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Best Valencia restaurants: travel guide

Best Valencia restaurants: travel guide

Best Valencia restaurants: travel guide

It’s a foodie dream and a city you want to wander – discover our picks for the best Valencia restaurants. Though smaller than Barcelona and Madrid, it is quickly establishing itself as a culinary destination with a thriving restaurant scene.
The Valencian region has 22 Michelin-star restaurants under its belt, acknowledging its gastronomical prowess.
Aside from fine-dining, you are spoilt for choice for restaurants in the city of Valencia.  

Best Valencia restaurants for Paella

No trip to Valencia is complete without trying the traditional dish: paella.

Although paella has become synonymous with Spanish cuisine, the dish originates from Valencia where the rice is grown.

Despite its different variations, the traditional paella valenciana is made with chicken, rabbit, green beans and garrófo (butter beans).

Borja Azcutia

Not a touristy place but classy, authentic and beloved by locals. They serve a perfectly executed paella Valenciana, also with duck.

Arrocería Duna

If you want to get back to the roots and eat paella in its birthplace, take a trip to Albufera. A short bus ride out of the city, you will find the wild beach of El Saler and this dreamy restaurant.

Restaurante Canela

For something reasonably priced located in the city centre try this restaurant right next to the historic Torres de Quart.

Find best paella restaurants in Valencia Spain

 

Best Valencia restaurants for Tapas

When visiting Spain, tapas is a must!

The term “tapas” actually refers to any small appetizer.

Valencian culture is largely about sharing food so tapas is perfect as you can get many dishes to share as a table. Practice your Spanish as you delve into these delicious spots

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Central Bar

This tapas bar is probably the best well-known in Valencia.

Run by valencian-born michelin-star chef Ricard Camarena, the bar is located in the heart of Mercado Central. It has an unmatchable ambiance and is always busy. It is the perfect place for a mid-morning glass of wine and the roast chicken croquettes are exceptional.

Bar Rausell

Bar Rausell is known for being one of the most classic establishments in Valencia with a barra – the traditional way of displaying the tapas at the bar.

Their most loved dishes are their patatas bravas and sepia con mayonesa (cuttlefish with mayonnaise).

Bar Ricardo

Like Rausell, Bar Ricardo has been around for decades.

Though not a fancy place, the extraordinary quality of the tapas makes up for the rustic interior. Try the patatas bravas and the montaditos (small sandwiches).

Find the best tapas restaurants in Valencia Spain

Best for fusion food

Valencian has gained recognition for its innovative chefs and creative dishes, establishing it as more than just paella!

Canalla Bistro

A dinner at this trendy Ruzafa bistro is one of the best restaurants for understanding how Valencian gastronomy has flourished in recent years.

The informal downtown restaurant of Michelin-star chef Ricard Camarena, the tasting menu focuses on local ingredients inspired by international street food.

Gallina Negra

Located in one of the main streets of El Carmen, Gallina Negra offers an innovative menu with creative twists on classic dishes.

The restaurant has a fresh feel with stylish and minimalist design. They also serve what has been nicknamed the best cheesecake in Valencia!

Karak

This restaurant is highly acclaimed for its chef, Rakel Cernicharo, former winner of Top Chef. Cernicharo made her fame thanks to her creative and fusion recipes. She plays with textures and international inspiration. The restaurant is located inside Hotel One Shot Mercat 09, a classy hotel in the city center.

Best Valencia restaurants travel and foodie guide

Best Valencia restaurants based on product

Spain is lucky to be able to produce a lot of its own ingredients. Certain restaurants in Valencia showcase the highest calibre of different local ingredients.

Askua

This restaurant is Michelin-star quality due to the level of product. Though not as innovative as Michelin-star winners, it has the best steak tartare in all of Spain. It also is known for its extensive wine menu.

Bocamada

Fish lovers need look no further than Bocamada.

This classy restaurant situated in the Ruzafa district of Valencia has an extensive fish menu. The must-try dish here is the lubina al sal (salted sea bass).

Civera Marisquerías

This restaurant is the best option for all things shellfish and seafood. They are known for their spectacular crab and lobster dishes in particular.

Best Valencia restaurants travel guide
 

Valencia foodie experiences

If you are looking for a unique dining experience, try a Sea Saffron tour.

