BEST Tapas in Nerja
BEST Tapas in Nerja

All About Tapas in Nerja:
And, The TOP 12 Nerja Tapas Bars

BEST Tapas in Nerja, plates of gambas, cheeses and spanish ham

Welcome to our guide to the best tapas in Nerja, a beautiful seaside village on Spain's sun-drenched Costa del Sol! If you're looking for the best tapas this charming town has to offer, you're in the right place. Read on for our guide to the 12 best Nerja tapas bars and be ready to enjoy a delicious food-filled adventure.

We have eaten at all the tapas bars on our list because we have lived in the area for so long. And we have found that there is such a wide variety of tapas options and prices that there really is something for everyone's taste and budget.

We also cover the most popular tapas dishes in Nerja and even include a few recipes you can try at home! 😉


Designation Restaurant
Best Overall Nerja Tapas Bar El Pulguilla
Best Nerja Tapas Bar with Sea Views RAW Lounge
Best Nerja Tapas Bar with Rooftop Terrace La Tasquita del Sevillano

But First, What is a Tapa?

🍤 Experiencing the tapas scene in Nerja is a MUST, it offers you a delicious taste of what Mediterranean cuisine is all about. So, what is a tapa, you may ask? Tapas are small, savory dishes that are usually served with a drink. From classics like olives 🫒, cheeses 🧀 and cured Iberian ham... to more elaborate dishes with fresh seafood, stewed meats, and tropical fruits & veggies.

Originally, tapas were very simple dishes served to keep the appetite at bay, like a small piece of tortilla or cheese with bread. But over the years they have evolved into much more elaborate creations, with bars and restaurants constantly competing to create the most original and delicious tapas. Here are just a few classic examples of what you might find on a Nerja tapas menu:

Oh! And one other thing... the tapa comes FREE with your drink! 😁

  • Aceitunas: marinated olives with spices
  • Patatas Bravas: fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce
  • Gambas Pil Pil: succulent shrimp cooked in spicy garlic oil
  • Chorizo al Vino: chorizo sausage simmered in red wine
  • Tortilla Española: a thick Spanish omelette with potatoes and onions

Tapas found in a Nerja Restaurant

Each part of Spain has its own unique tapas dishes too, always striving to use fresh local ingredients and flavors. This huge variety means that tapas can be anything from a bowl of almonds or olives to a plate of exquisitely prepared seafood 🦞 (like in Nerja!).

Brief History of Tapas in Nerja

While the tradition of tapas in Nerja can be traced back to the humble beginnings of Andalucia (it started as bite-sized snacks for workers and farmers), over time these tapas grew in variety and complexity, eventually becoming an integral part of daily life and a practice that has fascinated visitors to Spain for years.

Being the beautiful coastal town that Nerja is, seafood plays a major role in its tapas menu. Most of the nerja tapas bars focus mainly on local produce, fresh fish, shellfish and prawns (although there are also many wonderful meat and vegetarian dishes).

Era Tapas Evolution in Nerja
Early Traditions Small snacks with drinks
Mid 20th Century Increased variety and complexity
Present Day Gourmet tapas with local ingredients

Top 7 Favorite Tapas Dishes in Nerja

When you visit Nerja you will get the chance to try a wonderful variety of tapas dishes. Some of the dishes can be found all over the Costa del Sol (like Gambas Pil Pil and Calamares Fritos), but if you take the time to visit some of the tapas bars on our list, you will find that many of them have created their own signature tapas dishes... which are surprisingly yummy!

Here are 7 popular tapas dishes in Nerja you must try!

  • Patatas Bravas: Crispy fried potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce.

  • Gambas al Pil Pil: Plump prawns sizzling in garlic, chili and olive oil. You can ask for different levels of spiciness as these can be quite picante! 🔥 This dish should be eaten with good bread to soak up all the spicy oil! 😋

  • Chorizo al Vino: A savory Spanish sausage slow cooked in red wine.

