Celebrated in particular for its tapas and paella, Valencia is one of Spain’s great culinary draws offering a contemporary take on local cuisine as well as traditional fare. Reflecting the diversity of cuisine here, these are the five best restaurants in Valencia.
The accomplished chef Quique Dacosta, who was awarded three Michelin stars for his restaurant in Denia, opened El Poblet in the heart of Valencia in 2012 and it was awarded its Michelin star the following year. Chef Luis Valls Rozalen heads up the kitchen here with culinary focus placed on Dacosta’s signature haute cuisine. Guests can dine a la carte or choose between the lunchtime Migdia menu, El Poblet tasting menu or the Ciutat Vella tasting menu, which each bring together a selection of innovative and texturally interesting plates such as red king prawn from Denia with Swiss chard tea, and white asparagus “Ajoblanco” with grilled tuna belly. Like the presentation of food, the interiors are playful and contemporary in style.
This Spanish restaurant by German chef Bernd Knöller won a Michelin star in 2009 for its modern Mediterranean cuisine that takes inspiration from French cooking. Both a la carte and degustation menus are offered, alongside an extensive range of European wines and champagnes. The menu is continually changing according to the seasons but could include dishes such as sea bream with laurel, pine nuts and dried tomato, and cuttlefish with black rice, marrow and mushrooms. The restaurant also hosts cooking classes.
This Michelin star restaurant is one of three restaurants by chef Ricard Camarena in Valencia. In this particular dining spot, Asian-inspired décor is the backdrop for guests to dine on food that places the focus on the quality of its star ingredients. In line with this philosophy, the produce is sourced locally with a sustainable relationship forged between the restaurant and local producers. Opt for the 11-plate Ricard Camarena menu, eight-plate tasting menu, or six-dish short menu, which each come with the option of wine pairing.
Another of chef Quique Dacosta’s restaurants, Mercatbar is considered by many to be one of Valencia’s best restaurants for tapas as it combines traditional tapas recipes with modern cooking techniques and stylish presentation. Find a spot at a table, at the bar or out on the terrace to share flavorful dishes such as octopus, onion-braised potato and red pesto, smoked pork shank, and Torrija with foam of hazelnut praline, plus the signature Quique Dacosta dish of red king prawns from Denia.
Bodega Casa Montana
This traditional bodega dates back to 1836, and this heritage is reflected through its décor incorporating features such as old barrels. Throughout its history Casa Montana has attracted artists, politicians and the social elite, and it now draws people in for its outstanding food and wine. Diners can opt for the restaurant’s tapas and wine, or they can choose the 1836 set menu. The tapas menu features classic dishes based on key ingredients from the region, from the cured meat and cheese to the local mussels.