Food and Restaurants in Murcia

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  13. Visiting Murcia for 2 days

Gastronomy in Huerta de Murcia

Pay attention, because reading on you will discover what the food is like in the Region of Murcia, so that you will have some sort of idea how they eat in Murcia and why you should prepare yourself for the gastronomic adventure that awaits you, whether you're a student or a traveller.

Murcia has one of the most delicious and varied food cultures out there. It is mainly based on products exclusive to it's own region, such as rice from Calasparra, seafood and fish from Mar Menor and fruit and vegetables from Huerta de Murcia.

The Segura river, which runs through the region of Murcia, passes by a valley called la Huerta de Murcia. The water from the river, the soil and the cultivation techniques, all form part of the heritage of the Muslim community, and all of this, has lead the Huerta de Murcia being one of the largest producers of fruit and vegetables in Europe.

Peppers and tomatoes are the two main players in Murcian food, but they also grow many more vegetables, such as for example courgettes, aubergines, green beans, artichokes, cauliflowers and lots more. Try the traditional dishes of the region and experience a crazy explosion of flavours!

But aside from these vegetables, citrus fruits also play a big role in the food of Huerta. You will find many recipes to which citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, are added to introduce unique and special flavours. These fruits give dishes that refreshing touch that they sometimes need, to help people cope with the high temperatures there.

Below, we have gathered a list of a few traditional dishes of Murcia that you won't want to miss out on:

  • Zarangollo

This dish is made using products from Huerta; it's a mixture of courgette, onion, and potatoes scrambled together with eggs.

  • Ensalada murciana (Murcian salad)

A Murcian salad is made using a traditional recipe from the region itself which is quick and easy to prepare. It's the perfect dish to battle the hot summer days, so much so that all you need is tomato, onion, tuna, eggs, olives, oil and salt. If you use good quality products, like those previously mentioned from Huerta, your dish will end up being a lot tastier.

  • Caldero (A type of casserole)

This recipe is really typical of the region, and more specifically of Mar Menor; it's a soupy rice dish, made with fish stock from the coast of Mar Menor, ñora chillies, garlic, tomatoes and saffron. The fish that they make the stock with, is served separately, as is the alioli (garlic mayonnaise) which goes great with this dish.

  • Michirones (bean stew)

This is a type of stew made using broad beans, spices and lamb. It is great to eat when the colder winter days start coming in.

  • Pisto murciano

As you already know that the vegetables from Huerta are a delicacy in Murcia, you can't go there without trying the pisto murciano, which is a dish made using the best courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes and peppers in the whole region.

  • Marinera

This is one of the most famous tapas dishes that you will find in Murcia; you won't find one local who hasn't tried them! It's a little bit like an ensaladilla rusa or a potato salad (potatoes, tuna and tinned vegetables) served on toasted bread with an anchovy on top. It's an explosion of flavours and textures!

  • Pastel de carne (meatloaf)

The recipe for this dish has been perfected for centuries now. It is a savoury cake made from puff pastry filled with meat, hard-boiled eggs and chorizo. You can't go to Murcia and not try it, you won't regret it!

  • Gazpacho

This is more of a summertime dish which is once again made using products from Huerta, as at this point in time, all the most flavoursome products come from there. The ingredients that you need to make this dish are: tomatoes, onion, pepper and cucumber, then there are a few other things you'll need too. With all of these things, you will end up with one of the most refreshing and revitalising drinks you've ever had.

  • Ruedas de carro

This is a traditional dessert found in Murcia and it is really easy to make. To do so, all you need is two María biscuits and a cream made by mixing together milk and cornflower. This filling is then put between the two biscuits and dipped in an egg coating before it is then fried. Finally, the only thing left is to add cinnamon sugar and there you have it. Even people with no sweet tooth at all would have to give in to this old and easy recipe.

  • Pan de Calatrava (Calatrava bread pudding)

This recipe arose in times of scarcity, hundreds of years ago when Murcian people had to take advantage of any leftover food and not throw anything away. That's why, this cold dessert is made using left-over bread from the day before, sponge cake, liquid caramel and flan. Despite its humble origins, this dessert is one of the tastiest to be found in Huerta.

  • Paparajote

A paparajote is a traditional Murcian dessert which is made by covering a lemon leaf with dough and frying it in oil. To finish it off, you then cover it with cinnamon sugar and there you have it... ready to eat! Of course though, you have to be careful when you eat it, that you don't eat the leaf.

  • Café asiático (Asian coffee)

In Spain, it's really common to have a coffee for breakfast, just after eating or even with a snack in the afternoon. But in one of the cities that makes up the Region of Murcia, they have created a traditional coffee which has one of the most unique flavours of all. The asian coffee comes from Cartagena but you can find it throughout the whole region. The secret to this recipe lies in combining Licor 43 with a little bit of cognac and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, with coffee and condensed milk.

