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The Best Tapas in Valencia

I have been travelling back and forth to Valencia since my days as an exchange student in 1991. I was there this past November and asked one of my Valencian friends what their favorite tapas restaurant was. She recommended "Lloc de Tapes" (which means Place for Tapas in Valencian). Of the many dozens of restaurants we have been to in Valencia, this one takes the cake as having the best tapas.

It was a very 'local' establishment without any tourists to be seen (this is usually a good sign that the food is authentic). The decor was cozy/comfortable/high-end. The menu is in Spanish/Valencian. I did ask the waiter about an English menu, which he stated will eventually be coming.

Instead of ordering off the menu, we met the owner Miguel and asked him to bring out whatever he wanted for us. We told him that we wanted a taste of Valencia, both modern and traditional. Boy, did he deliver.

We ate their Cod with Basque sauce (bacalao) which was to die for, their Cuttlefish (sepia), and his version of patatas fritas. Our kids ate his version of 'chicken tenders' and couldn't get enough of it. We enjoyed several other tapas dishes throughout the evening. Their food was traditional, with a modern twist. The presentation of the food is definitely at a higher level than what you would find at your usual tapas place, but not quite as pretentious as some of the 'molecular' gastronomy restaurants that are dotting Spain's landscape these days.

For dessert, we had cheese cake, which was probably one of the best cheese cakes that we have ever had (my wife is a cheese-cake-aholic). [one of the other owners was apparently a pastry chef at a famous Mallorcan restaurant]

After we ate and drank our fill, we were surprised at how inexpensive the meal was.

We are planning another trip back to Valencia in the next year or so and will definitely be going back! Lloc de Tapes is definitely a hidden gem.

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  1. Yo, you think you could provide an address & phone number? I will be in Valencia this fall and def want to chow down at Miguel's place - but I have no idea where it is.

    7 Replies
    1. re: wristband

      Here is the info below. I remember that it wasn't too far from the city center.

      Teléfono Teléfono: 963 827 162
      Provincia: Valencia
      Localidad: Valencia
      Zona: Ciutat Vella
      Dirección: C/ marques de zenete 7
      Código postal: 46007

      1. re: eugenehkim

        I am so thankful for this post. I was in Spain for the first time last month and was passing through Valencia, while on the way to southern Spain. I took a cab to Lloc de Tapes on a Friday night and just had a wonderful time. My wife and I don't speak a lick of Spanish and because the menu is not translated into English, we ended up pointing to several dishes blindly on the menu. Wow, what an introduction to Spanish cuisine! Everything was just delicious. I have been to a few Spanish restaurants in the US and was sort of expecting something similar. I remember that we ate our full and had several glasses of wine; the owner gave us a 'tasting' menu of sorts of a variety of Riojas. We were the only Americans in the place and we were made to feel right at home.

        I'm new to the whole foodie culture and therefore do not have the vocabulary to elegantly describe exactly what we ate. Just know that you will eat very well if you decide to go there. I was just sad that we were only in Valencia for that one day because we definitely would have come back for more!

        My only complaint was the lack of a translated menu, though this did help to make the meal more surprising/adventerous. The waiter told me (at least I think he did) that they are working on getting it translated.

        1. re: pwdocs

          What a fantastic post! One of the best I've ever read on Chowhound. You absolutely had the right attitude concerning the language barrier - don't sweat it - and you had a great experience because of it. I have to say you probably can't have the same sense of discovery in a place where everything is translated. Travel at its best.

          1. re: Steve

            Thanks for your reply Steve. That meal was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Spain and a memory I'll treasure for a while. I'm sure my 'eenie-meenie-minie-mo' approach to menu ordering would have been disastrous at a lesser restaurant. I'm just thankful that things turned out well.

            I'm studying Rosetta Stone Spanish now so the next time I go to Spain, I'll actually be able to have some real conversations with people. I definitely want to stay off the beaten touristy path, and in Spain I found that these more 'local' destinations often required a working knowledge of Spanish.

            1. re: pwdocs

              Kudos to you for starting to learn the language! My travelling experience has been so much richer because of my ability to converse with the Spaniards. I have made life long friends there and really cherish the times that I do spend with them. Good luck to you!

              1. re: eugenehkim

                Thanks! My Spanish is coming along just fine. I can't wait for my next trip to Valencia.

