Those who know me, either because we met in real life or from social media or my blog, knows that I have a soft spot for good food and a nice drop.
It’s something I freely admit – and my figure is a testament to this – I love to embark on culinary journeys during a nice get-together. Scrumptious food, drinks with friends – who could possibly resist? Just to sit comfortably at a table for a self-indulgent feast is a pure delight, a fortiori when it’s part of your job to stand at the stove from time to time.
And Andalusia is a true El Dorado for friends of love handles: our guests always tell us almost bursting with glee about their great restaurant visits and slightly less gleefully about their weight gain during their holiday 🙂 . But hey – you only go on holiday for a small part of the year. Besides, as we all know, life is short and food in Spain is more than just a mere food intake.
Our ultimate list of restaurants in Mojácar and the area
Let’s start our list with restaurants in Mojácar Playa. Mojácar Playa is – lo’ and behold – 17 km long and, suffice to say, offers ample space for restaurants, bars and chiringuitos. I won’t talk about bars deliberately, because then this article would go on “forever” … only that much: there are gazillions of ways to have a drink in Mojácar. From beer and wine to long drinks and cocktails … with and without alcohol, in every price range, with and without live music, with and without tapa accompaniment, from simple to chic, before or after dinner, you name it! To cut a long story short: I’ll just stick to the restaurants 🙂 … well, there are drinks in restaurants, too … and that’s that. 🙂
Let’s get one thing out of the way: the following list is in “order”. However, this does not represent some form of ranking or awarding of points. It’s just, that I have to start and end with something. Vale! 🙂
Restaurants in Mojácar Playa
The AKU-AKU is one of the oldest chiringuitos in Mojácar and very famous for its out-of-this-world rice dishes – not to be confused with paella, by the way – “arroz”. And the arroz negro, you can take my word for it, is absolutely to die for. You eat it with a tiny dollop of aioli and that alone is an explosion of the taste buds on its own. If that’s too exotic for you, you can try one of the more “classic” versions. Each and every one of them is absolutely divine … and they all come with the “socarrat”, the almost burnt rice at the bottom of the pan – which is far from being a kitchen accident. Instead, it’s the actual reason why people order an arroz in the first place.
For starters, try the freshly fried camarones. I won’t give the game away by telling you what it is. Just wait for it.
In addition to the rice dishes that are known far and wide, the AKU-AKU is also famed for its summer evening events. This is the place to go for wonderful jazz concerts and flamenco music here. And the music at AKU-AKU is always worth a little shazaming 😉
The history of this chiringuito is quite something. Until 2016, it belonged to the cult gangster Gordon Goody, one of the legendary mail robbers involved in the famous 1963 mail robbery in England.
Goody used his time behind bars to learn Spanish. He was very popular in Mojácar, as he gave food and love to many stray animals in Mojácar. In 2016, Goody passed away giving way to new owners of the Chiringuito. In the meantime, the “new” owners have turned the Chiringuito inside out: both the furnishings and the kitchen are now on a whole new level…
The location looks great and is very cosy, the food is utterly delicious and the upper, spacious restaurant area offers a spectacular view of the sea. But to be honest, the restaurant area on the beach is even better IMHO. The atmosphere out there is extraordinary. That’s why we always ask for a table on the beach, when we reserve a table for you – only the best for you 😉
Restaurante La Cava
At La Cava, it’s probably the closest you can get to the sea with your table in Mojácar. In high winds a refreshing spray is very likely to reach the top. The location simply is spectacular. Also, because once a month the full moon rises in the sea right in front of the terrace – it’s truly beyond description.
Scanning the menu you’ll find fish, fish and, you got it, more fish. It clearly is the speciality here. Since the owner comes from the north of Spain, he has the best connections. So he not only serves Mediterranean fish … but everything is sure to be top quality. Always.
But what I never fail to go a bundle on are the fresh vegetables – depending on the season, there are the most delicious mushrooms, peppers and artichokes.
