Eating out Spanish style

Many people visiting Jumilla for the first time say that they want to go somewhere “really Spanish”.  To be honest they would be hard pushed to find anywhere in Jumilla that isn’t Spanish: two Chinese and one Italian restaurant is about it.  The following are John’s and my favourites for what we feel are very good reasons, so why not check them out and tell me what you think? Remember that Spanish people rarely go out for lunch before 2pm, so if you get there by 13.55 you should get a table.  ;-)

1. Restaurante San Agustín  (Av. de la Asunción, 64)

Good food, a great atmosphere and fantastically friendly staff: this has to be our number 1.  As I don’t eat meat I love coming here for their delicious fish dishes, using fresh fish from Santa Pola.  Their desserts are also yummy, making it very difficult for me to choose just one.  Menú del día is 10€ in the bar, where we usually eat when we are on our own, as we enjoy the lively atmosphere.  It is still a very reasonable 12€ in their new, stylish restaurant where the posh people eat, and where we eat when we go out with friends.

2.  Bar Paraíso (C/Cura Abellán, 23)

If you want to go to a typically Spanish bar, for an excellent value ménu del día at 8€, this is the one we would recommend.  This is also one of the few bars to offer their menú at weekends, including festivos.  Friends we have taken there have said that it is some of the best food they have tasted in Spain, so why not give it a try? 

3.  Restaurante de Loreto  (C/Canalejas, 73)

This is the place if you want to splash out: we paid 20€ the last time we went there for menú del día.  Of course if you are based in the UK you will think that is ridiculously cheap for an excellent meal in lovely surroundings!  We had to admit that it was good value considering the quality of the food and the wine served with it, which was Tavs: one of our favourites.  The restaurant is set in a 200 years old mansion, with six beautifully decorated individual rooms, and a summer courtyard at the back, so if you go there you will enjoy looking around. 

The courtyard in Restaurante Loreto

4.  Duque de Lerma  (C/Rambleta del Convento, 7)

By the time we walk up the hill to this restaurant, we are always ready to enjoy their reasonably priced menú del día at 9€.   The bar is small and cheerful, whilst there is a large restaurant at the back for groups.

5.  Restaurante Reyes Católicos (Av. Reyes Católicos, 33)

This is a popular restaurant, with a small bar, where they do a menú del día for 12€.  It is conveniently situated on the Avenída of the same name.  When we went there with Spanish friends nobody looked at the carta – they just ordered what they fancied, and luckily everything was available.  The staff were very obliging when we asked for queso frito con tomate without the tomato, for me.  They also cooked some calamares separately for our friend Lesley, who is on a gluten-free diet.

6.  Restaurante Monasterio (Av. de la Asunción, 40)

We have enjoyed the 9€ menú del día here on many occasions.  The restaurant was refurbished about a year ago, and we were very dubious the first time we went in after that, as it seemed very new and very quiet.  However it is back to its normal noisy self and is as popular as ever, especially for take-aways.  For some reason, the last few times we have been there, people were popping in to buy their lunch and take it away.

7.  La Brasería del Ave (C/Valencia, 11 – corner of Reyes Católicos)

We have a soft spot for their bar, as we inadvertently gate-crashed the opening party after it changed hands.  We were walking past just after it re-opened so decided to go in for a glass of wine and a tapa.   John ordered our wine and was asked if we wanted a tapa so chose something.  Later on, a member of staff brought over more tapas, so we had another glass of wine.  After enjoying lots of delicious tapas and wine, John went to the bar to pay our bill, only to be told that it was free as they were having an opening party for their family and friends.  Oops! 

Having enjoyed tapas in the bar, we were delighted when they opened their restaurant, where they do a good menú del día for 10€.

8.  Bar Las Delicias (C/Hernando de Nuño, corner of Calle Lope de Vega)

This tiny bar is tucked away in our local barrio of San Juan and deserves a special mention for their Thursday bargain menú del día at only 3.80€.  They also serve delicious tapas and have weekend specials, so although this bar is new we expect it to be around for a long time.

9.  Casa Sebastián (Av. de Levante, 6)

Very handy for the Tuesday market, as it is situated in the market building, Casa Sebastian is the only restaurant that isn’t open in the evening and that doesn’t do a menú del día.  Their carta though is reasonably priced and the food is very good, so if you are laden with shopping and don’t want to go too far, why not have a meal there?

10. Méson Jumillano (Av. de Murcia, 47)

Méson Jumillano

Convenient for people shopping at Aldi, and easy to spot as it is also on the right-hand side as you head into town, this is our local restaurant.  The first time we went there we decided that the man behind the bar looked uncannily like René from ‘Allo ‘Allo.  Since then it has changed hands, and in my opinion the food has changed for the better, so we pop in there for the 9€ menú del día on a fairly regular basis.  When the weather is warm, we occasionally sit outside for a coffee or glass of wine with our dog Lisa.

11. Cafeteria Monreal (next to Hotel Monreal, Calle del Doctor Fleming)

This café, adjoined to the hotel, serves consistently good food.  It has a 9€ menú del día during the week and also on Saturdays.  We have always enjoyed the food there and the staff are very friendly.

12.   Michelangelo (Av. Reyes Católicos, 58)

Sometimes, no matter how much you like Spanish food, you just have to go out for an Italian meal don’t you?   Not surprisingly it is popular with families and it is probably one of the  safest choices for eating out in Jumilla if you are a vegetarian.

¿Hablas Inglés?

Most staff in the above restaurants don’t speak English, although some restaurants do have menus in English if you ask for the “carta”.  We have discovered however that a couple of staff in San Agustín speak a few words of English, as do staff in Loreto and Monasterio. 

Be warned, when you are going somewhere for the menú del día, that some waiters will rattle off the choices in rapid Spanish, making it hard to follow even if you speak Spanish fluently!  They are always willing to repeat it more slowly though (más despacio), and if you are lucky the menu will be written down on their pad so you can have a sneaky look at it. 

If you come on one of our “Walkers Tours of Jumilla”, we will be happy to book the restaurant of your choice for you in advance.  Please leave your comments and your own recommendations below, even if you don’t agree with our choices.

¡Que aproveche!

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