Plaza del Socorro
El Mercadillo, the ‘new’ town contains the popular Plaza del Socorro, central hub of the modern city and a plaza of great political significance, it was here that Blas Infante, father of Andalucian nationalism, first unfurled the Andalucian flag. Executed by Franco’s forces, Infante is memorialised by a statue and a beautiful paseo overlooking el Tajo. Plaza del Socorro is surrounded by restaurants and bars with some notable gems including La Taberna, a favourite with locals, Casa Ortega, where you can get a great zumo narañja and sliced jamon iberico de bellota cut by a cortador. This café restaurant has a great wine list and a rooftop terrace overlooking the square. Sample a leisurely tapa at one of the many bars, watching the world go by, then head down one of the shady side streets towards the bullring and the old town. This square is perhaps the most visited in Ronda but is still frequented by locals throughout the day and well into the night. Once the site of a muslim chapel, Nuestra Señora del Socorro chimes out the hour and startles the pigeons every time.
Beneath the plaza is a brilliant underground car park, numerous side streets hide a host of bars, cafes and restaurants including the fabulous Tragata, the more traditional El Porton and opposite the bull ring the aptly named Restaurante Pedro Romero. The main shopping street Carrera Espinel is a pedestrianised street with a wide variety of high street and independent shops and side streets selling pretty much everything. El Mercadillo is the modern, bustling heart of Ronda and although it lacks the historic appeal of the old town, it nonetheless has an authenticity that gives it a certain charm.