For those unfamiliar with the name, Malaga is one of the oldest cities of the world with a historical timeline that spans 2,800 years. Artists recognize it as the birthtown of Pablo Picasso but couch potatoes may recognize it as the hometown of actor Antonio Banderas. Today, it is the second largest city in Andalusia (second to Seville) and serves as a transportation hub for those looking to travel in the Costa del Sol region. Combined with relatively moderate accommodation prices and a plethora of restaurants that could seriously compete against those in NYC, we decided to make it our home for the six nights we traveled around the south of Spain.
While we spent our nights here, we were only left with half of a day to sight see upon arriving from Madrid. We left Lisbon at 7am and arrived in Madrid just 55 min later by plane. The train ride from Madrid is roughly 2hrs 45 min, but will cost you 93 € as it is on the high speed rail. A half day in Malaga, while not recommended, is enough time if you’re willing to sacrifice a few sights. For those obsessed with panoramic views, just hike past the old Roman Theatre, which leads to an uphill winding path that takes you to the Castle of Gibralfaro. Views are spectacular, and it is easy to see how Malaga is a popular resort town.
Castle of Gibralfaro
Church of Santiago
Heladería Casa Mira
We used Airbnb once again and booked six nights at this lovely flat in the heart of downtown. While it was a 20 minute walk to the train station (30 minutes if you include getting lost amongst the construction), the flat was smack in the center of remarkable restaurants that left me wondering how nobody recognizes this city for its food. Our host, Cristina, provided us with a long list of restaurant recommendations. We made good progress, hitting up at least five of them. Each was spectacular in its own way. We would definitely recommend staying in this flat, as long as you are okay with a lack of wi-fi (but hey, that’s what vacation is all about).
Roman Theatre // Castle of Gibralfaro // Church of Santiago
Given the time crunch, we decided to kill three birds with one stone by hiking up to the Castle of Gibralfaro where a magnificent panoramic view awaited us. I use the word hike very liberally, as it is a simple winding road that slopes steeply upward. It is most certainly worth a trip for the view.
Phone: 95 124 84 78
This gem of a place was on Cristina’s list. While it has an unassuming presence with few seats, I assure you that it’s worthy in every sense. Uvedoble has an extensive tapas menu, featuring quite creative concepts. Most of these dishes come in the traditional tapas, half-raciones and raciones sizes, which allow for some leeway in the stomach for experimenting. The server here couldn’t speak English, but she was helpful in trying to describe certain ingredients and graciously allowed us to take our time. We arrived around 8:15pm, and the restaurant filled up by 9pm. The cod with potato and foie with egg and potatoes were our top picks.
Templado de bacalao con patata (10,90 €)
Cod with potato
This was not quite what we expected, but it exceeded all expectations. The sauce is mildly creamy, reminiscent of mayo. I think what really makes the dish is the potato, which was cooked perfectly tender. Combined with the flaky fish, this was a winner. Despite the creamy sauce, this felt like a light dish that left us eagerly wanting more.
Tortilla de patatas trufada al momento (6,50 €)
Truffled omelette (made with potato)
Perhaps the most “disappointing” dish of the night, this was still quite lovely. The truffle flavor here is intense. While it had the consistency of an egg omelette, a bit of the truffle cream lingered behind each bite. It came piping hot, and stayed warm throughout despite our lengthy picking.
Huevos fritos con foie rustido (7,50 €)
Fried eggs with roast foie
I am ashamed to admit that this is the first time I’ve had foie. I’ve had foie gras, but never foie in its original state. In short, this blew my mind. I could only describe it as spreadable bacon, but richer and glorified to an unspeakable extent. The egg complemented the foie perfectly. I loved the taste and feel of the crusty egg whites against the silky foie. The potato sticks were the cherry on top. Truly one of the best dishes I’ve had at any restaurant.
Cordero lechal deshuesado con cous cous (8 €)
Boneless lamb with cous cous
The lamb was succulent and tender while the cous cous was perfect. My only complaint was that like most other meats in Spain, the lamb erred on the salty side. That being said, it was flavorful with juices brimming at the prod of the knife. It’s a very straight forward and safe dish for those that don’t want to venture into the foie arena.
For us, the 39.50 € price tag was a steal. The food was phenomenal, and we knew that it’d cost at least twice as much back in New York City. This is one of the few places where water (even seltzer) is still cheaper than wine and beer, but even so, at 2.50 € ish a glass, it’s worth getting both.
Pasarela Larios Fashion Week 2012
Upon leaving Uvedoble, we were drawn to sounds of Adele and Kanye blasting from some external stereo. As we rounded the corner, we saw hundreds of chairs lined up. We wondered what the hoopla was about when Sabrina excitedly pointed out that it was a runway. “No way,” I thought. “How could a runway be that long?” Well, she was obviously right. That night, models showcasing nine local couture designers strutted down the street to much fanfare and applause. Later, we found out that it was a 300 meter catwalk with 60 models.
Heladería Casa Mira
Calle Larios 5
29001 Malaga, Spain
Phone: 34 952 22 30 69
Of course, we couldn’t end our night without dessert. We stumbled upon an heladería (not that it’s hard to since there are so many in Malaga). I got the dulce de leche and Sabrina the chocolate. Nothing too special about the ice cream, but it was deeply satisfying.