The Best of the Best: Top 5 Places for Paella in Valencia

This blog post was originally posted on June 26, 2017 and was updated on April 16, 2019.

Paella might just be one of the best-known Spanish foods among visitors.

However, most people might not know that the classic rice dish hails from right here in Valencia! The region’s climate is perfect for growing rice, and Valencians have enjoyed paella in one form or another for centuries. Today, some of the best places to eat paella in Valencia are the same centuries-old, family-run establishments locals have favored for ages, while others are more contemporary hotspots. Take a look at our top five recommendations for enjoying this Valencian classic!

You'll definitely want to eat paella in Valencia—it's one of the easiest places in Spain to find the real thing. Here are our picks for the top spots to enjoy a classic.

1. Restaurante Levante

Located well off the tourist-beaten path, Restaurante Levante is hailed by locals as the home of the best paella in Valencia. Their star dish is traditional Valencian-style paella, prepared with chicken, rabbit and local beans. Guests can choose from among 10,000 bottles of Spanish wines kept in the restaurant’s cellar to accompany their meal.

Insider’s Tip: Pre-order your paella by calling in advance; otherwise you may have to wait up to an hour for it to be made.

Learn how to make your own paella in Valencia in one of Restaurante Levante's fun cooking classes!
Restaurante Levante even offers paella cooking classes for guests to try their hand at making the classic dish. Photo credit: InfoTuria

2. La Pepica

La Pepica might just be the best paella experience in Valencia. Located a stone’s throw from Playa la Malvarrosa, this iconic establishment is perfect for sharing paella with friends and family on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. They specialize in seafood paella, a favorite despite not being the traditional Valencian style of the dish.

La Pepica has seen many famous guests since first opening its doors in 1898. It was one of Ernest Hemingway’s regular haunts during his time in Spain and got a shout-out in his memoir The Dangerous Summer (“Dinner at Pepica’s was wonderful.”) Additionally, the restaurant’s vegetable paella was originally prepared for another honored guest—former Queen Sofía of Spain, who is a vegetarian.

Address: Paseo Neptuno, 6

One of the best ways to eat paella in Valencia: at the beach! Experience the best of both worlds at the iconic La Pepica.
Enjoy paella right on the beach at La Pepica! Photo credit: Valencia Camper Park

3. La Riuà

Located in Valencia’s picturesque historic center, La Riuà is a family-run restaurant that has won quite a few awards—and once you taste the paella, you’ll understand why. It’s home to more than a dozen different varieties of the famous rice and is at the top of many locals’ lists for eating paella in Valencia.

Enjoy fantastic paella in Valencia at La Riua, an award-winning family run establishment!
The quirky decor at La Riuà adds to its charm! Photo credit: Europe Up Close

4. Casa Roberto

Casa Roberto was founded more than 30 years ago by a chef with more than four decades of experience preparing the best Spanish food. Its location in a lively and vibrant part of the city center make it easily accessible, but the white noise of diners’ chitchat in Spanish and Valencian will leave you assured that this is no tourist trap. Its elegance and slightly steeper prices make it especially popular for special occasions among locals.

Address: Maestro Gozalbo, 19

Casa Roberto is a great place to eat paella in Valencia, especially on special occasions.
Roberto and his family use fresh ingredients to make some of the best paella in Valencia! Photo credit: Casa Roberto

5. Casa Carmela

A family-run restaurant that has been delighting customers for nearly 100 years, Casa Carmela has humble roots. In fact, it originally started as a small shack near the beach where swimmers could change their clothes and rest! Before long, the family began serving paella to hungry swimmers, and a Valencian icon was born.

The dining experience at Casa Carmela is unique in that everyone in one party eats the paella directly out of the pan it was cooked in. Like the other high-quality establishments on this list, paella is made to order, so it may take some time to arrive at your table after ordering.

Casa Carmela prepares some of the best paella in Valencia.
There’s plenty of paella to go around! Photo credit: Casa Carmela

Calling all curious travelers! Do you love connecting with the local community while in a new place? We’re right there with you. We’d love to keep connecting you to Spain through our newsletter. It comes out a couple of times a month, brimming with dispatches on culture, recipes, tips and even a discount or two!

2 Comment

  1. July 7, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    actually, you missed the most important one, the one everyone in Valencia (the locals describes as the best) El Embrujo de Carmen

    Reply
    1. Devour Tours says
      July 10, 2019 at 10:40 am

      Thanks for the tip, Norman!

      Reply

Leave a Reply