Archidona, high up in the hills behind Malaga, is a small town but one with a rich history and vibrant community. In this little corner of Andalucia we’re blessed with great places to eat a few minutes walk from the front door of Almohalla 51. This time we’re celebrating three of our favourite Restaurants in Archidona which are close by and which enrich our guests experience immeasurably; from local dishes to award winning tapas, we’re serving up our favourites.
Run by the same family since the 1960s, today Central is at the heart of Archidona’s social life. Run by brothers Salvi (above) and Angel and lovely Eva bringing your food. There’s a menu of truly traditional and local dishes plus daily specials.
Open every day except Thursday locals love this bar as much as our guests do for its authentic Spanish vibe. Look for local dishes like porra (a thick tomato based soup served cold) or David’s particular favourite of Lomo a la Sal, pork marinated in herbs and olive oil and served cold. Have a tapas of this with a cold beer and your day just got better.
Sit up at the bar and watch Salvi prepare his infamous Gambas pil pil (above). Tender fresh prawns are slowly cooked in olive oil and garlic, the result of which is a zingy taste sensation. We’d pair this with a chilled glass of Fino. Another great tapas dish is Berejenas con Miel – a dish of deep fried aubergine in a honey glaze. The guys here always favour seasonal products so look out for fresh asparagus or setas (field mushrooms) when they’re around.
The portion sizes here can be bigger than you’d expect, so for two of you choose a two or three half plates or “media ración” to get you going.
In the town’s main square, La Plaza Ochavada, is award-winning restaurant Arxiduna. Its name derives from the Roman name for Archidona and the building is steeped in history, with one of its “caves” historically housing a Christian chapel during the Moorish reign of Andalucia.
Today front of house is managed by Francisco whilst his business partner Ruben (above) oversees the kitchen. They have fast garnered a reputation for interesting dishes with a basis in traditional Andalusian cuisine but coupled with a modern approach. Their signature dishes include the award winning Submarine Rice (arroz submarino) . This is a rich and creamy risotto and seafood dish which is served in a glass bowl and served with squid ink and seaweed (below).
Some of our favourite dishes at Arxiduna include the roast duck and venison (coupled with a red wine from nearby Ronda) as well as their tuna dishes – either tartare (a starter served with a sweet local biscuit) or seared and wrapped in seasame seeds as a main course.
Ruben is also keen on using seasonal ingredients and a recent special was a marinated portobello mushroom served with parmesan (below)… a really nice starter to share.
Fransisco has also been working on his wine cellar (much of which is housed in the ancient chapel cave) and he stocks a good selection of local wines which shouldn’t be overlooked. There are some great wineries in Andalucia, with several near to Archidona, including Hermanos Gross, tours of which we can organise.
One particular delight from the kitchen is their puddings, the chocolate brownie being top of the list. If you can manage to fit one in then you should, or share one if you can’t!
Next door to Central is an equally good family restaurant with hardworking Jose and wife cooking and serving up excellent local cuisine and wines. We love the baked bacalao gratin al horno (Cod in cheese sauce) and zamburiñas (Scallop and prawn served in its shell with a garlic butter sauce)
The menu is focused on traditional Spanish dishes and everything is cooked to order using fresh ingredients. Weekends also offer up an extensive pizza menu !
If you want to enjoy a little of the local culture, go on a night when spanish football is on and enjoy the match on TV with the locals in a very amicable environment! (and there is still plenty of space away from the game if you don’t want to watch!)
But that’s not all folks…
Whilst we’ve chosen three of our favourite restaurants in Archidona, the town is blessed with a variety of great places to eat like Kiko’s in the Ochavada with its Pizza’s, fresh salads and generous burgers, San Isidro with a BBQ in the summer or Las Tres RRRs for a traditional menú del dia – check out the Food and Drink page on our website.
Our job is to help you get the best out of your stay in Archidona so just ask and we’ll guide you to the right place, make reservations and even suggest dishes that will work best for you.