A chiringuito is usually a bar or a restaurant on a beach – and one of the most famous ones in Nerja, is called Ayo. Like most chiringuitos, outdoors, it is a simple construction with a partly roofed wooden terrace. On the menu, you will find tapas, fried and grilled food and paella – the paella being the star of the show. However, the fresh fish and seafood are also highly recommended. Located right on Burriana Beach, is not just a restaurant. It’s a theatrical experience – and we recommend you go early if you want to get a seat, because it is amazingly popular, almost from the minute it opens. For more than fifty years, this chiringuito has been famous for its paellas, cooked on open wooden fires. The owner, Francisco Ortega Olalla ‘Ayo’, is an almost legendary character in Nerja – as is his family run beachfront restaurant.
The great thing about Ayo is that it’s a paella buffet. You only pay once for the paella you have ordered and you can use your plate as often as you like to get another serving from the chef. Just right for those with a big appetite! The paella fires get stoked up at about noon.
Recommended to us by a friend, we’ve been every time we’ve visted Nerja. It’s completely laid back, in that you can stay as long as you wish, but there’s a real hustle and bustle as dishes are served and people go backwards and forwards to the paella pans for fill ups. It’s also in the perfect place if you fancy lunch on the beach – you can leave all of your belongings on your sunbeds, if you can see them, and have a leisurely time, under the vines, whilst the sun is at its most intense.