Though Valencia’s tapas culture varies from that of cities such as Seville and Madrid, a trip to Valencia wouldn’t be complete without visiting a tapas bar or two.
While it is not unheard of to move from bar to bar, tasting different tapas at each stop in Valencia, it is considered more authentic to stay at one bar and order several dishes to share. Despite the fact that many hotels in Valencia have their own restaurants, we’re sure you’ll want to head into town to soak up the culture and grab a bite to eat.
Let us whet your appetite with a list of recommended places to stop at for tapas tasting in Valencia:
If you’re still struggling to make a decision after perusing our list of recommendations, you may like to book onto one of the many available tapas tours for your Valencia holidays.
This bar is sometimes referred to as The Caves in English, and is a great place to introduce yourself to the flavours of Spanish tapas. You’ll find an extensive selection of tasty traditional tapas, as well as some alternative options that are particularly adventurous.
The setting in itself is impressive, as you’ll be wining and dining in the unique underground catacombs from which the bar gets its name. The walls are lined with Valencian ceramics, ensuring that your dining experience here is unlike any other.
Tasca Angel is not a particularly pretty place to eat, with strip lighting and a plain bar. But don’t be fooled. If you’re looking for sardines, this is really the only place to go. The fish are butterflied and grilled, and are quite simply delicious.
The menu is relatively simple but the quality is unbeatable. Head here for a friendly, atmospheric buzz and fascinating decor. If you like seafood, be sure to try their mussels and cuttlefish, which are well known to be absolutely superb.
Casa Montana is legendary among Valencians. This bar has a slightly more upmarket feel than most other tapas bars and offers some unique tapas, particularly for those who enjoy seafood dishes.
This is also the go to tapas bar if you are a wine enthusiast as the owner is a qualified sommelier (wine waiter) and a prominent figure in the local wine scene. The members of staff are able to make excellent wine recommendations to suit both your tastes and your budget – prepare to be amazed.
For something a little different, consider Sagardi for a taste of the Basque approach to tapas. Pinchos are essentially slices of bread with innovative toppings – think bite-sized bruschetta. This bar lacks some of the ambience of other tapas bars, but does have a more upmarket feel.
If you haven’t been before, the system can be a little confusing at first. You grab a plate and select what you want, essentially as you would at a buffet. Then you hang on to the cocktail sticks so that the staff can tell what you’ve eaten when it’s time for la cuenta (the bill).
Calle de Caballeros
This recommendation is not a bar – it’s actually a street in the old town area of Valencia.
If you’re interested in the bar-hopping approach to tapas, this is the place to do it. Though it may not be an authentic Valencian pastime, it’s unlikely that any of the locals will call you out on it. With a vibrant atmosphere and numerous bars, a stroll along Calle de Caballeros is a great way to spend an evening, as well as an enjoyable way to assemble your evening meal. The majority of the bars hang chalkboard menus outside so it’s easy to pick places that have dishes you like. Consider popping into Pepita Pulgarita, Taberna Caballeros, or Cava Siglos, to name but a few of the fantastic options on this bustling street.
If you don’t feel inclined to eat your way through the tapas bars suggested above during your holidays to Valencia, the city has plenty of other options. Valencia is home to a fantastic culinary scene, with six restaurants boasting Michelin stars and over 8,000 other bars, cafes, and restaurants.
The city is particularly well known for its arroces ( rice dishes), as an astounding 30 per cent of Spain’s rice is produced in the Valencia region. The most famous of these dishes is paella, though Valencia paella notably doesn’t include seafood. If you’re looking for a more adventurous rice dish, arroz negro (black rice) is a bizarre classic, in which the rice is flavoured and coloured with squid ink. Whatever your tastes, you’re sure to find something you’ll love in Valencia.
If you’re still struggling to make a decision after perusing our list of recommendations, you may like to book one of the many tapas tours available in Valencia.