When you look at ideal places to live in the Mediterranean, Marbella comes up trumps. It has it all: year-round sunshine, stunning beaches, sparkling blue seas, incredible luxury villas, rolling hills and mountain vistas, exclusive nightclubs and bars, all the luxury boutiques and designer stores you can think of, culture and tradition is right on your doorstep, and then to top it off you’re offered a huge variety of world-class restaurants.
There are so many delectable places to dine that we had to simplify this list down to a select few with Michelin guide recognition, which shows you just high the standards are here.
Boasting two Michelin stars, Skina is a small, exquisite restaurant set in the old town of Marbella. They claim to have the freshest, highest quality local produce and one of the most excellent wine selections in the region. They pride themselves on creativity basing this on tradition, vanguard and flavour plus ensure that their menu alters to incorporate the bounty of the seasons. Anywhere that can offer you two Michelin stars, fantastic food, service, wine and a cosy, traditional old quarter vibe is definitely worth investigating.
Michelin guide description: “This minuscule restaurant in the old quarter offers an interesting and bold approach to top quality gastronomy. The contemporary decor, featuring an impressive glass-fronted wine cellar, provides the backdrop for traditional yet creative Andalusian cuisine showcasing meticulous technique and ingredients of the very highest quality”.
Dani Garcia has become a household name in Spain and especially here in Marbella. His restaurant Bibo is set in the stunning grounds of the exclusive Puente Romano Hotel and has been awarded the Michelin plate. Though the dress code will impress, it’s not quite as formal as you would expect. Good for a relaxed lunch with friends or an intimate meal for two, this is a place you’ll be likely to frequent.
The Michelin guide states that: “This bistro with a hint of Andalucía is informal, colourful and fun! Discover the cooking of award-winning chef Dani García at its most uninhibited. This is thanks to a concept designed for sharing, and a fusion of techniques, styles and ingredients of the utmost quality.”
Messina restaurant has been open since 2003 and was awarded its first Michelin star in 2016, which was then renewed in 2017, and 2018. The owners, Pía Ninci and Mauricio Giovanini, are passionate about their restaurant which is evident when observing the high standards that they maintain.
The Michelin guide describes the restaurant: “The large windows at the entrance lead to a bright, contemporary dining room in which the service is highly attentive. The attractive à la carte, featuring an array of delicious, innovative dishes, is tried and tested and well designed, with recipes originating from Spain, South America and Asia. The tasting menus are also well worth a look.”
The aptly named El Lago, meaning ‘the lake’, is set on one of the many manicured golf courses here on the Costa del Sol. The restaurant opened in 2000 and has been Michelin star recognised since 2005. They offer an extensive wine cellar and optimum service while serving outstanding Andalusian cuisine.
The Michelin guide description is as follows: “El Lago’s standout feature is its location on a relaxing golf course opposite a man-made lake. The contemporary-style dining room, enhanced by a large semi-circular bay window, also boasts several idyllic terraces. The modern, creative and imaginative cuisine takes its inspiration from regional and international cooking.”
The Michelin Plate is a recognition from the Michelin guide to show a high standard of cooking and a reliable establishment that will consistently offer top quality ingredients carefully prepared into a well presented, delicious meal. This is not as high an achievement as a Michelin star, but it is more than just a nod, it is recognition that this restaurant has an excellent and note-worthy standard of food and service.
This is Japanese and Mediterranean fusion cuisine at its best. The two top chefs that united to create their ideal cultural combination are Toshio Tsutsui and Álvaro Arbeloa. Their symbiotic relationship has delicately created some incredible dishes, the Michelin guide awarded them the Michelin plate, and advise that this place is definitely worth a detour and commented that the restaurant is “Well run by the Japanese chefs in the kitchen, TA-KUMI offers an extensive à la carte of traditional dishes from their homeland. One of the specialities well worth trying is the tempura California roll filled with prawns and green asparagus”.
Claiming to offer a unique gastronomic experience, Back! has been described by the Michelin guide as “A colourful and informal restaurant with a focus on time-honoured Andalusian cuisine which has been updated with touches from around the world, including tapas, dishes for sharing, set menus and new culinary creations”.
Inspired tapas, sharing plates and innovative youthful dishes created with delicate experience this is a great way to see how Spanish food is evolving whilst maintaining its roots and traditions. Well worth a visit, and you may even go back!
There are so many brilliant restaurants in Marbella! These include other Michelin-recommended ones like Villa Tiberio, Aderezzo and Don Quijote. Check out the rest of the list here.
If you’re overwhelmed by choice, head to the Marbella Club, where it all started – it always works!