This is a guest article from David Buse a long time resident of the Los Alcázares area.
Restaurants in Los Alcázares & Surrounds
There is no better place to eat anywhere along the Costa Cálida than Los Alcázares, both for choice and quality. Los Alcázares is easily divided into two distinct areas that begin at the roundabout close to El Arbol. The modern part is to the North and the old part of town to the South. Most bars and restaurants are centred on Mercadona Square and the Avenida Rio Nalón. I have travelled extensively and there are few areas, of this size, that can offer such a varied selection of cuisine at such constant high quality.
There are numerous bars, many offering live music even in the off season, ranging from the sophisticated such as the 525 Sports Bar and The Square to the other end of the scale the Cuban Karaoke bar for pure fun and relaxed drinking at the ubiquitous Irish Bar such as the Celt.
My recommendations would be:
525 Sports Bar, I don’t know why this bar works so well it just does, maybe it’s the large drink measures and good coffee that it still remains my favourite.
The New Sibirit, first impressions from the outside lead you to believe this is an unremarkable venue, enter and find the varied nationalities that enjoy the genuine hospitality of the bar owners Carlos and Astrid who continually keep it at the top of TripAdvisor.
The Red Lion hidden away at the far end of the Avenida is built on local patronage, offering regular music, a quiz and other entertainment and probably offer some of the cheapest drinks in town.
There are many other bars to suit all tastes including The Orange Room, La Taberna and many more besides.
Breakfast Choices in Los Alcázares & Surrounds
I will combine the old and new town as in the Mercadona area you can get a full English breakfast from €3.50 at the Boulevard, Pasty Shack and Penny Farthing, or try a pastry or croissant plus a coffee for €2.20 at the Olma Pan a delightful coffee bar and a fine bakery and patisserie. Finally a walk along the Paseo Maritimo to the historic Hotel Encarnación for coffee, orange juice and chopped tomato on toast for just €3.50, looking out at the Mar Menor and La Manga strip on the horizon from the terrace.
Dining in Los Alcázares & Surrounds
Well where do you start? Best value has to be the Asiatic Star Chinese restaurant set in a new looking building on the main road just before the El Arbol roundabout. Set 3 course menu from €6.50 including wine or beer and a liqueur at the end of the meal. The best news is that the food is absolutely superb. Book a table, as not only is it full of local ex-pats and Spanish, holiday makers have heard about it through word of mouth and it gets very busy.
For Spanish food El Patio II is hard to beat, a great atmosphere especially for Sunday lunch. If you want to see how the Spanish enjoy Sunday lunch book no earlier than 2.15. The barbecued meat is cooked over olive wood, I recommend you try the Lamb Shank or the steak cooked on hot rocks.
There isn’t really a bad restaurant around the Mercadona Square and the Avenida Rio Nalón where the majority of restaurants are located, a few you must try are:
The Curry Leaf, not your usual Indian restaurant rather a wonderful fusion of Asian flavours, beautifully cooked and The Veni, primarily an Italian restaurant, offering good food, at a reasonable price set in pleasant, modern surroundings.
Hemingways has a well earned reputation for fine cuisine and service making it a great favourite with the locals, and Rosalind’s probably the most formal restaurant making it ideal for that special occasion or farewell dinner especially when you can sit outside on the roof garden.
Also consider La Diva that offers a journey through different food of the world. And be sure to try the owner’s mother’s recipe for chicken tagine at Rocco’s, simply wonderful. Plus keep an eye on a new restaurant called Petit Bistrot, I have only had coffee there so far but I have heard some excellent comments on its ‘Taste of France’ menu and it’s actually run by a Frenchman.
For those with a more conservative pallet The Penny Farthing and the Pasty Shack both have good reputations for their ‘British’ food including excellent Sunday lunches and Pearl’s Plaice serves the best fish and chips in the area, though it is only open during the tourist season.
There are far too many restaurants to list here but I doubt you will get a bad meal in any of them.
There are many bars and cafes all along the seafront serving coffee, drinks and light refreshment. The San Antonio Balneario Restaurant a historic bathing platform jutting out over the Mar Menor is a good place for lunch, although if you take dinner from the set Menu del Noches before 8pm you get a 4 course meal for €6.50. Combine this with a 50% discount for Happy Hour on the terrace of the Hotel Balneario Encarnacion Restaurant overlooking the Mar Menor between 5 to 7 pm which can’t be beaten for price or ambience.
Map of the Los Alcázares Area
For a map for your smartphone take a look at: Mar Menor mappa Map
For more information about the Mar Menor area get the kindle ebook for your smartphone or kindle reader which covers the whole Mar Menor area.