The Best Seafood Shacks and Beach Cafes on the Costa Brava
Chiringuito | ©diluvi.com Anna i Adria / Wikimedia Commons
In Spain, seafood shacks and beach cafes are known as chiringuitos
. With great sea views, they are perfect for drinking, dining and chilling out, and serve some of the freshest fish around. Here’s our round-up of the best chiringuitos
on the Costa Brava
. Please note, most are only open in the summer months.
Bar, Spanish, $$$
This waterfront gastrobar has been an integral part of the small town of Cadaqués since its opening in 1946, and has been frequented by many artists and writers, such as Salvador Dalí and Gabriel García Márquez. Today, it’s run by Manel Vehi, who has trained under the greats, such as chefs Ferran and Albert Adrià of El Bulli fame, and also won many awards for his amazing cocktail creations. As well as a delicious array of inventive cocktails, Boia Nit also serves delectable and innovative tapas dishes.
Toc al Mar
Bar, Seafood, Mediterranean
Set on the Platja d’Aiguablava beach in Begur, Toc al Mar (Touch of the Sea) is a classic seafood chiringuito. It specialises in oak grilled fish, brought in straight from the local fishing boats each morning. The fish menu includes sea bream, sea bass, snappers, sardines, croaker and scorpion fish. Other seafood to try here include red lobster from Begur’s Cape, fresh shrimp from nearby Palamos and grilled octopus with Romesco sauce (made from almonds, garlic, olive oil, roasted red peppers and tomatoes). Their paella, black rice and lobster rice comes highly recommended too.
Xiringuito Cala Joncols
Part of the Cala Joncols Hotel, this chiringuito sits within the Cap de Creus Natural Park, between Roses and Cadaqués. Dating back to 1955, this is the ultimate chill-out spot to drink or dine. Their specialities include paellas, fideuàs (paellas made with short noodles instead of rice), rice stews with lobster and freshly grilled fish. Every Friday and Saturday, during July and August, they host live concerts and serve refreshing mojitos.
La Gàbia dels Mússols
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Seafood, Pub Grub
With its stunning location on the corner of Sant Feliu Beach, this place is ideal for a cooling drink or a mid-summer cocktail. Decorated with drift wood, shells and fishing equipment, here you can admire more than just the view. While the ice cold drinks are what most people come here for, they also serve tasty seafood tapas and main meals.
Bar, Restaurant, Spanish
This rustic bar on San Pere Pescador’s beach seems to sit in the middle of nowhere on the sand, and has a real laid-back vibe. Sit on benches made from old surf boards, dig your toes into the sand, and enjoy a drink whilst listening to their great soundtrack of chill-out tunes. They also serve good simple homemade tapas options, as well as delicious pizzas.
Bar, Spanish, Pub Grub, $$$
Sitting on Rubina Beach in Castelló d’Empúries, this bar has a real hippie vibe going on and is a well-kept local secret. In the summer they host live concerts in the evenings, making it the perfect place for mellowing out. Food here is a simple affair – think fresh sardines and sausages barbecued right on the beach.
Bar, Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, $$$
Set in a chic location, on a cove in Lloret de Mar, this place is surrounded by a beautiful beach with beautiful people to match. This upscale area is surround by grand houses with sea views, and Xiringuito Canyelles fits in well. Decorated with white leather sofas and colourful cushions, visitors can enjoy impressive-looking fruit cocktails and ice cold beers. Simple seafood tapas is also available.
Chiringuito La Pelosa
Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, $$$
Occupying a lovely spot above the bay of Roses, surrounded by the Cap de Creus Natural Park, this charming chiringuito is a must for seafood fans. For starters, choose from options such as rock mussels, marinated octopus or Roses anchovies, while for the main course – grilled cuttlefish, baked fish, fried squid in butter, sea bass or grilled prawns will do nicely.