Nerja is a small seaside town in Costa Del Sol, Spain with an abundance of restaurants, ranging from typical Spanish tapas bars to formal fine dining. You can sink your teeth into a range of different cuisines too, including Andalucian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, British, Italian and more!
After spending 2 weeks in Nerja over the summer, we definitely got around to our fair share of restaurants, so we’ve compiled a list of the top restaurants & best places to eat and drink in Nerja, Spain.
Note: During the peak summer months, we recommend making reservations to avoid any disappointment. Don’t forget the Spanish eat late therefore popular reservation times start from 8:30pm – 10:30pm and restaurants close between (roughly) 4:00pm – 7:00pm.
Best Wining & Dining in Nerja, Spain – Interactive Map
The Best Casual Cafe: Good Stuff Cafe
If you’re looking for a break from tapas and in need of a delicious home cooked pie or a freshly baked cake, look no further than Good Stuff Cafe. Located just outside of the main street of Nerja, this little gem was a casual cafe serving a variety of salads, sandwiches, bagels, burgers, sweet treats, coffees and milkshakes (peanut butter chocolate shake. Say no more.). Always greeted with a friendly smile, we found ourselves feeling as though we were “home” at Good Stuff Cafe and therefore found ourselves back here more than once! Note: Closed for the month of August.
Favourite Dish: The Pies & Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie.
The Best Value Restaurant: La Dama
Sometimes the best type of restaurants are the ones that you accidentally stumble across. We came across La Dama by coincidence and due to its no-frills atmosphere combined with unbeatable prices, entertaining waiters and large portions, we ate here multiple times throughout our stay in Nerja. Pizza’s were as cheap as €3.50, pasta as little as €5 and a whole grilled seabass or lamb leg for €15. Nothing beats a casual lunch or dinner La Dama!
Favourite Dish: Grilled Seabass with chips and salad + side of peppercorn sauce. Heavenly and only €15. Bargain!
The Best Mojitos: Julies & Valeri’s
Calling all mojito lovers! Julie and Valeri’s is a small restaurant/ bar tucked away in a little corner, next to La Fuente, just off the main plaza. Not only do they make awesome mojitos but their Cuban/Mediterranean based tapas menu isn’t one to be missed. There’s a selection of small plates with fresh ingredients such as (but not limited to) falafels, nachos, moussaka, fried calamari’s, hummus and flatbread all for reasonable prices. Don’t forget to save room for dessert and say g’day to the owner from us, he’s a hoot.
Favourite Dish: Mojitos (Dah!)
The Best Wine Bar: Copa Vino
There is no shortage of places throughout Nerja to grab a glass of wine but there are only a few wine bars in Nerja that stood out like Copa Vino. The decor and ambience of the restaurant plus the excellent wine selection and tasteful menu makes it to #1 for us. Baked pasta, steaks, and well-presented charcuterie boards are just a few of the items listed on the menu of Copa Vino. Be sure to make a reservation! They’re always busy.
Favourite Dish: Asparagus with egg and parmesan cheese and rib eye steak with truffle sauce! Drool.
The Best “Free Tapas” Bar: Bar Redondo
Tapas are an integral part of the Spanish culture and are an extremely popular way to socialise whilst eating. There are plenty of tapas bars scattered through the town of Nerja but Bar Redondo, also known as “The Round Bar” was our top pick.
Its buzzing atmosphere and ideal location are the reasons this makes it to our best free tapas bar! Here’s how it works: Order a drink, any drink (non-alcoholic included) and choose yourself a tapa from the wide selection (meatballs, paella, croquettes, ribs, etc) surrounding the bar. A new drink, a new tapa. Easy. It’s a casual, cheap way to grab a feed and encourages you to eat whilst you sink back those refreshing beers & sangrias ;). You can also order full-size dishes from a menu.
Favourite Dish: Chicken Curry & Paella
The Best Prawns Pil Pil: Pulguilla Restaurant
Prawns Pil Pil consists of grilled prawns soaked in butter, garlic and chilli (Ooo, I’m salivating just thinking about it). No prawns pil-pil is ever the same and we definitely sampled a variety throughout the course of 2 weeks. We’ve come to the conclusion that Pulguilla Restaurant is where it’s at.
Pulguilla Restaurant consists of two separate dining areas. At the front, you’ll find a casual, typical tapas bar serving fresh seafood, including squid and sardines, meat tapas such as grilled kebabs or chorizo and also cheeses and olives. Out the back, there is a sit-down restaurant serving larger dishes (as well as half portions) from a variety of fresh seafood to grilled meats but guys, come here for the prawns. Just do it. Service is efficient and very quick.
Favourite Dish: Prawns Pil Pil
The Best Cocktail Bar: Volks Bar
Who doesn’t love a cocktail created from the inside of a Volks Wagon? So fun. Volks Bar isn’t the most well-signed cocktail bar but you can find it on top of Sevillano, on the main street of Nerja, commonly referred to (by us) as the “Times Square of Nerja”. Walk through the main restaurant and take the elevator to the top floor. There is an extensive cocktail menu, a very smiley bartender and a great view of the busy streets and neighbouring terraces. For my fellow pregnant ladies or non-alcoholic drinkers, there’s even non-alcoholic list to choose from.
Favourite Dish: Virgin Mango Mojito
The Best People Watching: Bar Esquina Paulina
Bar Esquina is your quintessential Spanish bar with an unbeatable ambience, prime people watching and friendly Dutch owners. The menu primarily focuses on meat and cheeses with some local Dutch delicacies but that’s all you need to go alongside a glass of vino as you watch the people pass by. A great before or after dinner spot! If you’re lucky enough you’ll enjoy the local guitarist that occasionally comes to perform out the front.
