The word tapa comes from the verb tapar, which means to cover. Centuries ago, it used to be a slice of bread which was put on top of a drink to keep out flies and probably dust as well. Then some medieval and entrepreneurial bar owner had the brilliant idea to put some meat or cheese on the bread and the tapa as we know it was born.
Tapas recipes are according to the taste and gastronomic traditions of each region. But the tapas most often served are usually those including the many variety of olives, dry nuts, as well as many kinds of cold cuts. Nowadays, the tapa includes many other recipes for appetizers. In the Middle Ages and during periods of economic hardship, those courses were supplemented with bread. However, today, those courses are included in the tapas world. Tapas recipes use a wide variety of animal-derived products, such as meat, fish and eggs and agricultural products such as vegetables.
The many varieties of olives – green, Manzanilla, machacadas (crushed), gordales (big), rellenas (stuffed), aliñadas (flavoured) or deshuesadas (stoneless) – are in themselves the subject of a book. Together with the olives, slices of garlic or smoked-ham sausages, slices of cheese or jamón curado, became famous worldwide. After all, this is the real origin of the cover of the Middle Ages’ jar.
Among others, there are fried tapas and tapas prepared with sauces. Sometime in the past, the fried tapas had more success and are more in demand than the ones prepared with sauces, apart from some small exceptions. “Boquerones”(whitebait), calamari, sausages, fritters, croquettes, potato and “torreznos”, belong to the world of fried tapas. Casserole stews as well as the Madrilenian “callos”, the Almagro’s aubergines or flavoured string beans belong to the tapas prepared with sauces. Finally, animal and agricultural-based recipes such as potato tortilla, cod fritters, croquettes and escabeches, remain obligatory at this time of the day so that, if accompanied by a salad, they could perfectly replace a complete lunch.
Today, alongside with these traditional snacks, many new ones appeared, some of which were only meant to be served on an elegantly laid table. Such newcomers include the “paella” or the stewed potatoes with meat; and others taken from foreign recipes that finally ended up in our tapas world such as smoked salmon, pate or caviar, vegetable spring rolls, smoked fish from the Northern countries, German sausages, Swiss or French melted cheese and cakes or pate from Central Europe.
Situated at the end of the road into Benahavis village, this cozy bodega is hidden away in one of the most picturesque spots of the village, a little courtyard in a small development designed by David Marshall.
The new manager, Ali, has been a well known face on the coast for the last 25 years. Her first foray into hospitality was managing Los Arcos in Benavista 21 years ago. Ali has been behind the bar of La Bodega for the last 18 months so knows the ropes inside out!
During the winter months there will be a series of special offers along with quiz and bingo nights and, of course, the odd football match or two. One of the specials is Friday Night Cava – only €9.95 a bottle – bargain!!
The Courtyard Bodega serves a selection of wines, beers and spirits, as well as some tapas.
Open from 17.00 until late.
Plaza Camilo Jose Cela
Tel : +34 622 041 591
The sports bar in Benahavis with five large TV screens. All big sports events are shown live whether it is a boxing match at 3AM or a cricket game in New Zealand at 9AM. If there is enough interest, Legends opens very early.
Four beers on tap, Guinness, Peroni, Estrella Galicia and Carling.
Sunday roast and excellent pub grubs. Large selection of hamburgers.
Canela offers salads, sandwiches, grilled chicken, paellas and pizzas as well as more traditional dishes.
With over 10 years of experience in Italian pizzerias and Valencian restaurants, Isaac prepares the best paellas on the Costa del Sol and pizzas in the best Italian tradition.
Best pizzas in town
Grilled Chicken with chips
Paellas made to your wishes
Live Music on dec, 31 from 5PM until 8PM
Closed on Thursday
Avenida de Andalucia, 14
Tel : +34 619 954 034
Cozy bar and tapa restaurant opposite the church, serving excellent tapas and portions. They also serve breakfast from 10AM.
Large terrace on the street and patio in the back of the restaurant to enjoy summer days and a pair of sofas which are placed in front of the fire place, making this an outstanding place on colder days.
Plaza de la Iglesia, 3
Tel : +34 686 910 230
A landmark in Benahavis, you might to have to wait for a table outside. Excellent hot and cold tapas served by Chico and Antonia, the welcoming hosts.
Chico also serves the meanest Gin & Tonics on the Coast.
And if you want a special dish, just call Cico one day before, he will prepare it for you. He was also a chef at the Kashoggi mansion ( what is now La Zagaleta ) so you certainly will not be disappointed.
No dogs allowed, not even on the terrace, and no men with vests either!
Open 5PM until late, Sundays from 1PM
Closed on Tuesdays
Benahavis village Tel : 610 71 95 33
All you need to know about the municipality of Benahavis