Tapas Bar Crawl At Mojacar Seafront

Food Bloggers Eating Out | Welcome to my tapas bar crawl at the seacfront at Mojacar.

Welcome to my tapas bar crawl at the seacfront at Mojacar.

From a foodie point of view on holiday in Spain nothing is ever going to beat tapas. The delicious flavours of lots of different Spanish food in tapas portions is a dream come true. No wonder this is all my parents eat when they are in the Costa Almeria region of Spain.

You can expect to pay anything from 0,50€ to 3,00€ for Tapas depending on where you end up. Like eating out anywhere else some places will always be better than others.

So to add a little bit of fun to the mix and for inspiration for some Spanish summer dishes that we plan on cooking, I decided to do a mini tapas bar crawl along the seafront for our penultimate day before heading back to Portugal. Dominic had a bit of sunstroke and is not as obsessed about tapas as I am so it was me, Sofia and Kyle. Our challenge was to eat at five different places, rate them and then come back with some great ideas for a cooking marathon at home.

Why Mojacar?

It is a beautiful seafront part of the Costa Almeria. It is not in the most famous tapas region of Roquetas De Mar, but it is a little further up the coast and just outside Vera where we are staying. The seafront area is 18km long and the restaurants and bars seem to go on forever and ever.

It is like the perfect ocean drive with a not very long beach so it doesn’t take long to get right down to the sea and most places have an amazing sea view.

There are probably 300 beach restaurants and bars on the seafront and this is our chance to sample 5 of them before heading home.

The town also has a mix of British expats and Spanish with it often being the focus for British TV shows such as “A place in the sun”.

#0 – The Walk Out

Okay so the first place we came across we walked out of. We went into the bar area to check out the tapas and it was a real rough place with lots of swearing, lots of unsavoury characters and we were totally ignored. I wasn’t going to give my money to such horrible people so I pushed the pram straight back out again.

But with so many to choose from I am in a position to by strict over who gets my money and I am glad I did a runner!

#1 – LA Gaviota

Food Bloggers Eating Out | LA Gaviota, Mojacar, Costa Almeria in Spain.

In the first place that we actually ate in the tapas was a Euro a portion. We actually checked out the prices and the tapas choice before we went to eat there because it involved about 30 steps up with a pram to enter the restaurant. The plus side to this was of course the view, but it is hard work to drag a pram up and down steps with a 19mth old in tow.

This is the dreaded steps:

Food Bloggers Eating Out | This is the steps that we climbed up for the tapas. Though good job the tapas was really good!

But after deciding we were going to eat there we were really grateful that the young waiter carried the pram up for us and then gave us a highchair to use. Then when we left later, carried it back down for us.

From a food point of view we had three pieces of 1€ tapas:

  • Poor mans spuds
  • Russian salad
  • Spicy pork in a tomato sauce

I think I have the names right but when you are having them translated by a drunk Irish man it can be hard to work out if things are right or not. But this certainly added to the experience.

We also shared a Diet Coke and for all of this (plus some bread) we were charged just 3€ talk about a frugal persons dream come true!

The food was really, really nice and I can imagine that the salad and the pork will be on the blog soon as my own recipe versions. The Russian salad was when you mix tuna mayonnaise with egg mayonnaise, add some vegetables and herbs and bingo you have a delicious mayonnaise based salad. The spicy pork was amazing and it is something that I see on a lot of tapas menus and something that I am hooked on. I could imagine marinating pork like this as an alternative to traditional pulled pork. The poor mans potatoes were nothing special just think a cheap potato gratin/scalloped potatoes but was still okay.

RecipeThis.com Rating:

  • Location = 5/5
  • Service = 5/5
  • Value For Money = 5/5
  • Quality Of Food = 4/5
  • Variety Of Food = 5/5
  • Visit Again = Absolutely
  • Cost Per Tapas Portion = 1,00€
  • Overall Rating = 4/5

#2 – Café Los Arcos

Food Bloggers Eating Out | Café Los Arcos, Mojacar, Costa Almeria in Spain.

If you ever hear the words “cheap and cheerful” they were meant for this little café in the sunshine. It was one of those scruffy places that could do with fresh paint and new tables along with better serving dishes.

We caught them not long before they were closing so they didn’t have that much choice left. What they did have was two of my favourite dishes that are really not meant to be served together, but hey we were on a tapas crawl so anything goes!

