15 things to eat on the costa del sol

Collage of things to eat on the Costa del Sol

Home to the Mediterranean diet and rich local produce from the land and sea, the Costa del Sol is something of a gourmet’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for traditional dishes, fine dining or international fare, you’ll find them all in this part of southern Spain. But we like to focus on local, so with this in mind, here are our 15 must-try things to eat on the Costa del Sol.

For each dish, we’ve listed the main ingredients, so you know exactly what’s on the plate. And because the tastiest food is always seasonal, we mention the best time to try each one. We’ve also highlighted those options that are veggie or can be adapted for non-meat eaters.

Must-try starters

Our first things to eat on the Costa del Sol start at the top of the menu with a selection of delicious dishes.


A bowl of ajoblanco soup

What is it? a refreshingly cool summer soup that combines some of the Costa del Sol’s signature produce.
Main ingredients: garlic, almonds and grapes for the topping.
When in season: summer time and best of all, in late August and early September when the grapes on the top are the first from the local vines.
Veggie- friendly? yes, 100% and this is also a good vegan option.


What is it? clams, caught locally and served hot with plenty of juice to mop up with your bread (almost the best bit!)
Main ingredients: clams, cooked in white wine or fino sherry with lots of garlic and parsley.
When in season: sometimes all year round, depending on the supply, but always in the summer.
Veggie- friendly? only if you’re pescatarian.

Berenjenas fritas

What is it? deep-fried aubergine pieces, slices, cubes or ‘chips’, as above. Served piping hot and with ‘honey’ made from sugarcane in Frigiliana near Nerja drizzled on top.
Main ingredients: aubergines, olive oil for the frying and sugarcane ‘honey’.
When in season: any time of year
Veggie friendly? yes, absolutely and this is also a good option for vegans.

Try the costa del Sol foodie experience

Our road trips include one especially for foodies. It takes you round the Costa del Sol and includes all the best things to eat. The Foodie Experience Costa del Sol Road Trip also comes with a seasonal guide to local produce and lists the typical things to eat in each destination. All planned for you, your people, your foodie treats, in your time. All for just €4.95.

Conchas finas

What is it? giant clams, served raw to eat like oysters. These are a real local delicacy, particularly in restaurants in Malaga city.
Main ingredients: the clams, black pepper and lemon.
When in season: any time of year
Veggie friendly? not unless you’re pescatarian.

Ensalada malagueña

What is it? a refreshingly cool salad that combines several star local ingredients. We love the contrast between the salty cod, acidic olives and sweet oranges. An explosion of tastes!
Main ingredients: potatoes, cod, olives from Alora, oranges from the Guadalhorce Valley. Some recipes include tomato and/or green pepper.
When in season: in the summer, although you’ll also find this on the menu in the winter when local oranges are at their juiciest.
Veggie friendly? not really, but you could ask the restaurant to leave out the cod.


What is it? a rich soup that’s comfort food on a plate and a perfect winter warmer. Don’t confuse it with gazpacho – this soup is served hot and has no tomatoes in it.
Main ingredients: potatoes, fish, prawns, clams and mayo sauce.
When in season: in the winter.
Veggie friendly? not unless you’re a pescatarian.

Porra antequera

What is it? a thick cold soup from Antequera where there’s an annual competition to find the best. In nearby Cordoba, they call it salmorejo. Gazpacho is its close cousin, but porra is much thicker and you eat it with a spoon, rather than drinking it.
Main ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and bread. Toppings include tuna, cured ham and hard-boiled eggs.
When in season: in the summer months and best in July and August when made with the ‘huevo de toro’ tomatoes (literally ‘bull’s balls), grown in the Guadalhorce Valley and a true foodie treat on the Costa del Sol!
Veggie friendly? yes, as long as the topping is only hard-boiled egg. It’s also suitable for vegans with no topping at all.


What is it? the summer beach food par excellence and perfect as a starter to lunch or dinner. The locally caught sardines are grilled on skewers over open fires, usually with olive wood. A skewer of sardines is known as an espeto. This is perhaps one of the most typical things to eat on the Costa del Sol.
Main ingredients: sardines and plenty of rock salt.
When in season: in the months without an ‘r’ in them, so from May to August.
Veggie friendly? only if you’re pescatarian.

