In addition to its many other attractions and amenities, Marbella has over the past two decades gradually established itself as a centre of fine dining that covers a world of cuisines and offers a marvellous blend of creativity and tradition in hotspots such as the Golden Mile, Puerto Banús and the historic quarter.
There was a time when the few top restaurants in Marbella were the place to spot international celebrities such as Sean Connery or Audrey Hepburn, but these days you would be hard-put to find so many in one location, as the offer of fine dining options has grown and expanded beyond the confines of the Marbella Club Hotel to include other spots on the Golden Mile, Marbella town, Nueva Andalucía and beyond.
Just as a new wave of world-class chefs put Spain, and in particular Catalunya and the Basque region, firmly on the international gourmet map in the 1990s, so the generation they inspired has transferred the dining scene in Marbella. Spanish and international, they produce dishes and dining experiences that rank with the best in the world, and in so doing match other five-star deluxe experiences in Marbella, such as golf, tennis, yachting and luxury homes.
A growing Michelin tradition
From just a handful, the number of Michelin-star restaurants in Marbella has grown to no fewer than 16 in recent years, ranging from small boutique eateries such as Skina – known for its pioneering creativity – to the marvellous fusion of Thaissence, also in the historic quarter of Marbella. Casa Eladio and Kava take on a more Mediterranean approach, where Messina is an avant-garde expression of Italian cooking.
Back! Is modern Andalusian tradition personified, and you will recognise many classic local dishes amazingly reimagined, as is the case with Areia, which describes its offering as ‘market cuisine’ – in other words, skilfully prepared from the finest fresh ingredients. Ta-Kumi and Nintai reflect Marbella’s love affair with fine Japanese cuisine, and Erre & Urruchu as well as Leña Marbella show that a meat grill restaurant can also attain great heights.
La Milla and Lobito de Mar, the brainchild of local culinary star Dani García, celebrates the sea and has become something of an icon of the Marbella gastronomic evolution, while Mantarraya Mx allows us to unashamedly opt for Mexican food and then be overwhelmed with its quality and rich flavours. Also keep an eye out for the modern cuisine and dining experience at the Boho Club, just one of many fantastic restaurants within the municipal boundaries of Marbella alone.