This Guide is basically divided into three main sections: Tapas Bars – Other Bars – Restaurants, and based upon the main function of the establishment. They do often overlap, of course, with bars serving food and restaurants providing a bar service.
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Tapas Bars in Nerja
Tapas are an integral part of Spanish life and a very social way of eating and drinking, so here is a rough guide to some of the bars.
The best idea is to have one drink and a ‘tapa’ at each stop, making sure you each order a different tapa so you get chance to taste as many as possible.
Tapas are generally included in the price of the drink, but not always, so do check. Also, whilst most bars automatically offer you a tapa with your drink, again some don’t and you should not be afraid to ask for your tapa.
Taking in a few traditional tapas bars, either at lunchtime or in the evening, is not only a good way of experiencing the real Spanish way of life and mixing with the locals, it is also a great (and generally cheaper) alternative to a set meal.
I know from experience that some people find the idea of entering a noisy, crowded Spanish bar a little daunting. The same applies to some of the more ‘rough and ready’ bars you may come across as you wander through the back streets.
Don’t be put off by crowds, noise or appearance or you’ll miss out on a great experience and some of the best bars in town.
Although prices do vary, especially in the more ‘touristy’ areas, you would normally expect to pay between €1.20 and €1.80 for your beer/wine including tapa.
You can see where all the tapas bars are located on the Nerja Tapas Bar Map
Bars in Nerja
Nerja may be a relatively small town but it certainly has a lot of bars.
There are bars and cafeterias of every size and shape, nationality and with varying facilities.
Traditional Spanish tapas bars tucked away in back streets, bars with ‘live’ entertainment, sports bars where you can watch all the major sporting events…
Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll almost certainly find it somewhere in town.
Looking for the late night music bars? You’ll find a host of them in Plaza Tutti Frutti, the main centre of nightlife in Nerja.
Restaurants in Nerja
Restaurants of all nationalities abound in Nerja, so it should not be too difficult to find something to suit almost every taste.
Traditional Andalucían cuisine, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Greek, Laotian, Turkish and Japanese Sushi are just a few of the delights available in Nerja.
Fancy a really tasty paella? Try Merendero La Barca or Merendero Ayo on Burriana beach for their paellas cooked in huge pans on open fires.
Francisco Ortega Olalla ‘Ayo’, an almost legendary character in Nerja, has been making his world famous paellas the same way since he opened his restaurant in 1969.
You can see where all the restaurants are located on the Nerja Restaurants Map
One way of sampling a variety of tapas, enjoy the social occasion and generally have fun, is to go on a ‘Tapas Run’ or ‘Tapas Trail’. This is really nothing more than linking a few bars together in a logical manner and route, either in a particular area or perhaps even by food style.
It is easy to make up your own ‘runs’ or ‘trails’, once you get to know what is available, of course, but here are a few to get you started.
Run One is a nice easy introduction, not much walking involved so you can spend more time eating and drinking, and takes in Los Bilbainos, Los Cuñaos, La Puntilla and Chispa’s.
Run Two adds a couple of extra bars in the same area as Run One, these being Los Cangrejos and Rincón del Sabor, but still remains a circular trail.
Run Three takes you to the western end of Nerja and this trail involves sampling the delicacies in La Marina, SolyMar, Los Pescaitos, Sevillanos, Vinoleto and La Bodeguilla.
Run Four is a circular route in the very centre of Nerja and takes you to Hostal Regina, La Piqueta, the Round Bar, El Pulguilla and La Taberna.
There is certainly no shortage of ‘eateries’ – of every conceivable type – in Nerja so you should have no problem finding somewhere suitable.
The Spanish are very family oriented and so the vast majority of restaurants are what you would describe as ‘children friendly’ and many offer a special ‘children’s menu’.
The Spanish tend to eat lunch between 1:00 and 3:00pm and dinner between 6:00 and 10:00pm, even later during the hot summer months.
There are numerous bars and restaurants offering Full English Breakfast – including some Spanish bars now – and you should expect to pay between €4 and €7 per person.
Or you can have breakfast Spanish style. A coffee and a media Catalana, for example, (toasted bread roll with either butter (mantequilla) or olive oil (aceite), tomato and a decent helping of serrano ham) will set you back roughly €2 – €3. And it’s delicious.
Very popular is toasted bread roll covered with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. The choices are endless, really, and you can select whatever you want and it’s not expensive.
A coffee on its own (best in a glass or vaso) is normally €0.90 for a small one (pequeño) or €1 or €1.20 for a large one (grande or doble ).
Traditional snacks served with drinks and included in the price of the drink in most Spanish bars. Expect to pay between €1.20 and €1.80 for your beer/wine and tapa.
Most restaurant menus tend to be in several languages or, in many cases, with pictures of the various dishes. The ‘house’ wine (vino de la casa) is generally good quality plonk.
Menu del Dia
A large number of restaurants offer a Menu del Dia (Daily Menu) and this usually consists of three courses plus a drink. For each course there are normally a number of choices, so it’s basically a sort of ‘pick and mix’ meal.
Although the portions may be slightly smaller than if you were to choose each course separately from the main menu, they are still more than ample and are very good value for money. Expect to pay anywhere between €6 and €10 for a menu del dia these days.
Tipping (propina) is not mandatory, generally customary or even expected in most bars and small restaurants in Spain. As a general rule, the Spanish will sometimes leave as a tip the small change left on their plate after paying a bill.