And then there’s his signature dessert – ooooh, it’s absolutely divine. But I only let guests know what it is 🙂
Restaurante La Parata
Who would have thought that one day I would find myself sitting in a restaurant – in Spain mind you – run by English people? I can already hear some people thinking “Good Lord!” The English may have Jürgen Klopp – but English cuisine is a bit dodgy, isn’t it????
Hey guys, come off it! There are Michelin-starred restaurants in England, too, and guess what – there are even English chefs working there. And Richard at La Parata happens to be an excellent chef who manages to give typical regional and seasonal products a new twist added with a touch of French charm. Then there’s his glamorous wife Louisa in service – unbeatable.
Apart from the great food, I reward La Parata with extra bonus points for having dessert wines on the menu.
And I’ll be honest with you – all guests who have been there so far are convinced repeat offenders. And if you were wondering where we actually celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve – you don’t need to wonder any longer 🙂
Restaurante Cabo Norte
Well, what can I say about this? Those who know me know that I love the food and the wine here, but what’s more: I absolutely adore the boss of the house. I always say she’s an angel who fell down to earth, but I can only fill you in on the details when you’re here.
Maria is not a trained but an extremely talented self-taught chef. A natural! However, her second to none mix of using only the best products and her endless love and devotion for cooking, puts many a top chef to flight.
The Cabo Norte has a beautiful garden. It’s simply wonderful to enjoy your meal with your feet in the soft grass. By the way, we never order a dish from the menu. We always tell Maria to just whip up something delicious for us. And the best thing is, in all these years we’ve never had the same thing. Give it a try, let yourself be surprised and enjoy the fantastic quality. By the way, Maria is happy to make allowances for allergies or total aversions in moderation.
Absolutely heavenly to me: the pan with baby beans, green asparagus and red prawns. And everything else that is fresh in the house – just ask!
At Gastro MalaBar women hold the reins, or, to be more precise: Maria’s daughters from the AKU-AKU run this place.
The location may not be the greatest with the terrace right on the street, but with the Spanish noise level you’ll be oblivious to that anyway. People live, laugh and passionately debate here (as they always do 😉) – so you won’t notice the cars in the background at all.
And besides, you’ll quite happily accept it because the food will definitely make up for it. It’s difficult to name dishes here because the menu changes twice a year.
Except for the classics, everything is replaced. But the classics, patatas bravas, like you’ve never tried before, and croquetas de cecina, made with a filling of fresh sheep’s milk, are just – dare I say it? – bossalistic!
At the moment, they have another true summer hit for me: tuna tartare with a spicy watermelon gazpacho. Just writing about it makes my mouth water again. And as it’s 8.15 pm right now, I wonder what on earth I’m doing here at the computer….
Let’s leave it at that with restaurants in Mojácar Playa and continue up the mountain to Mojácar Pueblo, the white village perched high above the sea and what happens to be one of the 20 most beautiful white Spanish villages.
Mojácar Pueblo is bustling with bars and restaurants and never fails to surprise us with new things. But for my, admittedly somewhat spoilt palate, it can’t be anything but delicious and “made” from good quality products. I don’t always need it classy (as you’ll notice in a moment), but nice people in nice surroundings is a must … and that shouldn’t be limited to the company I have with me 🙂 .
Restaurants in Mojácar Pueblo
Restaurante La Candela
This is our jazzy restaurant above the rooftops of Mojácar. You can choose from modern fish and meat dishes, but also from a good selection of vegetarian and even vegan dishes.
I’ve stopped counting the times we’ve enjoyed a delicious meal up here – and not once did I come across something I didn’t like. The wine list keeps getting longer and longer, thanks to suggestions from guests, and in summer Violeta and Ricardo probably offer the longest kitchen hours.
Here, the woman is at the stove and the man behind the counter, but as a team they are unbeatable. We always look forward to the new menu because we know there are no limits to Violeta’s creativity.
Time & Place Bar Cueva
The name dates back to when this cave dwelling used to be a bar. That was pretty cool, because as soon as you walked through the door, you really found yourself standing in a cave.
Today, the cave next door has also been reopened and offers a large table for a group.
