When you think of Spanish food, the first thing that pops into your head is paella, right? Well, many people don’t know that this rich rice dish actually originates from Valencia. Steaming pots of paella have been served up to Valencians for centuries, and it’s some of these age-old establishments that serve up the best dishes today. It was first made in the 19th century and though there are many varieties of Paella, the traditional is made of white rice, green beans, chicken, snails, and seasoned with saffron and rosemary. Even the Spanish come to Valencia to taste one-of-the-kind Paella because of the recipes differently in every part of the country. From family-run restaurants and traditional eateries to upmarket establishments and beach-side cafes, we have a list of the very best places to eat paella in Valencia.
Located in the quaint little town of Benisanó is a restaurant said to have the best Paella in Valencia. Although Restaurante Levante is a little off the usual tourist-path, it is raved about by the local Valencians, and it’s where they go when they are craving Paella. Their star dish is the very traditional Valencian paella, made with chicken, rabbit and a wonderful mix of local beans. A good paella isn’t complete without a delicious glass of red wine, and it just so happens that Restaurante Levante has a wine cellar with over 10,000 bottles to choose from.
This family-run restaurant had extremely humble beginnings. What started as a shack on the beach for swimmers to change, rest and fill their bellies with paella soon turned into one of the most popular paella restaurants in Valencia. For over 100 years, they have been serving hearty, home-cooking style paella, so they know a thing or two about flavor. Casa Carmela adds duck meat to the traditional Valencian paella in order to give it a richer and fuller taste and serve their paella in the original pot it was cooked in. If you’re looking for a laid-back, family style paella, then this is one of the best places to eat delicious paella in Valencia.
This elegant restaurant was founded in 1986 by Roberto Aparicio, a Spanish specialty chef with over four decades of experience. Although Casa Roberto is located in the bustling city centre of Valencia, it has held onto its feeling of exclusivity and charm. Due to its slightly steeper prices, most locals will eat at this fine paella restaurant for special occasions, but they are awarded some of the best paellas in Valencia. Roberto serves up traditional Valencian paella, with a little twist. He adds an abundance of snails and seasonal vegetables, to give it that extra special something.
La Riuà is a family run establishment that offers fantastic paella at a very reasonable price. Unlike many other paella restaurants in Valencia, the peak time in this picturesque restaurant is 14:00 pm, lunchtime, and seats are filled very quickly. Don’t be fooled by their prices, La Riuà serves up rich, fantastically amber colored paella with chicken, rabbit, lima and broad beans and a delicate mix of spices. You’ll be hard-pressed to find other tourists in this establishment, but they are extremely welcoming to all, and promote dining family style. For real, local flavors, La Riuà serves up some of the very best paellas in Valencia.
Not only does La Pepica have some of the most delicious paellas in Valencia, but it also has the most breathtaking views. Sitting on the beach strip, surrounded by swaying palm trees and golden sand, you can sit out on their terrace and watch the glistening waves crash on the shore. With surroundings like this, its no wonder why La Pepica was one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite spots to eat paella. Although this stunning restaurant does serve the traditional Valencian paella, its star attraction is their house special ‘Pepica’s paella’. Originally created for the famous painter Joaquin Sorolla, this dish is generously filled with ready-peeled selfish and fragrant spices.