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Calahonda Restaurant Guide

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Calahonda Restaurant Guide.

 

Restaurants abound in and around Calahonda and we are often asked which is  the best. I have avoided answering that question for so long because it’s a very subjective question, chefs change, budgets vary as does the type of food you fancy. I don’t know if you want to try out traditional Spanish or if you want something you know? I don’t know if you want to blow the budget or save your money for other things. That said we are asked for information on the subject so often that we have decided that I can’t avoid the subject any longer. I have given my honest opinion and given details of a wide variety of establishments to give you the best possible selection that I can, please take this restaurant guide as just that, a guide. Before I start telling you about the restaurants and their food can I recommend that you try the local drink speciality, “Tinto de Verano” at least once during your stay. Tinto de Verano is a refreshing drink that is ideal for the sunny environment that you are now enjoying. The recipe for this drink varies from place to place but the basic ingredients are red wine, lemonade (or soda water as an alternative), lime and ice. If you like Tinto de Verano you can call me and thank me, if not, well at least I got you in to the spirit of things! 

 

Not so expensive restaurants in and around Calahonda.

Royal Beach Bar.

This is a beach bar but it has a little more class than you might expect. During the day it is typical of what you would expect of a beach bar serving cold drinks and meals. During the evening they get out the table clothes, and the chef comes into his own. The beach bar atmosphere somehow notches up and it becomes a relaxed restaurant. The food here is always fresh, competitively priced and the portions are “hearty” to say the least. The seafood here is excellent. The Paella is highly recommended (but it has to be ordered the day before you want the meal because all of the ingredients are bought fresh and specifically for you.)I have to give credit to my UK neighbour Andy Tickle of the “discovery” of The Royal Beach Bar. For those who don’t know Andy I can tell you that he is an expert on food and drink, so a recommendation from Andy just had to be followed up by a personal visit by me!  As usual Andy was right and we have been visiting the Royal Beach bar every since.  This beach bar is owned and run by two brothers with a fantastic sense of humour. Don’t be surprised if they start larking about once they get to know you, their zany sense of humour is nothing to fear. Join in with the banter if you can, they love it if you do and it adds to the friendly and informal atmosphere.  Directions: If you are parked at the front of our apartment complex entrance drive down the hill and follow the road to the junction with the yellow island in the middle of the road. Turn right there and head down the hill until you come to Los Cypresses shopping complex. SLOWLY turn left into the shopping complex but instead of going left again into the car park bear slightly to your right and drive in front of Supersol Supermarket. As you pass the Supermarket on your right the road bears left, follow the road and after approximately ¼ mile you come to a large roundabout. Go straight across at the roundabout and under the A7 road. You immediately come to another roundabout with McDonalds across the road. Go straight across this roundabout as though you are going to McDonalds and you come to a poorly maintained road surface. Do not turn left into McDonalds, carry straight along the poorly made road towards the sea. It is narrow and appears to be going nowhere but stay on it. Approximately 200 yards from McDonalds you come to a car park. Royal Beach bar is there.     They have a short break between the daytime & evening meal sittings. In accordance with Spanish custom the times that the restaurant closes varies according to the mood of the staff. As a rough guide they close between 2pm and 6pm.

Little Mexico,  Avda Espana (the strip)

 

This restaurant is only about a ten minute walk from our apartment. It is near the bottom of Ava Espana, the main street / hill that you came up when you arrived in Calahonda and drove from the A7 to our apartment.  Obviously the name gives away the type of food they serve. It is a tiny restaurant, probably only seating about sixteen people inside with a similar number of seats outside. This restaurant is ideal if you fancy a little walk (approximately ten minutes) and you want a reasonably priced meal.

