La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira is a corner store and a place to enjoy the delicacies of Málaga. You can find it in the neighborhood of La Victoria.
We stumbled upon La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira completely by accident. It was one of our first mornings after we’d moved into our new apartment in Málaga and we didn’t have time to buy things for breakfast yet. So off we went in search of a good local breakfast place. We passed through the Plaza de la Merced, but Pedro seemed to remember a bar he’d been to in the neighborhood of La Victoria. So we took a chance and headed up the road towards the well known Basilica. We never did find that bar, but what we did find was infinitely better: La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira.
This little shop, perched on a corner only five minutes from the Plaza de la Merced, is one of our new favorite places in Málaga. The shop, run by Manolo, an energetic man who grew up in the neighborhood, is both a corner store and a place to enjoy the best local products. The name of the place comes from the nickname for the old neighborhood of La Victoria. It was called “chupa y tira” (literally suck and throw) because in the 19th century the working class people who worked their wanted to keep up appearances. They ate clams (a cheap dish at the time) so that they could save money for clothes that were a bit nicer and a more visible sign of wealth. They would suck the delicious sauce from the clams and throw the shells to the floor. So the nickname became “The neighborhood of suck and throw.”
Manolo grew up coming to this shop to buy dry goods with his family and when the shop was about to close, he decided to buy the place and take over. This is a labor of love. In fact, Manolo is at La Esquinita from 6am until well after midnight each day. He told us that he wants to work hard now, make a name for the Esquinita and later he can relax. He has also kept the front of the store exactly the same.
The shelves, while stocked with modern day soups and canned goods, are exactly the same as when he was a boy. He even had an old black and white photo blown up to cover the whole back wall. It was the street of La Victoria long ago, before the Spanish Civil War. You can still shop at La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira, by the way. In the back of the store you can have breakfast, an afternoon snack, or tapas in the evening. Manolo prides himself on the fact that his products are local.
When we went for breakfast, we were overwhelmed with the hospitality and attention to detail. They ran back and forth from the front of the shop and brought back freshly toasted bread, freshly sliced ham, thinly sliced tomatoes, local olive oil, coffee, tea, and fresh squeezed orange juice. We sat at one of the four barrels in the back area and had one of the best breakfasts in recent memory.
Fast forward a few weeks. We were meeting a friend to have a drink on a Friday night. It was early summer and one of the first nights that you really linger on the terrace. When we were thinking about where to get a bite to eat, the answer was clear: La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira. We didn’t realize that Manolo’s tapas were even more impressive than his breakfasts!
We sat down and ordered a local red wine. A lot of people don’t realize this, but Málaga makes some delicious wines apart from the sweet variety. With our wine, out came Manolo’s tapas. The tapas were a thing of beauty. Freshly cut cheese spread on a piece of wax paper (it is a corner store deli after all!), freshly cut charcuterie and even a slice of homemade tortilla de patatas. Everything was delicious and we were allowed to linger as long as we liked. Manolo kept our glasses filled and everyone there felt at home. This really is a special place in Málaga.
The Esquinita del Chupa y Tira is just off the beaten path, but it is a place well worth finding, especially if you are looking to try tapas in a different way. This feels less like the crowded bar where people are trying to place an order and more like a back room in someone’s home. In fact, it was the back room of the shop all those years ago when Manolo came to buy dry goods with his family. And it is a home. Manolo has made it that way. La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira is truly one of those places that has touched our hearts. Whether you consider yourself a foodie, a history buff, or just someone who is looking for the authentic Málaga; you owe it to yourself to try the Esquinita del Chupa y Tira.
Information about La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira
Ruskommendation for La Esquinita del Chupa y Tira: 5 boquerones
[usrlist Service:9.5 “Food:9.5” “Quality/Price:9.5” “Atmosphere:9.0″ img=”03.png” size=20 avg=”true”]
- Address: Calle Victoria, 31, Málaga, Spain
- Telephone: +34 951 91 19 85
- Average price per person: 10 euros
- Hours: (Mon-Sat) 9:00am-3:30pm y 5:00pm-9:30pm; Sunday 9:00am-3:30pm