Two decades of ‘restaurante’ Vino Mio in the heart of Malaga

by Lorraine Williamson

MÁLAGA – Twenty years ago there were plenty of cars whereas nowadays Spaniards and tourists stroll through streets closed to traffic. The Picasso Museum and many other museums did not exist yet. Tourists still preferred cities such as Seville and Granada. But now, Malaga is also buzzing, and ‘restaurante’ Vino Mio is in the perfect location.

When Hélène Mostertman arrived in Málaga in the year 2000, the restaurants in this Southern Spanish city served exclusively Spanish and local dishes with a pizzeria or falafel place here and there. Nevertheless, the young Dutch entrepreneur dared to start her fusion restaurant. A few months before, two other restaurants with more or less the same concept opened in the historic centre; Citron and Clandestino. These were immediately embraced by the local population. The Malagueños loved trying something new. “People often waited patiently for hours for a table,” says Hélène. 

Spaniards eat late, often after 10.00 pm. Therefore, to bring life to the quiet hours before, Hélène soon started organising flamenco performances and served as a pioneer in exotic dishes including kangaroo and crocodile meat. 

Love at first bite… 

For nine years, Hélène had travelled and worked in different countries looking for the best place to open a restaurant. Through good friend – and later co-founder – Marco, she ended up in Málaga. Three years later after a major renovation, in 2003 and during Semana Santa, they opened Vino Mio in Calle Álamos, very close to Plaza de la Merced. Twenty years on, and after a move to the current location, Hélène Mostertman is a well-known figure in the city centre. However, her mission is still the same as two decades ago: to make her guests happy with a special experience and the best dishes she encountered during her travels. 

Vino Mio terrace

Top Fifteen of restaurants in Malaga

By now, almost everyone knows Vino Mío or has eaten there. Whether they are Spaniards, foreign residents in and around the city or tourists. The fact that the restaurant is standard in the top fifteen of the best restaurants in Málaga by Tripadvisor does contribute to this. Quite an achievement when you consider that, according to the same ranking, Malaga currently has no fewer than 2,269 restaurants. 

Dinner show with flamenco 

Also this anniversary year there is a fantastic dinner show every evening at Vino Mio. A singer, dancer and guitarist ensure an unforgettable evening. Instead of eating inside at the flamenco show, people can also choose to enjoy a romantic dinner outside on the cosy terrace of the square in front of Teatro Cervantes. 

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Art and Wenda Douma 

Inside the restaurant, Hélène also offers her customers the opportunity to enjoy a very varied range of art. Since its opening in 2003, more than 150 artists have exhibited in Vino Mio. Now the Dutch artist Wenda Douma, with her work in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, conducts the exhibitions. In addition to Douma’s work, the walls of Vino Mio also display works of art by other international artists. Wenda’s own house, ‘Casa Adnew’, is a fantastic art lending and museum. In addition to selling and renting out art, she also gives advice. 

Award from the Municipality of Málaga 

Because Hélène, in addition to making her guests happy, also likes to contribute to a better world, she set up the project ‘Heal the World‘. Inspired by Michael Jackson’s song of the same name, she has been working with a different NGO every two months since April 2019. For this project, the entrepreneur also received an award from Málaga Mayor Francisco de la Torre on March 8 last year (International Women’s Day). Each year, this award goes to local female talent in the city in recognition of their commitment to equality and opportunity. 

IWD Award to Vino Mio owner

Opening hours 

Vino Mio is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7.00 pm. From Friday to Sunday, you can also enjoy a delicious lunch from 1.00 pm. With a ‘cocina non-stop’, the kitchen is open continuously until 11.00 pm. Crocodile and kangaroo meat is currently available by reservation only. 

For reservations and more information: 

Follow VinoMio on Instagram and Facebook. Other projects by Hélène: Apartamentos Coronado Málaga and Planeta Detalles 

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