This young company’s experiences are the top-rated activity on TripAdvisor for a reason. They combine a cultural walking tour with a tasting menu of local gastronomy paired with regional wines: all in an unforgettable setting.

The menus are changed seasonally to showcase the best of local produce alongside a wine selection chosen to surprise and delight.

Choose between two emblematic venues of Valencia.

Discover the modern side of the city and the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex before ascending to the highest rooftop in Valencia for panoramic views.

Or for something steeped in history and culture, opt for a tour of Valencia Old Town before dining in an intimate venue set in the original 11th Century city walls!

Whichever you choose, you will enjoy the finest of Valencian flavours with a focus on local providers and regional winemakers. Sea Saffron invites you to discover the best of what the Valencian region has to offer, in a truly unique way.

3 ways to find a food tour in Italy (and why you should)

3 ways to find a food tour in Italy (and why you should)

If there’s any culture in the world that can tell its story through cuisine, it’s the Italians who’ll shine, and precisely why you should seek a food tour in Italy.

We’ve been lucky enough to explore various parts, from Milan across to Venice, Tuscany and Rome, everywhere we’ve gone on a culinary trip.

Our 3 favourite types of food tours in Italy

Find a walking food tour in Italy

There’s nothing quite like discovering a place through the eyes of a local. Everywhere in the world has its own culinary traditions and stories. Italy is of course, no exception.

Our week long trip in Italy this past April opened up a plethora of foodie delights we never knew existed. If we’d not found a guide to take us on a food tour (which usually included discovering local secret places too), we’d perhaps not have discovered:

Aperitivo – the best Italian tradition you’ve never heard of! Start in Milan. For a set price you buy a drink like a cocktail and can indulge in a large buffet too! Read more

Cichetti – like Spanish tapas, served at bacari, traditional bars, in Venice. Live like a local. Read more

Italian coffee culture. Start your day drinking a macchiato standing at a bar in a coffee shop. Don’t sit down out the front, you’ll look like a tourist! Cappuccinos or lattes are for the morning only, never after lunch. An espresso is ok at any time of the day. Here’s a quick guide on your options

Gelato – support local when in Italy. We discover in Italy how to keep the prices down and determine the difference between authentic and not-so… Read more

Panzerotti (deep fried pizza dough) and the place you should queue up to taste it in Milan. Read more

Why do a walking tour? It’s easy, fun and you get to live like a local for a couple of hours. Not to mention, you can grill your walking and food tour host with any questions you like. Mostly you get an authentic experience that’s inexpensive, and you can find gems off the tourist trail. We took a walking food tour in Verona and Venice, both booked on Airbnb.

 

Learn to cook

One glance across experience promoters like Airbnb or Viator shows just how many cooking tours there are around the world now. Most mean you turn up to someone’s home, or a family restaurant’s kitchen, and spend a few hours learning (or honing) a skill. It might be pasta, desserts or a uniquely local cuisine you’re learning. Either way, what better opportunity do you have to learn about a new place?

The bonus of this type of experience is you’re usually supporting a local business. Win win!

One of our most popular blogs on Travel Live Learn is about pursuing creative travel experiences including this type of trip. Have a read here.

There’s plenty of this type of class or food tour on offer all over Italy. If you have any that you’d recommend, do please share details in the comments below.

 

Organised coach tours

If you’re fully committed to spending a few days discovering Italy through the eyes of food, there are coach tours available exclusively for this purpose. A simple search, ‘food tour Italy’ brings up a number of options. You might explore the regions we did, like Milan, Verona or Venice. Or, the famous Tuscan food and wine region. There are plenty of small towns that offer amazing insight into food and wine, and if you don’t have a car, a booking like this is the way to go to not miss anything important.

An organised tour takes the stress out of figuring out what to do and may include an itinerary of a few days. You don’t have to worry about driving or finding your way – just focus on what’s important. Your taste buds!

 

We’re loving localised experiences at the moment, and it started with discovering Brussels through the lens of beer and chocolate.

Other ways you can find a food tour in your country or region of choice, might be by searching for recommendations on Tripadvisor, YouTube or running a hashtag search on Instagram for #foodtour, for example.

We discovered the Brussels option on the destination’s tourism website, and our Italy experiences (including wine tastings, which you can read about here) popped up as recommendations alongside our Airbnb bookings.

