This blog post was originally posted on June 28, 2017 and was updated on April 16, 2019.
Enjoying a night out complete with tasty tapas, endless drinks and good company is an integral part of Spanish culture.
Although tapas aren’t typically associated with Valencian cuisine (that honor goes to paella!), valencianos have adopted this beloved tradition as well. As Spain’s third-largest city, there are endless options for an evening de tapeo in Valencia. Although it’s a bit hard to narrow down from so many delicious choices, here are our top picks for tapas bars in Valencia that will make you feel like a local.
Despite the menu and the restaurant itself both being on the small side, Tasca Ángel is proof that quality beats quantity. Come for the house specialty—freshly fried sardines—and stay for the vibrant, authentic atmosphere. Just be prepared to squeeze your way through the crowd for a seat!
At El Pederniz, tucked away in a residential neighborhood outside of the touristic center, the welcoming and enthusiastic staff will make you feel at home immediately. Owner Fouad greets all his guests as if they were family and takes the time to talk to each group, finding out each person’s likes and dislikes in order to provide them with a high-quality dining experience that suits everyone’s tastes. Wine experts on staff are also available to recommend the best bottle of vino (out of more than 600 varieties!) to pair with each meal.
Step back in time at Bar Pilar, also known as “La Pilareta” among locals. This historic establishment was originally a grocery and liquor store and began serving food in 1917. Valencianos adore this place as much for its historic ambiance as for its clóchinas (fresh mussels—the especialidad de la casa!).
One of the most unique tapas bars in Valencia, Las Cuevas certainly lives up to its name (which translates as “the caves”). The interior of the restaurant looks like an underground cavern, though diners can also enjoy a meal on its spectacular terrace. With a five-page tapas menu, it’s home to some of the best variety in Valencia.
This classic, elegant establishment has delighted valencianos and guests alike since 1836. The posh interior and exquisite selection of both wines and tapas at Casa Montaña is sure to impress. As one of the oldest tapas bars in Valencia, it’s a must for visitors who want a high-quality dining experience.
Michelin-starred Valencian chef Ricard Camarena is the mastermind behind Central Bar, one of the most classic tapas bars in Valencia with a modern twist. Located right inside Valencia’s bustling Mercado Central, the tasty dishes here are prepared with ingredients from the market itself. What could be better than a classy dining experience made complete with locally sourced products?
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Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.