The Coolest Cafés in Malaga's Old Town

Courtesy of Recyclo Bike Café
Courtesy of Recyclo Bike Café
Mark Nayler

In a city as crowded with cafés as Malaga, you have to do something a bit special to stand out from the crowd. So whether you serve your coffee from a stall in one of the city’s most exciting new covered markets or to customers relaxing underneath art created by the area’s top emerging artists, being original is a must. With that in mind, Culture Trip has selected the coolest, most inventive cafés to visit in the beautiful historic centre of Malaga.

Mercado Merced

Market, Spanish

Mercado Merced, Malaga
© Encarni Novillo

One of the coolest places to enjoy breakfast while watching Malaga wake up is the recently renovated Mercado Merced, in the heart of the old town. Trendy spots for coffee and churros – or any other kind of breakfast you fancy – line the terraces of this super-cool covered market and provide an ideal location for people-watching as the nearby Plaza Merced, on which Picasso was born in 1881, springs into action. Excellent and speedy coffee to go (‘para llevar’) is also available from many of its 22 lively stalls.

Casa Aranda

Cafe, Spanish, Vegetarian

cafe Casa Aranda, Malaga, Costa del Sol, Andalusia, Spain
© Arco Images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Casa Aranda is an institution in Malaga and is famous for its amazing homemade churros – the delicious fried dough pastries without which most breakfasts in Andalusia would be unthinkable. For over 75 years, this family-run joint has been churning out these decadent and incredibly moreish snacks for both visitors and locals, who enjoy them along with superb coffee in an old-style, joyfully chaotic atmosphere. Also recommended is the ‘hot chocolate’ – a thick, rich beverage which makes other, similarly named drinks seem like pale imitations.

Café con Libros

Cafe, Coffee Shop, European

The colourful terrace of Café con Libros
Courtesy of Café con Libros

Situated on the coolest square in Malaga’s old town and just a couple of bars away from the house in which Picasso was born, Café con Libros‘s sunny terrace is an unimprovable spot for a leisurely breakfast or lunch. As the name suggests, its warm, cheerful interior sees books lining the wall and is a lovely space to enjoy the café’s full range of drinks and dishes – from churros to pasta, coffee to cocktails – on the rare occasions when the terrace isn’t usable. Friendly service is provided by the team managed by Juan and Alicia, the couple who own the café.

Recyclo Bike Café

Cafe, Restaurant, European, Mediterranean

Interior of Recyclo Bike-Cafe in Malaga, Spain.
© Luis Dafos / Alamy Stock Photo

Few of Malaga’s cafés make a statement in the way that this funky little place does. Offering the freshest, locally sourced produce, displaying art created by local artists and running a bike rental outlet is a pretty good way to make a name for yourself in a city teeming with cafés. The kitchen team at Recyclo creates a range of breakfasts fresh each morning, complemented with coffee from small local businesses rather than from some far-off mega factory. Their innovate menu also caters for lunch and dinner and offers unique dishes such as vegetarian chorizo.

El Jardín

Cafe, Restaurant, Spanish

El Jardín, Malaga
© Caroline Ingram / Flickr

A traditional Andalusian old-style café and restaurant with a difference, El Jardín stages regular flamenco shows and tango evenings as well as offering some of the best breakfasts in town. Located in a grand old Malaga townhouse dating from 1887, this ornate café also enjoys one of the most privileged locations in the old town and has a charming terrace right next to the cathedral’s beautiful gardens. Here, you can enjoy a simple breakfast of tostada served with the freshest tomato ‘frito’ and best quality olive oil.

Café Dulces Dreams

Cafe, European, Coffee

Café Dulces Dreams
Courtesy of Dulces Dreams

Attached to one of Malaga’s most reasonably priced boutique hotels is also one of the city’s coolest, most original cafés, Café Dulces Dreams. In its modern, light and airy space, you can enjoy the standard Spanish breakfast offering of tostadas, but served with a modern touch: ricotta cheese and honey fillings are on offer as well as the traditional tomato and olive oil. A monthly refreshed display of local art by Malaga’s emerging artists adorns the walls, and the organic coffee is popular with both locals and visitors alike.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Holiday Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article