Otherwise, the restaurant has a wonderful, very romantic terrace and serves wonderful regional dishes from Mojácar and the surrounding area, such as the tosta turrera, the ajo colorao and the delicious albondigas.
In a nutshell, it’s a truly wonderful place for long, mild summer nights ❤️
Foodtruck In Viaggio
at Camping El Quinto (only in midsummer)
This was a real zinger at the beginning of Corona. Before that, the two food truck whizkids used to go to big events and concerts all over Spain. Well, at the onset of the pandemic, the two needed to get creative to safeguard their livelihood. They got the opportunity to pitch their tents at the campsite “El Quinto” during the summer months. I don’t think anyone expected this stopgap to make such a splash.
A food truck run by Italians and equipped with a proper Sicilian wood-fired oven serves the best pizzas in a radius of, ooooh, many, many kilometres. Just arrive, take a seat and watch the hustle and bustle over a cold Estrella Galicia.
Here you can simply enjoy “La Dolce Vita” under the Andalusian sun without having to dress up.
Right, so that’s it for my personal recommendations for restaurants in Mojácar Pueblo. The attentive reader will have noticed that these were only 9 of the promised 10 restaurant tips … I’ll tell you the tenth restaurant when you get here, because it depends on your taste and what you fancy on that particular evening. Do you want to mingle with the locals and just eat locally? Then the Bar Habanero or Gurre Toki should be just right for you. Perhaps you’d like to take a break from all that fish and have a nice piece of meat? Then go to La Cabaña. Could you do with some tranquillity amidst all the hustle and bustle? Then El Sitio is the place for you. And of course there are many, many others … but you won’t even work your way through the ones mentioned here in one holiday 😉
So let’s dive into the restaurants in the surrounding villages.
Restaurants in Vera
Now, this is considered THE Saturday lunchtime must-do. On Saturdays, the biggest weekly market of the area takes place in Vera. It’s a bubbly hustle and bustle in which all the people from the surrounding area take part.
And what does the Andalusian do when he’s finally bagged all his weekend shopping? Yep! Meet up with friends and indulge in creature comforts.
At Terraza Carmona you seemingly bump into someone, although everyone knows that everyone hangs out here anyway 😉
There’s a restaurant, a few ballrooms and also a hotel, but people mostly just meet at the tapa bar. It’s bustling, loud and … typically Andalusian, really. There’s a constant coming and going. You sign up for a waiting list with Alejandro at Terraza Carmona. Alejandro then makes sure that you get a seat as quickly as possible and that nobody jumps the queue.
The tapas are excellent and my favourite waiter is Jorge. It happens quite often that we meet for a quick tapa at 2 pm and end up going home at 6.30 pm full of tapas up to our eyeballs/totally worn out.
You should definitely try the “Degustación de platos típicos Almerienses” and the “Insalá Asá” – and you’ll instantly have arrived at your Almería holiday in terms of taste.
Restaurante Juan Moreno
This restaurant is for gourmets who love a modern atmosphere. The cuisine is traditional, regional and seasonal, but very fine. But that doesn’t necessarily mean expensive, because apart from the tasting menu, the prices, nevertheless, are very moderate. And even the tasting menu is still a steal compared to the prices in Northern Europe.
Miguel, the sommelier and brother of the chef, has a tremendous wine selection, while Juan creatively raves in the kitchen.
On request, the tasting menu can come with wine pairings in two quality levels – which always stirs my sommelier’s blood. So it could well be that I leave the restaurant with a proper buzz 😉
Le Petit Gourmet
The owner, Christine, is also the chef, a marvellous Walloon cook in fact. Naturally, as soon as the season starts, she offers the Belgian national dish Moules-Frites. But the rest of her menu, too, won’t fail to whet your appetite. And there are always daily specials to choose from.
You can also have breakfast here or a cocktail in the evening, but missing
out on the great food would simply be foolish, to say the least. No matter what’s on the menu, you can be sure you’ll thoroughly enjoy it.
