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The 12 Best Restaurants in Nerja in 2022

With almost 100 restaurants in Nerja Spain, finding a fantastic restaurant to eat in Nerja can be an overwhelming decision. Nerja Spain lies almost an hour outside of Malaga. Unlike some of the other places on the Costa del Sol, it is not built up with high rises and maintains its authentic Spanish self in parts of the town.

Nerja has an abundance of great restaurants, so much so, that it can be difficult to decide where you want to eat. You are guaranteed in these Nerja restaurants to have some of the best meals of your holiday. These are the 12 best restaurants in Nerja that have been repeatedly tried and loved every time.

The 12 Best Nerja Restaurants

1. Ayo | Paseo Burriana, 15, 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Spain

Visiting Nerja and eating in Ayo‘s is the equivalent of going to Rome and visiting the Colosseum. It’s an essential part of any trip. It’s one of the oldest Chiringuitos (Beach BBQ Restaurant) in Nerja, having been established in 1969. And what makes it truly special is Ayo, the owner and chef, cooking enormous paellas on Burriana beach.

These gigantic cast iron pans sizzle and crackle in the scorching sun, filled to the brim with prawns, rice, rabbit and clams. Ayo’s paella is truly a masterpiece. As you glance around the restaurant you will see plate after plate of paella rushing around in wonderful organised chaos. It’s really great fun to be a part of it. And the paella is unforgettable. You won’t forget Ayos in a hurry.

Nerja Restaurants - Ayo's Paella
Paella in Ayo’s

I also highly recommend the Pollo Asado which comes with to-die-for vegetables that melt in your mouth. If there is one dish in the world that I would love to be able to cook, it’s Ayo’s chicken. Without a doubt, this one is probably the best restaurant in Nerja Spain for lunch.

Note: Ayo’s is only open in the afternoons for lunch.

Price Range: €

2. Copa Vino | Calle Almte. Ferrándiz, 60, 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Spain

A relatively new restaurant in Nerja, Copa Vino has only a handful of dishes on its menu. We managed to make our way through the menu in our two visits to the restaurant, and honestly, everything we ate was delicious. Not only is the food sublime, but the selection of wine is probably one of the best in Nerja.

 Spanish Cheese served in ceramic bowl
Copa Vino Dish

Copa Vino has created a really warm and cosy environment, and, their staff are really attentive, without being too pushy or in your face. A must-try dish is the Penne Piccolo served with a heavenly melt in your mouth mushroom sauce. It’s also one of the value dishes on the menu. The dish is enormous and could easily feed 2 people at a very generous price of €11. If visiting in the months of June-September make sure you book a table, as it does fill up quite quickly. This has been one of those Nerja restaurants that completely surprised me with its incredible flavours and presentation.

Price Range: €€€

3. Taste of India Nerja | Calle Hernando de Carabeo, 51, 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Spain

Taste of Nerja is not only one of the best restaurants in Nerja, but one of the best Indian restaurants in general. Its popularity stems from its incredible dishes that are so rich in flavour, that this is one restaurant that I can’t stop thinking about. And while it may be an unusual cuisine to indulge in whilst the lure of excellent Spanish cuisine is so nearby, it’s definitely worth trying. Taste of India has one of the best Butter Chicken dishes on the planet. Its creamy textures and tandoori chicken are mouthwateringly delicious. This is one dish not to miss.

bread with soup
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Nerja has a huge variety and a selection of Indian restaurants to choose from. Taste of India just happens to be one of the best. Its popularity naturally stems from its excellent food, but also its kind and attentive wait staff that are knowledgable about its dishes and extremely attentive.

The only negative thing about Taste of India is that you will be completely spoilt with its deliciousness, that all other Indian restaurants pale in comparison.

Price Range: €€

4. Restaurant 34 Nerja | Calle Hernando de Carabeo, nº 34, 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Spain

Restaurant 34 is one of the fanciest restaurants in Nerja and it’s always firmly reserved for the last night of the holiday. It’s worth saving till the end. And for this reason alone, the 34 is an all-time favourite and best restaurant in Nerja Spain. The restaurant is set on the grounds of a boutique hotel with a lot of old-world charm and sophistication. A quaint tapa bar at the front of the hotel is also super and well worth a visit.

Read: Where to Stay in Nerja

Restaurant 34 has one of the most beautiful dining settings in Nerja. With exquisite views over the Mediterranean Sea, it oozes romance and charm. The restaurant has a variety of ambient choices to sit at, from the romantic seafront terrace, you can dine to the sounds of the sea lapping below. Or dine by candlelight at the tables by the pool.

The setting of the restaurant is really romantic and definitely a must for couples looking for a quiet romantic dinner. The menu is diverse and really caters for all dietary requirements. The menu rarely changes and it has been consistently excellent for the longest time. If you can manage to squeeze in a dessert, the chocolate fondant is truly to die for.

Restaurant 34 is always the highlight of any trip to Nerja and it shouldn’t be missed. There is live Flamenca music several nights throughout the week during the summer months.

Price Range: €€€€

5. D’Vinos | Calle Almte. Ferrándiz, 34, 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Spain

D’Vinos is a restaurant that gives tapas a bit of a twist. Here you will find Japanese and Indian infused with traditional Spanish tapas. D’Vinos has a great rooftop terrace that gives views over the busy and bustling street below. It’s worth noting that the tapas are quite small here and to order a minimum of 2 to start with. The size varies from tapa to tapa, some of which are decently sized and can be shared, with others being consumed in a single bite.

We loved the infusion of different cuisines and its rooftop terrace. You can do some great people watching!