  • Tortilla Española: The Spanish omelette, a staple in Nerja (and all of Andalucia actually), made from eggs, potatoes, and onions.

  • Boquerones en Vinagre: Anchovies marinated in vinegar, garlic and parsley, for a refreshing yet tangy tapa. These are also very good fried!

  • Calamares Fritos: Fried squid rings, served with a lemon wedge and aioli (a white cream sauce that is a mixture of mayonnaise and garlic). These are simple, but the freshest calamares you will find... being so close to the sea. 🐙

  • Albóndigas: Classic Spanish meatballs 🧆 served in a hearty tomato sauce or sometimes with an almond sauce. Each Nerja tapas bar may have its own twist on this dish, making it one you can try again and again...

Best Drinks to Enjoy with Tapas in Nerja

So, as we have all learned by now... the Nerja tapas tradition is to get a small FREE plate of food with your drink. But what you may not know, is what the most popular drinks in Nerja are.

Here are a few you should try...

  • Sangria: This little drink packs a punch! It's a mixture of red wine with chopped fruit, orange juice, and a touch of brandy. It's very popular and is perfect for a refreshing drink on the beach.

  • Spanish Wines: Spain is known for its wonderful wines, especially the pinks and reds... and they go well with tapas. A robust red from Rioja is great with meat dishes, and try the Albariño with seafood.

  • Aperol Spritz: This is the famous bright orange drink you see all over Italy! In recent years, Spain has gotten in on the Aperol action and you will see it everywhere. It's a mix of Aperol, cava (Spanish champagne) and soda water with a splash of orange juice.

  • Cerveza: A cold Spanish beer 🍺, like an Estrella or Alhambra, pairs well with fried tapas or meat dishes. They come in two sizes, cañas (small) or tubos (larger).

  • Tinto de verano: A lighter version of sangria, it's a mix of red wine and lemon soda and it's also quite refreshing.

Tapas Routes and Bar Hopping in Nerja

Tapas bar hopping or "tapeo" is a fun activity in Nerja. If you're looking for something to do, try this... On a nice afternoon or evening, take a stroll from bar to bar and enjoy a drink and a free tapa. Many of the bars in Nerja have live flamenco music which makes the experience even better!

Here is a suggested route:

Bar Redondo
La Tasquita del Sevillano
Tapas Bar La Piqueta
La Biznaga (Balcon)

Tapas Tours in Malaga & Granada

If you're staying in Nerja, we highly recommend a visit to both Malaga and Granada. Both have wonderful tapas tours that are a great way to experience the cities.

In Granada, the winding streets of the Albaicín and the old Moorish quarter are the setting for tapas tours. Afterwards, you can catch a flamenco show in the caves of Sacromonte.

In Malaga, the tapas tours take you through the historic center, to many of the most popular tapas bars and to the Atarazanas Market (one of the largest and most elaborate food markets in Andalucia) (Malaga also has amazing live Flamenco Shows).

Exploring Nerja's Tapas Scene - The 12 BEST NERJA TAPAS BARS

And now for what we've all been waiting for... the 12 best tapas bars in Nerja...

Each tapas bar is unique. Bars like El Pulgilla specialize in seafood tapas, while the popular Tasquita del Sevillano is known for its eclectic and unusual mix of meat and seafood dishes.

What makes Nerja's tapas scene so special is not only the tapas, but also the setting...


Bar Redondo

Bar Redondo - Tapas Bars in Nerja

Bar Redondo - $
Calle de la Gloria 14
Bars in Nerja | Mediterranean | European

Redondo Bar is something of a legend in Nerja. Just a short walk from the Balcon de Europe, this Nerja tapas bar is always busy and serves fantastic tapas... making it one of the most popular and bustling areas in town.

The tapas at Redondo Bar are amazing, especially the lingo fish a la plancha and baby squid, which are always a hit. Redondo Fishbar, an extension of Redondo Bar across the street, recently opened and focuses on fish and seafood tapas. You can eat inside or outside... whichever you prefer.

