After over a year of living and eating out in Fuengirola, I finally narrowed down my taste buds ‘Hall of Fame’.
Before we start, a word of warning – the culinary scene in Fuengirola is not exactly exciting. The city lives from tourism and unfortunately, that’s also impacted the culinary options.
There are a few gems in between the usual tourist traps, but they are hard to find especially if your only point of reference is glowing five-star reviews in Tripadvisor.
If you want to know what restaurants to avoid in Fuengirola, scroll to the bottom of the article for a bit of a rant! =)
Namaste was one of the first places I discovered in Fuengirola and I have been there so many times I’ve lost count! I love a good Indian meal and at Namaste they have lots of vegetarian and vegan options that taste absolutely amazing!
The service is super fast and friendly and they are located close to the coastline too, just a short walk off the Mercadona supermarket in Los Boliches.
They make a good honest Indian curry, with a rich sauce that’s out of this world and lots of rice variations. My favorites were garlic naan bread, vegetarian Korma, and Tikka Masala and they also do amazing desserts!
Best for: curry + vegetarian/vegan options
Location: Calle Gral. Rodrigo 4, Fuengirola (close to Playa de los Boliches)
Limoncello is in the old part of Fuengirola, hidden away in a small busy square near the main post office building. It was a lucky chance I ended up eating there on one night out as that was the only place with a few seats left.
They do amazing pasta dishes, including freshly made pasta, and as you would expect from an Italian restaurant, delicious pizza with proper crust dough.
They have a beautiful outdoor terrace with lovely decor and it’s the perfect spot for people-watching, especially at the weekend.
Best for: fresh pasta & pizza
Location: Calle Larga 8
Even though I go into a very long rant at the end of the article about how bad Chiringuito restaurants are, this one is the exception to the rule.
La Cubana is at the very end of Fuengirola, in an area called Carvajal (technically it’s under Benalmadena, but within easy reach of Fuengirola).
When I visited a year ago, it looked very rugged but they have massively upgraded the places and it gets busier and busier every year. You will spot it immediately thanks to the colourful chairs and tables, and the fact that it’s absolutely packed every time.
Even though they are super busy, we always find a table and never had to wait too long for the food.
The menu is a really good mix of healthy bits, naughty treats and anything in between. For such a busy place, the service is incredibly fast and friendly. And most importantly, the food is delicious and served with a side of a sea view!
Best for: lunch by the sea (they only serve nibbles after 5pm)
Location: Sendero de Playa Carvajal, s/n, 29639 Benalmádena
This restaurant was the first one I spotted when we first came to Fuengirola a year ago with my husband to find an apartment. The outdoor decor caught my eyes and I wanted to see if the food also lives up to the expectations.
This year, they changed the ownership and the newly renamed Gastro Bar del Mar looks even cooler than the old De Kroon Cafe. They added a lot of natural elements to the interior decor, wooden branches, quirky bamboo decor, and lots and lots of plants.
The menu hasn’t changed much, which I’m pretty happy about. We tend to order one of their salads in very generous portions and they also do really nice selection of tapas (usually go for mozzarella sticks, patatas bravas, and prawns).
In the evening they put up the tiny fire features on the tables and even though it’s by the main road with busy traffic, it’s just the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine while watching the world go by.
Check out the full article about this place here.
Best for: fresh salads with sea view
Location: Calle Hernan Cortes 65, Fuengirola (at the ground floor of Stella Marris Apartment building)
This is also a recent addition to the restaurant scene in Fuengirola. Located on the main ‘bus road’, in between small shops, Vinelo really makes a statement with its concept, delicious food, and decor.
It’s rare to see owners putting so much thought into how a place feels and decorating appropriately, and in this case, it was executed to perfection.
I absolutely loved their tapas options, even though the menu is fairly limited, but everything is super tasty and well priced.
They have a wide selection of wines to choose from and I love the lighting that makes you feel like you’re sitting in a cozy cafe somewhere in Paris.
Best for: wine selection, tapas
Location: check here
A fairly recent addition to the culinary scene in Fuengirola, Cabana Loca is located on the main coastal road close to the castle.
The menu consists of a nice selection of tapas options, burgers, salads, and grilled dishes. They are also launching a kids’ menu, which I can only applaud for having some of the healthiest kids meals I’ve seen.
The restaurant is currently open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 5 pm till midnight.
The food was absolutely delicious, my favourite probably the cauliflower and the fried halloumi sticks (brings back memories from Cyprus).
They have an outdoor terrace with fairly limited seating, but more tables inside. The inside is also beautifully decorated, well worth having a peak.
Best for – vegetarian options, freshly made food
Location – Parque doña Sofia block 2, local 3, P.º Marítimo Rey de España, Fuengirola
Go Green is always my number one option for healthy breakfast or brunch, for a number of reasons: great location (they are close to where I live), lots of vegetarian options, and very reasonably priced.
The menu caters to anything you could think off and all of them are healthy options. They have a wide selection of freshly made juices, breakfast sandwiches (Nordic favorites too), and even scrambled eggs.
Their brunch deals are a treat for the whole family (photos below) and include refreshing drinks like their ginger shot or freshly made juice.
My go-to is usually the vegetarian burger or the falafel bowl. Great value fresh food – can’t go wrong with that!
Best for healthy eating, vegetarian/vegan options
Location – Av. Jesus Cautivo 9, Fuengirola
Let’s start with the worst – most of my worst food experiences involved Chiringuitos.
These are the shabby-looking restaurants scattered around the beaches focusing mainly on fried seafood. They all have wonderful views of the sea (in the winter, when it’s not blocked by sunbathing tourists in front of your table), but that’s where it ends.
They normally have very cheap plastic furniture and service that leaves a lot to be desired.
The old advice goes ‘eat where the locals do’ – in this case, it can’t be further from the truth. Yes, Chiringuitos are full of locals, but they are probably there because fried seafood is something of a staple of the local cuisine and I feel like it’s more of a culture thing, rather than a culinary experience.
The food is pretty basic, a lot of it cooked from frozen fish (which they don’t tend to mark on the menu), without taste or proper seasoning. Zero presentation and complete lack of culinary imagination.
There are a few exceptions, one of those is the Chiringuito Oasis. Great quality food, immaculate service, and unlike the other chiringuitos, it is built higher off the ground, so you actually get to enjoy the sea view.
Scattered around the promenade are even more tourist traps – restaurants displayed sun-drenched images of burgers with chips, best deals for English breakfast, or deals on Paella. You will be happy to grab a quick sandwich to take to the beach, but anything beyond that is at your own risk.
Fuengirola even has a Michelin star restaurant which turned out to be an utter disappointment.
The dish looked like something that’s served in a Chiringuito and slapped together in a hurry. After I returned my undercooked salmon steak, I was told by the waiter that apparently that’s the correct way to cook salmon (leave it raw in the middle). Note to self: next time tell the waiter you don’t want to eat sushi.
I will keep updating this list regularly, but if you have a favourite of your own, leave a comment below so I can test it out!
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