Valencia, synonymous with paella. The city is, in fact, the homeland of the most internationally famous Spanish dish. There are many variations, and even though the most well-known one now is the “de marisco” with seafood, the original Valencian recipe is made with vegetables and meat, typically free-range chicken and rabbit. The other ingredients? Rice from Albufera or the huertas on the outskirts of the city, seasonal and local ingredients, cooked over orange wood fire that gives the dish an original flavor. From the historic center to Malvarrosa and El Palmer, here are 10 places to eat the best paella in Valencia.
10 places to eat the best paella in Valencia
Since 1922, Casa Carmela has been an essential reference point for Valencians passionate about paella. Not only for the high quality of the ingredients used to make it and the exclusive use of orange wood for cooking it, but also for its privileged location: the restaurant is located in Playa de la Malvarrosa, near the home of the famous writer Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. In addition to the meat-based Valencian paella, the seafood paella with prawns and langoustines is excellent, as well as the fideuá, another Valencian dish made with a type of pasta similar to vermicelli, whole prawns, and langoustines.
C/ d’Isabel de Villena 155, Valencia - casa-carmela.com
This arrocería mediterránea - Mediterranean rice restaurant - on the Atacona beach opened just over a year ago but has already become a top culinary destination thanks to the cuisine of chef Raúl Alexandre, the 2004 National Gastronomy Award winner, and the contemporary design of the venue by Francesc Rifé. The Valencian paella is cooked in the traditional way, with local rice, cooked over an open flame, but it's worth ordering a dish of 'rossejat' as well, with rice and fish, similar in preparation to fideuá, following the recipe handed down from generation to generation in the chef's family.
Av. Mare Nostrum 50, Alboraya, Valencia - mimarvalencia.com
El Raco de La Paella
In the kitchen of El Raco de La Paella, Oscar Gil and his team prepare traditional Valencian paella. The location is one that immediately makes you feel at home: a Valencian house from the early 20th century with decorated tiles and frescoes. The menu also offers a vegetarian option, prepared with the finest fresh vegetables from the huertas on the outskirts of Valencia.
Carrer de Mossèn Rausell 17, Valencia - elracodelapaella.es
LAVOE Arroz y Mar
At LAVOE Arroz y Mar, a design restaurant in the heart of the casco antiguo, paella is prepared in the traditional way: Chef Toni Boix follows the recipe taught to him by his father, but the menu is rich in other rice dishes worth trying, such as 'arroz de cocido' with boiled meat and crab rice.
C/ de la Creu Nova 4, Valencia - lavoearrozymar.com
This restaurant in the Eixample district has received numerous awards for its paellas and fideuas. Here, the Valencian paella is prepared in the traditional way with rabbit, chicken, beans, green beans, and Albufera rice. Also worth trying are the paella with artichokes and snails and the squid ink rice with artichokes and soft garlic for more original flavors.
Carrier de Borriana 3, Valencia - goyagalleryrestaurant.com
Since 1986, Chef Roberto Aparicio has been preparing one of the best paellas in Valencia. His recipe includes meat, artichokes, and beans, but the secret lies in briefly baking the paella in the oven and then back on the grill to make it even crispier before serving it at the table. Casa Roberto is one of those addresses not to be missed, a family-run, simple, and genuine restaurant. v
Carrer del Mestre Gozalbo 19, Valencia - casaroberto.es
Despite the variety of dishes on the menu, the Valencian paella remains the highlight of this rice restaurant in El Palmar, a village in the Albufera Natural Park. It is prepared with vegetables from Els Serranets' garden and rice from the Valencia D.O. and J. Sendra variety, whose perfect consistency ensures that it absorbs the broth completely without overcooking. In addition to the classic version with chicken and rabbit, you can also try the one with duck and beans.
Carrer de Francisco Monleon 5, El Palmar, Valencia - arroceriamaribel.com
In the heart of the Albufera Natural Park, Bon Aire is one of the ultimate temples of Valencian paella. This family-run tavern opened in 1982 is famous for paella, but also for dishes based on eels, such as 'all i pebre' and fried lagoon eel.
Carrer de Cabdet 41, El Palmar, Valencia - restaurantebonaire.com
Cocina autoctona' is the motto of this restaurant with an all-female kitchen team founded by the Giner Moñate family in 1982 and considered the most prestigious in El Palmar. L'Establiment specializes in wood-cooked rice and local dishes from the Albufera area.
Camino de L’estell S/N, El Palmar, Valencia - establiment.com
Slightly away from the tourist routes, El Famós is the place to go. This tavern, over the centuries a rest stop and hotel, then a grocery store, and finally a restaurant, near the Vera church, has been documented since the 16th century. The winter version of the paella offered here is based on artichokes and broad beans, while the summer one is made with beans, green beans, and white beans.
Como de la Iglesia de Vera 14, Valencia - elfamos.com
by Francesca Masotti