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Eating Out in Valencia

VALENCIA GASTRONOMY
Paella

Valencia's gastronomical contribution to Spain has been enormous. Many Valencian signature dishes have become universally associated with Spain. Valencian gastronomy is quintessentially Mediterranean and specialised in rice-based dishes, with generous usage of vegetables. Yes, this is the home of Spanish paella, which can be prepared in a myriad of different ways. While paella is ubiquitous throughout Spain, the variations of this dish that have become popular in other regions are quite different than the original. Don't miss out on an authentic Valencian paella while you're here. Other Valencian rice dishes include arròs a banda (rice marinated in fish soup), arròs al forn (baked rice, made with garbanzos and meats) and arròs negre (black rice, made with cuttlefish, squid, onion and garlic). Fideuà, which is similar to paella but with noodles (fideus), instead of rice, is a very recent addition to Spanish gastronomy and its inventor is still alive.

Fideuá

Typical Valencian desserts, like peladillas and massapà (mazapán in Spanish, "marzipan" in English), are usually made with almonds, honey and sugar and are derived from Arabic sweets brought over during the Caliphate. Most of these sweets have modern Middle Eastern equivalents. Such is the case of the torró, known in Spanish as turrón, which is popular throughout Spain at christmastime. In the Middle East a modern descendent of the same dessert is consumed, called halva, while different variants of the torró are eaten throughout Latin America, Italy (where it is called torrone) and Denmark (where it is known as fransk nougat). Valencia is also the birthplace of Spain's most refreshing drink in the summertime, orxata (horchata in Spanish), made with water, sugar and the root of a special plant called xufa (chufa in Spanish). Valencia is also very well reputed for its high quality oranges, sold throughout Spain and Europe. There are also several Valencian wines to complement any meal. For red, check the wines from the Alto Turia and Serrania areas, and for white, look at the Requena region.

Horchata - Orxata
TIPPING

In restaurants about 10% or 15% will suffice if you're satisfied with the service, though tipping is not universal.

WHERE TO GO

Restaurant Ca Sento on calle de Méndez Núñez 17, a mother and son operation, is expensive but highly rated and offers both traditional Valencian dishes and more avant-garde fare, and the food is simply excellent. For those on a tighter budget, drop by Los Toneles on calle de Ribera 17. El Rincón de la Horchata on calle Embajador Vich is a great place to have nice, cold, refreshing glass of authentic Valencian horchata. If you are looking for a romantic place to relax and spend time with loved ones then check out La Diabla, the food has a great blend of foreign influence to keep your tastebuds guessing. Generally a mix between Spanish and African cuisine it combines two great cultures to provide an excellent dish, with a good selection of wine at hand with a set menu to keep it simple. If you're addicted to hot and spicy food with a kick to it then pop down to Los Zopilotes, a Mexican restaurant with enthusiastic staff, to put it lightly. Valencian Restaurant With drinks at around 3€, it's very reasonable and they are renowned for their cocktails, especially the margarita. With dishes including barbecued ribs, enchiladas and choriqueso, it will surely start your stomach rumbling.

For a restaurant with a bit of heritage, Villaplana, established in 1966, is a charming family restaurant that keeps in touch with what the customer wants. With its expertise on seafood and range of meats there is something for everyone. Bodega Casa Moutana is a traditional establishment which boasts an exquisite range of gastronomical delicacies to tempt your fancy. It boasts a huge wine selection along with experts to tailor the wine to your particular tastes and to perfectly complement your meal. Make sure to try their cod fish croquettes and tocino de cielo.

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