Valencia Restaurants and Dining
(Valencia, Valencian Community, Spain)
Known for its classical Mediterranean cuisine and simple Spanish dishes, restaurants and dining venues in Valencia are popular with both visitors and locals. Valencia features an enviable location along the Mediterranean coast, and many restaurants in Valencia understandably choose to specialise in seafood, using freshly caught fish of all kinds.
When dining in the city Valencia, be prepared to eat at the same times as the locals. Breakfast (desayuno) always takes place early in the morning, with many tourists in Valencia choosing to eat at their hotel restaurants, or in nearby coffee shops, where pastries are always popular.
Lunch (la comida) generally commences in midafternoon, between 14:00 and 16:00, during Valencia's siesta time, when most restaurants become particularly busy. Although an increasing number of restaurants in Valencia now open for early evening dinner at around 18:00 onwards, this is aimed at tourists and those whoa are used to dining at this time. Dinner (cena) in Valencia starts from around 21:00, with many of the main restaurants and dining venues remaining open until midnight or later, particularly at the weekends.
Where to Eat
Many traditional restaurants in Valencia serve a variety of tasty local Spanish specialities, which include paellas (which actually originated in Valencia), tortillas (omelettes), hot soups (sopas), cold meats and salads, fried squid, meat-based stews, baked rice dishes and kebabs (pinchos morunos).
A number of more cosmopolitan restaurants, dining venues and bars and widespread throughout central Valencia and offer a range of international cuisine, including Chinese, French, Indian, Italian and Mexican restaurants. Many of the best restaurants stand along the streets close to the university campus, often standing alongside high-rise glass skyscrapers. For luxury restaurants and fine dining in Valencia, head to the Cánovas area, which borders the Old Quarter. Here you will find number of historic buildings which have been converted into superb restaurants, including some of the best in Valencia. Also, Valencia's Barrio del Carmen neighborhood is also known for its exclusive palatial-style restaurants.
For those visiting Valencia with a less cultured and adventurous palate, a selection of restaurants specialise in English and British-style cuisine, where steaks, fish and chips, salads and buffets are available. Fast-food restaurants can also be found in central Valencia and are ideal for those looking for a quick burger or pizza snack.
Tapas bars and restaurants are always popular in Valencia are plentiful across the city, particularly in the historic Old Quarter and around the Plaza de la Reina. These bars offer a large selection of small savoury snacks, which are often free. Designed to be the perfect accompaniment to wines, Valencia's Tapas bars can become busy at lunchtimes. The main types of Tapas in Valencia include local cheeses, stuffed olives, anchovies, prawns, and potato chips. A number of dining venues in Valencia also serve 'recion', a large and more filling version of Tapas.
Some of the most popular restaurants in Valencia are close to the beaches and seafront, with magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea from the tables. Many hotels along Valencia's impressive coastline also feature their own restaurants, which are usually inexpensive and welcome non-guests, with menus in different languages.