Restaurante Lua Puerto Rey
First off: this is definitely the most beautiful restaurant in our area. Nobody, absolutely nobody, has given so much thought to the decoration of their restaurant as Felipe. It’s simply gorgeous. And he and his team really masterly run a tight – and admittedly very large – ship.
The wine selection is very good, the variety of dishes offers something for every palate and for lunch Felipe also offers a really great and reasonable Menu del Día.
“Must-eat” dishes here are huevos rotos de cortijo, sobrasada ibérica y migas de queso de cabra and habitas baby con huevos pochados trufados y taquitos de jabugo. I’ll be happy to tell you what all that is in detail on site 😉
Restaurants in Turre
Now we send you up to the mountains of the Sierra Cabrera, where a German and a British architect have breathed new life into some old ruins. They found the remains of a Moorish settlement there and have rebuilt an entire village in Moorish style. And there you’ll find, well what do you think? A Moroccan restaurant called:
El Riad Cabrera
Also known as: El Restaurante de la Fatima en la Cabrera. Yeah, the Andalusian, as we know, has a great tendency to speechify 🙂
Everyone within the perimeter knows Fatima and her restaurant high up in the Sierra Cabrera. The location is simply wonderful, particularly in summer. The terrace with Moroccan furniture and a waterfall invites you to stay, especially because the temperatures up here are much more pleasant than down by the sea.
The food is delicious and the Moroccan tea is celebrated traditionally. We recommend not to choose anything from the menu, but to simply ask Fatima for her tasting menu. The portions may be a bit smaller, but it allows you the pleasure of trying lots of different things throughout the different courses.
The tea at the end is obligatory, because there is hardly anything tastier than this far too sweet Moroccan mint tea – unless you have a sugar allergy 😉
The only drawback: Fatima’s taste in music. Unless you’re into Richard Clayderman. But everything else more than compensates for it. As our dear guest Monique said this week: “I felt like I was in a fairy tale from 1001 nights under the starry sky”. And that despite Fatima’s rather questionable taste in music 😉
Restaurants in Carboneras
Restaurante El Cabo
Ah, this is a quick one, because I can keep it really short here: great restaurant by the sea, super service, brilliant food. PERIOD.
As I write this, I’m looking at the current menu. As always, it includes many new creations. Since we know the kitchen well by now, my fingers are itching, or rather. – it tickles my palate. It’s definitely on my wish list for the coming week. Even though we are in the high season, we treat ourselves to a visit to El Cabo occasionally to unwind.
Fish and meat are equally delicious here. The fact that they use a lot of products from small local producers and even mention them on their menu is something I’d like to point out here, because there can hardly be a nicer way of working together ❤️
Restaurants in Cabo de Gata
Let’s start right at the “entrance” to this nature reserve, in Agua Amarga, my favourite village in Cabo de Gata. Not only because of the great restaurants, but also because of the many pretty shops, the Cala de Plomo and of course the world’s most beautiful bay, the Cala de Enmedio.
El Beach Agua Amarga
Restaurant, lounge, cocktail bar – call it what you will. Thanks to sun loungers and parasols, the El Beach Agua Amarga is a divine place for you to relax and enjoy a delicious snack at lunchtime. Personally, I recommend hummus, guacamole and a summery salad with oranges.
And when you’ve recovered from your lunch coma on the sun lounger, a summery cocktail is quickly at hand to revive your spirits. Add a modern Ibiza flair, and you have the perfect holiday.
Restaurante La Villa (in Agua Amarga)
This isn’t a beach bar where you can walk around in a bikini. Quite the opposite. It’s a restaurant where you should wear “proper” clothes. But it’s perfectly fine to go casual, as the atmosphere around the restaurant’s pool is relaxed, too.
The food is modern and absolutely scrummy – the stylish furnishings can also be bought in the village. The service is wonderful, discreet and yet always present.
As the menu is revised regularly, I can’t really recommend anything. Just embrace the creativity of the cooking team, as we did. So far, it’s always been a fabulous decision.
