Nerja, tourist town of the Costa del Sol, Spain, could make you think of a place where finding cheap lunches and dinners is a real mission impossible, as we are used to tourism at home.
In reality, thanks also to the Lonely Planet guide and the precious advice of the Hostal Plaza Cantarero, it was anything but difficult.
A great lunch idea, if you are staying in Burriana beach, the largest and most equipped, located in the eastern part of the country, do not hesitate to stop and eat at Merendero Ayo, where you can access without even having to cross the street or get dressed.
The bar-restaurant takes its name from the owner, famous in the area for two things above all: the discovery of the Cueva de Nerja, the caves now a destination for many hikers on holiday in the Costa del Sol, and the extra-large paella that prepares spectacularly on giant fireplaces practically on the beach.
Eating paella at Ayo's is very simple: you order it (it costs 6,50€) and bring it to you at the table on the outdoor veranda; then are you still hungry? You get up and go to the brazier to have your plate filled (with plenty). And no one will count how many encores you did, the price you pay is always € 6,50! And it is also excellent and full of meat and fish, not only the quantity is concerned.
For dinner, the ideal when in Spain is to go for tapas bar. In Calle Cristo, one of the main alleys that descend towards the Balcon de Europa, in the midst of many other shops and restaurants, you can stop at La Taberna. They serve both raciones (large dishes, you can eat there even in two), and medias raciones (much more than the "half dish" that you literally imagine), and tapas. The latter are very abundant and it is possible to approach the counter to choose the one you prefer, ranging from fried fish or to the plank, to mixed salads, to meat dishes. Each caña of cerveza (or coca cola, or tinto de verano) costs 1,80€ and brings with it the possibility to take a tapa of your choice. With 3 cañas, and 3 tapas, dinner is already more than abundant, as well as of excellent quality, since the different dishes destined for tapas are prepared with the same attention as the larger dishes.
Do you want something delicious after dinner? The best ice cream parlors are those directly facing the Balcon de Europa. In short, in Nerja you will find the best places right where they are most comfortable for you, where we Italians are used to being wary ...