If there is one thing that really defines Málaga, it is its ability to share. Getting together with friends or family and ordering some tapas or servings is part of Málaga's culture par excellence, and the perfect way to try a little bit of everything.
From the most traditional ones, like Málaga salad or the anchovies in vinegar, to those with innovative nuances like Málaga sausage tartar. In any case, going out for tapas is a common theme at any time of the year. More than a way of eating, it’s a way of living and enjoying the flavours of Málaga in good company. It's also easy to find different guided tours with special dishes, both in restaurants and in bar counters alike.
A culture of sharing: tapas, half portions or portions
Tapas, first served in the city's bars and taverns in the early 20th century, reflect the gastronomic identity of Málaga and are one of the most representative elements of the city's engaging and hospitable character. Tapas provide a way to socialize, to eat and to share special moments with friends or family.
As with their heartier cousins - the half portions or portions - it's common to set aside a day on the calendar to ‘go out for tapas’. An informal way to go out for lunch or dinner and enjoy all these dishes, almost always at the counter, standing or at a table. This type of dish is also generally very affordable and a perfect way to taste the wide range of cuisine available in the city, in terms of both quality and flavour. Doing it in good company is the key.
You can come across a large variety of must-try tapas at the counter of any bar or in any restaurant in Málaga. From the simplest, such as olives or lupins, to other, more elaborate and essential creations of Málaga cuisine, such as ajoblanco, which is made with almonds, bread, oil, vinegar and garlic, and meatballs in almond sauce.
The most classic tapas also include anchovies in vinegar, Málaga salad, croquettes and the Málaga version of the pipirrana or Olivier salad.
Creativity and signature cuisine have seen the development of new recipes based on the concept of gourmet tapas. Not only have some classics been reinvented by modifying ingredients or applying techniques to vary the textures, but new tapas have also been created, providing a touch of originality to make them even more appetizing.
These mini bites are found in hotel establishments throughout the city and are also created for special occasions such as tapas tours, tasting menus or cultural events involving a commemoration or tribute in the city.