The gastronomic offer of Estepona is framed within the traditional Andalusian cuisine. Thanks to its location, in Estepona we can find dishes elaborated with products from the countryside and the sea.
From the land, the most typical dish is the “sopa campera“, a tribute to farmers and country people. From the sea, the espeto de sardinas, usually cooked on boats filled with sand in the popular beach bars.
Fortunately for our palates, Estepona has many more typical dishes that we are going to describe in this article.
The origin of this dish comes from the farmers who, as good improvised cooks, took the ingredients they had at hand and invented this simple but tasty soup. The soup is made with oil, tomato, bell pepper, onion, garlic, asparagus, bread, egg and salt. There is no single recipe and each house adds or subtracts ingredients according to taste.
Following the customs of the people of the countryside, the sopa campera is eaten in a clay bowl or ceramic basin, the tradition was to eat all around the basin, as was done, for example, with the migas.
We invite you to try the recipe of a typical dish of Estepona very consumed among the country people.
Thistles or Scolymus Hispanicus is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. Known in other areas as cardillo or cardo de olla, it is a highly appreciated food for the flavor it brings to stews, stews and scrambled eggs. In addition, they have great health benefits: they contain vitamins A, B and C, high content of minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and calcium. They are low in calories and can be taken as a diuretic and detoxifying infusion. It is a wild plant, although currently due to its great demand, it is also cultivated, but obviously the flavor of the wild tagarnina is much better. The part that is eaten is the stalk and the most typical recipe found in Estepona is Puchero de Tagarninas or Potaje de Tagarninas. As it is normal in this type of spoon dishes, in each house they give it their particular touch with the ingredients to their taste. Other typical Andalusian recipes with this product are Tagarninas Esparragás (made with fried bread, garlic, oil, ñoras, paprika and egg), Tagarninas omelettes, etc.
The pescaíto frito, in all its variants, can be found in most of the restaur From haddock to dogfish, from redfish to forkbeards, and from red mullet to squid. Special mention to the anchovies found in Estepona, fried or with lemon, stand out for their great quality and flavor.
The fritura malagueña brings together many of these products in a single dish obtaining as a final result a delicacy that you can not miss. Thanks to the rich variety of local fish, its freshness and flavor make this dish a real delicacy.
Espeto de sardinas.
Sardines skewered and grilled with the heat of the embers. We have already dedicated an article to this wonderful typical dish. By the way! A word of advice, the best time to enjoy a sardine espeto are the months without ‘R’. Enjoy it!
Octopus salad or “pulpo aliñao de Estepona”.
The octopus is one of the species that is most often caught in the waters of Estepona. A very curious fact that not everyone knows is that most of the octopus eaten in Galicia is from Estepona. In fact, in many Galician restaurants you can find signs that say: “Pulpo de Estepona”.
In most bars and restaurants in Estepona you can find this recipe elaborated with boiled Estepona octopus, to which we add tomato, green bell pepper, onion and parsley. Season with salt, pepper, a good squeeze of lemon juice and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As we have said before, every master has his own way and the recipe can be modified to taste: with potato, without potato, with bell pepper, without bell pepper, etc. But the end result is always a fresh and very tasty dish.
Seafood and seafood delicacies.
The Alboran Sea is one of the most diverse Mediterranean areas in the world. Its proximity to the Atlantic makes it possible for species from two very different habitats to live in this area. In the bay of Estepona there are important areas of reproduction and breeding of marine species: shrimp, crayfish, clams, mussels or fine shells are some of the species that are fished in the waters of the Alboran Sea.
The Estepona shrimp, highly demanded in beach bars and seafood restaurants, is smaller in size than other shrimp from the Atlantic. They are whitish in color, soft and juicy in texture and very tasty.
If we talk about mollusks, in Estepona the fine shells are very well worked. They are usually eaten raw seasoned with a little lemon, salt and pepper. Concha fina is difficult to find in restaurants outside the province of Malaga, although it can be found in almost every municipality of the Spanish Mediterranean. Another of the most famous mollusks in Estepona’s restaurants are the coquinas, cooked in garlic or marinara style.
Other typical Andalusian dishes that we usually find in Estepona’s cuisine are gazpacho, emblanco, ajoblanco or all kinds of salads: Russian, octopus, roe…
Thanks to the influence of tourism, in recent years international food has definitely settled in many restaurants in the municipality, so that there is a very varied gastronomic offer covering almost all nationalities: Italian, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, etc..
Where to eat in Estepona.
In the old town and the fishing port is where most of the most important restaurants in Esteponawhere you can find the most typical dishes of the area: fresh seafood, grilled, roasted or grilled fish, different types of rice, a wide range of classic stews and of course a good meat, because yes, in Estepona there are also restaurants with good meat.
Like everything in this life, in the end it comes down to taste and for some people a restaurant will be the best and for others it will be the worst, but thanks to the great variety of restaurants, Estepona is a good city to enjoy gastronomically.