I am often asked – “Which is your favourite restaurant in Vejer Annie B?” But it’s always impossible to answer as I have so many favourites. They are all different so it depends on the mood and where the day takes me. There are so many great restaurants here in Vejer de la Frontera offering some of the very best food of the area. The town has rightly become known as a gourmet goldmine and people travel from far and wide to indulge in the very best of the local  Almadraba caught tuna (atun rojo), top quality cerdo Iberico & free range Retinto beef. Almost all the restaurants are family-owned and managed, and people will take pride in making sure you eat the best they can offer you.

The mentions below are not in any order of preference. More in chronological order. Some of my favorites I haven’t even been to this year! Please note that everything below was paid for by me or my dining companion/s.

  • Mercado San Francisco; Plaza San Francisco

    Lomo-en-taza-mercado-san-francisoThis great little gourmet market has been a huge local success since opening its doors in December 2013. A food market during the day and tapas hall at night with a selection of stalls such as Sushi Time offering fabulous sushi, tataki and sashimi using the local Almadraba caught blue fin tuna as well as homemade dumplings and miso soup. Carniceria Guillermo offers the best carpaccio of local Retinto beef. Sliced from frozen and garnished with grated parmesan, olive oil, salt and lemon – this locally reared beef will melt in your mouth like butter. Also recommended is a plate of his Lomo de Taza (pictured with Guillermo, right). Pizzas and tacos are on offer too. Unfortunately for me, I was caught by Jose Pizarro tucking into a pizza here last year. We agreed that sometimes you just have to! You’ll find a well-stocked wine bar offering plenty of local vinos to accompany your delicious delights. Buzzing all year round, this is a local hangout.

  • El Muro, C.P.de las Cobijadas, 1

    The doorway of El Muro, Vejer by Annie B At the very end of Juan Bueno, where it meets Calle Trafalgar,  El Muro opened its doors in July 2022 and has become one of the most popular places to dine ever since. Vejer has its own celebrity chef in the owner/chef, Francisco Doncel – he starred in an episode of Masterchef Espana 2023, designing the menus and overseeing the cooking of the contestants. The restaurant may be small but the food packs a massive punch. The menu regularly changes but at the time of writing I love his charred lettuce hearts (cogollos), his arroz dishes, his rabbit dish, and the mandarin cake with white chocolate foam – just about anything on offer in fact! An interesting wine list with lots by the glass. My fav aperitif is their vermut. In February 2024, El Muro was recognised by becoming Michelin recommended.

    Reservations essential

    Tel  +34 648 783 468

  • Garimba Sur; Plaza de España, 32

    tapas at Garimba,VejerGarimba Sur on Plaza de España is where any tapas tour of Vejer should start. The menu features beautifully presented dishes  eaten in a gorgeous outside terrace. The decor is striking – decked out wooden interiors with decorative azulejos (typical Andaluz tiles). This is a fabulous stop for Arroz Negro, washed down with a cheeky Vermouth or two (a drink that’s more commonly associated with Madrid) and a spot of people-watching.

    Open every day and evening during summer months from 12.30.

    Closed November-mid February.

    Garimbasur.com; +34 956 455 302.

  • Las Delicias; Corredera, 31

    Vegetable Tempura served at Las Delicias, Vejer by ANnie BThis extraordinary restaurant is a spectacular renovation of an old theatre. I love their vegetable tempura and ajo blanco (chilled garlic and almond soup) with smoked cod, while all their croquetas are light and divine. Mini burgers (made from local Retinto beef) are amongst the other great dishes on offer. I love the toasted bread and Olive Oil brought to the table. At the weekends there’s live music with a mix of traditional and contemporary fusions which can be appreciated while sampling the great wines from Cádiz province.

    Lasdeliciasvejer.com; +34 956 451 807.

  • Casa Varo; Calle Nuestra Señora De La Oliva, 9

    Chiperones a la plancha with aubergine and rice at Casa Varo, Vejer by Annie B

    Just up the hill, in the shadow of the church is Casa Varo. Juan and his family run this popular dining spot with the support of Roberto in the kitchen. From the best ensaladilla in town, to sashimi of atun rojo & exquisite chiperones a la plancha,  there’s almost nothing in here that I don’t love. This is one of the few places in town I recommend to eat the local Retinto entrecôte and solomillo. With Pintia and Mauro featuring, the wine selection’s also one of the best in Vejer. Xixarito Manzanilla (my fav) is available here by the glass. A final word of warning: his zingy after-dinner shots can slip down just a little too easily.

    Closed Tuesdays  / Open every other day and evening from 12.30. Closed mid November – Easter

    Casavaro.com; +34 956 451 701

  • Trafalgar; Plaza de España, 31

    You don’t have to go far to get to the next of my recommended restaurants in Vejer. Restaurante Trafalgar is just next door, in fact. Here you can sample some great local delicacies including the best Rabo de Toro (oxtail) I have ever tasted. Check out their spectacular Revuelto de Morcilla (scrambled eggs with black pudding). NB 2019, it’s under new ownership and I haven’t yet been.