 



 

Do you have tips or a personal example to share, or even questions? Let us know in the comments 😋

 

Whitecross Street food market London

Whitecross Street food market London

Whitecross Street food market in London is a longstanding secret with locals and gets very busy at lunchtime.

This little gem has something for even the fussiest palate – including falafel, burgers, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Moroccan and my personal favourite, hog roast.

The area is also brimming with history, so take a walk around to view old buildings and plauques.

Open Monday to Friday.

 

Discover more:

Whitecross Street market website

Historical walking route: Whitecross and east London

Blog: history of Whitecross Street

Best markets in London via Conde Nast Traveller

Broadway Market east London

 

 

Eating in London

Eating in London

If you’re a foodie eating in London, you’d be mistaken to think there’s only over-cooked food and fish and chips. Far from your typical pub fare, London offers so much for the discerning foodie, especially when you know where to look.

eating in London - Mozz Tozi - travellivelearn.com

Best spots for eating in London

Fine dining

Located in London’s Victoria and serving some of the city’s finest Italian fare, diners at TOZI will find something so much more than the expected. TOZI specialises in Venetian cicchetti, or smaller sized plates designed to share as well as a selection of wood fired pizzas. Dishes at TOZI are inspired by the casual dining of the Veneto regions with a strong emphasis on seasonal and quality ingredients, sourced where possible from the best Italian producers.

Italian born, head chef Maurillo has years of experience running Italian restaurants in some of the city’s most exclusive private member clubs including Shoreditch House, and the menu reflects exactly the fine dining calibre you’d expect.

Paired with an Italian wine list and a sophisticated classic Italian (of course) cocktail menu, don’t be surprised if you find yourself already planning your return. And if you’re the type to get a bit of ‘menu paralysis’ whereby you’re unable to order when there’s just too amazing choices, you can leave the ordering in the very capable hands of the wait staff at TOZI and you won’t be disappointed.

Meals are generously portioned, deliciously fresh and cooked to perfection. And while the meals are certainly a win, it’s the friendly service that adds so much more to the experience.

The bar menu includes a signature Spritz, home-made barrel-aged Negroni and Amaro TOZI, served straight from the barrel.

eating in London - Tozi rabbit pasta - travellivelearn.com

Casual dining/street food

Truly one of the most fun places for eating in London – street food at the Brick Lane Food markets!

Located a short walk from East Aldgate and Shoreditch stations, you’ll find absolutely every cuisine you could possibly imagine (and many you didn’t even know existed!) here.

Just walking into the food market area, your senses will certainly be overcome with the buzzing atmosphere of authentic cuisines served up with pride. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon. Just make sure to arrive hungry!

And if street food isn’t your thing, while you’re in the Brick Lane market area, you can visit boutique food shops, bars, restaurants, cafes as well as a cereal bar called Cereal Killer (yes they serve boxed cereal only and yes people queue to eat it). There’s truly something for everyone here.

While you walk off those calories, enjoy the art, craft and second-hand  markets that spill out over several streets and include hundreds stalls selling clothing, artwork, handmade items, vintage items and antiques, collectibles, you name it. It’s essentially more shopping than you’d likely be able to do in a day.

eating in London 10_UK_London_Brick Lane Market_Gwen OToole travellivelearn.com

Afternoon tea

It’s the quintessential London experience to enjoy an afternoon or high tea and Scoff & Banter, located just below The Radisson Blu Edwardian, Bloomsbury Street Hotel in Covent Garden is just the place to do it.

Located a short stroll from many of the city’s theatres such as the popular Cambridge Theatre, it’s a great spot to enjoy a matinee and high-tea experience. Scoff & Banter offers afternoon tea experiences that are often themed to accompany the performance taking place at the theatre.

The afternoon experience offers a menu both adults and children will adore with the traditional tea sandwiches, scones, jam and cream and decadent sweets.

After tea, enjoy a bit of retail therapy in the popular Seven Dials shopping district loaded with a heavy mixture of international brands as well as smaller boutiques.

No matter your preference in dining styles, spending just a few days in London will still allow you to experience a whole world of delicious dining experiences.

 

About the author

Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focussing on travel, events management and food and wine. She also published a fiction novel while spending the past eight years as a magazine editor and travelling the globe before launching The Ideas Library, a creative services and event management company. She is regularly featured in a variety of travel and leisure publications and blogs.