Favourite Dish: Manchego Cheese
The Best Bar with a View: Portofino
This Italian restaurant is located on prime real estate with one of the best views of Nerja, however, the quality of food that comes with the epic views is extremely poor. Do yourself a favour and come to Portofino for an afternoon beverage and take yourself elsewhere for lunch/dinner. The pizzas and pasta were extremely bland and remember, you’re paying for the view, not the food. We hate to be so negative, but we’re just being honest!
Favourite Dish: Beer. Steer clear of the food.
The Best Indian Food: MUM
Surprisingly, there are a ton of Indian restaurants in Nerja. MUM which is rated #1 on Trip Advisor looks very unappealing from the front but don’t judge a book by its cover. Head in and take yourself to the back terrace to enjoy a memorable Indian feast. Prices are comparable with other restaurants in Nerja and the curries and lamb tandoori were full of flavour and spice!
Favourite Dish: Lamb Vindaloo (it’s very spicy!)
The Best Fine Dining: Olivia
Looking to splurge? Celebrating something special? Olivia has you covered. Serving innovative Medeterrain dishes with a modern twist & top-notch presentation, there’s no wonder Oliva Restaurant is one of the most sought-after restaurants in Nerja. Considering the standard of service and quality of food, prices are within reason. Degustation menu ( 6 courses) goes for €47.50 with an option for wine pairing for a further €22.50. Reservations are recommended for dinner.
Favourite Dish: Octopus with Hummus
The Best Value Tapas: La Biznaga
You may not receive a free tapa with every drink purchase at La Biznaga but the tapas here are dirt cheap starting at just €1.50. If you love one enough, you can order a full-size portion. Conveniently located in the main plaza of Nerja, it’s a good place to sit and enjoy a cheap meal or snack while listening to buskers.
Favourite Dish: Prawns Pil Pil with crusty bread. Yaaas.
The Best British Pub: Rack and Ruin Bar
Rack and Ruin Bar is a place where you can come to unwind with a cold beverage, friendly bartenders & homemade soul food. The interior of Rack and Ruin is enough of a reason to visit this bar as it’s dotted with funny quotes, memes, old school pictures and quirky decorations. Choose from one of the two terraces or lounge about on one of the couches inside. In no time, you’ll feel right at home. Try their sangria with a twist, it’s rather peachy!
The Best Chill Out Bar: Teteria Zaidin
Teteria Zaidin is an Arabic style teahouse on a side street away from the hustle and bustle of the main plaza. The courtyard is very relaxing with calm music, lounges and a beautifully maintained garden. Choose between a salad, sandwich, smoothie or juice and if you’re anything like us and have a sweet tooth, they have handmade crepes and waffles as well as “special” aka alcoholic milkshakes. Shisha is also available. As you can see by the picture, we were a little sad when on our last day it was closed!
Favourite Dish: Dulche De Leche Crepe
The Best Paella: Ayo’s
Anyone that’s been to Nerja has heard or should have heard of Ayo’s which has made international headlines. Ayo’s can be found on the popular beach of Burriana. The owner of Ayo’s has been serving up Paella to its customers since 1969 so he has to be doing something right.
Large pans filled to the brim of paella are cooked over a wood fire daily with a turn around like no other. There’s no minimum order at Ayo’s, therefore, you can order a single dish for €7.50 to yourself (a lot of places require a 2 person minimum for paella). Is it the best paella we’ve ever had? Not necessarily, but the whole vibe and experience of the place is casual & fun. Extremely busy at lunchtimes.
Favourite Dish: Paella
The Best Burgers: Momo Burger
Mmm burgers. After a day at Torrceillo beach, make your way to Momo Burger for a freshly made burger cooked to perfection. There’s nothing but burgers on this menu and you have a range of creations to choose from. If you’re really hungry, opt for the double meat as the regulars are on the smaller scale. Each burger comes with fries.
Favourite Dish: The double beef burger with chimichurri.
The Best Chorizo Al Infierno: Los Barriles
Los Barriles is home to the “fiery sausage”. We had no idea what this was until we decided to seek out a place to try it and we’re so glad we came across Los Barriles. Located between the two main thoroughfares, Los Barriles is a clean, modern looking tapas bar with a great drink selection including a beer tap in the shape of a Jamón ibérico ham and of course, the best Chorizo Al Infernio (aka chorizo on fire). For only €2.50, sit on the wooden barrels out the front and watch the flame go up as you cook your fiery sausage to your liking. Combining fun and tasty. Win-win.
Favourite Dish: Chorizo Al Infierno
The Best Romantic Date Night Restaurant: Bakus
On our last night in Nerja, we wanted to do something special. We’d already visited Olivia’s for dinner days prior so instead we made a reservation at Bakus and left Nerja very satisfied. Bakus is somewhat of a fine dining experience mixed with a non-pretentious atmosphere serving a combination of Mediterranean, European and Spanish. The portions were quite large and the location (right above Playa Carabellio) was perfect, especially during sunset. Ask for a table closest to the water when you make your reservation.
Favourite Dish: Goats Cheese Puff Pasty
Our days spent in Nerja were based purely on and around food but hey, there is nothing wrong with that, food is life and life is travel. Combine them both and you have two happy globetrotters.
Have you been to Nerja? Do you have any other great places to eat in Nerja?
If you need a transfer from Malaga airport to Nerja, consider Nerja Taxis.
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