08 . November . 2019

Best spots Valencia [2020]. 5 favourites in each barrio.

Ruzafa, everyone’s favourite place in Valencia

Let’s start with everyone’s favourite place. If you’re looking for the best spots in Valencia you have to start with Ruzafa. It has something to suit everyone’s palaette and bars and cafes usually open from 11:00 to 01:30 am. Having a beer at brunch (almuerzo) is completely acceptable or even a carajillo‘ (coffee with brandy, no milk).

Carajillo is made with black coffee and flaming brandy. No milk is added.
Carajillo or coffee with brandy

The Spanish like to have breakfast, almuerzo or late morning snack, lunch, merienda or late evening snack and then dinner. Their lunch and dinners are quite late which accounts for all the snacking but this means you should be able to get food pretty much at any hour of the day. To give you a brief timetable of eating hours:

  • Breakfast: 8:00 – 9:00
  • Almuerzo: 10:30 – 12:00
  • Lunch: 14:00 – 15:30
  • Merienda: 17:30 – 18:30
  • Dinner: 21:00 – 11:30
Ruzafa is dotted with bars and restaurants. Most of them have terraces so you can enjoy the Meditteranean sun.
Street view of Ruzafa

Here are our 5 favourites in Ruzafa:

  • Canalla Bistro
  • Ubik Cafe
  • Ruzanuvol
  • La Mas Bonita
  • Dulce de Leche

The famous Valencian michelin chef Ricard Camarena has a few good restaurants to his name. Canalla Bistro is one of our favourites with unbeatable fusion food in a funky atmosphere in Ruzafa. Make sure to call ahead to book.

With a quintessential feel, Ubik Cafe is a bookstore/bar and is always busy with artists or simply people who enjoy a different vibe. Everything in here is mismatched but somehow works and has survived the gentrification in Ruzafa.

Are you craving a good craft beer? Look no further than Russafa’s very own Ruzanuvol. You can get Italian craft beer with tapas and food so if you’re craving something different, we defintely recommend trying this place out.

If you’re looking for light, healthy snacks or delicious treats, try out La Mas Bonita. They have various spots around the city but Russafa was their first restaurant and considering how many locations they’ve opened subsequently, they’ve obviously been a success. Their carrot cake and nutella cheesecake is to die for and their cappuccinos are pretty spectacular too.

Just thinking about this place makes my mouth water. Dulce de Leche is a little café, located on the corner of Calle Cuba. They offer the most amazing array of pastries, milkshakes, smoothies and tea. If you’re thinking about breakfast, brunch or high tea, this place is a must and their terrace is an added bonus.

Canovás, best venue in Valencia for terraces

Canovás is the area that encompasses Gran Via Marques del Turia and the streets next to it. Conde Altea runs parallel to Gran Via and is reknowned for its terrace tapas bars and restaurants that dot the sidewalks. Mercado Colon has also been included in here as it must be mentioned.

Here are our favourite five:

  • Mercado Colon
  • Coloniales Huerta
  • Apotheke
  • Lambrusqueria
  • Mama Racha

Mercado Colon is probably the most emblematic building in Valencia. It is an old fish market that was converted into a beautiful space for bars and restaurants. It is always a hive of activity and perfect if you want to enjoy a beverage or tapas outdoors. Very child-friendly as well. Turia is our favourite bar here and if you’re looking for Orchata (traditional drink made from tiger nut) Daniel Orchata is the best. Downstairs you have a sushi bar called Momiji and a fusion restaurant, Ma Khin Cafe. If you’re looking for something more upscale, Ricard Camerena, our native Michelin chef has two restaurants here: Habitual and La Cambra. You can see what events they have on at their website.

A little bodega situated off Conde Altea, Coloniales Huerta is a traditional place that offers wine, cava, cheese and meats in their deli area. Off the side is a little area that is designated for restaurant service and the somellier can give you some great advice on what to drink with your meal. One of our favourite places for tapas and vino!

Living in Spain, the idea of Prohibition sounds a bit alien but Apotheke has all the flavours of a speakeasy including the decor and the password you need to provide at the door. Dining space is quite limited so make sure you reserve ahead. Their cocktails are divine even if on the strong side. Try their Negroni if you’re looking for a suggestion to start.

If you feel like Italian but don’t want to decide on what to eat, Lambrusqueria is just the place for you. They offer a set menu of cheese and meat with bread to start, a salad and choice of pasta limited to which sauce and meat you can choose. The salads and pastas vary form day to day but they are delicious and we’re clearly not the only ones who think so as this place is always packed. It is child friendly too. Just make sure to go early before it gets too busy.

Considering how many Spanish restaurants are in the area, Mama Racha deserves special recognition for its twist on the usual Spanish fare. The steak and octopus are divine and definitely worth a try. The service is good with the waiters being helpful if you don’t speak any Spanish.

El Carmen, the perfect blend of history with culture

The neighbourhood of El Carmen is usually a favourite with tourists as its architecture is emblematic of European culture and there are plenty of terraces, where you can sit, enjoy a beverage and watch the world go by.

El Carmen is the old town of Valencia also known as Ciudad Vella.
El Carmen is characterized by narrow streets and terrace bars

Our favourite spots in this neighbourhood are special for unique reasons, whether it be the ambience, food or location.

  • Convent Carmen
  • Cafe de la Horas
  • Federal Cafe
  • Lateral
  • Cafe Madrid

Convent Carmen is a new favourite in El Carmen and it’s easy to see why. Set back from the street this little beer garden is the perfect enclosure to unwind with a drink and tapas. Children are welcome and can safely play. Chef Miguel Angel Mayor has a Michelin star (for his restaurante Sucede) and has 4 areas in this space including Vermuteria, Street Food, La Lonja and Barra Calma. A little jewel in the center of Carmen.

If you’re looking for something different, we recommend you try Cafe de las Horas. They hold intercambio sessions to promote inter-cultural exchanges and you can enjoy a vermouth or a cup of tea while you admire their interiors. We guarantee their ceiling will not disappoint. Located off the main plaza in Carmen, their service is not quick, especially when they’re busy.

By far, our favourite place for brunch or when you just fancy some food that is not typically Spanish. The pancakes and eggs at Federal cafe are delicious and they have a variety of healthy juices to choose from. It’s usually busy with people who want a different place to work and their large windows give an airy feel to their corner cafe, situated just off Plaza de los Patos.

Lateral is a famous tapas restaurant in Madrid and has now opened doors in Valencia. Enjoy a little tostada with solomillo, caramelized onion and brie. They have an outdoor terrace that overlooks the beautiful Plaza Patriaca and ample indoor space that can accomodate a number of people.

This iconic bar has been around since 1953 and today Cafe Madrid is housed in the beautiful Hotel Marques House. It offers up the best cocktails we’ve tasted and their tapas menu, which can be enjoyed at the bar is also sublime. Try their oysters with any of Sergio Vall’s cocktails and you’ll be set for the night. They also have a dining room on the second floor with a full menu. As always, book ahead.

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