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Tarifa restaurants
Restaurants outside Tarifa

By Zoë Ouwehand-Reid

On the N.340 going out of Tarifa in the direction of Cadiz I would like to recommend the following restaurants; in high season allow enough time to get there as there can be quite heavy traffic – especially coming in the other direction, back into Tarifa, which is the line you have to cross to get to all restaurants on the left (beachside) of this road.

Recommended Tarifa Restaurants outside Tarifa

Venta El TitoVenta El Tito Restaurant Hotel HurricaneHotel Hurricane Restaurant El Chozo - camping Torre de la Pena'El Chozo' Restaurant Punta SurPunta Sur
Restaurant 100% Fun100% Fun More about Trips to Tangier - MoroccoValdevaqueros Beachbar/Restaurant Tangana'Tangana' More about Trips to Tangier - MoroccoEl Mirlo
Restaurant El TesoroEl Tesoro Restaurant El Jardin del CalifaEl Jardin del Califa Restaurant La Chanca - El PalmarLa Chanca  

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

More about Trips to Tangier - MoroccoVenta El Tito - Tel.956 682 212

This is the first restaurant you will come to on your left.

It looks small and unprepossessing, but is very attractive inside (simple wooden tables, and a large barbecue area out at the back). It has recently changed hands, (was English owned, and I understand still is) but if they continue the same formula and achieve the same quality, you will find the meat excellent. Service in the past tended to be slow.

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

Restaurant hotel HurricaneRestaurant hotel Hurricane - Tel.956 684 919

A little further along (on the bend). It has quite a lot of parking, but even so this can be a problem in high season as you have both hotel guests and visitors to the restaurants.

The hotel restaurant is very attractive, both in winter with a large fire burning and lots of candlelight, and in summer when all the tables are put outside alongside the pool. The food is excellent (may I recommend the chateaubriand for two ?!!). In summer you absolutely have to book as the hotel is always full, and be warned that service can be slow.

Do also go to their lunchtime beachside restaurant, the Chiringuito – walk down alongside the swimming pool and you can’t miss it. The tables outside have a great view out to sea and the considerable prowess of the surfers will keep you entertained.
The salad bar is excellent, the choice extensive. This is a very popular spot, particularly at weekends, so again I can only advise you to arrive around 13.00 hrs (most of the hotel guests are still digesting a late and extensive breakfast and the Spanish guests eat lunch at the earliest around 14.30 hrs.!).

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

More about Trips to Tangier - MoroccoBeach café 'El Chozo' - Camping La Peña

Spanish owned and run, this bar/café is almost directly after the Hurricane, on your left. In the summer you cannot drive in as this is reserved for camping guests, so we tend to recommend this very informal but good restaurant out of high (high) season i.e. not from mid-June to mid-September.

The wooden tables are right at the sea edge, at high tide the waves lap against the rocks at your feet. They offer a simple but ‘honest’ menu, or you can choose from a selection of tapas. Children love it here. So do I. Best at lunchtime. Laid-back service.

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

More about Trips to Tangier - MoroccoRestaurant hotel Punta Sur - Tel. 956 684 326

Continue along the N.340 and as you go round a gradual bend you will find Punta Sur on your right. Unless they have a wedding or some such similar event, there is spacious parking.

Also English owned, but with an excellent Spanish chef, in my view this hotel offers one of the best and most varied menu cards, and is excellent for lunch (lots of tables outside so children have plenty of space to run around) and in the evenings. The Moroccan dishes are particularly delicious, and the salads are original and excellent. The service is very friendly and very professional.

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

More about Trips to Tangier - MoroccoRestaurant 100% Fun - Tel. 956 680 330

Continue along the N.340 and on your right you will see Hotel/Restaurant 100% Fun.
Spacious parking. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the shop, which has a sophisticated collection of both original fashionwear and – more recently – furniture.

Australian/English ownership. The restaurant serves Asian food as well as TexMex (Mexican) food. The Chiringuito is very attractive and spacious, also ideal for children who enjoy playing outside until the food is served. Friendly, efficient service.
They are only open from Easter until mid September, and only open in the evenings. They have a new evening formula in high season – relax (the popular term is ‘lounge’ ….!) in a berber tent adjoining the chiringuito, and enjoy a drink while listening to live music.

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

Beachbar/Restaurant Valdevaqueros Beachbar/Restaurant Valdevaqueros

Almost opposite 100% Fun; in order to turn left, follow the signs to where you can make the turn, in order to cross the road in your car. Valdevaqueros can get very full in the summer and getting in –and particularly out – of the parking can be difficult. English owned: same ownership and salad-bar formula as the Hurricane Chiringuito.

Absolutely charming in its simplicity, long communal wooden tables under a vine covered roof, cool in summer – or tables nearer to the beach and the surf school in the full sun for the sun worshippers. Very informal, most people are eating in their swimwear. This is really the place for the surfers and their families, absolutely ideal for children.

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

Beachbar/Restaurant TanganaBeachbar/Restaurant Tangana

Don’t miss the entrance. After 100% Fun on your right there is a camping on your right which will enable you to make the turn to cross the road. Take the narrow road bearing right down towards the beach. There is a spacious parking.

The restaurant is practically on the beach, and the nearest one to the sand dunes. You order at the bar (an excellent selection of sandwiches, salads, omelettes etc.) giving your name and they call you up when it is ready – an informal, fun-formula. All languages spoken.

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

Chringito El MirloChringito El Mirlo

Is it worth the risk that it will be … closed ….over-full ….. difficult parking? Yes, it is. In my view, this should not be missed.

However, may I suggest you take a bottle of wine (and opener!) and tin of olives with you, just in case you have to turn back …(there is no point going on, it is a dead end) but what then could be nicer than stopping on the way back, climbing to the top of the dunes, and enjoying one of the best views of Tarifa!

