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Puntos de vista - a personal Spain blog

Musings about Spain and Spanish life by Paul Whitelock, hispanophile of 40 years and now resident of Ronda in Andalucía .

Early morning coffee on the Costa del Sol
Saturday, October 1, 2022 @ 10:13 AM

Pablo de Ronda has written about Early Morning Coffee in the past (click here), based on his ritual of going for an early caffeine hit in Benaojan, Montejaque and Ronda (all Málaga), the area where he lives.

Recently he has spent a few nights on the Costa del Sol, in Cala de Mijas and Nerja. He continued to seek out an early café con leche while he was away. Here’s his report.

In Mijas Costa (Málaga) for two nights in September, on both mornings after the night before I needed a coffee. On the first morning I headed down to the coast from the urbanización where we were staying (nothing open there) to find nothing open there either.

So, I headed for Fuengirola, a working town, where I assumed there would be somewhere open early to cater for the workers. Lo and behold on the promenade I found a Granier, part of a chain of panaderías-cum-cafeterías widespread in this area. There used to be a branch in Ronda, but, sadly, it closed earlier this year.

I ordered a café con leche, huge, and a slice of cake. I read a copy of the Euro Weekly News that was lying around and realised why I hadn’t missed this dreadful free rag for the last few years (they no longer leave copies in Ronda).

This choice of cafetería was a mistake. The cake was far too sweet and there were no manual workers there, then I discovered why. The bill was a massive 6.20€!

So, I ventured into town from the coast and found a bog-standard churrería where there were workers having their breakfast. I had a coffee and two churros, sticks of fried extruded batter about 20cm long. 2.50€. That’s more like it, I thought.

Back to where we were staying, and my wife and sister-in-law were just about ready to go for their breakfast. We headed for La Cala de Mijas to find a pretty, bustling town with nowhere to park. Then we eventually found somewhere to leave the car and headed to the beach to look for a chiringuito for breakfast. In my case, the third of the day!

We found a chiringuito open with a wide choice of English-type breakfasts and mainly foreign customers. The food was great, huge portions, and the coffee too. We paid beach prices, but, what the hell, we were on holiday.

On Day Two, for my early morning coffee, I headed west to La Cala. It was still dark, but I found a café open in the town. Full of Spanish workers, TV news blaring, this was more like the real thing that I am used to up in the Serranía de Ronda. I indulged in un pitufo con aceite y tomate and a second coffee. I can’t remember what I paid but it was nothing out of the ordinary.

Later that morning, the women-folk fancied Granier in Fuengirola, so that`s where we went. There was a parking space just outside (I later found out why!)

I eschewed a second breakfast and just had a coffee. Rita and Birgid chose healthy-looking open-sandwiches and paid the (expensive) bill.

On departure I noticed a slip of paper tucked under one of my windscreen wipers. A parking fine, 60€, so the breakfast had gotten even dearer!

At the end of September we had two nights in Nerja (Málaga) with friends from the UK.

On the first morning (yesterday) I found a little café, El Camionero (The Lorry Driver), around the corner. Great coffee, two cups, un chupito de pacharán, and the daily paper SUR and I was well set for the best part of an hour.

Today (our second morning), I went there again. The same procedure as yesterday plus un pitufo con aceite y tomate. 5.30€ only. Amazing.

Now we’re going home to the Serranía de Ronda and back to my more familiar early morning coffees at Bar Ankanita, Bar Encuentro (Benaoján), Bar Entre Ascuas, Bar La Melli (Montejaque) or Bar La Fragua, Bar La Morada or Hotel Ronda Valley (Ronda).

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