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If you want to eat like a local, you have to shop like a local, and that means one thing: markets.
Malaga has plenty from which to choose, but the best for size and for sheer sensual delight is the huge, lively indoor Mercado Central de Atarazanas.
With more than 250 stalls, divvied up into sections for fish, meat and other produce, it is a total delight to work your way up and down the aisles tasting samples. Friendly producers won’t mind answering questions and you’re almost guaranteed to find some gift-worthy morsels to give to a forever-grateful friend.
More recently, Mercado Merced opened close to Picasso’s birthplace, comprising stalls run by a mix of traditional farmers and more experimental, innovative producers.
You can also pick up a bite to eat here in a food court with restaurants serving up food to really write home about. One of these is Arequipa, which serves regional Peruvian cuisine that is similar to a Latin and Asian fusion of flavours and it is proving a runaway hit with the locals.
While Malaga’s restaurants might not be known for their fine dining prowess, when the food’s good, who cares about the Michelin man?
Enjoy a fabulous meal at Arte De Cozina (Calle de la Calzada), a restaurant in Antequera, a few miles outside of Malaga city centre. Serving traditional Andalusian dishes with a modern twist, it’s food at its best: authentic, delicious and surprising.
Back in the city, El Pimpi (Calle Granada) might be a local institution and tourist hotspot, but if it’s good enough for celebs such as actor Antonio Banderas and fashion designer Paloma Picasso, it’s good enough for us. Order large platters of the best Iberian ham and marinated fish, before washing them down with a glass of deliciously sweet muscatel wine.
And if you feel the need to work off the calories of those home-grown treats, discover the best places to dance into the night on our Malaga nightlife page.