The main avenue through the heart of Islantilla offers a wide variety of quality restaurants, ranging from cosy hideaways to extravagant upmarket brasseries. Spanish and Mediterranean are the dominating influences, but there are also Asian, international and fusion options to be found on your holidays to Costa de la Luz. If you head away from the centre of town you can unearth some real treasures. Expect to stumble across breath-taking sea views, sun-kissed terraces and relaxed coves. Here are a handful of the best.
Joint owners Antonio and Xavier honed their skills at nearby bar Tramontana, before jumping ship and setting up their own organisation four years ago. Now they serve delicious, locally sourced seafood and an extensive range of tapas, all at budget prices. The wine and beer selection is impressive and the views from the al fresco seating area are unbeatable. One thing to note is that the restaurant is self-service, meaning you have to order and pick-up your food yourself – but don't let this put you off.
Despite being located in the commercial centre of Islantilla, and therefore not boasting a sea view, La Isla is often one of the most popular restaurants in the town, packed to the rafters with satisfied locals and families enjoying Costa de la Luz holidays. They offer a very reasonably priced lunch menu, which with three courses, bread and a drink won't break the bank but will fill the stomach. The waiters are friendly and attentive, always going the extra mile to make sure you're happy, and the food is delicious and varied, as well as being cheap.
Although this restaurant is quite pricey, it's well worth the investment for such a unique dining experience. Instead of selecting from a menu, you'll be asked to fill out a short questionnaire on your culinary preferences. Based on this information, the gourmet chef will then whip up a personal, tailor-made 15-course extravaganza to delight your taste buds and have you hankering for more. Surely it's only a matter of time before this gem becomes a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Tucked away inside the Ocean Hotel, this charming little restaurant is every bit as appealing as its menu sounds. It has an excellent wine list, exemplary service and a menu that is unbeatable for price-to-quality ratio. Its location might make it a little difficult to find at first, but this will soon prove to be a bonus as you'll feel transported away from all of the hustle and bustle of central Islantilla. For those who are usually wary of hotel restaurants, make an exception for this one.
This culinary school produces some of the finest chefs and waiters on the Andalusian coast. You'll be served by students and as a result, you can expect top quality dishes at cheaper prices than you'd find elsewhere, making the Escuela the ideal place to indulge on a budget. The cuisine is a mixture of French and Spanish, with an understandable emphasis on the latter, and is only open for lunch Monday to Friday, from 1.45pm to 3.30pm. Due to its deceiving exterior, this establishment is a hidden gem – it doesn't much resemble a restaurant from the outside.
Located a short distance from Islantilla in the nearby hamlet of La Redondela, this bakery and cake shop is well worth the detour if you're planning on taking holidays to Costa de la Luz. Renowned as one of the best bakeries in the entire province, pastry lovers come from miles around to sample the delicacies on offer at the Pasteleria la Torre. All of the delights served here are uniquely designed and 100 percent artisanal, as well as being absolutely delicious.