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Jan 28, 2011 06:41 AM

VALENCIA--seeking Tapas and Paella recs

I plan to visit Valencia for a few days next month. Unfortunately, the budget here will probably not accommodate Ca'Sento. I would like to sample as much local fare as possible, but will not rule out places specializing in the food of other regions of Spain.

I would like to devote one lunch to paella. These two places are on my list, and one name given to me by a local, and I would love to hear comments about them including what type of rice dish is best to order, and also if there is a way to arrive by public transport. If not, more or less how much would a taxi cost? Is there anything I need to know beforehand about a paella lunch? (I believe I need to order in advance and that the rice dish is served for a minimum of two persons, correct?)

La Matandeta in Alfafar

L'Establiment in El Palmar

Nou Raco

I think we will plan a mix of stand-up at the bar and sit-down places for the other meals. This is what I have so far; please comment and add other ideas and recommendations for each place..

Ca'an Bermel (tapas and sit down)

Tasca Angel (tapas) sardine specialist

Casa Montana in Cabanal (tapas and sit down)

Casa Jomi in Natzaret (tapas; is this a shaky neighborhood?)


Any good eating inside the food market?

We get along well in Spanish and would prefer to visit places that are not mobbed with tourists...

Many thanks!!

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  1. My fave bars for classic tapas, at the counter, are:
    Amparin at Joaquin Navarro 26, closest Metro: Patraix. Recs: Sepia rebozada (battered cuttlefish), patatas bravas (fries with spicy tomato sauce), boquerones en vinagre (anchovies marinated in vinegar).
    Aduana at the port. Recs: calamares, alcachofas rebozadas (battered artichoke).
    Bar Pilar at Moro Zeit 13, near the Mercado Central (this market worth a visit). Recs: clochinas (mussels), ensaladilla.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JuanDoe

      Magnificent! Many thanks! I plan on four nights in the city so hopefully will have time to sample a good array of eating spots....

      Still hoping for opinions on where to go for paella/arroces..

      1. re: erica

        More tips for Valencia:

        Horchateria Santa Catalina at Plaza de Santa Catalina. Try two great drinks: the 'horchata' and the 'leche merengada'. El Collado is another great horchateria & chocolateria at Plaza Doctor Collado --behind La Lonja, a medieval building not to miss--

        Casa Montaña at Jose Benlliure, Cabanyal, near the port. Traditional wine-bar & restaurant specialized in 'anchoas' (salted anchovies), michirones (broad beans), cold cuts…

        El Bodegó de la Sarieta at Calle de los Juristas 4. Traditional restaurant near the Cathedral. According to an old tradition, it's supposed that this cathedral houses the Holy Chalice of the Last Supper.

        Paella in Valencia, on the sea front, at La Pepica, Paseo Neptuno, Malvarrosa Beach.

        1. re: JuanDoe

          Thanks so much.

          I had read, however, that perhaps the best place to eat paella was not in the city proper but at El Palmar or further afield, hence my query about the three paella spots in the original post.

          Do you feel that La Pepica would offer the same quality of experience as those restaurants that I mentioned that are further afield? I have to admit that I am put off by the fact that it is mentioned, with the Hemingway connection, in every guidebook...

          1. re: erica

            The best paella I ever had was in a humble not fancy restaurant near La Albufera but I DON'T REMEMBER ITS NAME and DON'T KNOW ITS ADRESS (I was taken in a car for a work luncheon). La Pepica is a rec for paella in Valencia itself.

            1. re: JuanDoe

              Thanks, Juan! Now we just have to find a way to get to La Albufuera from Valencia!