy it for the main course.

3. Gazpacho

Are you wondering what to eat in Málaga in the summertime? Think like a local and enjoy a bowl of gazpacho. This easy-to-prepare, chilled summer soup is made in a blender by mixing tomatoes, green peppers, olive oil, garlic, bread and water. A serving of gazpacho makes a yummy lunch option or a great dinner starter on a summer evening.

three drinking glasses of gazpacho

4. Ajo Blanco

For another chilled, summertime soup, try ajo blanco, otherwise known as white gazpacho. This recipe calls for skinned almonds, garlic, delicious bread, olive oil, salt and vinegar. When the soup is fully mixed in the blender, it’s poured into a small glass or bowl and sometimes served with fresh grapes or sliced melon.

5. Aceituna Alorena (Alorena Olives)

If you’re an olive lover, you haven’t tried anything until you’ve eaten aceituna Alorena. To make this popular condiment, locally-grown olives are crushed with the pit intact, placed in a brine of salted water and flavored with red pepper, garlic, fennel and thyme. When you’re looking for food-related things to buy in Málaga, you can find these olives at groceries or markets.

6. Paella

Don’t leave Málaga without trying a classic Spanish dish: paella. Enjoyed by Spaniards for centuries, paella is chicken or seafood cooked in a special pan with rice, tomatoes, onion, garlic, paprika and saffron. Paella can be served as a tapa with a slice of bread or shared between friends and family for dinner.

three people sharing a dish of paella

7. Albondigas en Salsa de Almendras

Meatballs are a classic Spanish-style dish, and residents of Málaga like to make them with a tasty almond sauce. Ingredients like garlic, saffron, parsley, olive oil, white wine and chicken stock mix to create comfort food at its finest. Take one bite, and you’ll want to eat this forever.

8. Boquerones

Similar to anchovies but larger, boquerones are a popular fish served for dinner and as tapas in Málaga. Sometimes, boquerones are marinated in vinegar, olive oil and salt and pan-fried. In other preparations, this dish is served fresh and chilled.

9. Espetos (Sardines)

When searching for the best dishes in Málaga, head to the beach! On most public beaches, you can find espetos (aka sardines) threaded onto skewers and grilled over an open flame. Make this dinner even more special with a cold glass of beer or wine. And if you don’t fancy sardines, no problem! Try squid and octopus created in the same manner for a delicious treat.

espetos, or sardines, roasting on a barbeque in malaga, spain

10. Ensalada Malagueña

Fans of American potato salad (which the Spanish call Russian salad) shouldn’t leave Málaga without trying ensalada Malagueña. This delicious side dish contains cod, potatoes, leeks, oranges and green olives with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt. Add this salad to a serving of fried fish for a delicious lunch or dinner.

11. Pipirrana

To enjoy a refreshing chopped salad, try pipirrana. Served all over the Andalusian region, this dish features finely-chopped bell peppers, tomato, onion and olives along with seafood like tuna or mussels. With a dressing of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, this is a perfect dish you’re sure to love!

12. Higos (Figs)

If you’re shopping Málaga street markets in August or September, look for fresh local figs or higos. These purple fruits offer a honey sweetness and berry-like flavor for the perfect summertime bite. While fresh figs have a very short season in Málaga, you can find dried figs at groceries and markets throughout the year. For any foods that you plan to bring back to your cruise ship, make sure they are prepackaged and sealed.

figs ripening on a tree

13. Almendras Fritas (Fried Almonds)

Growers around Málaga produce around 4,000 tons of almonds every year. For a tasty snack, look for vendors selling salted, fried almonds on downtown street corners, and pair them with cheese and a good local wine.

On your European cruise to Málaga, Spain, make sure to try a few of the local dishes. With so many delicious options to choose from, it’s easy to find something yummy to eat while you’re finding things to do in Málaga. Any of the items on this list are bound to satisfy.

14. Tarta Malagueña

To satisfy your sweet tooth another way, tasting a slice of tarta Malagueña. This scrumptious cake features two Málaga-made ingredients: almonds and sweet wine in addition to apricot jam and cinnamon. Because the sweetness level of this cake is high, a small slice offers the perfect dessert bite. This is a must try treat!

15. Churros with Hot Chocolate

If you’ve attended a county fair in the U. S., chances are you’ve tried churros, a sweet treat thought to have originated in Spain, Portugal. These deep-fried sticks of dough sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and dipped in warm chocolate are a big summertime hit in America, but in Málaga, they’re eaten year-round. Locals order churros for breakfast or dessert, and you can find them at a number of coffee shops and cafés throughout Málaga.

churros dipped in hot chocolate

When traveling abroad, take the opportunity to explore new cultures by trying cuisine of the area. Especially when in Málaga, there are new flavors to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters – from grilled fish on an open fire to tasty desserts.