Spanish gastronomy is rich in variety, products and flavours. For that reason, this country boasts hundreds of restaurants which have been awarded the longed-for Michelin star, the greatest recognition of international cuisine. Malaga province’s Michelin star restaurants are numerous, although there are many worth mentioning in this gourmet guide that have not yet been awarded a star.
But, what does it mean when a restaurant has a Michelin star? In this post, we analyse the meaning of this accolade that awards excellence in cooking and we create a guide of the best Michelin star restaurants in Malaga capital and in its province, if you have a hire car and are keen to experience new flavours.
What does a restaurant with a Michelin star in Malaga involve?
Before we start with the guide to the best Michelin star restaurants in Malaga, we need to explain what this distinction means. The Michelin Guide started out as a project of the Michelin brothers, two Frenchmen who, in 1900, decided to offer added value to customers of their tyres business by creating a detailed guide for them of the best places to refuel, eat and sleep on their journeys.
Over time, and seeing the success of this guide, they started to send anonymous guests to different places to try the dishes of the different establishments and evaluate their experience. More than 20 years later, they started to rate these places using stars, and it wasn’t until 1936 that they published official criteria to carry out this rating.
Hence, Michelin stars are used to evaluate flavour, the products, creativity and the value for money of the dishes. For that reason, choosing a Michelin star restaurant in Malaga is opting for one of the most exclusive culinary options in the area, with a guarantee of quality, creativity and excellence in the service.
Rating of the Michelin stars
The rating of Michelin stars is established by a series of anonymous inspectors with years of experience in hospitality who visit hundreds of establishments each year to grant this accolade. Using a star rating, the content of the dish is exclusively evaluated, without taking into account the décor or service. Hence, the method of evaluation is as follows:
One star: cuisine which is different and has a great finesse which makes it worth making a stop on your journey.
Two stars: exceptional cuisine which makes it worth deviating from our journey to try.
Three stars: unique cuisine which justifies a trip in itself.
Michelin star restaurants in Malaga capital
José Carlos García
The restaurant of chef Jose Carlos García is situated in Malaga’s Muelle Uno. With one Michelin star, his cuisine with traditional roots is presented in a contemporary, minimalist and elegant establishment, always in connection with the light of the Mediterranean.
With a chill out terrace decorated with elegant vertical gardens and a dining room which takes care of every detail, this chef’s cuisine reinvents traditional concepts of local Malaga cuisine, such as the pipirrana salad or concha fina clams with a “Rock & Roll touch”.
Selecting the products for his menu is based on local cuisine, favouring seasonal produce. Noteworthy dishes include the fish, as you would expect in a coastal city like Malaga, but also the game or vegetables. The price of the tasting menu is €126.50 and the protagonists are the shrimps, oysters and the chilled garlic and almond soup (ajoblanco).
Michelin star restaurants in Malaga province
Sustainability and gastronomy come together at Sollo restaurant in Fuengirola. Chef, Diego Gallegas, has achieved a Michelin star with an eco-friendly and sustainable culinary concept, in which 90% of the ingredients on his menu come from fresh water fish and homegrown vegetables.
Gallegos is known as ‘the caviar chef’, using this gourmet element as a star product in his cuisine. With Brazilian roots, this stove artist offers a unique vision of gastronomy, combining Latin and Mediterranean cuisine with a concept of multiculturalism and respect for the environment.
The experience at Sollo starts in the chef’s R+D laboratory, where he explains his research to his customers with fresh water fish in a sustainable way. The price of the tasting menu is €150 and it consists of 16 dishes which include fresh water fish and caviar as the protagonists. Sollo also has a Michelin Green Star for sustainability and two Repsol suns.
With two Michelin stars, Bardal is one of the Michelin star restaurants in Malaga province which is worth going out of your way to visit. Headed up by Catalan chef, Benito Gómez, Bardal opts for local products and products of agroecological production to create a menu with essence and authenticity.
With a seasonal cuisine which changes along with the time of year, this restaurant has a welcoming and intimate dining room with an old industrial interior design with large windows on the ground floor, allowing you to admire the beauty of the local scenery. Bardal is situated in the heart of Ronda, one of the most impressive white villages of Malaga.
In terms of the cuisine, guests can choose between the Bardal Menu, with 19 dishes and the Gran Bardal Menu with 22. The first costs €170 and the second is €190, both exclude wine pairing. They also offer cheese tasting at a cost of €20. The star dishes include Gazpachuelo soup with lobster and goat kidney with perigourdine sauce.
Another restaurant with two Michelin stars in Malaga is located in Marbella, the luxury city par excellence. Headed by Marcos Granda, Skina is a jewel of gastronomy situated in a tiny venue in the uneven streets of the city’s historic quarter. His establishment contains just four tables and this is because the chef wants to present each customer with perfection on a dish.
In the kitchen, Mario Cachinero presents a creative cuisine which takes inspiration from the traditional essence of Andalusian recipes, creating a menu replete with harmonies and contrasts. His concept is based on seasonal and local produce, combining delicious dishes with a menu of more than 950 wines, making this one of the best restaurants in Marbella.
Skina offers customers the option of trying three different tasting menus, one of seasonal produce, with 8 dishes and priced at 225, one a la carte menu, where guests will choose 3 dishes from a selection and which is priced at 199, and the star of this selection, the Gran Cru menu with wine pairing included and just 5 dishes to offer a comprehensive experience for €499.
Restaurants with a mention in the Michelin Guide
Although Malaga’s Michelin star restaurants are proof of the excellence in the gastronomy of the south of Spain, the Michelin Guide includes other establishments which, even though they don’t have the longed-for star, they do have a special mention in the guide as places worth visiting. There are various in the city of Malaga, but three stand out in its historic quarter:
Jose Carlos García already has a Michelin star in his restaurant at Muelle Uno, but he doesn’t stop there. In the heart of the city, he has recently opened Balausta restaurant, a gastronomic space situated in an ancient Andalusian palace which dates back to the 18th century.
Diners can choose from the dishes offered on his meticulous menu or the tasting menu at a more affordable price, with five dishes which include starters, stews, meat and fish dishes for 65 euros, all made using high quality local products.
Dani Carnero offers a painstaking gastronomic proposal at Kaleja, a small corner of Malaga’s Jewish quarter where he reinterprets traditional stews in small mouthfuls full of flavour. His MEMORIA (MEMORY) tasting menu varies each week, using products from the market to guarantee the freshness of his dishes.
With 17 dishes, MEMORIA is a menu in which local products prevail, including zurrapa pork loin, monkfish or gazpachuelo soup. The price is €90, to which you can add the ARMONÍA (HARMONY) pairing with six wines and is priced at €50. A menu which is regularly updated to offer guests the best of the Malaga’s market.
Also under the management of Dani Carnero, La Cosmopolita places the spotlight on Andalusian stew (guiso andaluz), on culinary tradition and, once more, seasonal produce. In this restaurant Dani offers products from a menu without a tasting menu, and maintains the concept of varying the menu based on the freshest products the market has to offer.
Among the star dishes on the menu, we can find Frank Sinatra tripe, a reinterpretation of traditional Russian tripe, a must-have among Malaga’s best tapas, Spanish omelette with spider crab in oloroso wine (tortilla de changurro al oloroso) or lightly roasted red mullet (salmonete soasado). La Cosmopolita is situated in a narrow alley in the heart of the city, a small venue full of charm and exquisite dishes.
Map of the Michelin star restaurants in Malaga
This post has mentioned some of the best Michelin star restaurants in Malaga capital and its surroundings. To help visitors plan, they are pinpointed on this map for the most comprehensive culinary experience.