A small white village in the hills above Marbella, Benahavis shouldn’t by rights be a reference point for where to eat well in Malaga Province. But for years now, in-the-know food and wine lovers have been winding their way up the mountain roads from other Marbella neighbourhoods to get a place at the so-called ‘Dining Room of the Costa del Sol’.

The town’s reputation among connoisseurs is thanks in part to its renowned catering college, Escuela de Hosteleleria Benahavís which has produced some excellent chefs and culinary delights over the years.

view hills cafe benahavis

Here are just a few of our favourite Benahavis restaurants to help you explore some of the best eating and drinking that the area has to offer.

Los Abanicos

Los Abanicos has been one of the go-to restaurants in Benahavis for years now, as much because of the feel of the place as anything else. From the super-warm welcome and a (highly recommended) large G&T on arrival, to the strings of garlic and sun-dried peppers that hang from thick wooden beams decorated with brightly coloured fans, it’s just got a lovely atmosphere.

That’s not to say that the food isn’t great, though. While it’s not fussy or remotely ‘haute’, it focuses on great ingredients, strong, simple techniques and portion sizes that mean you don’t need to eat again that day.

Baby squid, steaks as thick as bricks (although a little juicier), and tender, slow-cooked suckling lamb are all highlights.

Address: Calle Malaga, 17, 29679 Benahavis, Malaga; Tel. +34 952 85 50 22.

Amanhavis Restaurant

amanhavis restaurant

Amanhavis Restaurant

Tucked away within the hotel of the same name, this restaurant has been serving up some of the best food in Benahavis for over a decade now. Like the hotel itself, the décor is personal and eclectic with polished terracotta floors, evocative low lighting, mixed tables and chairs and interesting artworks on the walls.

Food-wise, the menu tends to be a small but select affair. You can expect the likes of pan-fried seabass, red tuna and a handful of barbecued meats, depending on the season and availability at the market.

The one thing that’s absolutely not to be missed, however, is the pan-fried foie gras – a speciality of the house.

Address: Calle Pilar 3, 29679 Benahavis, Spain; Tel. +34 952 85 60 26; Amanhavis.com.

Bodegon Gallery

This cosy family owner restaurant and wine shop knows its stuff when it comes to vino. The extensive wine list features a broad range of local wines, and wine pairing menus are available on request.

When it comes to food, local ingredients are the star of the show and dishes are hearty and comforting Spanish fayre, including roasted lamb, succulent steaks and fresh fish and seafood.

The restaurant has a beautiful terrace with views over the mountains, perfect for summer evenings. Staff are super friendly and passionate about their produce, so don’t be shy to ask for recommendations!

Address: Calle Estepona 8, 29679 Benahavis Spain

Bodegon Gallery Restaurant

Tehuelche Grill Argentino

tehuelche argentino restaurant

Tehuelche Grill Argentino

Dining in Argentina is about the simple things done really well. And this little slice of the Pampas on the way up from Estepona to Benahavis could hardly demonstrate that more clearly.

What to order? You can’t really go wrong with a Chateaubriand washed down with a nice bottle of Mendoza Malbec – and if you’re feeling particularly hungry some lamb empanadas to start off with. Simple things. Done really well.

Address: Km 1.5, Carretera Benahavis, 29688 Estepona, Malaga; Tel. +34 952 88 37 42; Tehuelche.net.

La Escalera De Balthazar

Best restaurants in Benahavis Pueblo

La Escalera de Balthazar

‘Typically Andalucian’ is how you’d sum up the appeal of this village-centre favourite, which still retains much of its raison d’être following a change of ownership (locals will remember the previous ‘La Escalera’)

The menu is full of changing seasonal dishes using the highest quality Spanish ingredients, prepared with a lot of love and a sprinkling of French culinary skills – served against a typical and pleasingly lively backdrop. The wine list offers the best of Spain’s artisanal wines.

We thinks it’s one of the most inviting places to eat in Benahavis.

Address: Calle Almendro 2, 29679 Benahavis, Spain; Tel. +34 951 152 405  La Escalera De Baltazar Website

Escuela de Hosteleria

Not a restaurant in the traditional sense of the word, you have to limit your visits to this hospitality school to Monday-Friday 1330-1500 as it isn’t open on evenings or weekends. But it’s well worth the minor inconvenience, as this little gem to the north of the village is one of the best places to eat in Benahavis.

It’s also extremely good value, with menus paired with wines available on Mondays and Wednesdays for €29 and tasting menus on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from €38.

It’s impossible to make a recommendation, as the menu – and indeed the chefs – change depending on what’s fresh and seasonal, and what the students of the school are covering in their course at the time of your visit.

Address: Avenida de Andalucia 23, 29670 Benahavis; Tel. +34 952 855 242. Escuelahosteleria.es.

Like this pick of the best Benahavis restaurants? Book a foodie break with a stay at one of our nearby luxury villas.

If you’re planning a gourmet trip to the town, and want to reserve your place at the best table in the house, contact our concierge.

Ben Cooper

A head-over-heels hispanophile, Ben is a one-time travel editor at Rough Guides, DK Travel, ELLEuk and Red Online.

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