      2. I dined at LLoc de Tapas today for lunch. Exceptional in every respect. The quality of the food was only surpassed by the deft service. A truly uplifting experience. Sadly we were put on a massive downer by accepting our concierge's recommendation of a tapas place in the central area. Tourist hell hole - don't go central if you want good tapas. you'll get bad food, bad service and double the price.

        1. While we are on the topic of Valencia please allow me to hijack this thread a little. Could someone please point me to a tapas bar in Valencia that specializes in seafood. I am not looking for a sit down restaurant but rather some place where I can order a plate of gambas or some clams and have a drink.

          I see on the map that Valencia is near to Denia, home of the Gambas Rojas de Denia, is that any bars as described that serve these prawns?

          If it helps, I intend to be in Valencia in December this year. I won't have much time, as what I will be doing is to arrive in the morning from Barcelona and then depart at around midnight for the overnight train to Granada.

          8 Replies
          1. re: deadstroke86

            I honestly do not know of any tapas bars in Valencia that specialize in seafood or anything else. They are mostly 'generalists' that serve a variety of the usual spanish tapas.

            1. re: deadstroke86

              There´s a tapas restaurant in Valencia specialized in seafood and it´s an excelent one. (I might say that it´s the best in the area). It´s name is Rio Sil Civera, close to Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The prices are no cheap though, and as it is located in the centre of Valencia there are tourists too, but, as I said, the quality is garanteed (gamba rayada de Denia included)

              1. re: SPN100

                It looks more like a fancy sit-down restaurant than a tapas bar.
                Pictures from the photo gallery:
                http://www.civeraencasa.com/fotos.php
                The main website:
                http://www.marisqueriascivera.com/ing...

                1. re: Aleta

                  the "civeraencasa" link is a catering service. There are two Civeras in Valencia. The one I suggested was Rio Sil. In this one, there´s a restaurant and also a bar usually full of locals,(mostly by night), having seafood tapas with beer, white wine or cava ... there´s another one, called DAMI, in Primado Reig Av., where the quality and service are fine ( fantastic razor shells), but in my opinion Rio Sil is the best and most popular in Valencia.

                  1. re: SPN100

                    SPN100,

                    Thank you so much for your suggestion. My own search turned up Mercat Bar by Quique Dacosta. they do a dish of deep fried gambetas but from the picture of one the blogs, the prawns sitting on the ice don't look fine at all!

                    http://www.fedegustando.com/el-mercat...
                    http://observaciongastronomica.blogsp...

                    1. re: deadstroke86

                      Mercat Bar is not as good as the one that Quique Dacosta had in Denia, and it´s not doing very well. However, Quique has a restaurant in Valencia, "Vuelve Carolina" , more expensive but much better...

                    2. re: SPN100

                      Just a question:

                      Does the bar at Civera Centro work like any other bar? Could I just slide onto an empty seat and then order away?

                      1. re: deadstroke86

                        Sure it does. like at any other bar in Spain you´ll find people sitting or standing along the counter having tapas. There´s no need to get a table. ..Sorry about my english. I accidentally found this site looking for oppinions about the tapas bar that eugenehkim recommended , I read your question and i couldn`t resist giving my suggest. like the most important thing of a seafood restaurant, bar or whatever is the freshness and the quality of the product, , if I had to invite someone who really appreciates seafood ,that place would be the one I´d choose to go to...

              2. Based pretty much only on the recommendation of this post, I went here this weekend, and it was terrific. A word of caution: the size of each dish is larger than what you'd expect for tapas, so the seemingly large (large relative to other Spanish tapas, not the prices I'm used to in Paris) price tag per dish is actually quite reasonable. Two adults had two full tapas, a half order of ham, and two small mushroom croquettes, and couldn't finish it all. Food quality was exceptional, especially the squid. Drinks were a pittance. Staff was very friendly with pidgeon English to match our pidgeon Spanish, but they do have an English menu now. Would return in a heartbeat.

                2 Replies
                1. re: pjshapiro

                  Great thread! This one I will definitely hit in my 2.5 days in Valencia :)

                  1. re: sarahbeths

                    Hey Sara,
                    Since the last time I was at LLoc de Tapes, I've gotten to know Miguel fairly well. Tell the server to tell Miguel that you are here because of me. You can say something like "Soy amiga de Eugenio" and I'm sure they'll treat you well. :)