We had:

  • Chicken curry
  • Potato tortilla

Now chicken curry in Spain among a tapas selection is weird. It was okay. The curry is nothing to write home about or recreate but still worth eating. The potato tortilla (which I always think of as one of my favourite Spanish foods) was absolutely delicious and had a lovely mix of herbs in it.

We received it with a slice of bread on a plastic plate and it looked like a toddler had dished it up, but when it tastes good, who cares?

Plus the price of it including a Diet Coke came to just 2,90€ so it was a real bargain.

RecipeThis.com Rating:

  • Location = 5/5
  • Service = 4/5
  • Value For Money = 3/5
  • Quality Of Food = 2/5
  • Variety Of Food = 1/5
  • Visit Again = Absolutely
  • Cost Per Tapas Portion = 0,60€
  • Overall Rating = 3/5

#3 – Meson Felipe San Bernabe

Food Bloggers Eating Out | Meson Felipe San Bernabe, Mojacar, Costa Almeria in Spain.

This was our chance to enjoy a mixture of tapas for a set price to include a drink. We had done this before at the Captains International and it was really expensive so we were rather nervous about doing this again. At Captains we were paying 16€ for 6 lots of tapas and 2 drinks where as here it is the same amount of food for 10€. So what are you really going to get for your money when you are paying a lot less?

Well for starters his English was awful and he did a terrible job of explaining what was included in the pieces of tapas. I pointed out I didn’t want fish so established that it would be meat tapas. I also thought it is only 10€ and how bad could it be? After all I had two more places to visit…..

Well the food came and we got:

  • Cheese with sprinkled nuts
  • Cold tomato sauce with sprinkled ham
  • Pama ham
  • Spicy pork in tomato sauce
  • Meatballs
  • Fresh bread

The food came out on a platter and was like girls night out nibble food. We were spinning the platter deciding what we liked to eat and we loved it all minus the nuts. We are allergic to them so it was a shock to see it sprinkled on top. Also my son doesn’t like his sauces cold so he stayed away from the tomato sauce.

The cheese was like a lovely Edam and I was glad it was included. The pork in tomato sauce was also lovely and I could eat that all day long.

Also no matter how old I get I will never grow out of meatballs and they were delicious and were full of Spanish seasoning.

RecipeThis.com Rating:

  • Location = 5/5
  • Service = 3/5
  • Value For Money = 3/5
  • Quality Of Food = 3/5
  • Variety Of Food = 3/5
  • Visit Again = Absolutely
  • Cost Per Tapas Portion = 1,00€
  • Overall Rating = 3/5

#4 – Tapas Espanya

Food Bloggers Eating Out |Tapas Espanya , Mojacar, Costa Almeria in Spain.

We are already onto our fourth place by the sea and have been really pleased with what we have eaten so far. So to say this one was awful is an understatement and if I could have got out of paying for it, I would have done.

First of all we ordered five pieces of tapas and 1 Diet Coke. The tapas included:

  • Potato tortilla
  • Spicy chicken pieces
  • Sausages in a white wine sauce
  • Potato salad
  • Spicy pork in a tomato sauce

The potato tortilla was the worst I have tasted in many years visiting Spain. It just tasted like bad scrambled eggs with the egg over taking the taste of the potatoes. I had one mouthful and gave the rest to Kyle after all kids will eat anything, especially teenage boys.

The spicy chicken pieces were all covered in sauce so you couldn’t see that there were chicken with bones in and really didn’t taste very nice. I also hate mushrooms and asked if there was any it and was told there wasn’t and then it was served with them!

There was also a potato salad that tasted very bland and really didn’t ooze Spanish flavours. The same could be said for the spicy pork in tomato sauce. It is normally really delicious but it was really lacking in many ways.

On the plus side it included free bread in the price and the sausages in white wine were really nice.

Though for 8€ including one drink I resented having to pay for it as I expected so much better especially from Spanish people.

RecipeThis.com Rating:

  • Location = 5/5
  • Service = 2/5
  • Value For Money = 3/5
  • Quality Of Food = 1/5
  • Variety Of Food = 3/5
  • Visit Again = No
  • Cost Per Tapas Portion = 1,00€
  • Overall Rating = 2/5

#5 – Reina Mora

Food Bloggers Eating Out | Reina Mora, Mojacar, Costa Almeria in Spain.

