Nerja Extraordinary Food of Spain award
‘Chiringuito’ beach restaurants have been awarded the Extraordinary Food of Spain award 2021 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food, recognizing the variety of these establishments and their commitment to traditional cuisine.
The panel of judges decided to present the award to the Ayo chiringuito in Nerja, which in the 54 years since it opened has become a benchmark in Andalucía, Spain, and Europe.
“The owner, Francisco Ortega Olalla is, at the age of 83, an example of dedication and commitment to his environment, both in employing people of different nationalities and also sourcing emblematic products from the coast and making one of the most famous and characteristic dishes that Spanish gastronomy has to offer, paella,” said a statement from the Ministry. Read more from Pilar Martìnez of the Sur in English.
What is a Chiringuito?
A Chiringuito is a small enterprise, usually a bar, selling mainly drinks and tapas, and sometimes meals, in a more or less provisional building, often on a beach or loose surface where a more permanent structure may be inviable. Wikipedia.
These days though, the name ‘chiringuito’ or ‘chiringo’ can be attached to a large building situated on or near the beach. Such sites can hold many clients and be very busy during the high season. The floor is sand or other loose material.
Burriana Beach in Nerja has the famous Ayo’s and La Barca chiringuitos. Both are excellent. Ayo’s is world famous, mainly because of the number of times it is featured on TV travel programs. You cannot make any sort of travel or food video about Nerja without mentioning the Bacon de Europa or Ayo Paella.
La Barca Merendero and Ayo Chiringuito are very different in what they offer. La Barca is itself well known for the ‘fresh-from-the-sea’ Espeto sardines and other fish. Ayo, as I mentioned, is the top Paella place. Although both have a varied and interesting menu.
My own favorite from the La Barca menu would be the BBQ Lubina (Bass) or Dorada(Guilt Head Bream) fish.
A picnic table is a table with benches, designed for impromptu outdoor dining. The term is often specifically associated with rectangular tables having an A-frame structure. Such tables may be referred to as “picnic tables” even when used exclusively indoors. Wikipedia
Don’t worry too much about this description; a ‘merendero’ is a chiringuito by another name.
When you come and stay with us at Nerja Beach Holidays, you really must visit both of these restaurants. They are really very good.
If you want to see a lot more photographs and comments on Ayo’s (not everyone is of the same opinion as the Ministery of Food and Fishing) then check out these Facebook pages.