Main dishes

Now you’ve had your starters, lets move on to mains. Here we’ve chosen a selection of meat and fish dishes that we think are all must-try foodie treats on the Costa del Sol.


What is it? rice served as a paella, ‘seco’ (dry and finished in the oven) or ‘caldoso’ (runny and eaten with a spoon). Rice isn’t a local produce, but local ingredients lend themselves perfectly to any sort of rice dish. As a result, you’ll find delicious rice at most beach restaurants on the Costa del Sol.
Main ingredients: rice plus fish and seafood and/or meat plus vegetables such as peppers.
When in season: any time of year
Veggie friendly? only if you choose a non-fish or meat version of the dish. Many restaurants now offer this option.


The Costa del Sol is also famous for its local wine, produced across the province and in all different types – red, white, rose, sparkling and sweet. The typical things to eat on the Costa del Sol have their perfect partner in Malaga wine, a match made in heaven. Our Foodie Experience Costa del Sol Road Trip includes restaurants that specialise in food and wine pairing. And if you’re interested in discovering the world of Malaga wine, why not buy our Malaga Wine Costa del Sol Trip as well?

Chivo malagueño

What is it? kid goat roasted or as a stew, a speciality in the Montes de Malaga and Axarquia regions. Restaurants in villages such as Canillas del Aceituno reputedly serve the best.
Main ingredients: kid goat with plenty of garlic, thyme and rosemary, plus lashings of salt and olive oil.
When in season: winter, particularly December and January.
Veggie friendly? obviously not in any of its versions!

Pescaito frito

What is it? locally caught fish, usually small, battered and deep fried to perfection in olive oil.
Main ingredients: any small fish (pescaito) such as anchovies, white bait and red snapper, plus squid.
When in season: any time of year
Veggie friendly? only if you eat fish.

Plato de los Montes

What is it? a seriously filling dish typical to the mountains on the Costa del Sol, particularly the Montes de Malaga. You’ll find it as a staple on the menu at most roadside restaurants (known as ventas).
Main ingredients: marinated pork, known as lomo en orza, chorizo, deep-fried green peppers and a ton of chips. Some ventas add a fried egg for extra stopping power!
When in season: any time of year
Veggie friendly? could be if you just went for the chips and peppers and made sure there’s an egg on top.

Sweets & desserts

And now to our final bit of the menu and the sweetest typical things to eat on the Costa del Sol. To set your sugar taste buds buzzing, why not try the following?


What is it? a delicious cake-like dessert whose name literally means ‘it tastes good to me’. It’s served all over the Costa del Sol, but restaurants and bakeries in Antequera make the best.
Main ingredients: eggs, almonds, sugar and lemon.
When in season: any time of year
Vegan friendly? not at all.

Higos mozárabes

What is it? dried figs stewed in Malaga wine, served warm or cold.
Main ingredients: dried figs, spices and cinnamon, plus a good splash of sweet Malaga wine.
When in season: any time of year
Vegan friendly? yes, as long as you ask for no cream.

Tocino del cielo

What is it? literally ‘fat from heaven’, this very sweet dessert usually comes as a small square on its own, although some restaurants add extra punch with ice cream and/or cream.
Main ingredients: eggs and sugar.
When in season: any time of year
Vegan friendly? no, we’re afraid not.


If your mouth is watering by now and you can’t wait to try the best things to eat on the Costa del Sol, then get the guides you need to ensure the best holiday ever. Our Road Trips are themed to match your interests – obviously the Foodie Experience and Malaga Wine guides go best with this blog post. But you’ll also find guides for adventurers, families, golfers, history buffs and those in search of a few luxury treats.

Each guide contains 50 pages and plans literally everything on your holiday. Best of all? They only cost €4.95 each and even better, discounts apply the minute you buy more than one. See for yourself in our Shop – discounts are automatically apply at checkout.

¡Buen viaje!