Georgina Recommends – Chiringuito Manilva Beach
We’ve lived and had our marketing agency in Manilva since 2014 and so it’s long overdue to give some love to the restauranteurs near us who are doing it right. For the first time since 2018, our “Georgina Recommends” restaurant recommendation feature is back and we’ll be sharing our favourite places with you every month from now on.
To kick some life back into this feature, we want to introduce you to Manilva Beach – a fabulous chiringuito, right on the sand in Manilva, which we have been going to religiously since we moved here. We’ve had birthdays and special occasions here and if we’re ever stuck for what to do on a Sunday, this is an easy choice.
Here’s why we love it so much!
Manilva Beach gets its name from the sandy beach which it opens on to and it’s a great place to soak up the sun and then enjoy a beautiful lunch, or some cocktails as the sun goes down.
It is to the west of Castillo de la Duquesa, close to the La Bella Vista camp site. It’s opposite the turn off to Princess Kristina. Take a right by the Ornatus Furniture store and head down to the sea,
Parking is easy during the winter, but a challenge in the summer, so arriving early is a good idea. Alternatively, it’s a nice stroll from the big carpark at Castillo.
The beach is wide and quiet, the water is clean and it’s a lovely place to be all year round. We love the location as you can cycle along the paseo to it, and kids love to play on the sand or in the sea while the parents can relax and enjoy.
Manilva Beach is a modern, upscale chiringuito experience and feels nice, without being stuffy.
There’s a large inside area with floor to ceiling windows out to the beach. Like most of these modern beach restaurants it has a little clinical feeling, but it is a nice place to be, even when the weather isn’t good enough to be outside.
Most of the time you’d choose to be outside, on the large shaded terrace area which wraps around the side and back, or on tables actually on the beach.
The vibe is busy and fun.
Expect good quality, traditional Spanish chiriguito fare. The menu is varied, with plenty of fish and seafood, much of it cooked over coals on the classic boat BBQ they have here. The “espeto” of sardines on a skewer is a classic for good reason and the lubina al espeto (seabass) is fab too. There is a decent selection of meats, salads and a good kids menu too. However, it isn’t brilliant for vegetarians and a bit limited if fish and seafood aren’t your thing.
We tend to get a load of dishes to share. Our top choices are clams, calamari, croquettes, berenjenas al miel and cazon en adobo. Many of these come as medio raciones (half portions) so you can try more things.
Highly recommended is their “caldoso”, which is like a paella with lots of stock, and a mix of fish and seafood. It’s rich and delicious, but beware the portions are enormous, so if you want a few things to share as well, get a caldoso for 2 people between 4 of you. It normally takes 45 minutes to an hour to come as well, so you’ll want a few starters at first.
This is where this restaurant comes unstuck a little – especially when it’s busy. There are some lovely staff, but others are a bit rough round the edges. It gets a bit frantic, it can be hard to attract attention and things can be forgotten. The wheels quite regularly fall off during a service and there can be a long wait for everything.
However, I’d say don’t let that put you off. This is a place for a long and leisurely lunch, where you’re not on the clock and can go with the flow. Order plenty of little bits and pieces so they come along when they are ready and don’t be afraid to head up to the bar when it’s busy to order drinks.
I’ve seen some bad reviews on TripAdvisor because of this and they aren’t wrong, but we’ve found that if we set our expectations and order quickly then it works fine.
It’s a mid-range beach restaurant price wise, and can be good value if you just have a main meal and a few drinks. We tend to be there for the whole day, eating and drinking plenty, so it does add up, but we feel like the value to experience ratio is good. Their beach beds are very cheap (3 or 4€ per day if I remember rightly), and so it’s a very good place to base yourself for a beach day.
Address: N-340, Km 142, 29692 Manilva, Málaga
Google map link: https://goo.gl/maps/JW51GVPVVh9ErWb96
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm, 7 days a week. It is open most of the year, but tends to have some time off in January.
Telephone: 952 93 68 94
Best to call to book a table, as they are usually very busy, even in off-season.
They don’t have a website and their Facebook page is rarely updated, but you can find out more on TripAdvisor