Asador La Chumbera (in Agua Amarga)
Asador translates as barbecue restaurant. The name says it all! It’s also one of the few restaurants in Almeria that has made it into the Michelin Guide. (You can find all the other Andalusian restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide here).
They store the best meat you could possibly wish for in a meat maturing cabinet. Just looking at it makes your mouth water.
But everything else on the menu is simply amazingly good. Chef Sylvain’s French origins are certainly just ONE reason for this.
But the menu reflects classic Spanish cuisine, as it should be. Only the steak tartare and the foie gras allow us to draw conclusions about his origins 😉
Restaurante Oro y Luz (in Rodalquilar)
The entire team has changed here – both the chef and the service manager – since the last time I’ve been there. So I’ll keep quiet until I’ve been back myself and got a first-hand impression. But from my experiences so far, I don’t have the heart to cross it off my list. It’s always been too delicious for that 🙂
Restaurante La Gallineta (in El Pozo de los Frailes)
This restaurant has been on my list of places to try for AGES. It’s only open from March to mid-October, and that’s when we have a full house …
In the meantime, however, we’re so versed in what we’re doing that we sometimes manage to “escape” even in the middle of the season, i.e. to disappear for half a day 😉
One of the last escapes from everyday life finally found us heading to La Gallineta, for my mother’s birthday, you see.
We were very impressed to say the least: our table in the shade under a tree, chansons playing from what looked like an old gramophone, attentive and friendly service – and the food was delightful.
The restaurant has four menus in total:
- Mediterranean dishes – here we ate our way up and down the menu. At least for the first visit, we wanted to keep it classic.
- A menu with dishes inspired by their winter travels. Here you’ll find typical Almerian basic ingredients like fish from our coast or lamb from our mountains. But the preparation has an Asian, Moroccan or Latin American touch. That’s on my list for next time.
- Arroces or paella, as they say in Valencia. Along with the classics, the menu is spiced up with South American or Asian variations. From this menu the rice dish with marinated tuna and kaffir lime is on my list – for the time after next.
- Last but not least, the desserts – yum-yum – at last some proper and homemade desserts. Sadly, our province often shows a great deficit in this respect and confines itself to the same old ready-made “cheesecake”.
We just ordered four desserts, and tried everything from the middle of the table. Cor! It was a feast.
Restaurants in Almería Capital, our provincial capital
It would go beyond the scope of this article to list all the restaurants in Almería that I think are great.
To keep it short, I’ll limit it to a few simple, but no less nice tapas bars. We always recommend these to our guests when they make a day trip to Almería. As we all know, everything is closed at lunchtime, so a break in one of these gastrobars is a good idea.
Almeria’s oldest tapa bar is always worth a stop. The location is definitely nice to look at and here you’ll get a feel of typical Andalusian life again – at least your ears, because the volume in the bar area is exceptionally high 😉
Habas con jamon – young, green beans with Iberico ham are a tasty tapa here and, paired with an ice-cold beer, a blessing when your legs have given out.
Taberna Nuestra Tierra
There’s a tapa bar just a few metres up the street that has become a talking point in recent years. Before Corona, Almería used to be the gastronomic capital of Spain where many young chefs really gave some great thought into it. So in this tapa bar, only Andalusian, primarily Almerian ingredients are used and traditional dishes, that grandma would be proud of, form the basis. The chef gives these dishes a new twist and the result is award-winning tapas that are simply mouth-watering 🙂
This is where the people who work in the neighbourhood meet at lunchtime. All in all, one could say that the tapa bar is a bit “posh”. But that doesn’t keep people from laughing and talking at the top of their voices.
I highly recommend the Jamon from 5J. You can find more information about it here.
So that’s it about the restaurants in Mojácar for the time being. When we have a little more time in winter, our next project will be to nosh our way through Almería. We still have so many things on our list that we need to try out – as part of a thorough research … It’s really hard work, which we’ll undertake just for you, of course! We don’t want anyone to think that we’re just doing this for sport! When we’ve finished the project (and haven’t burst), there will definitely be a separate list of restaurants in Almería Capital. At least it will be calorie-free for the time being 😂 …
On this note,