We have confined this brief guide to the coastal towns. For eating in Seville, Huelva, and other large towns it is best to consult one of the main guides.
Most restaurants in the area are relaxed and informal. With the proximity of the sea there is an obvious emphasis on fish although it is possible to find excellent game and meat. Surprising for Spain, if you fancy a steak, the quality of the beef is generally outstanding.
The following are just a few examples of tried and tested eating-places. However you should experiment. You will find honestly cooked fresh food in the Andalucian style wherever you go.
The get rich quick purveyors of "English food" found on the Mediterranean costas have not found their way here yet, thank goodness!
El Terron is a tiny fishing port some 5km south of Lepe and boasts one of the best fish restaurants in the area. El Ancla is located on the harbour and specialises in fried and marinated prawns.
Playa de la Antilla (Islantilla)
Most restaurants line the main road (Avda. De Castilla), which is a couple of blocks from the beach. Locals flock to the popular Cerveceria Estoril (about half way along on the left coming from the West) but more formal dining is available at Lino (Avda. de Castilla 2), Casa Rodri with a good value menu (c/Adelfa s/n just off the same street and well signed), or the slightly pricier Rodri La Langosta. The same family runs these last two. However the best of the bunch is Feria (Avda. Castilla 16) at the beginning of the street. This is excellent for fish and also serves tapas.
A pleasant place on the seafront with a sea view is Cafè Restaurante Coral Playa for breakfast and evening platos combinados.
If you are in the mood for Italian cuisine, a place worth seeking out in town is Pizzeria Pavarotti (Avda San Francisco 3) where both the pasta and pizza are excellent (try tagliatelle al salmone) and you can have much free pan de ajo (garlic bread) as you can eat! It can be found by heading in from the beach on the main Lepe road and turning right (east) along Avda. El Terron. It is on the second corner on the right.
Both Restaurante Acosta (Plaza de las Fores) and the nearby Restaurante Reyes are noted for their fish and mariscos (shellfish). Along Carretera de la Playa, the avenue leading to the beach, you will find Casa Rufino, an outstanding fish restaurant which does great arroz negro de marisco (shellfish with "black rice" [cooked in squid ink]), a good value menu for about 11 euros, and a house special called tonteo which is eight different kinds of fish, each with its appropriate sauce.
Another one not to miss is Hermandos Moreno (Avda. Padre Miravent 39) close to the harbour. The fish restaurant upstairs is excellent and downstairs is a lively tapas bar with everything served very fresh from the sea. For drinks and tapas in a great atmosphere including a terrace, try the Casino on Plaza de las Flores.
If music is what you want, head for the north west point of the town's peninsula between Plaza de las Flores and the harbour. Here along the narrow, white walled cobble streets of the old fishing quarter you will find several music bars. Try Almadrabera, (c/General Mola aka c/del Prado, 17) or Pipirigana (c/Diego Perez Pascual 198) with its inside and outside patios.
There is often flamenco staged at Las Canas and La Resaca (both on c/San Antonio) and also at Bar Gonzalo (c/Romeu 18) a fine old drinking den with a flamenco room at the back. All are close to Plaza de las Flores. A little further away Pena Flamenco La Higeurita (Nuestra Senora de los Angeles s/n) around the corner from the Hotel Brisamar is another great flamenco venue.
There are many options clustered around the central Pasco de la Ribera. A very good value for money restaurant in the old town north-west from the plaza is the Meson La Vitola, (c/Jose PerezBarroso s/n) which serves good quality fish and meat dishes. A Casola nearby (c/Lusitania 2) offers an inexpensive menu and has a terrace.
On the main square Cafeteria Restaurante Barberi (Paseo de la Ribera 13) is also worth a try and its cafè next door has an economical menu for around 6 euro. On the west side of the same square Meson Juan Macias (Paseo de la Ribera 2) is another good place with plenty of chorizo (spicy sausage) and jambon (ham) based dishes and you can also get raciones (portions) of Jabugo ham. This is the famous ham (Palma style but much better) from the north of the province.
The town's best restaurant (especially for fish) is Casa Luciano (c/Palma 2) on the east side of the harbour, which has excellent food and a menu for around 12 euros.
For meals at the beach the Restaurante-Pizzeria Andalucia has a variety of seafood options.
On the road out of town towards Isla Canela is a great informal fish restaurant called La Rana. Just past the stadium you go over a river bridge and turn immediately right. The restaurant is right at the water's edge and the fish are so fresh you can imagine they jumped straight out of the water into the restaurant.
For a more formal dining experience with all the specialities of the region on show try the restaurant at the Parador Hotel which is at the highest point of the town and well signposted on road from Ayamonte to the Portuguese border.
Nightlife in the high season centres on the bars in the Medico Rey Garcia area to the north of the harbour. The current hot spots are A Popa, Sacapuntas, and Hangar. There are also a couple of disco's, Topic and Esury, in nearby former fish warehouses.
Punta del Moral
This is the picturesque original old fishing village on Isla Canela near the new yacht marina. It is worth seeking out this tiny place if you are in the area for a line of tapas bars at the entrance to the village. R Nuevo Simon, Chiringuito de Antonio, and El Contrabando are all good for fresh fish, raciones (larger portions than tapas) and a wide range of tapas.