Cafe Bar Faustino in Ronda review...

Café Bar Faustino, Calle Santa Cecilia €€

Calle Santa Cecilia 4, near Plaza Carmen Abela
open noon until very late, Tuesday through Sunday
(closed Mondays, but available for private parties by advance arrangement)
Tel: 952 190 307

Café Bar Faustino was already legendary when it closed earlier this year for a major remodel.  It has now reopened, and to the delight of patrons, it’s truly the same, but different.  Faustino still offers a hearty “Hello” as you enter.

The Serrano hams still hang over the bar, waiting to be sliced into precious tidbits.  The airy andaluz patio still beckons, with its hand-painted tables and chairs, hanging plants, and artesan tile, but now there’s seating upstairs, too.

Posters from goyescas past, photos of matadors, and other bullfighting memorabilia still adorn the walls, now augmented with new pieces.  This comprehensive exhibit of tauromachia is in the family tradition.

Matí, your waitress, and her mother Ana, the chief cook, are descended from Manuel Ordoñez-Parra, of the same family as the famous dinastia de Ronda.  One of the capes on the wall is embroidered “Jose Manuel” – Matí and Faustino’s son, who attended classes at the bullfighting school in Ronda before entering university.

And Faustino tends bar with the panache of a torrero.  Café Bar Faustino is not only a family business, but family friendly in the best sense.  Matí will warm your baby food, find a place to park grampa’s walking frame, and see to the wishes of everyone in between.

People from all walks of life and from all over the world come to Café Bar Faustino to enjoy the generous drinks, the tasty tapas, the friendly atmosphere, and the seductive charm that is truly rondeño.

Although your hosts speak only Spanish, they make an effort to help guests choose food they’ll enjoy.  Whether you’re an omnivore, a vegetarian, a vegan, or subject to allergic restrictions, you can eat well at Café Bar Faustino.

House specialties include the serranito (a slice of grilled pork loin, a slice of serrano ham, and a fried green pepper on a roll), purpetas (like a French roulade, but chubby rather than long), and Ana’s paella (traditional, loaded with calamari, tiny clams, and shrimp, available on Thursdays and Sundays).

When setas, similar to oyster mushrooms, are in season, they are the stuff of dreams.  The kitchen is very flexible, and Matí will happily have your order prepared to go.  The house tinto is drinkable, if unremarkable, and there’s Cruz Campo on tap, with tinto de verano (a refreshing concoction of red wine with citrus) in summer.

In addition, there’s an assortment of other wines, beers, and liquors.  Faustino makes great coffee to your specifications.  Another aspect that remains unchanged is how well you can eat and drink for so little money.  The service may be a bit harried and slower when it’s crowded, but you’re unlikely to find better food and drink faster for less anywhere in Ronda.

The new features are subtle:  more space, air conditioning, a water filtration system, accessible restrooms with new plumbing, and a retractable awning high above the patio.  These only serve to augment the appeal of a place that is deservedly a legend in its own time.

No pretensions, no stars, no fuss, no advertising – yet instead of all the bars famous in fact and fiction, I’d rather go to Café Bar Faustino.  See you there.

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One thought on “Café Bar Faustino, Calle Santa Cecilia €€”

  1. We had a great time in Ronda and this was our favourite restaurant. We are sending Mati and her mum the photos we took in their restaurant on our last evening. Thoroughly recommend this one!

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