Now this place was going to be our last and looked really interesting and reminded me of a rustic eatery. They did tapas but were probably most popular for cake and other similar eats and drinks.

We ordered three pieces of tapas and two drinks. You got a free drink with every piece of tapas. The price for this was 2,50€ for each piece (though we were quoted 1,50€) and we were really excited as it was more international cuisine rather than traditional Spanish food.

We had:

  • Potato tortilla
  • Nachos
  • Cheese & chorizo on bread

The potato tortilla was really nice, the nachos was full of flavour and not that spicy which is how I prefer them and the cheese and chorizo was amazing.

The way the chorizo had been done is that it had been shredded, mixed with a tomato sauce and OMG it tasted incredible. It was half covered with this and then the other half was covered with cheese mixed in mayonnaise.

The bill came to 6,20 so more than we were expecting to pay with us being quoted 4,50€.

RecipeThis.com Rating:

  • Location = 5/5
  • Service = 4/5
  • Value For Money = 3/5
  • Quality Of Food = 5/5
  • Variety Of Food = 5/5
  • Visit Again = Absolutely
  • Cost Per Tapas Portion = 1,20€
  • Overall Rating = 4/5

This is Sofia after all her tapas it has clearly taken its toll on her:

Food Bloggers Eating Out | This is Sofia after going out on a tapas bar crawl with her older brother and her mum.

In Review

In the end we had a fantastic time sampling the food at five different places, oh and walking out on the first one as it was so awful. From a food point of view we had one bad experience and the rest are all ones that we would gladly return to over and over again.

Eating out at 5 different tapas bars including drinks came to a total of 30,10€ and offers excellent value for money, while getting to grips with all kinds of different foods. We have had chicken curry, traditional Spanish food, Mexican food, French and tried many different versions of the traditional potato tortilla.

We have certainly felt like we have been spoilt for choice. But who would we rate the best and the worst? Well below you can find my favourites along with why.

In order of favourites we would put it in this order:

  1. Tapas Bar 1 – It provided delicious tapas with a drink for just 3€ with amazing views and amazing service. There was of course the language barrier but that added to the charm.
  2. Tapas Bar 5 – I would have rated this number 1 for its delicious food but thanks to them mis-quoting on the cost I have given it the number 2 slot.
  3. Tapas Bar 3 – This was one of those great places where you got a lovely selection and it gave you the chance to taste the real Spain. Plus to say that you got 6 pieces of tapas plus drinks for 10€ was certainly worth paying.
  4. Tapas Bar 2 – The value for money and the taste of the tapas stopped it from having the bottom slot. I am sure if it had been a better time of the day and they had better choice then we would have been happier.
  5. Tapas Bar 4 – Out of the 5 this is the only one we regret going to! A real disappointment to eating out in Spain.

Though that was my order I asked my teenage boy Kyle what he thought and he had a completely different order and went with:

  • Tapas Bar 5
  • Tapas Bar 3
  • Tapas Bar 2
  • Tapas Bar 1
  • Tapas Bar 4

So clearly we have completely different opinions, but I think that is what makes it so interesting!

Highs & Lows Of My Tapas Bar Crawl

This has been a great evening and certainly one worth doing. We loved the idea of trying different places and seeing which offered the best and the worst value for money.

I found that for the best price that if you go to a Spanish place you will generally get this. Their English is often terrible but that is what makes it so much fun! By eating tapas you get the chance to sample lots of small portions and will often eat less because you are slowly getting full.

I love seeing the tapas on display in the bars and being able to choose what I want. If you do end up in a place that serves bad tapas then it’s no big deal because it has not cost you much to find this out. Start off with a few portions and if you like it, then stay for more, where as if it is rubbish move onto the next place!

Apart from the 4th tapas bar that we visited I would gladly visit them all again. Though with it being 700km from my front door I think it will be a while before I am back for second helpings!

Meet The Milners

Samantha and Dominic

Dominic & Samantha Milner are the founders of RecipeThis.com. They love cooking, blogging and being full time parents to their three food obsessed kids. They cook with their kitchen gadgets everyday and love sharing their homemade recipes. Their favourite foods include chocolate, air fryer burgers and macaroni cheese. You can learn more about them here or you can sign up for their free newsletter here.

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