Don't hesitate to go out into the streets of Murcia in search for one of these typical dishes in the most traditional corners of the region, the city itself has many hidden surprises for you, you won't want to miss out on everything it has to offer!

Also, as you will see in all of the bars and restaurants, the Region of Murcia has its very own beer brand, which is made there too with products from the region. It's called Estrella Levante and there are different variations of it too; the classic Estrella Levante, the alcohol free one, the "Punta Este" (toasted version) and the "Verna" (lemon flavoured), in which the lemon comes from Huerta de Murcia. If you are interested in beer, go and visit the Estrella Levante factory, where they will show you how it is made and you will be able to taste the different beers that they have available. One bit of advice though, is that, if you really want to appreciate the flavour, drink it while it's cold, alongside lemon and paprika potatoes, they make the perfect combination!

Where to eat

Where to eat for less than ten euros

Forget about McDonald's and Burger King; obviously in an emergency they wouldn't be the worst option in the world, but if you want to treat your palate and save money at the same time to get the most out of this region, you need to go and eat real Murcian style tapas.

Tapas are the best option if you want to go and eat out without spending a fortune. You'll find most of the places I'm going to tell you about, in the table below. Here, you will find the best places to go and eat out for less than ten euros.

In the centre of Murcia there are many tapas bars where you can get a bite to eat, so it will be best if you get to know the concept of "caña y tapa”. Many of these bars give you a tapa to go with your beer, but don't worry, if you don't like beer you can order a red wine or a soft drink instead. The price is usually somewhere around €2 depending on where you go, but I can assure you that by the time you've had your third tapa, you'll already be full! If you're going with a few people, the best thing to do is to order several tapas for the whole table, then you can try a little bit of everything and nobody is left feeling like they missed out.

Around the Merced University you will find several tapas bars, you could actually say that it is the tapas hotspot. Where the Plaza de la Merced is, there's a place called el Togo y la Toga, although they are separate places, they are the same, so if you sit in one, you can also order something from the menu of the other one. You will also find some of the most traditional tapas dishes (such as ensaladilla rusa, magra con tomate, pisto murciano, etc. ) at Maraña, at La Playa and in Íberos, but they aren't bars that are famous for their tapas, they are mostly known for their offer of two small beers for €1.

At the other side of the university, there is a bar called Las Tablas and one called Las Pintas Murcianas. Both of these places offer the "caña y tapas" deal, with a huge variety of tapas dishes that are all delicious; they have vegan options available too.

At the Plaza Santo Domingo, there are several bars in which you will obviously find good tapas at a great price, but there is one place in particular called 100 Montaditos where every Wednesday and Sunday they sell everything on their menu for €1; so you're bound to save money if you go there. They have lots of snacks to choose from, and sharing plates are available as well.

Last but not least, in Centrofama there is an Italian-Argentinian restaurant Mano a Mano. If you like Italian food or Argentinian food, make sure you give their famous pizzas and saltimbocca a try. It's really famous amongst Erasmus students because the dishes are so tasty and so cheap at the same time. It's a safe bet.

Types of restaurants

Spanish food Chinese food Italian food Indian food Comida japonesa Thai food Vegan/vegetarian food Turkish food American food
Pintas Murcianas Buffet Mister Wok Mano a mano Pasión India UDON PadThaiwok Vegan Queen El Palacio del Kebab Goiko Grill
Restaurante Salzillo Palacio Pekin Pizzería Imperial Sabor Hindú Sushi Sakura Yaho Alta Veg & Roll Doner Kebab Ali Baba Steak Burger
Madre de Dios Restaurante Chino Internacional La Tagliatella Jaipur Palace Green Sushi El Jardín de los Dragones Pak Doner Kebab Foster’s Hollywood
La Mary Jardín Chino La Mafia Ekam Restaurante Hindú Yi Sushi Pistatxo Floridablanca TGB - The Good Burger
La Cocina de Vives Restaurante Chino Wen Zhou Estraperlo Sake Sushi Los Girasoles Kebab Vistalegre Taco Bell
Las Tablas Casa de Lai Mondo Italiano Hola Sushi Pipoca King Doner Kebab Tommy Mel’s
Mi Salita Restaurante Chino Gran Mundo La Tarantella Moshi Moshi La Libélula Zana Kebab Don G
El Patio Restaurante Chino Corona La Góndola Axo Sushi DragonLab Pistachio VIPS
Fraskito Bambú Garden La Tavola Sensu Sushi La Sella La Roja The Burger Shop
El Chapas Bonker Bao Via Torino Maguro The Square Sushi Chef Momo KFC
Cañas y Tapas Pizzería Vianco Yummyko Mostacho
Los Ventanales Casa Carmelina Sushi San Antón Myrtia
El Rincón del Chapas Don Gaspare Ristorante Bon Foodie
La Bernarda Pizzería Sancho Panza Urban Food
La Uva Jumillana La Mafia se sienta a la mesa The Black House Burger
El Museo de la Tapa Good Food El Favorito
Los Zagales Crosty & Brasa

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