A Foodie’s Guide to Valencia
It’s difficult to not eat well in Valencia. Every single paella dish you try will be different to the last one, and with the city’s easy access to freshly grown produce and its seaside location, good seafood is abundant too. Taking in either a cookery course or a wine tasting tour is worth it for those who’ll be staying in Valencia for a while, and our guide to avoiding faux pas in Spain is well worth a read before you pack your bags, too. Unsurprising for such a foodie country, the majority of foot-in-mouth situations in Spain occur around the dinner table.
Food Hall £
Plaza Ciudad de Brujas 46001 Valencia, Spain +34 963 82 91 00 mercadocentralvalencia.es
Housed in a beautiful modernist building consisting of iron, glass and ceramic domes, the Mercat Central is a feature on the Valencian skyline and a bustling and colourful morning’s excursion. We love the two weather vanes that sit atop the market’s domes: one a parrot and one a fish. With over four hundred different stalls selling everything from fresh fish to olives, chorizo, cheeses and flowers, we recommend that you go there hungry – but not too hungry!
Beachside paella at La Pepica ££
Passeig de Neptú, 6 46011 València, Spain Phone:+34 963 71 03 66 lapepica.com
Book ahead if you want a table on the beach (much more fun than sitting inside) it this famous paella restaurant that Ernest Hemingway raved about when it was just a modest hut on the beach. Not the cheapest Paella joint you’ll find in Valencia by a long shot, but worth it for a lazy Sunday lunch with friends, or a first date with a difference. Go all out and order a few starters before your paella – they’re thought to be as good as the main attraction. Service can be on the slow side, but everything’s freshly cooked to order and is certainly worth the wait.
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Requena Wine Tour ££
Asociación Ruta del Vino Utiel-Requena Calle Cuesta Carnicerías, 9 Requena, Valencia +34 962303772 rutavino.com
If you’re going to be living and working in Valencia, it’s time to get to know your wine properly. There are plenty of decent wine tasting courses to be found in this gastronomic city, but Requena tours are extremely popular with expats, and Tony is a passionate and fascinating guide who’ll tailor the pace and detail of the day to you and your group’s interests. You’ll be picked up and transported to a couple of different vineyards outside the city, you’ll be educated in the production of wine as you stroll the fields, and you’ll be treated to a superb lunch in Requena, along with tasting a range of Spanish and Valencian wines.
Tapas at Mercatbar ££
Calle de Joaquín Costa, 27 46005 Valencia, Spain +34 963 74 85 58 mercatbar.es
We’ll be honest with you now – you can get great tapas all over Valencia, but we couldn’t not recommend at least one really good place to eat tapas in this beautiful city. So let us tell you about Mercatbar. Helpful waiters and waitresses will guide you through the menu and make helpful suggestions if the choice is all too much here, and plenty of tapas aficionados have said Mercatbar does the best tapas they’ve ever had. Leave room for a Crema Catalana to finish. You’ll thank us for it.