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What are the best restaurants in Marbella?

I will be in Marbella on Thursday May 31st, and need to find a great restaurant to celebrate my husband's 30th birthday. Will consider any price level, but needs to have very good food, and a great atmosphere (nothing overally stuffy) - nice grounds/view a bonus. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I've looked at the travel guide suggestions and came up with this list, but am hoping CH's can help steer me in the right direction:
- La Meridiana
- Villa Tiberio
- La Hacienda
- El Portalon
- Restaurant Santiago

Thank you!

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  1. About four years ago, my husband and I happened upon La Tricicleta, and amazing dining experience...went back twice! Unfortunately, last I knew is that it is gone. They had a partnership with Formula Wines, maybe you can look it up and find a new venture by them.

    1. check out Daniel Garcia's El Calima in the Hotel Gran Melia Don Pepe

      1 Reply
      1. re: R MAIDMAN

        "Calima" is Marbella's best,by far-they serve the best fried fish in the world.Around 80-90 € per person

      2. I cannot believe that no one has mentioned RESTAURANTE ZOZOI...right in the heart of old town MARBELLA, It is not to be missed!! excellent, excellent, contemporary Med. cuisine with a fun

        The sushi was expensive but you go to NIKKI BEACH for the more for scene than the cuisine...for dinner they serve sushi and fun food but after hours it turns in to a hot dance club on the beach..........and what a club it is....admission is free if you eat there.............have fun!

        1 Reply
          1. Hi . we go to marbella every year. lots of good restaurants. at the top end la meridianna is quite expensive, quite stuffy and slightly lacking in spannish athmosphere. it would be better suited to a big city. it is very good.. i think for what you want villa tiberio is the best i have eaten in . fab garden patio , lovely bar for pre dinner drinks and great food . need to book but definately a special occasion spot. for tapas try el pinxta in either porto banus or marbella. thai gardens is a fab thai restaurant set outside in the subburbs near porto banus. victors beach hut on the beach between marbella and p banus (nearer pb) is also great. la comedia is a v good restaurant near orange sq in marbella (hard to find upstairs) enjoy

            1. Not of direct help to the OP, but anyone in town from 9 June is going to have a great time as it's Feria.

              Lots of street food, street booze, street entertainment. Fab week.


              1. Has anybody been to Skina, C/ Aduar,12 in Marbella? the few reviews I have found (in Spanish) are very good. The menu degustazione is around 50 euros and the style seems to be modern spanish. I have reserved a table for next week and will report.

                1 Reply
                1. re: loudjazz

                  It does indeed look good. And only 12 covers. Look forward to reading your report.

                  BTW, I clocked your home city. Be good to see you on the UK board with some reccs for that side of the Pennines.


                2. Here's the dinner report from last nights meal.

                  I had booked a table by email a week ago at Skina, a small restaurant in the Old Town area of Marbella serving new wave Spanish to a maximum of 14 customers every night.
                  The tiny dining room is elegant without the faux formality that is found in many restaurants promising ‘fine dining’ along this coastline.
                  We were warmly welcomed at the door by name, Marco, a young, smart professional offered us a complimentary glass of local Cava while we scanned the menu.
                  Dainty hand made breadsticks and some kind of large crispbreads with black onion seeds were presented in a very heavy oblong of marble with grooves for the crispbreads (similar to the Italian ‘Mother in Law’s tongues’) and a hole filled with a dip made from pork fat and smoked paprika.
                  The 4 of us went for the Tasting menu at 48.50 euro a head and we started with a recommended bottle of very nice dry white (Do Ferreiro, 25 euro).
                  I could go on about this excellent meal so I will.
                  The cooking was precise modern Spanish with tons of flavour; Marco, one of 2 staff in the room, asked where we were from and it turned out he had worked with 2 friends of mine, Tony and Olga of Anthony’s in Leeds at El Bulli in Roses, talk about small world!
                  We had a procession of dishes, all memorable and 3 bottles of wine including a red at 35 euros (Finca Valpiedra – ‘scuse me for the lack of wine info but alcohol, visual and taste overload made me miss things in my surreptitiously scribbled notes!) We finished the meal with a digestif similar to grappa and the bill came to 350 euro.
                  This was the menu degustacion.
                  Gazpacho served in chilled test tubes and topped with some crystallised stuff (cucumber? Olive oil? not sure)
                  Fois gras with yoghurt 3 ways (mousse, crunchy niblets, cream) and honey.
                  Tuna with different raw and cooked textures, micro cucumber, avruga caviar, sweet cucumber salad.
                  Bronze shiny cube of oxtail with tomato, apricot and soft rocks of olive oil .
                  Sea bass in high tech plastic bag (en papillotte) with samphire, cherry tomato, fine veg, crispy seaweed? – served in a china hat.
                  Smoked prawn fritters.
                  Iberian Pork with candied aubergine, vincotto, blood sausage? and crispy vegetable stuff. The pork looked like a piece of rare beef fillet- dark red and oozing a little blood/juice, however it was pork neck muscle, cooked at low temperature for a long time. The quality of the meat was absolutely exceptional and swoonfully delicious.
                  An illuminated glass cube that gently changed colour was a pedestal for a bowl of crumbly chocolate, ‘frogspawn’ of violet, apricot mousse in a round skin, crispy sweet bits (unidentified) and soft little cubes redolent of yoghurt.
                  Chocolate graffiti – 4 ways with chocolate included choc ice jigsaw, balsamic choc mousse and some eucalyptus granita.
                  We thought it was all over and were outside having a smoke and digestif when another dish/not dish arrived.
                  Egg custard cube, chocolate with a suspicion of curry and a pot of red fruit fool with raspberries .
                  Flippin ‘eck it’s just a raspberry.
                  Are you sure?
                  Is there something in it?
                  Nope, just a raspberry – how nice to finish the last mouthful with something unreconstructed..

                  So, that was dinner at Spina. We all thought it the best meal we have enjoyed on the Costa del Sol. It was a lot of fun and surprisingly unpretentious and casual.
                  It will be interesting to see how these young restaurateurs get on in the future.
                  More opinions needed.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: loudjazz

                    Great report. Sounds brill. Fancy but not poncy.