Whether your kids are fussy eaters or will try anything once, finding places to eat while on holiday can be a bit of a headache. If you want to avoid snooty staff and paying for adult-sized portions your little ones won’t eat, you should try the Spanish resort of Torrevieja.
From fast food and snack bars to traditional Spanish restaurants, the by word here is ‘family-friendly’ – not just because they want your euros but because there is a genuine love of children in the resort that would put Disneyland to shame.
As a result, expect to find children’s menus in many of the eateries, and where there isn’t a kids’ option, a chat with the English-speaking staff will usually ensure smaller portions at smaller prices.
Before writing this I thought I’d check with my children about which their favourite places to eat were on our holiday in Torrevieja – this selection is what they came back with.
Muerde la Pasta
The perfect place if you want to enjoy some good budget food while the kids grab a quick snack.
Muerde la Pasta, part of a Spanish chain, knows how to keep parents and children happy. It not only serves a variety of cuisines, from traditional Spanish to pizza and pasta, but it has also made the ingenious decision to include a soft gym in its restaurant in Torrevieja.
The food here is served as a buffet, which means that fussy eaters can pick out what they like the look of and avoid the rest, while the more adventurous can dive right in. Highlights for my children (after the soft gym, of course) included the ‘Island of Desserts’ with their huge creamy ice creams and a variety of toppings.
For adults there is a range of meat and fish dishes and a good salad bar as well as the pizza and pasta options.
The adult buffet menu is €13.95.
La Pizza Nostra
If your kids are fans of pizza, and in my experience most children are, then they’re going to love the Italian restaurant La Pizza Nostra. Ask around and you’ll get the same response from all the diners: these pizzas really are the best in town.
This is not a buffet, but the staff here welcome little ones and don’t seem to mind them wandering around between courses. This leaves you free to relax and enjoy your meal without worrying too much about how your little ones are behaving.
The average price of a three-course meal here (without drinks) is around €15.
If you want to get off the beaten track and introduce your children to some traditional Spanish cuisine then Rancho Blanco, set down a dirt track out of town, is a great option. There’s a large outdoor terrace where the kids can run around and live entertainment during some evenings (my two girls adored the flamenco dancing).
Food here is rustic and Spanish, like the restaurant itself, but there are plenty of chips and pasta dishes if your little ones want to stick with what they know.
Laurel’s Restaurant & Bar
Formerly known as Laurel and Hardy’s, this reasonably priced Spanish eatery combines modern style with a relaxed holiday atmosphere.
Set just outside of town in the neighbouring Quesada, the real treat here is the rooftop terrace from which you can watch the spectacular sunset from the comfort of the outdoor sofas. Indoors, it’s linen table cloths and napkins, although the atmosphere is anything but stuffy.
The food is a little more elegant than in some of the local eateries, with a definite emphasis on Spanish cuisine. However, you’ll still find some familiar favourites including chicken Kiev and chips and a traditional Sunday roast with lamb, potatoes and even Yorkshire puddings!
The average price for a starter here is around €6 and mains range from €8.90 for BBQ Ribs to €21 for a Fillet Steak.
Things to Do with Kids in Torrevieja
If you can drag them away from the great sandy beaches and warm waters, then there is actually lots to do for young children in Torrevieja. Check out this article for some great tips including taking a mud bath (not just fun for the kids but great for your skin too) and the Aquopolis water park.
How to Get to Torrevieja
With Alicante airport a short 40-minute drive from Torrevieja, getting here couldn’t be easier. Flights to Alicante take around two hours 20 minutes and are offered by a good range of budget airlines including easyJet, Ryanair, Flybe, Thomas Cook Airlines and Monarch.
Top tip: Save yourself the hassle of queuing for taxis or getting on crowded buses from the airport with tired children in tow by booking an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct before you set off. Economical group transfers are available from Alicante directly to Torrevieja.
Where to Stay:
Casas Holiday Miramar IV – Enjoy a comfortable home away from home at the Casas Holiday Miramar IV budget apartments. At a two minutes’ walk from the beach, there are also a swimming pool, tennis court and table tennis table for the kids to enjoy. Best of all, it’s less than two miles from the Aquopolis Water Park!
Torremar – Another great budget option: the apartments at Torremar. Slightly further from the beach, these apartments have a lovely garden the kids can run around in and a great pool with paddling area for the little ones.
Eveline 3B – For a more stylish, traditional Spanish feel just one minute from the beach (and still at a reasonable price), the apartments at Eveline 3B are a great option. The pretty, secure garden has two outdoor pools and free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct is the leading provider of airport transfers across Europe and North Africa and offers the easiest way of getting to your destination with young children. Simply book a private car or an economical shared group transfer using the online booking system before you set off and a driver will be waiting for you when you arrive.
No queuing, no waiting, no bartering, no stress.