Are you interested to know what to eat when you visit València? Well, let us tell you, València oozes with sumptuous food and drink produced from the locally grown crops of the region – it is a beautiful city of culinary delight!
How about where to find this amazing food? We tried and tested some incredible restaurants and cafés in València and have compiled what we think are the best places to eat in València.
We were so buzzed by the delicious food and amazing restaurants in València that we couldn’t wait to share our favourites with you.
So, here is what to eat and where to eat in València.
What To Eat?
Local dishes include fartons; soft, sweet sugar-glazed cakes dipped in horchata; the local drink made from tiger nuts and Valèncian paella.
Fancy a refreshing alcoholic tipple? Order an Agua de València cocktail which was first created in Café Madrid in 1959. It’s made with champagne or cava, fresh (Valèncian) orange juice, vodka and/or gin. Check out El Altaseis for an evening sample (or five!).
Paella originated in Spain and many believe it is Spain’s national dish. Actually, it originated from the area around the Albufera lagoon, just outside of València. So, really is València’s local dish.
Despite many takes on the paella, the original Valèncian recipe consists of white rice, green beans, chicken, duck and rabbit, white beans and snails. Make you sure find some!
Every day, we wiled away the afternoons in little squares enjoying three course menú del día (menu of the day) and drinking glasses of wine. While the long balmy evenings were spent wandering between different tapas bars, sampling the Rioja and a few of their tapas dishes before moving on to the next.
We really loved eating in València and are so excited to share some of our favourite foods and restaurants we discovered for lunch and dinner in this beautiful city.
The pace of València is relaxed and so, we opted for rather more sedate and chilled long lunches rather than our normal ‘smash and grab’ situation.
Spanish food culture is such that lunch is the most important meal of the day and generally is larger, often multi-coursed.
Choosing the menú del día (menu of the day) is a great way to experience the culture, amazing food and relaxed ambience all in one sitting.
Some ‘lazy long lunch’ places we found and loved are below.
Set to the back of a little square in the heart of the old town is Cafe Infanta with their outside tables sitting in the shade of a bunch of trees. This was our debut ‘long lazy lunch’ in the city and we loved it.
It was €14.95 for the menú del día; three courses including a drink and bread.
Maria Mendiles is another alfresco lunch spot but a little more budgety and a little less long and lazy compared to others we’d eaten at. Plus, we were surrounded by a few more English accents…
€9.95 for the menú del día including three courses, a drink, bread and coffee.
What a little local gem! Cafe Museu is set next to the Centre del Carme and is very much a local bar that offers occasional food, mainly at lunchtimes.
They cook a huge pan of amazingly tasty paella on Sundays and offer it for €5.80 a portion.
The Castilla y León vino tinto (red wine) for €2.50 a glass is light, smooth and moorish.
It’s great to just sit and relax there during the afternoon or for pre-dinner drinks.
Restaurants On The Way To Es Saler Beach
Restaurante Genuina – a little local restaurant a few roads back from Playa can Pinedo. The menu and local reviews looked great.
Alquería de la Mar – this is a highly popular restaurant with a gorgeous shaded terrace – book in advance!
Arroceria L’Estibador – set on Playa de la Dunas de Pinedo, beautiful views into the ocean…and the nudist beach. We managed to squeeze onto a table early Saturday lunch time but would recommend booking in advance.
Taberna El Olivo
We luckily stumbled upon Taberna El Olivo ambling through Barrio del Carmen on our first day. Enjoy incredibly tasty and local tapas while sat under an olive tree.
We couldn’t get enough of the place and came here for tapas and drinks three times during our four night stay, returning not only for the great food but the electric atmosphere and friendly staff. Every time we visited, the restaurant was busy and buzzing with locals.
The Rioja was incredibly smooth and at €2.20 a glass, it was hard to turn down.
Our two favourite dishes were morcilla de burgos and carne con padron, both of which were ordered again after just one bite.
If we’re lucky enough to return to València, this is the first place we’ll be making a bee-line for.
Take this as a heads up from us – late on a Saturday night during summer in the old town is not the best time to be on the prowl for dinner without a reservation. We’re sometimes a little too confident for our own good and thought we’d be able to squeeze in somewhere.
We walked to a bunch of places we’d spotted and earmarked during the day and they were all full. After 45 minutes of ambling around with growling tummies we took a random left down an alley we’d not been before and struck GOLD!
We’d discovered iO, a little restaurant set in a low-lit square and as we turned the corner a couple left a table – boom, we’re in!
The food was incredible and very reasonably priced. After ordering two dishes – beef carpaccio with grilled aubergineand pork sausages in honey – somehow at 11pm we thought we needed two more. This time, salad “Tutti-plen” and king prawns coconut coated and filo wrapped. Of course, desert was required just before midnight and is something we still salivate over – chocolate brownie with caramel ice cream and warm chocolate. Gaahhhhh…
Sorry, but the food didn’t last long enough to get any photos of it…
The wine was sensational, the atmosphere buzzy and service fantastic.
Do not even take time to consider it. Just. Do. It.
So, there are our favourite food and favourite places to eat in València. We told you it was going to be epic! If you are lucky enough to find yourself in València, be sure to give these places a whirl and let us know how you liked them.
We hope you love eating in València as much as we did – let us know if you find any hidden gems or food you loved! It might just tempt us some more to go back.