The Best Local Restaurants in Marbella, Spain

Marbella, Spain
Marbella, Spain
Photo of Alexandra Brannigan
9 February 2017

The Andalusian city of Marbella in southern Spain boasts 326 days of sunshine a year, enticing beaches, homely fish restaurants and a bustling tourist life. The busy seaside boardwalk of Paseo Marítimo, the upscale port of Puerto Banús and the atmospheric, orange tree-filled Historic Quarter cater for every taste. Discover the best restaurants this culinary paradise has to offer.

Plaza De Los Naranjos | © Nan Palmero

Paco Jiménez

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Spanish, European
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In the beautiful Plaza de los Naranjos in the Old Town, this intimate and welcoming restaurant offers high-quality cuisine. Paco Jiménez is named after its eponymous owner and chef, who won a gold medal at the World Gastronomic Meeting in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. In the warm interior of this restaurant, which is also a gallery in its own right, you can dine on a constantly changing seasonal menu. Consisting of an eclectic, creative variety of Mediterranean dishes, it includes dishes such as seafood salad, rack of lamb with marmalade sauce, tender rosemary rabbit confit and snapper with saffron. The desserts are equally enticing, with the tarta de queso an all-time favorite.

Restaurante Messina

Restaurant, European, Contemporary, Spanish
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A few meters away from the Old Town, Messina is a contemporary restaurant with open-plan, minimalist interiors. Wooden floors, red chairs and top quality cutlery and glasses offer an upscale dining experience. Adventurous palettes can try a taster menu or one of their signature dishes, like crab curry ravioli with banana, sea snail, tuna with papaya, sea urchin, squid sandwich, yoghurt Chantilly and strawberries. Mauricio Giovanni experiments with new flavors and textures and uses local produce and local classics presenting them with his own creative twist.


Restaurant, Mediterranean, Spanish, European
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A tiny but enticing restaurant where the atmosphere conjures a by-gone era, Garnacha offers excellent and innovative food with artistic presentation. The warm shades of the interior, the big mirror on the wall and the quaint chairs and tables, create a warm and cozy environment. Dishes are served in full, half or tapas portions and offer exotic combinations such as foie gras with apple crumble and grated almond, duck magret with caramelized pineapple, tuna tartar and octopus. Creativity is abundant and the perfectly balanced flavors are accompanied by an interesting wine list. For desert, a white chocolate brownie with ice-cream or chocolate coulant with passion fruit sauce are great choices. This is a reasonably priced little gem where booking is essential.

Villa Tiberio

Restaurant, European, Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean
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This is the masterpiece of Sandro Morelli, one of Spain’s most well-known restaurateurs. Villa Tiberio is surrounded by 6,000 square metres of Italianate gardens, lush trees, bougainvilleas and semi-tropical vegetation. Statues, waterfalls, rose bushes and lilac blossoms adorn the expansive grounds where diplomats, royals, celebrities, locals and tourists can enjoy a special banquet or an intimate dinner. The menu is innovative with many tempting dishes such as funghi fantasia, pappardelle al Sandro, osso bucco a la Milanese and spaghetti with shellfish sauce. The wine selection is equally fabulous, including a Romanée Conti Grand Cru 1973, Tignanello Antinori , a 1938 Chateau Margaux among others.


Restaurant, European, Mediterranean, Spanish, $$$
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A delicious menu, friendly atmosphere, live tango, flamenco and other events and exhibitions organized throughout the year rank Soliluna as one of the friendliest restaurants in Marbella. With high ceilings, beautiful decoration and a big fireplace, it is a warm and elegant place to enjoy dinner on a cold winter night. Equally, on a warm and balmy summer evening, customers can enjoy the spacious terrace overlooking the beautiful garden with the swimming pool. Meat and seafood dishes are of the highest quality and are sourced locally and the Sunday Barbecue Buffet Brunch is highly recommended.

Marbella Patio

Restaurant, European, Spanish, Mediterranean, $$$
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Original Spanish cuisine within the Andalusian atmosphere, Marbella Patio’ s tapas have won local awards for their original taste and interesting presentation. An unassuming restaurant housed in a 16th century building next to the castle walls, it is a great stop if you want to visit the Moorish monument. The décor’s bold tiles and the patio up against the ancient city wall can transport customers to times past. Salmorejo, paella, fillet steak and the house special suckling pig, all original recipes with a contemporary touch, are freshly cooked and offer an excellent value.


Restaurant, European, Spanish, Mediterranean
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Tartare at Skina
Tartare at Skina | Courtesy Skina
Skina is a Michelin-starred Marbella restaurant is abundant with tasteful creativity and impressive culinary expertise. A variety of inventive tapas, like deer ham with celery, lobster tartare with strawberry, roasted pigeon with cereals, orange cream with carrot ice cream and homemade bread, are all based around traditional dishes from the Malaga region. The design of the restaurant is bold and dominated by a glass-enclosed wine-cellar. Private lessons and internships are also organized by Skina restaurant for those who wish to try their hand at making culinary magic.

La Meridiana del Alabardero

Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
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An extremely spacious restaurant decorated in art deco style with candlelit tables and big Roman gardens, La Meridiana offers diners a great spot to enjoy excellent Mediterranean dishes. Ranging from classic options to more adventurous choices, the creations of Benjamin Alloza are inspired and authentic, and the ingredients are of excellent quality. Ajopollo malagueño and glazed artichokes, red fruits salmorejo, white chocolate soufflé with Grand Marnier, all accompanied by a complementary selection of wines and delicious cocktails can be enjoyed in lovely colonial surroundings.

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