James Beard Publication of the Year 2017

Always Persevere in the Hunt for Tubular Donuts

Always Persevere in the Hunt for Tubular Donuts

Churros in Malaga

On a sunny afternoon in the Costa del Sol, I had a sudden craving for churros—the tubular doughnuts popular in Spain, usually dipped in chocolate or caramel sauce.

Malaga, in the heart of Andalusia, is a bustling port city that attracts millions of visitors every year, because it’s convenient gateway to the rest of the region. Much of the city center caters to tourists.

Nevertheless, I traced the cobblestoned streets and investigated every nook and cranny of the old town. I turned around the corner from Atarazanas food market and thought I had hit the jackpot.

A sepia sign on the facade read “CASA ARANDA”.

Churrerias are all over the city, often in small alleyways, but I was drawn to this one in particular. But at that moment, the shop front grilles and shutters were pulled down and that could only mean one thing—siesta. I checked the opening hours and realized that they wouldn’t be open until 5 p.m. Which gave them almost a five-hour long siesta. But this was Andalusia, after all.

[Read: What to know before you visit an Andalusian cave]

“No pasa nada,” I thought. This is the go-to motto around here, and essentially means “no biggie”.  I decided to come back the next morning.

When I came back, Casa Aranda was filled with people sitting on the outside and inside of the cafe, up the entire street of Herreria del Rey. The place I had stumbled upon was not exactly unknown—in fact, it’s perhaps Malaga’s most famous churreria. Their churros are so popular with locals and visitors alike that the cafe has taken over the whole narrow street, operating several outlets. Still, it was exactly what I had been looking for: the perfect place for churros.

The cafe was founded in 1932, and still has black and white illustrations and photographs of pre-War Malaga on the wall, and some photos of the Spanish celebrities that have passed through over the years.

[Read: Going Full English in Andalusia]

There were local Malagueñas eating churros and having coffee here with their children and friends. There were also tourists, who snapped pictures of the cafe with massive Canon cameras. Next to my table was a mother with her three daughters who had their packs from school strewn on the floor. They were giggling and dipping their churros in the frothy chocolate cups. One server came to them and asked the mother how the kids are doing before taking my order.

My churros arrived in less than five minutes, all four golden brown and stacked on top of each other. I took a big sip of the melted chocolate and took a big bite of my warm churro. They absorbed the chocolate without losing their crunch. They were delicious, but the atmosphere is what brought the whole experience together.

I left in a bit of a rush so I accidentally knocked a glass off the table. The server just said to me, “No pasa nada.”

Casa Aranda
Calle Herrería del Rey, 1
29005 Málaga

Tél. : +34 952 222 812

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