You know that the signature dish from Valencia is paella, right? If you didn't know, well, now you do. Eating paella in Valencia is as crucial as, I don't know, visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris, for example. I'm serious. It would be a foodie crime to not do it. Punishable by death (by chocolate)!!
Therefore, in order to save you from the shame of not having tried a Valencian paella, I shall tell you where you can get the best one! Aren't I nice? 😀
Read until the end to find out the best-kept paella secret in Valencia! (Disclaimer: it might not be the best-kept paella secret, but it's a pretty darn awesome paella.)
As a bonus, you get a recommendation for a great place to stay.
Here's the map:
Youth Hostel: La Casa Del Colibri
Let's start with the accommodation. I really liked this hostel. It was super clean and modern. I think it might have just been renovated. Check out their review score on booking.com:
The hostel had all the amenities you would expect i.e. lockers for your belongings (you can loan a lock), shared bathrooms, a kitchen, a common room-like space, and a little terrace with a table, so you can have breakfast outside! Very charming, isn't it?
One thing that bothered me a little bit was the lack of shelves or storage apart from the lockers. This meant that I had to store my bedside items under my bed. Another thing was the location of the hostel. It's not in the centre, but in a quiet neighbourhood where there's not much to see and to do. However, to get to the busier places, you can get the metro, which is close to the hostel.
Other than that, I really enjoyed my stay at La Casa Del Colibri!
Here are some other suggestions:
This upscale tapas restaurant is located in Ruzafa. It offered classic tapas with some homemade specials. I ordered the chorizo, which came with freshly baked rustic bread, and a Bonito salad. The food is on the pricier side, but you needn't order two dishes like I did because I struggled to finish it.
The atmosphere is very pleasant, and the restaurant is perfectly located in the middle of the buzz.
This place can also be found in Ruzafa. I discovered it thanks to Neelie's blog post! It's such a cool concept, a library and cafe in one! And not just a coffee place, but they serve real food too! They have a daily menu that includes 3 starters, 1 out of 3 choices of main dishes (meat, fish, or veggie), and coffee/dessert.
When I went, the 3 starters were vegetable soup, aubergine bruschetta and a mixed salad. Delicious! I chose the tuna pizza as my main dish, and got a cappuccino.
The whole menu was very reasonably priced and filling. Highly recommended!
Are you still with me?? This is the moment you've been waiting for! Drumroll... It's the paella place!!
This was actually a recommendation from a friend, so not one of my original finds. But hey, sometimes foodies need their foodie friends to help them. 😉
The paella I got was vegetarian, but it didn't make a difference! The taste was absolutely perfect. You could taste the saffron, the rice was cooked just right, and there were crispy bits at the bottom of the pan. You have to go if you travel to Valencia! If you go and you try any of the other paellas (they have loads of varieties), let me know how you find it!
And I just had to get dessert...
La Pepica is also conveniently located on the beachfront, so you can work up an appetite with a day at the beach before devouring your paella.
That's it, we've gone through where you can stay and where you can get awesome food in Valencia! I hope you enjoy these places if you ever go:)