    Their baby, Trafalgar Tapas, is just next door. Here you can feast on excellent Escabeche de Atún Rojo alongside a copa of ice cold Fino. – that’s if they are willing to serve you. Under new ownership they seem to have a different take on things. The last time I tried to go there the waiter Carlos told me he couldn’t serve us for 20 minutes as he needed rest!

    Both open every day and evening from 13.00 for majority of the year.

    Closed from mid December-February.

    Restaurantetrafalgar.com; +34 956 447 638.

  • Bar Peneque; Plaza De España, 27

    As you continue around the Plaza you will find Bar Peneque. I love this place for simple tapas of Atún Encebollada (braised onions with tuna) and Chocos Fritos (fried cuttlefish). This is a great place to sit under the orange trees while you sip on a coffee or copa and people watch. It opens from 6am and so is a great breakfast stop for delicious Pan con Tomate (tomato on toast).

    Closed Sundays all year round except August.

    Open every other day and evening from 06.00 for a great local breakfast.

    +34 956 450 209.

  • El Jardín del Califa; Plaza de España, 12

    moroccan-cooking-el-califa1

    Just across the other side of the plaza, the foodie fun doesn’t let up. El Jardín del Califa remains one of the most popular restaurants in Vejer and has been wowing all comers for years now. Reservations are essential. From June onwards, if you haven’t booked a table you’ll struggle to get in. Their Moroccan-inspired kitchen consistently produces wonderful delights like the traditional Meze platter which is delicious and has remained so for years. During the evenings and weekends their BBQ list offers more local dishes such as Secreto Ibérico which, although not Moroccan, is a must. A superb wine list features noteworthy local wines from the province of Cadiz. I love the one Moroccan red wine on their list – Domaine Larroque. Next door to the main entrance is Califa Express which is my stop for takeaways of hummus, babaganoush and falafel.

    El Jardín open every day and evening all summer 

    Califa Express open everyday from Easter till Nov from 12.30-20.00.

    Califavejer.com; +34 956 451 706.

  • La Piccolina; Plaza De España, 20

    In this Italian-run spot you will be warmly greeted while being served a genuine Italian cappuccino. It’s open for breakfast, offering their own take on local classics, along with great salads and delicious dishes of the day such as seafood risotto made with brown rice and grilled squid with salsa verde.

    Closed Tuesdays during the summer months / Open every other day and evening from 10.00.

    Only open at the weekend during the winter months.

    Facebook.com; +34 671 765 339.

  • Califa Tapas; Corredera, 33

    As an offshoot of El Jardín del Califa, this is a great place for a casual lunch in the sunshine where you get to try their Meze range and excellent wine list, only in a slightly more informal setting.

    Open every day during summer months ONLY from 12.00-20.00.

    Califavejer.com; +34 637 423 506.

  • Bar Central; Calle Teniente Castrillón, 5

    El Central is another family affair. Not even being greeted by the far-from-dulcet tones of Rod Stewart can take away from what has to be some of my favourite things to eat in any Vejer restaurant: Tostas con Anchoas y Boquerones (anchovies on toast). It may not sound like much, but it’s a winning combination of salty, vinegary and tomato-y, which if push came to shove, would be my last dish on earth (served with a glass of Manzanilla of course). The Retinto (local breed of beef cattle) is fabulous here and Salvador cooks it to perfection (in my case a flawless al punto), then serves sliced with a dash of sea salt, homemade chips and a bottle of Garum (a wonderful, velvety, well made red wine from Luis Perez just outside Jerez). Also highly recommended here is the pulpo.

    Closed Mondays all year round / Open from 12.00 every other day.

    Elcentralvejer.com; +34 956 450 457.

  • Bar Navarro; Calle Juan Bueno, 8

    Bar Navarro is an unpretentious little place that specialises in Pescados Fritos (fried fish). For a casual evening, find a table on the tiny street, order a platter of fried fish to share and a bottle of white wine, watch the kids play and the people come and go. Beyond the fried stuff you can opt for great Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus and potatoes) or a selection of Iberian pork or Retinto beef off their brasa (indoor BBQ). In addition to the classic Barbadillo white wine, they also serve an Enate Chardonnay from Somontano that’s well worth trying.

    Open every day and evening majority of the year.

    Closed January and February.

    +34 956 450 274.

  • Mesón Pepe Julián; Calle Juan Relinque, 7

    Opposite Plaza San Francisco is Mesón Pepe Julián. His menu reads like a roll call of classic tapas. Fine Jamón? Check. Boquerones en Vinagre? Check. Puntillitas (deep fried tiny squid)? Check. They are all here. Cast your eye to the right and you’ll see the owner’s cellar of special reds that don’t appear on the wine list. If you ask him very nicely you might even get to try one.

    Closed Mondays.

    Facebook.com; +34 956 451 098.

