6 favourites from the land of Paella

When in Valencia one must never miss to relish on three things: paella, orxata and oranges. Having mentioned this we are happy to say that Valencian gastronomic experience was a great delight for us as we were able try some of the authentic dishes of the region.

Oranges at the La Lonja de la Seda
Oranges at the La Lonja de la Seda

Starting with the fresh produce shopping at the Mercat Central in the early morning followed by leisure lunch, it is clear that the Valencians enjoy their mealtime, which extends to an average of 2-3 hours of tapas and paella. It is then followed by siestas in the noon or just cooling themselves with the glass of chilled orxata at the one of the many Horchaterias.

Mercat Central
Mercat Central
Fresh fruits at the market
Fresh fruits at the market
Dessert display at the market
Dessert display at the market
Vendors at Mercat Central
Vendors at Mercat Central
Delicious desserts!!
Delicious desserts!!

1. Paella

For those who do not know, the famous rice dish “paella” was originated in Valencia. A trip to Valencia is incomplete without trying the paella at the famous “La Pepica” restaurant at the Malvarossa Beach. One of the oldest places in the city serving the famous dish was also favourite place of famous writer Ernest Hemingway. The paella is served in massive pans and has distinct flavor of saffron with the good amount of freshly cooked vegetables and al dente rice. Downing it with the glass of freshly squeezed orange juice/cava and Flan (Crème Custard), enjoy the beautiful sunset by taking a seat at the beachside, just a perfect way to your day in the old city.

La Pepica
La Pepica
The vegetal paella at La Pepica
The vegetal paella at La Pepica
Flan
Flan
View from La Pepica
View from La Pepica

2. Orxata de Chufa and fartons

The favourite soft drink of the locals is very refreshing and a best companion while you are trudging through the old streets on a sunny day. Orxata is made from tigernut, milk and sugar and served ice-cold along with a delicious sugar-coated pastry called fartons, which tastes heavenly when dipped in the drink. There are several Horchaterias (orxata cafes) around the city but the best and the authentic drink is served at the Horchateria de Santa Catalina and the Horchateria el Siglo, both are located close to each other at Plaza Santa Catalina.

Santa Catalina Cathedral
Santa Catalina Cathedral
Horchateria El Siglo
Horchateria El Siglo
Horchata at El Siglo
Horchata at El Siglo
Horchata with Tigernut ice-cream
Horchata with Tigernut ice-cream
Fartons
Fartons

3. Tapas: Patatas bravas and Mushroom croquettes

After the tapas tasting in Madrid we were pretty much hooked to the idea of having light meals but being able to have variety of food items and patatas bravas was one of the favorite tapas we couldn’t stop relishing on. The Plaza de la Reina has some great restaurants, it looks a bit touristy but they serve some authentic Spanish food. We tried the bravas and mushroom croquettes at a pleasant little restaurant called Pico Fino in the square and fell in love with the place!!

Patatas bravas
Patatas bravas
Mushroom Croquettes
Mushroom Croquettes

4. Agua de Valencia

The famous cocktail of Valencia Agua de Valencia, also called as the “Water of Valencia” is a must try on your night out in town. The fruity cocktail is a refreshing mixture of orange, cava, gin and vodka, certainly the most recommended way to unwind after all the sight-seeing.

Agua de Valencia
Agua de Valencia

5. Hot chocolate with churros

The famous chocolatiers of Spain, Valor have their chocolateria at Plaza de La Reina overlooking the Cathedral. We tasted one of the sinfully yummiest hot chocolate here along with the freshly fried churros. Valor is famous for making 100% natural chocolates and you can definitely taste the richness of the chocolate with a single delicious sip.

Hot Chocolate with whipped cream
Hot Chocolate with whipped cream
Hot Chocolate and Churros
Hot Chocolate and Churros

6.Llinares ice cream

Having read somewhere about the Llinares ice-cream being the best ice cream makers in Spain while planning our trip, we were quite ecstatic when we came across their main store in Plaza Santa Catalina. The famous ice cream makers since 1930, not only serve the traditional ice cream flavours like chocolate, vanilla, but also some unusual flavors based on the Spanish food like tortilla de patata (Spanish omelet), turrons, gazpacho etc. You definitely feel adventurous while trying these flavours but we would say it is definitely worth  it.

Hema relishing the Turron flavoured ice-cream
Hema relishing the Turron flavoured ice-cream
Variety of flavours at Llinares
Variety of flavours at Liners
Variety of flavours at Llinares
Variety of flavours at Llinares

The list above is just a highlight on what we loved on our Valencian food trail, the city has a lot more to offer for all the foodies especially sea food lovers. If by any chance Vegetarians find it difficult in translating the Spanish food menu, we would suggest you to just say “sóc vegetarià” (I am vegetarian) in Catalan to the waiters and they definitely suggest the best veg stuff they can offer.

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