 

Little India. On Avda. Espana (the strip)

 

This restaurant is one of several small restaurants located on The Strip, the main street leading from the A7 up into Calahonda. Little India is towards the bottom of the Strip. Again the name gives away the type of food they serve. It is a small restaurant, probably only seating about 30 people inside with a small number of seats outside. As with Little Mexico this restaurant is ideal if you fancy a little walk (approximately ten minutes) and you want a reasonably priced meal, although you do pay a little more for curry in Spain than you would in the UK. 

 

Not so expensive restaurants in and around Calahonda.

 

Chan’s Chinese’s restaurant.

 

In the Los Cypresses shopping complex, five minutes walk from our apartment. This is a small local Chinese where the food is as you would expect at any Chinese restaurant in the UK. The service is always friendly and the food is always reasonable. The only snag with Chans’ is that they rarely switch the air conditioning on so dining alfresco is advisable on hot days.  Chan’s is a short walk from our apartment so it is ideal for an evening when no-one fancy’s driving and you want a reasonably priced meal. Directions: Chan's is located above Supersol Supermarket in Los Cypresses shopping complex, Calahonda.  

 

Middle of the range restaurants.

 

I met a local Spanish resident, Jesus, who recommended the next five restaurants to me. He used to be a restaurant owner himself and from his recommendations it has become clear to me that he certainly knows his food!  I recommend all of the following five mid-range restaurants that Jesus told me about without reservation.  If you can visit each one during your stay I guarantee you will go home happier and heavier (watch out if travelling with Easyjet, they charge extra for everything these days) than when you arrived!

 

Casa Navarra (on the Mijas Pueblo road near Fuengirola.)

 

In all honesty I am not sure whether to list this as a middle of the range or a top quality restaurant. It’s probably nearer a top of the range restaurant but the prices are mid-range. However you classify it, they serve quality food at reasonable prices.

Casa Navarra is a traditional Spanish restaurant, which specialises in meat dishes. Locally it is renowned for it’s T-bone steak, although personally usually go for the pepper sirloin steak (Solomillo Pimienta), which is exceptional.

The staff speak little English at Casa Navarra but I speak no Spanish at all and I got by.

I find that language problems in restaurants are easily solved, go for a meal you recognise by simply pointing on the menu or if you feel adventurous and you see a meal that you don’t recognise on the menu why not give it a try anyway, surprises are often pleasant!

If you fancy a quality traditional Spanish meal in a traditional restaurant setting then I highly recommend this restaurant. The prices are reasonable for the quality of food you can expect. To give you an estimate we paid 110 Euros (about £25 each) for a fantastic three-course meal for three people including one soft drink each and a bottle of quality house red wine in November 2006.

Casa Navarra is closed on Tuesdays.

Directions:  Take the A7 coast road North towards Malaga / the Airport. Pass Aquapark Mijas on your right. As you continue the road bends to the right, SLOW DOWN the exit is very close and a sharp exit.

Take the exit signed “Mijas Pueblo” to your right.

As you come off the A7 stay in the LEFT lane on the exit slip road. At the top of the slip road turn left following signs to Mijas Pueblo. Continue along this road and go straight cross the first roundabout. At the second roundabout continue straight on (over the top of the AP7 toll road) and go up the hill. Approximately ½ mile after this roundabout you will see Casa Navarra SET BACK on your left. If you come to a large security company building you have passed Casa Navarra, turn around, go back down the hill and keep your eyes peeled to the right, Casa Navarra is set back about 25 feet from the road, it has large dark wooden arched doors.

The full address and telephone number are: Casa Navarra, Carretta de Fuengirola-Mijas, KM4, Mijas Costa. Tel. 00-34-952-58-04-39.

 

Manos Alba. (on the Mijas Pueblo road near Fuengirola.)

 

This is a traditional Spanish restaurant which serves a variety of food but which specialises in fresh fish dishes.  The local mixed fish dish is a personal favourite and at 12 Euros for this main course (November 2006 price), you can’t go wrong.

Directions:  Take the A7 coast road North towards Malaga / the Airport. Pass Aquapark Mijas on your right. As you continue the road bends to the right, SLOW DOWN the exit is very close and a sharp exit.

