MALAGA’S culinary battleground comes alive every summer among beachfront restaurants, all vying to serve the best and most affordable sardines skewered, the famed ‘espeto.’

This cherished Malagueño delicacy has a seasonal tradition, with its peak enjoyment period falling between May and August. However, Malaga’s capital boasts eateries that proudly offer ‘espetos’ year-round.

Amidst the ‘chiringuitos’, the cost of this regional specialty can exhibit surprising variations, with certain coastal areas in the province charging a staggering difference of €10 or more.

For those seeking pocket-friendly indulgence, the capital of the Costa del Sol, Malaga, proves more merciful on the wallet. Here, a mouthwatering ‘espeto’ of six fresh sardines averages at approximately €2, a stark contrast to the steep €12 charged in Marbella.

However, to truly savor the essence of ‘espeto de sardinas,’ a journey to El Palo, the birthplace of this cherished tradition, is a must.

Nestled in this coastal district are a plethora of establishments where ‘espetos’ take center stage. Along the promenade, diners can relish a delightful range of options catering to all budgets, with prices as low as €3 to €4, offering the most economical choices in the area.

Venturing further along El Palo’s promenade, some ‘chiringuitos’ may raise their prices to €6 per ‘espeto de sardinas,’ with the more exclusive establishments reaching up to €8.50.

While most beach bars in this zone experience a surge in prices, there is one exception – El Merlo Revuelo, where diners can savor the city’s most economical ‘espeto’ for a mere €2.

Traversing to the western coast of Malaga, in Huelin, the most economical price stands at €3.50. However, within a mere 200 meters, the range of ‘espeto’ prices stretches from €5 to €7, illustrating significant differences in this area, and Marbella reaches the pinnacle at almost €12.

Behind these diverse price tags lie the individual decisions of each establishment. It is important to consider the cost of a kilogram of sardines for the ‘espeto,’ which can amount to around €10, along with the expenses associated with preparing this beloved dish, with food enthusiasts and bargain hunters alike invited to explore Malaga’s beachfront restaurants to try this captivating culinary tradition.


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