Nerja’s month long 7th Ruta de la Tapa 2019 has finally come to an end, with 24 establishments taking part. Each bar or restaurant offered a small beer and a special tapa for just €1.80. As in previous years, customers could rate each tapa in their Ruta “passports” on a scale of 1 to 5. The highest scoring bar or restaurant will be declared the winner of this year’s Ruta on the 28th of May 2019. A draw will also take place for participants, with the winner getting their own weight in beer and dinner for four in the winning establishment.

While we wait for the official rankings, here’s our guide to which tapas we thought were best and why.

Cafe Cristo

Cafe Cristo, on Calle Cristo (post office street) did a superb chilli with rice – this is a variant on the chilli tapa they do normally, so if you missed out on the ruta, you can still go to the bar and try their usual chilli tapa, or the very popular (and unusual) Polish sausage.

Pescaderia El Artesano

Pescaderia El Artensano – this is a small fishmongers on Calle la Cruz, near to the underground car park by the Balcon de Europa. Their entry was tuna with Frigiliana wine and Axarquia raisins.

Sal y Pimienta

Sal y Pimienta restaurant is opposite the Riu Monica hotel at Torrecilla. Their ruta was ribs in a honey/mustard sauce on mashed potatoes – this was large and very tasty and has to be a favourite to win this year, if enough people made the trip over to that end of town.

Biznaga

Biznaga on the Balcon de Europa prepared a simple chicken tikka masalla on rice – very tasty and in a prime spot right in front of the church.

La Salamandra

Last year’s winners La Salamandra on Plaza de Espana did chicken in tomato sauce with crepes. An elaborate dish which perhaps wasn’t quite as tasty as it looked, but probably a strong contender again this year.

Mar Bella

Mar Bella on Plaza Cavana always create something different for the Ruta de la Tapa and this year their entry was a cod buñuelo (deep fried dough ball). Very nice and in a great location in the square next to the church by the Balcon de Europa. If you haven’t visited this bar/restaurant, you should go through to the terrace out the back, with fabulous views out over El Salon beach towards the mediteranean.

The official winner of the 7th Ruta de la Tapa will be announced on the 28th of May 2019.

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