Take the exit signed “Mijas Pueblo” to your right. As you come off the A7 stay in the LEFT lane on the exit slip road. At the top of the slip road turn left following signs to Mijas Pueblo. Continue along this road and go straight cross the first roundabout. At the second roundabout continue straight on (over the top of the AP7 toll road) and go up the hill. Approximately 100 yards after this roundabout you will see Manos Alba SET BACK on your left.

The full address is: Manos Alba, Carretta de Fuengirola-Mijas, KM 3.5, Mijas Costa.

 

Bellini's Italian Restaurant (on the Mijas Road near Fuengirola.) 

This is another middle to top of the range restaurant. It is an Italian restaurant so obviously the food is mainly Italian but they serve other types of food if you wish. The “a la carte food” can be a little pricey depending on the dish you choose however they offer a very reasonably priced choice of set three course meals, which come with half a bottle of wine per person. The set meals are very good and when we visited in November 2006 the set meal price was 27 Euros.  They have a lovely terrace which has a fantastic atmosphere and view to make alfresco dining on a summer evening extremely congenial.

Bellini’s is closed on Tuesdays.

Directions:  Take the A7 coast road North towards Malaga / the Airport. Pass Aquapark Mijas on your right. As you continue the road bends to the right, SLOW DOWN the exit is very close and a sharp exit.

Take the exit signed “Mijas Pueblo” to your right. As you come off the A7 stay in the LEFT lane on the exit slip road. At the top of the slip road turn left following signs to Mijas Pueblo. Continue along this road and go straight cross the first roundabout. At the second roundabout continue straight on (over the top of the AP7 toll road) and go up the hill. Approximately 2½ mile after this roundabout you will see a large security company building on your left. Continue passed this building and after approximately ½ mile you will see Bellini's on your left. If you have reached another roundabout you have gone 300 yards too far, simply go round the roundabout back down the hill and Bellini's is on your left. 

 

The full address and telephone number are: Bellini’s Restaurante Italiano, Carretta de Fuengirola-Mijas, KM 4.2,  Mijas Costa. Tel 00-34-952-590-727

 

Portofino Restaurant, Fuengirola.

 

This restaurant serves what I can best describe as a good choice of Spanish, Italian and European food.  It is quiet small but it is very popular so booking is advisable. We have had fish dishes and steak here. All of the food was excellent (especially the mussels) and the prices are mid range, we paid 90 Euros for a three course meal including a bottle of wine and a coffee for three in November 2006.

Directions. Take the A7 North to Fuengirola. Take the first exit to Fuengirola. As you leave the slip road and enter Fuengirola take any right turn and head for the coast as soon as you can. When you reach the road next to the sea turn left and head North (the sea should be on you right). You keep on this road and Portofino Restaurant is on your left. It is has a small and insignificant looking frontage outside so it is easy to miss. You will know you have just passed it if you come to a roundabout with two large circular fronted hotel next to them. If you reach this roundabout Portofino is about 150 yards South of you. Don’t let the insignificant outside of this restaurant deceive you, the interior and food are far more impressive than the outside.

The full address and telephone number: Edificio Perla, Paseo Maritimo 29, Fuengirola. Tel: 95 247 06 43.

 

Roberto’s Restaurant, Fuengirola.

 

A golf themed restaurant, which is owned Belgian whose son is currently trying to qualify for the European Tour. The restaurant is famed for being in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most golf clubs on display in the World. On to more important information, the food is European in style and of high quality. The prices are mid range, we paid 105 Euros for three people for three course meals and a bottle of house red wine in November 2006. N.B.  If you choose the mussels as a starter, you get a portion of 60 muscles. Perhaps this starter is best shared!   

