Escape to Malaga: in search of heat even in autumn – Italian Cuisine

A gastronomic itinerary to discover the Andalusian city. Here's what to see and where to eat in Malaga for an autumn short-break

Direct flights and a perfect temperature until mid-November. rum raisin it has finally been freed from the city landing label at Costa del Sol, to become a real Andalusian jewel.

The sixth Spanish city by number of inhabitants, second in Andalusia, the center of Malaga is not large and one of the main junctions in which one often finds oneself is La Manquita, A nickname that the inhabitants of the city gave, and that means "the little horse", to the Cathedral of the Incarnation. The building, which stands on an old mosque of which only the orange trees of the garden remain, is so called because of its complex construction, but above all because the southern tower has remained unfinished: a writing at the base of the tower states that the funds raised from the parish to finish it they were used instead to help the English colonies and that is the future United States, to obtain their independence from Great Britain. The completed north tower is 84 meters high and dominates the city, transforming the church into the second highest building in Andalusia; above it stands proudAlcazaba, the main monument of the city along with the Plaza de Toros. The Arab fortress will conquer you thanks to the spectacular view it has over the city and the tranquility of its Arabic interior, able to make you forget the typically Spanish chaos of the city.

If its cultural soul has remained for so long shy and little emphasized by travelers, its gastronomic qualities have always been known: a traditional culinary scene that does not know how to give up the best jamon Serrano and that manages to use very fresh fish raw materials given the proximity of the sea, but above all the homeland of the churros: for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.

Breakfast in Malaga

At breakfast, don't waste your time and immediately dive into a churreria to bite the fragrant churros and dip them in hot chocolate. Casa Aranda it is absolutely one of the most famous churreries in the city, it has 3 offices, but the historical one is in calle Herrerìa del Rey, 2: € 6.50 for 6 churros and two cups of chocolate, a value for money that will make you understand from the early hours of the morning how Malaga is cheap, but exquisite. If the dessert for breakfast is not for you, obviously you will find the excellent from Casa Aranda tomato tostada.

Churros can also be enjoyed on the main square of Malaga, Plaza de la Constitución, al Café Central, an institution that has also recently dedicated itself to the take away part, carving out a more modern space without colored tiles dedicated to the coffee to take away. Here the churros are less good than from Aranda, but the chocolate is much denser and Italian and manages to balance very well the sweetness of sweetened and fried dough; the salty alternative here are i bocadillos de jamon, or the soft breads filled with excellent Iberian ham.

Where to have lunch in Malaga

The streets of Malaga will make you fall in love, even though the center is not huge and just outside the skyscrapers of the Costa del Sol and the large modern buildings really do a lot with the soul of the city and ruin the harmony a bit. The birthplace of Picasso (whose museum was opened in 2003) is really meant to be enjoyed. For theappetizer before lunch (or directly for lunch given the important portions), go on the safe side and head to Calle Duque de la Victoria, 3 from Catedral del Pescaìto. Here take a look at the beautiful fish counter and choose so you prefer to order, the blackboard hanging on the wall will help you, but if you are numerous try to taste as many things as possible, you won't regret it: the quality is excellent and the razor clams are the ace in the sleeve together with fresh and generous clams. The local walls are full of Spanish pop culture (Antonio Banderas, the actor born here in Malaga, is omnipresent), and malagueña: singers, actors, comic book miniatures and a Grease..bathroom poster, but the charm of the place also lies in this, as well as in the kindness of the staff that is very helpful in explanations.

