Holidaymakers wishing to try a wide selection of traditional Spanish cuisine should visit a few of the excellent tapas bars in La Manga. With the ever increasing popularity of these tasty bites it can be difficult to define what is a tapas bar and what is a restaurant as many of the eateries in Spain that offer a ‘sit down' a la carte menu and daily set menus also serve a selection of tapas. Traditional tapas bars in La Manga will usually only have a heated bar top tapas display and bar seating with maybe a few tables and chairs on the pavement, whereas restaurants that serve tapas will also have a full lunch and dinner menu and dedicated restaurant seating.
Bonobo Tapas – Boasting a lovely beachfront setting just after the bridge as you enter the La Manga resort area, Bonobo offer a good seafood selection, delicious house salad and is one of the few eateries where you can order a paella for one person. Come with a big appetite as the portions here are very generous, and if in a group their mix grilled platters are a great choice.
Pedros – Another splendid setting in the marina area of Puerto Deportivo Tomás Maestre where you will usually be served a different free tapas with each drink, which is a pleasure to find in this day and age where, due to the increase of tourism most establishments now charge for their tapas. Again, main portions here are large and their sea bass and sizzling baby lamb chops come highly recommended by the delightful owner Pedro.
Area Sunset – Great service and glorious sunsets await when you visit this aptly named venue which is located roughly midway along the ‘Strip' between the La Manga resort area and Puerto Deportivo Tomás Maestre. The baby squid (chiperones) is tender and flavoursome and no matter what size group you're in, they do a superb range of paellas and other rice dishes.
El Toro – Just before the beginning of the La Manga Strip is the residential area of Los Belones where there are a number of good bars and restaurants including the very popular El Toro which is located on the main drag, Calle Mayor. Many of the tapas here have an international touch such as mushrooms cooked in sherry and duck confit in filo pastry. Portions are large, especially if you order a racion (ration) which is roughly half the size of a main course. For those that want to top up the tan, there is a charming outdoor courtyard eating area.
La Taberna del Puerto – Boasting a casual setting on Paseo Barra 2 in the port area of Cabo de Palos, your first tapas here is usually served free with your drink if you are ordering food. The fish, shellfish and rice dishes are a feature of the tavern, beers are served ice cold, staff are friendly and the prices are very reasonable compared to other seaside tapas bars in La Manga.