Price Range: €€

potatoes on white newspaper near brown wooden surface
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6. Bar El Pulguilla

One of the liveliest tapas restaurants and local experiences can be found in Bar El Pulguilla. It’s as basic as you can get, but offers a truly authentic Spanish tapas experience. With high tables and limited seating at the front of the bar, embrace the chaos from the TV which seems to be permanently showing Spanish football and a rambunctious crowd. Bar El Pulguilla has excellent seafood tapas that are typically served with each drink you order. 

The restaurant in the back has a large seating area and an extensive menu of freshly caught fish to choose from. I can’t recommend Bar El Pulguilla enough for those seeking a really authentic and fun experience. 

Price Range: €

person sitting near the brown wooden barrel table
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7. Bar Redondo

The infamous Bar Redondo is my favourite tapas experience in Nerja. Part of the fun is trying to procure a seat at their barrel tables outside the front of the bar on a very busy alleyway. This is an excellent spot for people watching and enjoying free tapas with each drink you order. You can also order off their menu for larger portions of tapas. It’s one of the cheapest places to eat in Nerja. Just make sure to order their flaming chorizo, it’s a lot of fun cooking it at the table and tastes incredible. 

Price Range: €

8. Restaurante Patanegra 57 

Patanegra 57 arrived just before the 2020 pandemic and is one of Nerja’s fine dining experiences. Located at the top of the beautiful Calle Almt. Fernandez and opposite Copa Vino, there are seats available inside their beautifully restored premises and some outside on the cobblestone streets. 

person holding stainless steel fork and bread knife on white ceramic plate
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Whilst the prices are expensive, it’s worth the price, with excellent ingredients locally procured as well as those from across Europe. The restaurant has a strong emphasis on local ingredients that make Spain’s culinary experience so tasty and worthwhile. Ingredients are seasonal and occasionally unique, with items such as sea urchin and Malaga goat appearing on the menu. 

For foodies, Restaurante Patanegra is an absolute must. During the months of July & August, make sure to book in advance.

Price Range: €€€€

9. Bakus

One of the most popular restaurants in all of Nerja is the Bakus. Bakus is a restaurant with sea views that during the summer months has some of the dreamiest sunsets visible from its terrace. Located above the Playa Carabeillo, Bakus is perennially popular for its quality ingredients, excellent and personable service and rarely loses its form

Read: Best Beaches in Nerja

Bakus creates dishes that are art like in appearance, almost being too pretty to consume. The flavours are bold and creative, with menu items such as pig cheeks and wild risotto being firm favourites with restaurant-goers. 

For visitors looking for reliable and ambitious dishes that are mouthwateringly delicious, consider Bakus and enjoy the sunset with a sundowner

Price Range: €€€€

10. Oliva | Plaza de España, 2, 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Spain

Oliva has enjoyed a successful iteration throughout the years, moving to larger premises as its popularity grew. Now firmly established at Plaza de Espana, Oliva can be considered one of Nerja’s most popular restaurants. Oliva lovingly uses the finest ingredients from the region on their menu and creates ambitious flavours and textures inspired by Spanish cuisine.

chef preparing fish dishes
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For fine dining and creative flavours, Oliva is exemplary in its presentations of dishes. Of course, they come with a hefty price tag, but it’s worth the price. Stand out dishes include the Iberico Pork Shoulder, Monkfish & Shrimps from Motril, Bluefin Tuna Tartar

Price Range: €€€€€

11. Botanic | C. Almte. Ferrándiz, 28, 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Spain

Botanic has one of the prettiest settings in Nerja. Its courtyard is centred around a fountain and is reminiscent of restaurants in Marrakech. The decor has leaned heavily on Andalucia’s Moorish past, with decorative tiles and its tranquil setting. The site where Botanic sits has undergone various renovations over the years and now is firmly entrenched in the Nerja restaurant scene.

The food in Botanic is some of the best in Nerja. With delicious flavours, presentation and ambience, it’s a solid 5 -star restaurant. Must-try dishes include the steak fillet and sherry glazed red tuna.  

Price Range: €€€

two brown bread on white surface
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12. La Dama | C. Hernando de Carabeo, 19, 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Spain

Is La Dama one of the best restaurants in Nerja? No. Is it one of the cheapest meals in Nerja? Absolutely yes. La Dama has been a staple in Nerja for over 10 years, thanks to its cheap pizzas and pasta

baked pizza with basil leaves
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It’s rare for a bill for 4 people to exceed €30. It’s by no means a culinary experience, but for families or couples looking for a budget-saving option with tasty pizzas and pasta, it’s a must. Be prepared to queue as it’s very popular and has a small number of seats available. The wait staff are two hilarious men who are very entertaining.

Price Range: €

Travel Essentials

Planes, Trains & Automobiles – I’m always on the hunt for great flight deals and Omio usually has excellent offers throughout the year. Booking a ferry is easily done through Ferry Hopper or Omio. For car hire, I’ve found RentalCars to be consistently the best.

Hotels – For hotel comparisons, I use Trivago to check where I can get the best deal. Booking.com usually ends up having the best deals around and has been consistently reliable throughout the years.

Tours & Guides – Searching between Viator & Get Your Guide, I can usually find a good deal on a food tour or event in the city that I’m visiting.

It’s hard to mention just a few of the best restaurants in Nerja. With an abundance of choices, you are guaranteed to have a great meal wherever you end up. These Nerja restaurants are sure to make everyone in the family happy, but make sure to leave a comment below and let me know which one’s were tried.

Missy Cahill

Travels with Missy will guide you on trips around the world with a book in each hand. With a focus on Mid-Range travel and budgets, discover suggestions for countries all around the world and excellent book recommendations.

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