Restaurants in Spain Summer 2020

Waiter with mask

It’s been a while since we’ve caught up on restaurant reviews for obvious reasons.  As we hit mid-July 2020, Spanish restaurants are usually in full swing. Inside this article we talk about what's happening in restaurants around the country right now.

Obviously things have changed thanks to a global pandemic, but we are pleased to report that restaurants are starting to get back on their feet since restrictions have been eased. In particular in Southern Spain where the economy relies heavily on tourism, people are starting to arrive for their Summer vacation but will be finding things a little different to the UK.

The Spanish Government has now passed power to the regions to deal with the inevitable outbreaks that Spain has seen in the last few weeks. Interestingly, about 40% of outbreaks (now sitting at 100 outbreak cases so far) are linked to family gatherings however the detection of the origin is almost always unknown because people are moving in the community now. It is suspected though that the workplace has been a prime culprit here.  So it’s not surprising that regions like Andalucía with recent outbreaks in Malaga, as of 15 July 2020, have brought about the ruling that wearing a facemask in public or private spaces is now compulsory with a €100 fine for non-compliers. This is simply a case of not undoing the tough work done during lockdown and keeping the country moving. Let’s not forget saving lives.

So what does this mean for you as a visitor? What can you expect as a tourist when you arrive in Spain and want to start your holiday with a dinner out on your first night? 

Each region is different but here in Andalucía it’s quite simple.  Wear a mask at all times unless you are swimming, lying by the pool, lying on the beach or eating stationary at a restaurant table. There are some exceptions to the rule of course but be forewarned.

Trocadero Arena bar

I visited the Trocadero Arena on Sunday on Río Real Beach near Marbella and I was greeted at the entrance by three staff members who ensured I went through the correct sanitary process prior to entering, as well as taking my temperature. Trocadero Arena is big on alfresco dining with a massive outdoor  area and a well catered for beachfront with sun loungers. They have put up dividers between tables and the staff are wearing masks with a rigorous cleaning regime to follow once each set of customers has left. The staff were extremely busy and looked comfortable in their new environment. The other observation we made is that you may need to queue to get into restaurants these days purely because of the reduced capacities and the additional work needed to prepare your arrival. 

To be honest, this is my experience around most of the top end restaurants on the Costa Del Sol and it is still a pleasant experience once seated, however don’t take chances by stepping out without a mask. You can get supplies at your local supermarkets: Lidl and Mercadona have plenty in stock. This may be one of your first jobs before you start to relax. Better than to be turned away.  Also please don’t get upset with restaurant staff. It’s law over here to wear a mask in many regions so depending on where you are, take a supply of masks and be patient.


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