  • El Aljibe; Plaza San Francisco

    Directly opposite Pepe Julián’s is El Aljibe for a great selection of homemade Croquetas such as Queso de Cabra y Verduras (goat’s cheese and roasted peppers) and Erizos (sea urchins) – perfection with a glass of icy beer.

    Open all year round.

    +34 956 451 704.

  • Mesón El Palenque; Plaza San Francisco

    One of the best paellas in town is next door at Mesón el Palenque. If you give Juan an order ahead of time, he will buy in the best seafood on offer. Best had with a lovely salad of tomato, lettuce and onion – simple clean flavours. I love to accompany this with an Amontillado Sherry or a rosé. Always look out for the most recent vintage when it comes to rosé wine. In 2019, drink the 2018 vintage. Insist on this!

    Open all year round.

    +34 956 451 704.

  • El Conejito; Calle Bellido, 1

    Hidden away on Juan Relinque, on the way up to the new town and opposite The English Bookshop, is El Conejito or Pedro’s Bar. The Jamón Pedro carves up for you is amongst the very best you’ll find in Vejer. At its best washed down with ultra-chilled Manzanilla and his yummy olives followed by some superb Albondigas (meat balls).

    Closed Sundays / Open every other day including breakfast.

    Facebook.com; +34 956 451 704.

  • Mesón Las Perdices; Avenida Buenavista, 12

    One particular delicacy that is devoured by the Vejeriegos is Perdiz (partridge), and no one serves it better than here. It really is divine when served braised with onions, mushrooms, Jamón and Sherry – and so worth seeking out. I’ve had packaged Jamón served to me here but I suspect that was just because they had run out.

    Closed Mondays / Open every other day and evening from 12.00.

    Mesonlasperdices.com; +34 956 450 361.

  • La Judería, Calle Judería 3a,

    For great selection of Sherry, food and exceptional views

    The Judería boasts one of the best outdoor terraces in town with views across to Morocco. Mario is a Sherry nut and has the best selection of Sherry by the glass. His wine list is purely Andalucian. You can also buy wine to take away. His rice dishes are spectacular. As are his tuna with ajo blanco and tuna bao buns. But his goats cheese cheesecake with honey has to be the best dessert in Vejer.

    www.lajuderiadevejer.com   Tel 956 907 471/637 024 974

  • El Quijote at La Janda Hostal

    Brand new for summer 2021 is the revamped restaurant & terrace under La Janda Hostal. Not only   has the restaurant been completely refurbished, the menu has been revamped under the curatorship of the new kitchen. I love the ensaladilla with shavings of Mojama, the Tortallitas de Camarones with fresh ginger aioli dipping sauce and the chiperones with squid ink couscous & basil. Don’t leave without having one of the best desserts in town, chocolate marquis with PX Sherry natillas

    Tel  +34 641 97 77 36

  • Vinografia. Calle Ntra. Sra. de la Oliva, 8

    Brand new for  2022 is Vinografica.  This fabulous new eatery is where Viña y Mar used to be. Part of the Juderia group, Mario and his team have created a short but fabulous menu and wine list of bottles which have been driven here from Andalucian vineyards. Slow food and slow wine can not get better than this. Vinagrafica has comissioned their own Sherry labels designed by a local artist, featuring local sights and Paco too! My current fav dishes here are – Brioche of ternera & satay sauce & the gambas. My absolute fav main dish is the Abanico of Cerdo Iberico, supplied by Paco Melero.

    Tel  +34 641 97 77 36

  • La Taberna del Lomo en Manteca, Calle Juan Bueno 5

    Chicharones de Cadiz at Bar Lomo en Manteca, Vejer

    Chicharrones de Cadiz, Vejer

    La Taberna del Lomo en Manteca opened in March 2023. It’s a very cute and jolly tapas bar showcasing many delicious delights of Vejer. To appreciate how special this place is you need to understand the local culture of pork preservation, something I knew absolutely nothing about before I arrived here. Or you just go onto the bar and work your way through the reasonably priced tapas menu. One of the best educations in town. Pair your tapas with a cool caña or a vermut from Bodegas Baron or a chilly copa of my favourite Fino, Gutierrez Colosia. Also on offer are glasses of local red wine such as Iceni red from Bodegas Tesalia in Arcos. Or white, try Barbazul Chardonnay, again from the Arcos area. Read my review HERE

Like my pick of the best Vejer de la Frontera restaurants? Sign up to one of my cooking courses and I’ll take you to several of them and introduce you to my favourite dishes – with a perfect wine pairing.

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What a day!

Andreas D, Mainz, October 2019

Indeed your fish cooking class in October has been a true highlight for me in 2019. Will never forget the relaxed atmosphere, boiling the wobbly pulpo and enjoying the delicious food on your magnific rooftop terrace… Thanks for this wonderful experience!

Why Vejer de la Frontera

It’s breathtakingly beautiful. Your first glimpse of the town is as a blinding flash of white on a hilltop against the bluest of blue skies. Up close it’s just as easy on the eye, too – a labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets winding its way between quiet squares, churches and handsome historical buildings, it’s a photographer’s dream.

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