Valencia is the birth place of paella and the Valencians take great pride in this. In fact a lot of Spanish culture revolves around food as meal times are seen as an important social gathering - lunch breaks in Spain are rarely shorter than 2 hours! So, with food as a key component of Spanish culture, here are the top places to eat in Valencia.
1. Entretorres, Old Town
Entretorres is a quiet and unassuming restaurant located in the old town, El Carmen. The decoration is simple, the servers are casual and the atmosphere is relaxed. But this doesn’t mean they take a relaxed approach to food! This restaurant produces some of the best seafood dishes Valencia has to offer - that’s why you’ll always find the locals there. All the dishes are of high quality but ask the waiters for their recommendations, as they will definitely have an opinion on what you should try. They offer a variety of paella and other traditional Spanish dishes.
Tip: If you want an authentic Valencian paella, ring in advance as these can take over two hours to prepare.
Address: Carrer dels Cavellers, 35
2. La Genuina, Pinedo
La Genuina is located in a small town on the outskirts of the city, but if you’re looking for some gorgeous tasting home-cooked paella it is certainly worth the taxi ride. In a small charming white cottage you will find a cosy restaurant serving a variety of seasonal seafood, the most popular being the house paella. Make sure to make a reservation in advance to avoid disapoinment.
Address: Carrera del Rui, 283
3. Bodega Casa Montana
Probably one of the oldest restaurants in Valencia is Casa Montana. Opened in 1836, the restautant gives the impression of having stopped time. Decorated with old wine barrels and traditional Spanish dark wood furnishings, eating here feels like stepping back in time. That’s not to say the food is stale or boring - far from it! Serving adventurous seafood dishes coupled with an ever-changing wine list, all customers can expect to enjoy a high quality meal.
Bodega Casa Montana
Address: Carrer de Josep Benlliure, 69
4. La Pappardella
Not many people would expect a non-Spanish restaurant on a list of the best places to eat in Valencia, but Italian restaurant La Pappardella is worthy of its spot. Focusing on pasta dishes, this restaurant is not your average Italian. Serving creations such as pasta with vodka and red curry sauce, head chef Vincenzo’s adventurous pasta creations put a spin on the traditional traveller comfort food.
Housed in an early 20th-century building, these new age dishes are juxtaposed with vintage decor and jazz music, creating a unique dining experience for all customers. Definitely worthy of an instagram post or two.
Address: Calle Bordadores, 5
5. Palace Fesol
Another restaurant with impressive historic roots is Palace Fesol which has over a century’s experience in satisfying customers’ cravings. Specializing in Valencian cuisine, this is the place to go if you want to sample local dishes. The food here is locally sourced each day and the waiters will recommend you try the catch of the day which will be served with deliciously fresh vegetables. The popularity of this restaurant is due to the wonderfully tasting food and cosy family feel.
Address: Carrer d'Hernan Cortes, 7
6. Submarino, City of Arts and Sciences
For lovers of the ocean, the restaurant in the Oceanografic building is the only place to eat. You can enjoy your dinner whilst observing fish and sharks enjoying theirs! The restaurant offers a variety of food including meat, fish and vegetarian dishes on a fixed menu of two entrees, one main and one desert. The unusual dining experience is great for date night as you’re surrounded by calming waters and beautiful tropical fish.
Address: City of Arts and Sciences, Av. Eduardo Primo Yufera, 1B
If you’re looking for dinner with some spectacular views of the city then Vertical is your place. With panoramic views overlooking the City of Arts and Sciences, Vertical is the ideal place to splash some cash. Once you’re done sampling their modern twists on traditional dishes, head up to the Sky Bar on the roof. This terrace bar is ideal for relaxing and star gazing at the end of a long day. Feast your eyes and your belly in this perfect restaurant/bar combo.
Address: Hotel Ilunion Aqua, Calle Luis Gercia Berlanga, 19
Website: Restaurante Vertical (in Spanish)
Another claimant to the title of ‘Best Restaurant for Traditional Valencian Food’ is the ever-popular Restaurante Navarro. Handily located in the centre of the city, this restaurant takes pride in its Valencian roots. Produce is sourced every day from the Ruzafa market, ensuring that what they serves is of the highest quality.
The restaurant is owned and run by one family. Currently the third generation of chefs are at the helm which means that each guest is treated like family and gets to sample some of the secret family recipes. The extensive menu has something for even the fussiest eaters - just make sure you leave room for dessert!
Address: Carrer de l'Arquebisbe Mayoral, 5
Open: Mon-Fri: 1:30pm-4:00pm, Sat: 1:30-4:00pm/8:00pm-11:00pm, Sun: CLOSED
9. Dulche de Leche Bakery
Perhaps you’ve had your fill of seafood and you’re looking for somewhere to satisfy your sweet tooth? Dulche de Leche has got you covered. Dulche de Leche is the creme de le creme of cake shops. The cakes are to die for - ranging from the gloriously tempting Oreo cookie cake to the refreshing summer berries tart - there truly is something for everyone. Rush hour here is between 11:30am and 1:00pm so be sure to arrive early to grab a table. Alternatively head there in the afternoon as a well deserved break from sightseeing.
Dulche de Leche
Address: Carrer del Pinto Gisbert, 2
Valencia is a very celiac friendly city with almost all restaurants providing a few gluten free option on their menus. Which is exactly why it’s perfect that it is also home to gluten-free only bakeries. Celiacruz takes its responsibility to the celiac community very seriously - any substance containing gluten is banned from the premises. The owners are also aware that many gluten-free products are pricier than the regular, so they do their best to keep prices low. Head to Celiacruz to indulge in cakes and seasonal fancies such as roscon de kings, fartons or easter monkeys.
Address: C/ Cuba, 54
Experience Valencia through your stomach
The key to a happy traveller is to be a well-fed traveller. Take advantage of Valencia’s pride in paella or the creativity of the local chefs and try some of the exquisite dishes they have to offer.
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