Directions: Roberto’s is a little tricky to find but it is worth the effort. Take the A7 North to Fuengirola. Take the first slip road off the A7 signed Fuengirola. Follow the main road through Fuengirola (it gets busy but take it slow and you will have no problems.) You need to find Plaza de la Constiucion, which is where there is a large church. There you will find underground parking. Park your car in the underground parking (you pay when you leave.) Exit the car park and you come out in the main Plaza. If you stand by the main doors of the church, with your back to the church so that you are facing the sea there is a side road to your right that leads towards the sea front. Walk down this road, Calla de Espana. Casa restaurant is approximately 150 yards from the Plaza on your right. It has dark wooden doors.

 

Restaurant El Jinete.

I had driven passed this restaurant numerous times on my way to and from La Cala Golf Resort. It looked so insignificant that I just thought it was some isolated café and I never took the trouble to go to it and have a proper look.

From the road it just looks like a transport café but looks certainly can be deceptive as I found out. Take the trouble to visit you will see what I mean. You drive up an unmade driveway to get to it and when you arrive it looks like you have arrived at someone’s house by mistake. Throw caution to the wind, walk inside or even better on to the sun terrace and you breath a sigh of relief, it really is a restaurant, and a good one at that!

At El Jinete they serve traditional Spanish food at very reasonable prices, we paid 35 Euros each for a three course meal including a bottle of house red wine (vino tinto de casa), soft drinks and coffee (café con leche) in November 2006.  The Seafood, Onion soup and the steak are all personal favourites.

Dining alfresco here is a must, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy panoramic views of the Andalucían countryside.

In summer the restaurant has a traditional Spanish group of singers performing. The night of the performance does vary so if you fancy that I am afraid you will have to have a drive out to check the current details.    

Directions: Take the A7 North towards Malaga.  Come the A7 off at the La Cala de Mijas exit. At the bottom of the slip road you come to a small roundabout with a fountain in the middle, take the 11 o’clock or second exit off this roundabout. Follow this service road behind the shops and you come to another roundabout. Turn left at this roundabout taking the third exit and follow the signs for La Cala Golf resort. After approximately ¼ mile you come to another roundabout, go straight on there. Continue along this road for approximately four miles and you come to yet another roundabout, turn left there following the signs for “La Cala golf” or “La Cala Resort”. The road then becomes a dual carriageway and climbs up a hill, just keep following this road for about three or four miles following the signs for “La Cala Resort.” You will then see a sign for Restaurant El Jinete on your right. Turn right here and drive up the unmade drive to your left. It looks like you are driving to someone’s house, don’t worry you are going the correct way. Park at the top of the drive and walk in the front door. 

If you have driven to the large entrance gates of La Cala Golf Resort you have gone about 600 yards too far. Don’t worry there are places to turn around in La Cala golf so simply turn around when you can and you will find El Jinete 600 yards after you leave the gates of the golf resort.

 

More expensive restaurants in and around Calahonda, expensive but here you get what you pay for!

 

Restaurante Valparaiso (on the Mijas pueblo road, near Fuengirola.)

 

This is one, if not the, nicest restaurants I have enjoyed during our many visits to Spain. If you like eating Italian food in an extravagant setting with service that is second to none then this is the place to go.

When you arrive you will see that the outside of the restaurant is lit up as though it’s Christmas all year, this warm welcome gives you a true indication of what is to come. When you arrive in the car park the valet parks your car safely for you. When you walk in to the restaurant one of the two owners, or a close family member, will greet you and invite you to sit at a quiet table and have an aperitif, on the house of course. Sit back and soak up the atmosphere (and the free aperitif) while struggling to choose from the large selection of culinary excellence on the menu. When you are suitable relaxed and the taste buds are awoken you will be invited into the main restaurant area where you can sit in comfort and the pleasure truly begins.

The waiters are friendly and attentive and you will want for nothing. The food is fine dining and virtually every night there is usually a quality live act in the background to add to the ambience.

