Chiringuitos are an important part of Spanish coastal heritage. These small shack-style bars and restaurants that sit on the edge of the beach may look modest, but they are often one of the best places in town to sample some fish that is fresh off the boat.
Chiringuito Denver Playa is a perfect example of this. It is the first of the chiringuitos along the long stretch of beach that heads towards Salou.
The menu offers a wide variety of seafood, plus options for any meat lovers or vegetarians in the group. If you are spending a day lounging on the beach, when hunger strikes, you will not even have to leave the warm sands of the beach to re-fuel for some further strenuous sun bathing.
This page provides a full review of Chiringuito Denver Playa: the sort of food on offer, the service provided, the décor of the restaurantand the prices
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The food at Chiringuito Denver Platja
On first viewing the menu at Chiringuito Denver it can seem daunting. There are lots of options, and it is difficult to know where to begin. However, take a look around the small dining area, and you will notice that none of the locals seem to be paying the menus much attention. This is the key to the charm of Chiringuito Denver - menus are somewhat redundant as the choices on offer depend on what has been caught in the fishermen's nets that very morning.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to explain to the waiters what your budget is and they will do what they can with what you can afford. I enjoyed a large plate of fresh grilled sardines, mussels, calamari and sepia (a small grilled octopus). The food is cooked with respect for the ingredients - with food as fresh as this, little more than a sprinkling of salt and a wedge of lemon is needed.
However, if you are not a seafood lover, you shouldn't rule out Chiringuito Denver as an option. They also offer a range of typical Spanish tapas such as chorizo and tortilla de patatas (a traditional Spanish omelette of potatoes). Also, the restaurant seem to do a roaring trade in affordable 'platos combinados'. These are plates of food that we are used to seeing in places such as the UK, offering mountains of options such as bacon, egg and chips.
The décor at Chiringuito Denver Platja
The beauty of eating at Chiringuito Denver is that the beach itself is all the décor you will need. Diners can enjoy the shade of a roof, whilst the walls to the restaurants are open, allowing you to take in the beautiful views of the beach and the ocean. Of course, this leaves you at the mercy of the elements, so if it is a windy day, you can expect to be placing pepper mills and wine bottles at each corner of the table, to prevent the tablecloth from blowing away. This also means that there is no air conditioning, so, in the height of the summer, if the shade of the roof is not enough, you may choose to head for somewhere indoors to take a break from the mid-day heat.
Tables and chairs in the restaurants are functional and understated - metal covered with cushions on the chairs and a square of paper on the tables.
The service at Chiringuito Denver Platja
All of the staff who I came into contact with at Chiringuito Denver were extremely friendly. The atmosphere is relaxed. However, the service is prompt, and the waiters are knowledgeable. Before introducing themselves to you, the waiters will ask what language you wish to speak in. If they cannot speak the language themselves, they will find a colleague to take over who can converse with you in the language that you're after. It is impressive to watch the waiters switch between Catalan, Castellano, French, English and German.
As explained above, a large portion of the food offered at Chiringuito Denver is 'off-menu'. This could be a potentially daunting experience. However, the waiters put you immediately at your ease. My waiter offered me a plate containing a whole fresh fish with chipirones (baby octopus) and langoustines. I bashfully explained that it was not quite within my budget for the day. The waiter made me feel comfortable about this. I was told that it was not a problem at all and was given a variety of other options that did suit my requirements.
In a nutshell
Chiringuito Denver is part of a dying breed of traditional and local beach restaurants in Catalunya. Whether you're after a coffee, a big plate of satisfying comfort food, or the showstopping fresh fish, it's a place to while away the hours in the outdoor settings. Welcoming staff and a local atmosphere could see you coming back here for your seaside lunch every day of your holiday.
Chiringito Denver Platja
Carrer Montroig, 9
43850 Cambrils, España.
Tel: +34 97 736 0023