What I love most about Redondo Bar (and Redondo Fishbar) is that you can sit outside along the street (just grab a barrel out front) and you will be right in the middle of all the old town action...it's especially nice on those warm breezy Nerja nights when you just want to relax and enjoy the glorious Costa del Sol weather.


D'Vinos Gastrobar

D'Vinos Gastrobar - Bars in Nerja

D'Vinos Gastrobar - $$ - $$$ - Traveler's Choice
Calle del Almirante Ferrandiz 34
Gastrobars in Nerja | Mediterranean | European | Spanish

Right in the middle of the old town shopping quarter you will find a tapas bar serving some of the best gastro tapas in Nerja. With its beautiful rooftop terrace, it's the perfect place to take in the views of the sea and village streets below.

The menu is a mix of coastal and Mediterranean flavors, with dishes like chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage), fried camembert, and delicious cod dumplings. The pork tacos and bao buns are also excellent. And if you like seafood, the grilled tuna is amazing.

But the best thing about this tapas bar is the rooftop terrace. There's nothing like enjoying a tapa while sipping red wine and looking out over the bustling streets of Nerja.


La Tasquita del Sevillano

La Tasquita del Sevillano - Bars in Nerja

La Tasquita del Sevillano - $$ - $$$ - Traveler's Choice
Calle Gloria, 15
Nerja Tapas Bars | Mediterranean | European

La Tasquita del Sevillano is a charming little tapas bar that has a truly authentic Spanish feel. It's located in the old town, although it has two other locations that are just as good... Known for its eclectic mix of tapas, from teriyaki chicken to paella and more unique dishes like fried camembert and meatballs with rice... the menu here has a large variety of tapas and caters to a wide range of tastes.

La Tasquita del Sevillano is a good choice for both a casual meal or a late night snack, but like many of the other tapas bars in Nerja, it can get very busy. During the day (especially in high season) this bar can get packed and is sometimes a little overwhelming.

Sevillano's also has a rooftop terrace which adds to its charm, it's a wonderful setting to enjoy a meal (or drinks) under the stars and away from the busy street noise.

⭐ If you're looking for a low-cost place to stay near the Nerja tapas bars, the Pensión Sevillano is directly across the street and has the best location in town for a hostel.


Copa Vino

Copa Vino - Bars in Nerja

Copa Vino - $$ - $$$ - Traveler's Choice
Calle del Almirante Ferrandiz 60
Nerja Tapas Bars | International | Mediterranean | European

Copa Vino is a small boutique restaurant that's a must for anyone who loves wine 👍. Located on one of Nerja's main shopping streets, it has a cozy, relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a leisurely evening out.

The restaurant's extensive wine list 🍷 is one of its highlights. They offer a range of wines from all over Spain (and especially the Malaga area), and all are carefully selected to complement the menu.

The menu is simple but delicious. It has a nice selection of tapas and starters, but is also good for a main meal. Popular entrees include the beef tenderloin with garlic and chili, Argentinian ribeye, and the penne with mushrooms. The portions are also generous, so you won't go home hungry!


Tapas Bar El Pulguilla

Tapas Bar El Pulguilla - Bars in Nerja

Bar El Pulguilla - $
Calle Almirante Ferrandiz 26
Nerja Tapas Bars | Seafood | Mediterranean

El Pulguilla is a much loved tapas bar in Nerja that is probably the most popular place in town for tapas. It's known for its lively, if not chaotic, atmosphere and has a very understated charm (think bright lights and chrome surfaces).

Pulguilla has been a magnet for locals (and tourists) for years, with a shabby chic ambiance that's hard to resist. But by far the real draw is its tapas. With every drink order, you are offered a choice of complimentary, high-quality tapas, ranging from traditional favorites to house specialties. Seafood is the focus here with the "baby bream" (served in a light batter) and the "gambas pil pil" (prawns in garlic oil) being two favorites.