The owners of this restaurant have catered for famous customers ranging from the Beckham’s to Robert De Niro so their credentials are without question. Understandably this is an extremely popular restaurant and booking in advance is essential.

I have listed it in the “More expensive” category, we paid 160 Euros for three of us to eat their in 2008 (we had aperitifs, three courses each and coffees so we didn’t hold back) but I have to say you really do get what you pay for here.

Directions:  Take the A7 coast road North towards Malaga / the Airport. Pass Aquapark Mijas on your right. As you continue the road bends to the right, SLOW DOWN the exit is very close and a sharp exit. Go under a bridge with blue writing on it. Take the exit IMMEDIATELY after this bridge, signed “Mijas Pueblo” to your right.  As you come off the A7 stay in the LEFT lane on the exit slip road. At the top of the slip road turn left following signs to Mijas Pueblo. Continue along this road and go straight cross the first roundabout. At the second roundabout continue straight on (over the top of the AP7 toll road) and go up the hill. Approximately one and a half miles after this roundabout you will see Restaurante Valparaiso SET BACK on your left.

The full address and telephone number are: Restaurante Valparaiso, Carretta de Mijas, KM4, Mijas Costa. Tel. 00-34-952-485-975

 

Thai Royal Orchid Restaurant, La Cala.

 

This is an expensive restaurant but the food, ambiance, décor and service are second to none. We paid 58 Euros each for a three-course meal in November 2006 but it was worth every centimo.

Directions:  Take the A7 North towards Malaga. Come off at the La Cala de Mijas exit (approximately 8 minutes drive from our apartment.) When you come to the bottom of the slip road you come to a mini roundabout with a fountain in the centre of it. Go straight on here. You then come to a larger roundabout, carry straight on there and you are now driving down the central boulevard of La Cala. You will see a large car park with a Supermarket on your left. You will see The Royal Orchid on your left approximately 50 yards passed this supermarket. Pass the Supermarket and come to another roundabout. Go completely around this roundabout taking the third exit, this leads you into the car park in front of Royal Orchid.

Address and telephone number:   Boulevar La Cala, 27. Tel 952 493 799

 

La Cala Golf Resort, main hotel restaurant, Restaurant La Terraza

 

Do not confuse this restaurant, the restaurant in the main Hotel at La Cala golf Resort with the golf club house slightly further up the road, the hotel restaurant is far more exclusive. While the hotel restaurant is expensive and exclusive you certainly get what you pay for. It offers high quality “haute cuisine” including a large variety of Spanish dishes. You can dine inside or on the poolside terrace both of which have a view over the typical Andalucía patio.

Dress up to go here or you will feel out of place. If you fancy blowing the budget this may well be the place for you. Directions:  N.B. La Cala Resort Hotel is not in the town of La Cala de Mijas, it is in the countryside approximately six miles inland from La Cala town. To get to La Cala Golf Resort take the A7 North towards Malaga. Come off at the La Cala de Mijas exit (approximately 8 minutes drive from our apartment.) When you come to the bottom of the slip road you come to a mini roundabout with a fountain in the centre of it. Go around the roundabout to the eleven o’clock position and take the second exit. Follow the service road behind the shops and you come to a large. Take the third exit on this roundabout and follow the road inland following the signs for La Cala Resort / La Cala Golf. After ½ mile you come to another roundabout, carry straight on. After approximately two mile you come to another roundabout, turn left there heading up hill following signs to La Cala Golf. Stay in this hills and winding road for approximately 5 miles and you will enter La Cala Golf Resort. You know you are entering the resort because you pass a security booth (no need to stop as a rule.) Follow this road as it meanders through the hillside. The first large building you come to on your left is the main hotel. Park here and the restaurant is signed once inside the hotel front doors.

Tel 00-34-952-66-90-16

We have written about just a small selection of the many restaurants in and around Calahonda. We hope it has been of some value to you and that you enjoy eating in and around Calahonda on the Costa del Sol, Spain. 

     
       
       

 

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