Eating in Valencia is a delight, and you can get a decent meal for two with a drink for 40 euros. Of course you can spend a lot more too, but the cheap price of wine really helps to keep the cost down.
Unlike lots of places I’ve visited where you’ve really needed a guide book to find good food, there are decent looking restaurants down almost every side street. Here are some places we enjoyed.
Sagardi is a slightly chaotic place where you choose your own ‘pinchos’ from the bar. The food is all on sticks which cost €1.95 each, with the total being totted up when you’re finished from the number of sticks on your plate.
Pinchos probably isn’t the best route if you’re starving – it could soon add up – but it was great for days when we’d had a big lunch or were feeling a bit over-indulged. Everything we tried was really tasty, from a cold pea soup (obviously not on a stick) to hot chorizo on lovely crusty bread.
Service is a little brusque and you might have to squeeze in wherever you can get, but it’s certainly a lot of fun.
This place is all about the pig. A deli where you can get your jamòn to go, or get a snack at one of the tables inside or out. We liked the Desayuno Andaluz of a morning – typical Spanish tomato-rubbed toast topped with jamòn, and a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice.
If you do any amount of research into food in Valencia, this place comes up every time. It’s easy to see why it’s a Valencian institution – it’s been serving simple, delicious food for the best part of 200 years.
Service is friendly and the place is completely unpretentious – you have to duck under the bar to go to the loo or get into the small restaurant at the rear (otherwise you can perch at a table in the more atmospheric bar area).
Be sure to order the seasonal tomatoes – the unusual Valencian variety we were served up (‘ugly but good’ according to a sign I saw in the market) were absolutely delicious.
Tinto Fino Ultramarino
Tinto Fino is a lovely little tapas restaurant close to Valencia’s cathedral. We visited twice and really enjoyed the food. The salads were a nice change from so much rich holiday food (more tomatoes), and the pork in rosemary oil (which comes as a cold cut) was particularly good.
Now I’m off to pour myself a glass of cava…