To get there, take the N.340 direction Cadiz. Turn off to Punta Paloma, and up the pine lined road between the sand dunes. Continue up this road, PAST the sign saying No Entry, Military area; go through the military barrier (which is now always open) and having slalomed between the road markers, slow down and STOP at the military control post. A soldier will come out – he may just let you through automatically, but if he’s bored and looking for a bit of contact he will come up to your car to know where you are heading. Just tell him you want to go to Café/bar El Mirlo and he will let you through. Drive up the road, bearing off left at the top, onto a sandy road. After about half a km. you will see the little board on your left saying El Mirlo. To the right is a parking area.

To date (May 2006) this café is only open on Saturdays and Sundays in May and June, and, we presume, September ….probably shut entirely in the ‘winter months’. In July and August it is (again, as far as we know) open all week in the evenings. I strongly recommend you get there around 8 p.m. if you want to get a table and don’t want to wait hours to get your meal. However, there are no ‘formal’ opening times.
This is a very informal little café in an idyllic spot (location is everything) with good food (try their chicken brochettes) and ‘family service’.

This all said, it is certainly worth the effort.

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

Restaurant El TesoroRestaurant El Tesoro

Finally, on (or rather, just off) this same stretch of road (N.340) is the restaurant with the ‘view to die for’, EL TESORO in Betiguela
tel: 956 236 368: definitely wise to book in season Spanish (he is a real Tarifeñian – loves his life out in the country, grows his own herbs; she is from Columbia).

You have passed Cortijo La Piña on your right. Also pass the turning to Punta Paloma with the restaurant El Olivo and the sanddunes on your left. Drive slowly, as shortly hereafter you need to turn left between two white pillars (km.73.4); not an easy turn to make when there is traffic in both directions. Just keep following this road until you see the restaurant signposted to your right. You then follow a gravel track, again taking a turning right, until you reach the restaurant which looks like a brown-stone private house.

My suggestion is that you drive up here around 19.45 in the summer so you can enjoy the sunshine before it goes down behind the impressive, rugged mountain ridge behind the restaurant. You look down over the whole bay of Tarifa, a winding shoreline of twinkling lights, and then (on a clear night of course) there is a second row of lights, being the Moroccan coastline. It is great to eat outside, but if there is a Levante wind blowing this restaurant gets the full force of it so you must hope there is still a table free inside. We had a really delicious leg of goat (Jésus will proudly show you his kitchen where he cooks on an open fire) and good wine. The service was friendly. The LOCATION is what makes it. Make sure you plan this in during your holiday!

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

Restaurant El Jardin del CalifaRestaurant El Jardin del Califa

Plaza de España, Vejer de la Frontera
The drive to this restaurant from Tarifa centre will take about 50 minutes. It is most definitely worth it. Pass the first and second turnings to Vejer, and also the turning on your right to Medina Sidonia.

Shortly after this you come to a roundabout, take the second exit to your right following the signs to Vejer. At the second roundabout take the second exit following the bendy road up the hill to Vejer. Take the first large parking on your left, and walk from there. The white village of Vejer is itself a delight (see separate notes) and the restaurant El Califa ranks very high in our list of preferences. Enter through the hotel on the main square and make your way down the steep stairway hewn out of the rock, admiring the tasteful decoration and lovely objects on your way down.

Eat either outside – in the sun or, usually preferable, at a shaded table under the wooden roofing, or inside (which we found to feel a little chilly-humid). Eating on the patio is sheer delight; plants, trees, pots – all seem to have been there for ever, nothing is disturbing to the eye, a delightful setting. The food (which, after all, is your main reason for coming) is predominantly Lebanese/Moroccan, and whatever you choose is really delicious and attractively presented. To date, we have had only ‘rave reviews’ from guests who have followed our advice and gone there.

--- Tarifa restaurants - OUTSIDE Tarifa---

Restaurant La Chanca - El PalmarRestaurant La Chanca - El Palmar

You have passed the turning on your right to Medina Sidonia. Shortly thereafter turn left on the roundabout following El Palmar (also marked to Vejer). At the second roundabout go right; at the third roundabout go left (marked El Palmar).

A straight road leads you to the beach at which point you turn left. You will pass Restaurant San Francisco on your left (also excellent, their grilled prawns are some of the best you can eat anywhere); this restaurant has been upgraded over the years and now you can only eat inside which I tend to think is a pity – in my view, beach restaurants are synonymous with eating outside.

Drive on along this road (path!) until you see a somewhat fortress like building on your left with lots of tables outside with thatched parasols.

The setting is idyllic – the vast expanse of beach stretches to right and left and invites you to take a long walk and have a swim … before and/or after lunch. This is the area for the board surfers – if you have a boogie board do take it along, the waves are quite different from those in Tarifa.

The food is good if not exciting, but in such a setting everything tastes good. Lunch here is a treat. I suggest you eat a late lunch, laze on the beach, and return to La Chanca for evening drinks as the sun sets. Guaranteed to enhance the FGF (Feel Good Factor)!

Enjoy it!

More about Trips to Tangier - Morocco

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Recommended places to eat - 'Westwards'

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About Zoë and her guesthouse

Hotel Guesthouse Dar Cilla  Tarifa SpainZoë is the owner of Guesthouse Dar Cilla which is unique of its sort in Tarifa. It is located on the outskirts of the old town within the old 12th century walls. 'Dar' is an Arabic word for a town house in which a series of suites are grouped around a central courtyard. Each suite is fully independent, but there is a pleasant air of 'sociability' and you will meet Zoë and fellow guests on the roof terrace over a glass of wine.

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