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7 bars in Malaga

A venerable wine bar, cozy rooftop bar or trendy tapas bar? Malaga has plenty of bars to choose from and watering holes to suit every taste. Here are a few worth visiting in the Andalucian culture capital.

Photo: Antigua Casa de Guardia

Best historic bar

Antigua Casa de Guardia, one of the oldest wine bars in Spain, is tucked away in an alley in the Old Town. It first opened in 1840 and has well-preserved original features with double rows of wine casks and antique glass cabinets filled with local wines. Wine is served in plain glasses best clinked standing at the long bar counter. This institution is a perfect place to start the evening, ideally with a glass of local Pedro Ximénez and olives.

Antigua Casa de Guardia

Alameda Principal 18, Malaga

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Best market bar

Atarazanas food market is a must for everyone with even the slightest interest in food. Malaga’s oldest and largest market has rows and rows of fruit and vegetable vendors, plus separate sections for meat and fishmongers. There’s also a number of tapas bars if you fancy a couple of oysters or some other snack in passing. Try for example, local favorite Café-Bar Mercado Atarazanas. Here, they serve pimientos de padrón, grilled prawns fried eggplant with cane sugar syrup and other small dishes – all based on spanking fresh raw materials. Washed down with sangria, cold beer or local wine.

Café-Bar Mercado Atarazanas

Calle Atarazanas 10, Malaga

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Photo: La Tranca

Best vermouth bar

Starting the evening with a glass of vermouth is popular in Spain. They serve a range of different vermouths straight from the barrel here. If you want something to ward off hunger pangs, there’s tortilla, boquerones, cheese and other classic tapas dishes, plus excellent empanadas (Argentinian pastries). However, La Tranca is not the place to sit and eat in peace and quiet, more a pleasant stopping point to mingle with Malagueños to the sound of Spanish pop songs. The walls are decorated with obscure vinyl sleeves, and your bill is written straight onto the bar counter with chalk.

La Tranca

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Best ice cream bar

Malaga’s oldest ice cream bar has been run by the same family since 1890 and now has two branches here. The big seller is turrón (soft almond nougat), but you can also choose ice cream flavored with local Malaga wine or local grown mango, for example.

Casa Mira

Calle Marqués de Larios 5, Malaga

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Photo: Terraza Chinitas

Best rooftop bar

Malaga has several delightful roof bars to choose from. There's the trendy cocktail bar La Terraza de San Juan at the top of the Malaga Premium Hotel and not far from here is the youth hostel Dulces & Dreams urban rooftop oasis, which is great for both coffee and stronger drinks. However, our first choice would be to take the elevator up to Terraza Chinitas, a cozy and wallet friendly roof bar on two levels with magnificent views of the cathedral.

Terraza Chinitas

Pasaje Chinitas 3, Malaga

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Photo: Spain Food Sherpas

Best bar guided tour

Advice if you want to explore the best of Malaga's bar scene in a single evening: Book a guided tour with Spain Food Sherpas. For example, they offer a wine and tapas tour with stops at both modern wine bars and traditional bodegas.

Spain Food Sherpas

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Best churros bar

Eating churros (deep fried piped dough) dipped in hot chocolate is a very popular breakfast in Malaga. It's a brilliant morning after pick me up following an extended bar crawl. Churros is served at many cafés around the city, but according to locals, the best is a toss-up between La Malagueña and Casa Aranda. Why not try both and decide for yourself?

La Malagueña / Casa Aranda

Sebastián Souvirón 6, Malaga

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