Murcia is synonymous with sun, good temperatures, al fresco meals, tapas, beers, and wines with character. The great wealth of products from this area means there is a wide and varied selection of traditional dishes. Vegetables, meat and fish served as stews, with scrambled eggs, or roasted or grilled.
We begin our tour at Salzillo, one of the city’s classics that has spent more than twenty years as a gastronomic icon.
We follow this with a classic tavern, La Parranda, in the middle of Plaza de San Juan. This is a welcoming spot with a typical bar where you can sample traditional dishes and, above all, enjoy vegetables in all their forms.
Just next door we find La PequeñaTaberna, a charming spot with traditional cuisine, which combines the rustic with the elegant. Don't miss the artichokes in escabeche. El Churra is another restaurant offering traditional dishes perfect for enjoying at the bar. It's one of the best places in the city for its service, high-quality products and festive atmosphere.
In the neighbourhood of Churra is the restaurant Torremolinos, where you can enjoy traditional Murcian tavern-style grilled meats, also to be found at Rincón Huertano and Mesón La Torre.
Palacete Rural de la Seda is one of the most beautiful spots in the Huerta of Murcia. As one of the most important wineries in the region, with carefully prepared and familiar food, since its inception it has become a must-visit. A place to dine like a king.
We end our tour through traditional Murcian cuisine with two well-known cervecerías (pubs) on the outskirts of the city: Casa El Alias, on Avenida de Santa Catalina, where you can enjoy some excellent stew; and Las Acelgas, in Espinardo, with some very interesting traditional snacks for those who want to explore this small town near Murcia.
For those obsessed with gastronomy, service, produce, the wine list and the overall experience of a restaurant, there are a number of options in Murcia with a range of styles and prices. Traditional, market, gastropubs, or a real tribute to food.
We begin our route at the restaurant Monumental, an elegant venue (reminiscent of 1920s Paris) located in the old town of the city, perfect for grilled fish and meats.
Morales is one of the classics of Murcian cuisine, perfect for us to pay tribute to. Located right in the centre of the city, this restaurant offers a menu full of Mediterranean flavours, such as hake supreme or roasted kid leg.
Near Santa Isabel and the Plaza de Las Flores, we find La Virgen del Mar, a temple to fish and seafood. A short distance away in Calle Fuensanta is KekiTapería, a restaurant serving creative cuisine at very low prices.
In fact, Plaza de las Flores contains a number of places that score very highly when it comes to small dishes. Particularly of note is the marinera at El Fénix or La Tapa, the octopus at El Pulpito or the seafood from La Torre de Las Flores. Though if you find yourself around Alfonso X, you must not miss the marinera at El Café Bar.
Switching things up, we continue our route with two traditional restaurants that must not be missed in Murcia: Jota Ele, in Plaza de Santa Isabel, has a fantastic bar in which to enjoy a round of tapas; and El Hispano, located behind the Cathedral, also has a large bar and a restaurant with excellent dishes such as suckling pig, tuna, stews... and some highly recommended desserts, perfect for finishing of a culinary tour for demanding palates.
Another great foodie spot is the restaurant Alborada, which offers quality set lunch menus, a bar for tapas, and a very interesting restaurant menu. A few metres away is La Taberna de Toni, an informal bar with tasty, high quality tapas, accompanied with a great glass of regional wine. In the evening only, the closest thing to a pintxo bar in the city: Touché, where you’ll find delicious Magdalenas saladas (savoury Spanish muffins), among other things.
Around the Verónicas area, there are a number of options to consider, such as La Tapeoteca or Pasaje de Zabalburu, both informal settings with good quality cooking. The latter is ideal for a snack at the bar. The same is true for La Bien Pagá and La Barra de El Torrao, which both have excellent tapas and some very strong dishes to end the meal.
When it comes to eating out with the family, sometimes things can get complicated. Finding food suitable for younger gourmets and spaces suitable for them isn’t a problem, but on this route we're not going to sacrifice quality cooking, wines and service either.
We start with La Mariposa, one of the best Italian restaurants to be found in Murcia. Its menu is made up of pizzas and fresh pasta, to delight both young and old.
If you want to make the most of Murcia’s bright and sunny days, head to El Amarre. It has a large bar, tables to sit at, and is in a plaza where children can play safely.
Another great option is Venta El Payo. Open 24 hours a day, in this traditional restaurant you can sample stews, Murcian rice dishes and grilled meats. A similar offering is found at La Finca Santiago, this time in Espinardo. It has a set menu and plenty of space for children. In La Alberca, El Asador restaurant does not disappoint, with delicious snacks and grilled meats served in the plaza.
Other similar restaurants, also on the outskirts of the city, are Pepe Tomás, in Torreagüera, La finca Mi Capricho, in Algezares, or La Cábila in San José de la Vega. All of them have ample space and are perfectly suited for little ones to be comfortable.
In the city centre, in Plaza Cristo del Rescate, is Pura Cepa, a modern restaurant with traditional dishes and a very good wine list.
Also in the centre is La Tienda de Susano, offering a great terrace in the middle of the old town, perfect for a snack or a mid-afternoon coffee. We end our route with an excellent steak cooked in the northern style, this time at the restaurant Paco del Alfonso X.
The huerta of Murcia is one of the region’s marvels, the source of a huge variety of seasonal vegetables. Cod fishball stew is a typical dish of Holy Week.
