Start the day right: breakfast in Málaga
“Ponme un mitad y un pitufo!” (Give me a cafe au lait and a sandwich) This might be one of the most repeated phrases in Málaga's cafés. Breakfast, in addition to being essential in a balanced diet, is part of Málaga's gastronomic commandments. The unique varieties of bread, like pitufo and viena, the unique way to order a coffee, the freshly squeezed orange juice, the delicious churros and the care taken to make sure every detail is just right, make breakfast one of the most special times of the day.
The quality of local products sets the pace for each breakfast, no matter the time of year. Likewise, new trends and ingredients from outside Málaga's borders have expanded the options on the menu. The traditional local breakfast is combined with more international fare featuring bowls of yogurt and seeds, poached eggs, croissants or toast, and a wide assortment of homestyle jams.
Breakfast culture: breakfast on the street, a ritual
It's not hard to start the day with energy and a big smile if the first item on the agenda is a good breakfast. Málaga offers endless options to get you up and running. Whether you opt for a traditional café or bar, or something more modern, let's review some of the essential items on the menu. If there's one thing that defines the city, it's the breakfast ritual. Having it in the street is a tradition, a veritable social event where you can gather the family or just enjoy that moment of relaxation and take a breath to start the day with a good taste in your mouth.
In Málaga, breakfast has its own vocabulary, and some bars and cafes only open their doors for this first meal of the day. After just a couple of days having breakfast in the same place, especially in the most traditional ones, the waiter will most likely know each customer's order by heart. Another alternative is to opt for those spaces specializing in a certain dish or product, such as coffee, homemade cakes, juices, smoothies or cereals.
Typical breakfasts (and how to order them)
The typical pitufo - a roll that's unique to the city - with coloured lard, zurrapa (pork spread) or tomato and olive oil, is one of the most popular, although there are plenty of other traditional bread varieties, such as viena, mollete and country bread. Most cafes or bars that serve breakfast offer a wide variety, from white bread to rye and gluten-free. To round out a typical Málaga breakfast, be sure to order some freshly squeezed orange juice to get your daily vitamins.
The tejeringos, the most traditional and artisanal way to make churros in Málaga, come in autumn and last beyond Easter. And if they're followed by a cup of sweet hot chocolate, so much the better. Even if you don't like sweets, a nice serving of tejeringos pairs perfectly with a good double coffee.
Coffee time: tips for getting it right
For coffee lovers, the words nube (cloud) and mitad (half) take on new meaning. These terms are used to order coffee anywhere in Málaga. In the early 20th century, a sort of guide was created based on the amount of coffee and milk in the glass: solo or sin leche (black), largo (90-10 coffee-milk), semi-largo (70-30), solo corto (60-40), mitad (50-50), entre corto (40-60), corto (30-70), sombra (20-80) and nube (10-90). A true hallmark of Málaga's culinary culture.
One of the characteristics that defines the coffee ordering experience in Málaga, in addition to the amount of milk or the temperature, is whether it's served in a glass or cup. This can make the difference between a good and great coffee in the morning.
Currently, Málaga has coffee roasters with beans from all over the world, both Robusta and Arabica, for real coffee enthusiasts. There are places dedicated to turning the act of coffee drinking into an experience; even many cocktail places and bars located in the streets in the city centre concoct creative cocktails where coffee is the beating heart in the centre of the cup.