Valencia is a place of history and culture, but this wisdom and beauty doesn’t just stop at buildings and knowledge- it also applies to food. Flanked by the Mediterranean Sea on one side and farming country on the other, Valencians have their pick of every type of fresh ingredient imaginable and they don’t waste it. From paella to tapas, Valencia doesn’t disappoint with some of the best food available. When visiting this amazing city, specifically looking for places to eat in Valencia or not, you must try at least some of these beautiful local dishes on your way.
Even if you’re more of a comfort muncher and less of an adventurer, you’ve probably heard of the Spanish dish, Paella. You may not know that this dish actually comes from Valencia. This delicious mix of rice, vegetables, meat and fish can be done a thousand ways- but if you haven’t tried authentic Valencian paella, you’re missing out! There are thousands of amazing paella restaurants dotted all over the town, but the best paella in Valencia is the one you prefer. Having said that, Marina Restaurante does a great selection!
A speciality mostly only found in Valencia and the surrounding areas, this dish roughly translates to ‘black rice’. It gets its name because, yes you guessed it, it’s dyed black. Thanks to some cuttlefish or squid ink, this dramatic rice dish stands out on any table, but it doesn’t just look good. Flavoured with garlic, fish and spices it’s cooked in a similar way to paella but manages to taste completely different!
Arros a banda
You’re probably noticing a trend here and yes, Valencians love rice. We can’t blame them with the amazing variety of delicious dishes they’ve managed to create. This dish is another delicious rice creation. Packed with various seafood and flavoured with extra fish stock and strong garlic mayonnaise, this mouth-watering dish is traditionally made using leftover Valencian catch.
Fortunately for us, Valencians don’t just eat rice! This dish focuses on salted cod, covered in spiced peppers and doused in olive oil for a flavourful strong-tasting dish. Although not known for it, the tapas Valencia has is every bit as good as the rest of Spain. This fish dish is usually eaten with bread and, as a Valencian favourite, can easily be found in almost every tapas bar across the entire city.
If you’re a fan of doughnuts, you must try the Valencian version. Like other Valencian food, these doughnut-like balls are taken to the next level with a sweet pumpkin batter and a lot of sugar! Enjoy with chocolate or by themselves for a tasty treat.
In Valencia, food is more of an art than a science. There are various ways to make and eat these sweet and long pastries but, whichever way they’re made, they’re super fun to eat! Covered in sugar, they’re especially delicious dipped in a nice cool glass of horchata, vegetable milk made from tiger nuts. Find this combination at cafés across the city and don’t hold back on the toppings (trust us!).
Falling in love with Valencia already? We don’t just post Valencia food guides, check out our other articles where we go into more detail on the intricacies of Spanish culture and customs. Or, have a peep at our design led student accommodation, Marina Real (and maybe a little google about surrounding restaurants!).