This Nerja tapas bar is also known for having wonderful staff that go out of their way to make sure that no one waits too long for their order... even with large crowds.


La Puntilla

Tapas Bar La Puntilla - Bars in Nerja

La Puntilla - $$ - $$$ - Traveler's Choice
Calle Bolivia 1
Nerja Tapas Bars | Seafood | Mediterranean | European

A little off the beaten track, but well worth the walk, Nerja's La Puntilla offers another authentic tapas experience. This small, out-of-the-way tapas bar, popular with locals (and in-the-know tourists), serves a variety of tasty, Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

For seafood lovers, the gambas pil pil here is a showstopper, and their selection of fresh fish, clams, and the mixed seafood platters are cooked to perfection. For vegetarians, the berenjenas con miel (eggplant with honey) is highly recommended... with a perfect blend of sweet and savory, it's a must-try.

Unlike some of the other tapas bars in Nerja, La Puntilla lets you to choose your tapas from the menu. You get a free tapa with every drink and a choice from 15 different tapas. What could be better than that?


Mo GastroTapas

Mo GastroTapas - Bars in Nerja

Mo GastroTapas - $$ - $$$ - Traveler's Choice
Calle Andalucia 27
Nerja Tapas Bars | Mediterranean | European | Spanish

Mo GastroTapas is tucked away in a small neighborhood off the main road leading out of Nerja towards the Nerja Caves, but what a joy to discover!

This bar offers a unique twist on Spanish tapas and the range of dishes is impressive, both in terms of variety and creativity. But, what sets Mo GastroTapas apart is its ability to take traditional tapas and make them exceptional.

The prawns with curried banana sauce, for example, is an inventive dish that's very popular. It's this kind of creativity that makes dining here such a refreshing experience. Other popular dishes include the juicy duck burger and the melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese that people seem to love.

On our last visit the service was fantastic, they brought out what they thought we would like...and we loved it! ♥️ If you're looking for something a little different, add Mo GastroTapas to your Nerja itinerary. It's well worth it!


La Biznaga

La Biznaga - Bars in Nerja

La Biznaga - $$ - $$$
Paseo Balcon de Europa
Nerja Tapas Bars | Mediterranean | European

Located on the Balcon de Europa terrace next to the church of San Salvador (in the Toboso Aparthotel - Turis), Biznaga offers a wide selection of tapas and wines.

The restaurant itself is very simple, offering a variety of tapas with reasonable portions and at a great price!

The patatas bravas, cod in tomato sauce, and meatballs are just a few dishes that are highly recommended. And my favorite are the breakfast sartenas (breakfast in a frying pan) - you can choose from fried eggs and chorizo (spicy spanish sausage), potatoes, fried egg and chorizo, or potatoes, fried eggs, jamón ibérico and roasted peppers. Yum! 😋

The outdoor seating at Biznaga is also nice, it's a great place to people watch and soak up the local Nerja vibe.


Tapas Bar La Piqueta

Tapas Bar La Piqueta - Bars in Nerja

Bar La Piqueta - $ - Traveler's Choice
Calle Pintada 8
Nerja Tapas Bars | European | Spanish | Vegetarian Friendly

In the middle of the busy shopping streets of Nerja you will find this lovely little tapas bar. With its friendly atmosphere it has become a top choice for a relaxing drink and a savory tapa. You will usually find a happy mix of locals, expats and tourists here.

The staff, including the ever charming Alberto, do their best to make every visit special with their excellent service.

As for the tapas, they are simple yet delicious Whether you're a fan of the classic patatas bravas, pork rolls with aioli sauce, or spicy chorizo with quails eggs, each dish is perfectly prepared and the portions are just right for a small snack.

The sangria is also very good here, a refreshing addition to the tasty tapas.

This is the perfect tapas bar in Nerja to stop at after a day of shopping in the old town. But try to go when there are fewer crowds to get the full tapas experience and good service.