Plaza Mayor is an ideal space for children to enjoy themselves. Paparojetes are a typical Murcian sweet treat, made with lemon leaves.
For those who don’t want to miss out on travelling, even on a low budget, here are some places in Murcia that will make for a more than satisfactory dining experience. There are modern restaurants, casual ones, tapas bars and simple taverns, all unmissable.
Let’s start with three great places to eat quality burgers: La Hamburguesa Rockera, The Factory and Al Rojo Vivo. For a taste of Peruvian cuisine, try Lima Limón.
En la calle San Patricio, muy cerca de la Catedral y justo detrás del edificio del Ayuntamiento nos encontramos con el Restaurante 65 Grados, una delicia de platos de carne, pescados, verduras y cremas cocinados a baja temperatura y a precios increíblemente económicos, no dejéis de probar el pulpo a la brasa.
In Plaza de las Flores, you cannot leave without a stop at the pastry shop Bonache, one of famous in the city, and try a unique Murcian speciality: the meat pie. You can also sample these at Nuevo Zahar, the Espinosa pastry shop and in Collados. But if you really want to delve deeper into the city’s cuisine, you must visit the pastry shop La Peladilla and sample the real Murcian Pastel de Cierva - Venison Pastry.
If you're looking for a student atmosphere, on CalleVara del Rey try Madre de Dios and ParlamentoAndaluz, in Plaza de Las Flores and the Plaza Romea, to eat sandwiches with cold cuts accompanied by a cold local beer. However, if what you want is to visit a typical Murcian tavern, then visit Guinea, though it's best to make a reservation.
On the way to our next destination we’ll make a quick stop at one of the city centre's most traditional bars: Rio Bar, famous for its empanadillas (pastries) and homemade crisps.
Continuing with the student vibe, in the bar area near the University of La Merced is a typical tavern, the perennial favourite El Garrampón. A similar spot can be found at PepicodelTíoGinés, another traditional spot where you can try typical Murcian tapas in a tavern-style atmosphere.
In Murcia’s main bar area there are another two great tapas bars serving typical local cuisine: Los Toneles and Los Zagales, which offer a wide variety of dishes and typical products at very reasonable prices.
Green Sushi, very close to the University of La Merced, is for lovers of Japanese cuisine, while Malena in Plaza Puxmarina is an Argentinian gastropub with creative dishes, is another winning bet.
For tapas at a low price, you could also visit El Jumillano, in the nearby town of Vistabella, or the area of Ronda Norte, where HermanosRódenas is located, a bar with a wide range of dishes and quality products, at a more reasonable price than those found in areas such as Plaza de las Flores.
Del Gallo Blues is a very modern and cosmopolitan space to try gourmet burgers or excellent cured ham croquetas, close to Avenida Juan Carlos I. Another similar restaurant is La Trastienda, more central, with a wide variety of informal starters.
In recent years we have witnessed the birth of a new Murcian cuisine. More modern, with more individual flourishes, and most importantly, of extremely high quality. There is a wide and varied range, which will delight lovers of creative, surprising and avant-garde cooking. Welcome to the new Murcian cuisine.
We being our route in El Palmar, where we find the leading example of signature cuisine: Cabaña Buenavista, by Pablo González-Conejero, the only restaurant in Murcia with a Michelin star. A beautiful environment and the most creative cuisine in the city make this Murcia's most complete gastronomic experience.
In Puente Tocinas there are two restaurants that are part of this new Murcian cuisine: Verna and Local de Ensayo. The first is a gourmet restaurant serving powerful dishes with plenty of flavour. In the kitchen we find a chef with a very interesting career trajectory (Diverxo, Casa Marcial...), which can be tasted in every bite. It’s worth making the drive to Puente Tocinas to enjoy its cuisine, and its spectacular gardens. At Local de Ensayo, another haute cuisine restaurant, you can enjoy extremely innovative creations and a surprising atmosphere where everything down to the smallest detail is taken care of. In just a few months, it has become one of Murcia's leading restaurants.
Returning to the centre of Murcia we make a stop at the bar of Rincón de Pepe. A restaurant that combines tradition with innovation in each of its dishes. Rincón de Pepe offers tapas of unbeatable quality and a dining room that encourages a lengthier meal.
But if Asian cuisine is what you're after, on Calle Santa Teresa, near Plaza de Santa Isabel, Enso Sushi is the place to remember. Sublime quality and unique creations make this a cult restaurant for lovers of Japanese cuisine. If you want to try seafood with Asian influences, then Kome is the one for you. This small restaurant, with no tables and only 12 seats at the bar, is one of the most chic and cosmopolitan places in the city. In this Asian restaurant, let yourself be carried away and enjoy every bit of this different, fresh and innovative dishes.
In CalleTrapería, heading to the Cathedral, we make a stop at the Real Casino de Murcia, a beautiful building which is worth a visit just for its architectural value and beautiful spaces alone. The restaurant has a menu to suit all tastes, with modern touches.
We end our culinary tour through the new Murcian cuisine at Taúlla, in Espinardo, one of the latest restaurants to open its doors in the city. It offers a creative menu with a focus on vegetables - and the prices are extremely affordable.
Within the iconic Real Casino de Murcia, architectural gem of the city, you will discover a unique and unbeatable restaurant. To end on a high, an Asiático coffee is an excellent choice.