The towers of the Manquita ring the lunch hour and a little walk towards Muelle Uno, the marina of Malaga grown to become the second cruise port of Spain, will give you the opportunity to discover a less traditional, but very modern and busy area of ​​the city. On the pier you will find a starred restaurant (José Carlo Garcias) and plenty of opportunities to eat well tapas at reasonable prices, such as Cervecería La Sureña, where to find the inevitable Cruzcampo, the most famous beer, served in ice-filled buckets: the best remedy against high temperatures in Malaga, even in unsuspected periods (in November on the asphalt of the pier it reaches even 23 degrees). To accompany the cerveza this brewery offers excellent patatas bravas and tapas, as well as several tostadas similar to pizza. Also try the tortillas of potatoes and squid and le croquetas de Chipiròn, or cuttlefish. Not far from Muelle Uno, which also hosts a noteworthy Center Pompidou since 2015, you will find the Palmeral de las Sorpresas promenade, which leads you to the Muelle Dos, ideal for families with children who can, thanks to this pedestrian and shaded area, have fun in adjacent parks. Going beyond this last part of the port you will also find the Mirador Princess, the Ferris wheel that will allow you to see the city from above and admire the sea.

Afternoon snack

After the lunch break, given the always abundant portions of the Malagueñi clubs, it is necessary to stretch your legs: head towards La Malagueta (cultural heritage of Spain), where bullfights are at home and explore the new area and the beaches, after which go up to the Alcazaba and enjoy the unparalleled view. The Arab style of the historic site will make you want to Arab sweets and in Malaga you will find several bakeries and pastry shops ready to satisfy you. In calle San Agustìn, 7 you can pretend to be in Morocco: you have arrived at Teteria Palacio Nazari where you will have a wide choice of teas, sweets and tajines. Without hesitating try the excellent ones baklava and the interesting ones dedos de chocolate.

A visit to Mercado Central de Atarazanas, in calle Atarazanas, 10, will take you to the next enjoyable stop, perhaps one of the places where the genuine love of the malagueñi for food is most appreciated: Martina Gastrotienda, in Plaza Arriola, 10. The market is a riot of colors and discoveries, fresh fruit and vegetables and schools of meat and fish that deserve a ride. Dairy products are also very interesting and all stalls are equipped so that you can bring a piece of vacuum-packed Spain with you.
In front of a side entrance of the market is precisely Martina Gastrotienda, a food that also allows you to taste the products. In addition to the breathtaking selection of jamon is queso, you will find the delicious ones here hongos stuffed: Portobello mushrooms stuffed with stringy cheese. Yours appetizer it is served: indicate directly from the counter what you want to consume on the spot and accompany everything with excellent red wine or draft beer and sit at the barrels at the entrance. Although the restaurant closes at 6 pm, the staff is not strict and you are often accepted until 7 pm: this is really an essential stop for lovers of typical products that reflect the soul of a nation. The Gastrotienda specializes in cheese and cold cuts, but you will immediately understand that the staff will make you discover a world.

Where to dine in Malaga

There is always time to dine in Spain, which is why despite the aperitif can end at 7pm, you are not late and you can still take a stroll downtown before deciding which restaurant to aim for. Among the options with a good value for money the Taberna Cantarrana (Calle Sanchez Pastor, 10), which offers tender cuts of meat and good catch at a reasonable price, in an informal but elegant and traditional atmosphere. Another option for dinner could be the Restaurante El Chinitas (calle Moreno Monroy, 4-6), where you can find an excellent one Paella, of the typical mixed appetizers that are difficult to find in tourist restaurants and you can, if brave enough, taste a caloric bomb like the huevos rotos chistorra: eggs with chips and small slightly spicy sausages, an inviting dish, but quite heavy.
If you want to give your comida a little twist for dinner, go to Calle Fresca, 10 to discover Wendy Gamba, a small place, but really cozy and curious. From Wendy a pint of beer costs only 2.90 euros and the alley on which it overlooks is delicious. You will find cheap food here, but good and very simple. No frills, just the quality and frankness of the croquetas or of the patatas bravas submerged in their sauces, try also the prawns cooked in different ways.

For the after dinner in Malaga there is the embarrassment of the choice, the prices will remain cheap and the people welcoming and nice, as in the best cities that have been able to rediscover themselves and make their identity an important tourist flywheel.

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