Restaurante Tapas la Rienda

Restaurante Tapas la Rienda - Nerja Tapas Bars

Restaurante Tapas la Rienda - $ - Traveler's Choice
Plaza Garcia Caparrós
Nerja Tapas Bars | Mediterranean | European

Located just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Nerja's main streets, Tapas La Rienda is an absolute must for anyone looking for an authentic Spanish dining experience. It's located on Calle Chaparil, near the Hotel Toboso Chaparil and wonderful Nevada Apartments.

From the moment you walk in, you're greeted by a lively atmosphere that perfectly captures the essence of Spain, with typical barrels outside along the street where you can sit and enjoy the day.

But this is not your typical tourist spot, in fact it's popular with the locals. It's more relaxed and casual than some of the other tapas bars in Nerja and the kind of place where you can sit back, enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer and a tapa that is as authentic as they come.


RAW Lounge & Tapas Bar

RAW Lounge - Nerja Tapas Bars

RAW Lounge & Tapas Bar - $$ - $$$ - Traveler's Choice
Paseo de Burriana
Nerja Tapas Bars | International | Mediterranean | European

Located on the Playa Burriana promenade and a stone's throw from the Parador Hotel, Nerja's Raw Lounge is one of my favorite places in Nerja, and for good reason.

The variety of small tapas plates is perfect for those who like to share and sample different flavors. From the juicy pork cheek croquettes to the stuffed chicken tikka bao buns, each dish showcases the chef's skill and creativity.

For those who prefer a more substantial meal, the entrees and salads are equally delicious. Each dish is a blend of fresh ingredients, bold flavors and beautiful presentation.

The atmosphere at Raw Lounge complements the menu perfectly. It's relaxed yet sophisticated, making it ideal for a leisurely meal after a day at the beach or a special night out.

Raw Lounge is a popular spot, so make reservations if you can.


Dolores 'El Chispa' bar

Dolores El Chispa Tapas Bar - Nerja Tapas Bars

Dolores El Chispa Tapas Bar - $ - Traveler's Choice
Calle de San Pedro 12
Nerja Tapas Bars | Seafood | Mediterranean

Bar Dolores El Chispa, is another tapas bar in Nerja that is authentically Spanish. The best places to go are where the locals go, and Bar Dolores El Chispa is just that.The atmosphere is lively, unpretentious and full of a real sense of community. On every visit, I've been greeted by friendly staff who have made me feel right at home.

The mixed fried seafood is a favorite among the regulars, it's cooked to perfection, and the value for money here is incredible! You get generous portions of quality food at prices that are more than reasonable. Highly recommend!

Tips for Enjoying Tapas in Nerja

When planning a tapas outing in Nerja, start early. It's not uncommon for the tapas bars to be very busy in the late afternoon and early evening... making for a lively start to a night out on the town...

  • Stroll and Sample: Take your time and try different bars. Each tapas bar in Nerja has its own signature dishes, like the ortiguillas or fried sea anemone from La Puntilla.

  • Try Local Favorites: The classic dishes are classic for a reason. Try things like the traditional salmorejo, a creamy tomato soup with ham and hard-boiled eggs. It's a must-try and you can enjoy it as a tapa or a light meal.

  • For Seafood Lovers: El Pulgilla stands out as the top destination for fresh fish and seafood tapas. Here, you can try an assortment of fresh seafood either at the tapas bar or in the restaurant as larger portions.

  • Share and Enjoy: Tapas are inherently social, designed for sharing. It's fun to order several small plates and share them amongst friends.

We hope you enjoyed our guide to the best tapas in Nerja! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Also: Check out the BEST restaurants in these nearby Costa Tropical towns...

photo of Darsey and Izzy

Who are we? An American expat with over 20 years of experience living and traveling in Spain, specifically in Malaga and Granada. Darsey is a seasoned explorer of Andalucia. Drawing from decades of immersive experience, she offers deep insights into this enchanting region of Spain, including off-the-beaten path destinations, the best places to stay, and the top bucket list activities to try! More...

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