Paul Bocuse said that the diner is the shepherd and the cow is the chef. A cow that develops its own 100% personal gastronomic language, but must also make it intelligible and attractive to the diner, whose opinion will be decisive in its success and survival. A very visual metaphor that describes what happens in many different places across the globe, where the customer’s gourmet culture is what sets the tone and the level of the restaurants that open and, unfortunately, also those that close in the vicinity.

In this sense, the Costa del Sol is a market of very refined flavours. Charm is the norm –be it for its authenticity, elegance or design– and top quality local raw materials with which its chefs today decline the traditional recipe book, sometimes adding creative touches.

We propose a gourmet itinerary through three of its great paradises: Estepona –a growing gastronomic destination driven by its new international travelers and tenants–, Marbella –with a large concentration of Michelin stars– and Benahavis, for many the most charming town in Andalusia and one which understands the pleasure of fine dining.

Las Brasas de Alberto (Estepona)

Its owners travel to the most remote villages every week to find free-range cattle that give the most tender and nuanced meat. The optimum raw material in beef, cow, pork and lamb served as entrecôte, chops, sirloin, Iberian prey or chops.

Plaza Ortiz, 9, 29680 Estepona

La Escollera (Estepona)

Situated in the heart of the port, it is the quintessential seafaring place. Don’t be frightened by its modest setting: La Escollera exudes the charm of authenticity and serves the freshest delicacies from its nearby fish market: crayfish, white prawns, red mullet, clams, turbot…

10 Puerto Pesquero Street, 29680 Estepona

La Rada (Estepona)

This restaurant has been a reference point for the best Mediterranean cuisine for more than 30 years thanks to its spectacular appetizers, its select sausages, its fish and seafood from the bay, its rice dishes with lobster or seafood and its Galician grilled meat.

Av. España, S/N. Edificio Neptuno, 29680 Estepona

Las Dunas (Estepona)

A bright dining room with flavourful creations that delight and meanwhile seek to provide the individual caloric needs of customers, with prescribed diets of 900, 1300 or 2000Kcal per day. A perfect combination of healthy cuisine and a Mediterranean à la carte menu.

Road N-340, Marbella – Estepona, km. 163,500 29689

La Terraza de la torre (Benahavís)

A decade growing in fame for its roast suckling pig and lamb, as well as more modern dishes such as salmon tartare, sirloin carpaccio with truffle oil or sirloin with foie. Wine lovers are in luck, thanks to the 420 selections on its menu with labels from all over Spain.

Plaza de España, 3, 29679 Benahavís

Los Abanicos Restaurant (Benahavis)

Traditional and homemade gastronomy with remarkable dishes such as lamb and suckling pig, fresh fish and other delicacies such as bull’s tail and pil pil prawns. It is also famous for its abundant garnishes and its homemade desserts. It has a very recommendable terrace for lunch or dinner in the summer months.

15 Malaga Street, 29679 Benahavis

Amanhavis (Benahavis)

Located in the hotel of the same name, the Amanhavis restaurant offers a rustic home spirit in its lounge. Its market cuisine with local and seasonal products offers delicacies such as sautéed foie gras with a sauce made with local mangoes and Rioja wine or salmon supreme with lemon, sesame and tomato tartar.

3 Pilar Street, 29679 Benahavis

Lobito de Mar (Marbella)

An urban chiringuito by Michelin-starred chef Dani Garcia, which has an enormous bar for tapas as well as an informal lounge. A festival of molluscs, crustaceans, Galician-style octopus, red tuna, spectacular rice dishes and, above all, skewers – roasted fish strung on long, thin rods -, the hallmark of the house and whose preparation can be seen on site through a glass window.

Avenida Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, 178, 29602 Marbella

Skina (Marbella)

In the heart of Marbella’s old town, this restaurant boasts two Michelin stars. It only has five tables inside, so you have to book well in advance. It bases its proposal on a Mediterranean cuisine based on top quality products -truffles, seafood, meat, fish, vegetables- and with creative touches of avant-garde and modernism that redefine traditional Andalusian cuisine.

Calle Aduar, 12, 29601 Marbella

Messina (Marbella)

With one Michelin star, Mauricio Giovanini’s restaurant Messina amazes with original and delicious dishes for a creative and signature cuisine concept.  Among its classics are the micuit hedgehog, shrimp with cold gazpachuelo made from their heads, eel with cold dashi broth, foie gras and rice foam, or the cod tripe and cassava stew.

Severo Ochoa Avenue, 12, 29603 Marbella

El Lago (Marbella)

The most veteran of Marbella’s Michelin stars is El Lago, a reference point in Andalusian gastronomy that offers a delicious tasting menu of light and comfortable dishes with local produce as the star. Here you can experience delectable moments such as its sardine with tomato mince and bull’s egg, its white prawn tartar and thin shell or its red mullet on celeriac, which can be tasted on a beautiful terrace overlooking the lake at the Marbella golf course.

Elviria Hills, Las Cumbres Avenue, s/n, 29600 Marbella