Saturday night, Colton and I went on a double date and checked out Cafe Malaga McKinney. Cafe Malaga is a Spanish tapas restaurant located in a restored 130 year old house with a beautiful and large patio in downtown historical square. There is little I enjoy more than great company, food, and drinks on a patio when the weather is near perfect.
The atmosphere at Cafe Malaga is wonderful. There were beautiful lights strung through the trees, a band playing, fountain, and much more to add to the ambiance of the evening. It felt as if we walked off the street from downtown into a beautiful garden far away.
We made a reservation for 7:45 and were told that it would be a thirty minute wait (although there were several open tables). I assume the kitchen was backed up, so we went to the bar and had a round of drinks and the appetizer hummus. When we asked about our table (around 8:05) they told us they planned on seating us at 8:15.
Food and Drink
Tapas are one of my favorite things to eat with a group of people, because I can try a variety of different foods. If you have never had tapas before, they are mini appetizers that typically serve 1-2 people. Cafe Malaga has tapas and then appetizer plates that serve 3-4 which were perfect for our little group. The guys put us in charge of ordering, so we decided to sample as many things that we could.
The four of us split a sangria pitcher which was refreshing. They do not put a whole lot of fruit in their sangria, but it tasted fruit and good. Typically tapas restaurants will bring out the food as it is ready instead of all at once, which was great with us.
One of the best things was the Malaga Croquettes. They were a delicious blend of chorizo, chicken, and bacon and devoured within minutes of being on the table.
The Roasted Baby Potatoes and Moruno Beef Kababs in Moroccan marinade were delicious. The mango-serrano coulis gave it a hint of sweet that I really enjoyed.
Everyone at our table agreed that the Lamb Lollipop Chops were the best thing we ordered. They are marinated in lemon, thyme and beer. These are the most expensive appetizer and only come with 4 but they were full of flavor and worth the price.
Before ordering dessert, we ordered one more appetizer, the Don Piquillo which were bolognaise stuffed pickle peppers served in a cream sauce (another excellent choice).
Since I am the one with the sweet tooth, I chose the Chocolate Maquise Cake. This chocolate mouse cake was so delicious and just the right size for a bite of sweet at the end of the meal.
Once we were seated, the hostess let us know the kitchen was still backed up and it would be a bit of a wait. However, the serve was quick to greet us and it didn’t seem like any time before he was bringing out our food and drinks. The food is delicious. All four of us enjoyed everything we tried.
I think they have their appetizers priced well too and didn’t find any of the tapas overly expensive (average $9-12).
Have I mentioned the gorgeous patio? The music was great and we enjoyed a relaxing evening.
There is not a whole lot of indoor seating for when it gets too hot in July and August in Texas. It was also a little frustrating making a reservation, but not being sat at a table for 30 additional minutes (even though there were a ton of open tables).
Cafe Malaga is not a quick in and out restaurant, but the server was attentive and I enjoyed the slow pace. We were able to really enjoy the great weather and music.
I would definitely recommend grabbing a few friends and checking this place out next time you find yourself in downtown McKinney. The food, patio, and atmosphere really make it a great evening.
Have you been to Cafe Malaga yet? What is your favorite menu item? What are you most excited to try? Leave me a comment below!