Valencia is one of Spain's most beautiful cities-- filled with history, traditions, its own language, and amazing food. It's a city that gives me a truly special feeling, it feels both rural and urban at the same time! When I visited Valencia I wanted to make sure that I captured the magic of this beautiful city. I wanted to visit the family-run hidden gems that make the city so special. As a Spanish food tour lover, I made sure to find the best spots. Sound good? Read on!
I'm always surprised at how easy Valencia is to get to from Madrid-- I really should go more often! Here in Madrid people joke that the best paella in Madrid is in Valencia (they might be right!). In only a couple of hours on the comfortable high-speed AVE train, you arrive in a whole other world-- one where amazing food and wine is paramount.
Cultural and Food Tours in Valencia
Food is culture and Valencia is full of both! This is the place that spends all year making incredible paper maché figures and then burning them in a huge festival (just look up Las Fallas if you've never seen it!) and they have the same passion for their food. This is the place that's given us paella-- and it's here you really need to taste it.
But the best way to taste your way through Valencia? A food tour of course! Here you have two self-guided routes that I hope will allow you to taste some of the very best the city has to offer.
See also: Best paella in Valencia
Our Morning Food Tour in Valencia: Market and More!
Our morning Valencia food tour in Valencia was focused around the local market. I wanted to explore what locals eat in Valencia and why.
Breakfast in Valencia
We started the morning with Valencia's most famous sweets (and they're not churros and chocolate!). We tasted the local pastry (fartons) with ice-cold horchata, local tiger nut milk (a tuber that's in the potato family). Trust me-- it's amazing.
Where? Horchatería Santa Catalina
Valencia Market Tour
Then it's off to the Central Market, one of the largest and most impressive in all of Europe. Here we learned all about local Valencian food and ingredients, and tasted some of the best products from local family-run market stalls. Ham and cheese? Yes, please!
Where? Mercado Central de Valencia
Afterward, we popped into a variety of owner-operated tapas bars, wine shops, and sweet shops-- and ended with delicious local ice cream (which has won an award for the best in the world!). We tasted grilled sardines, Valencian wines, local candy bars, and more.
- Central Bar (the best local sandwiches that people eat for their "second breakfast") Mercat Central, Plaza Ciudad de Brujas
- Tasca Angel (a super old school place for fresh off the grill sardines) Carrer de la Puríssima, 1
- Turrones Ramos (the most amazing local turrón - a nougat-like candy bar from the area) Carrer de la Sombrerería, 11
- Véneta (unique Valencia flavored ice-creams - get the orange!) Calle Bordadores, 8
This was the perfect self-guided tour for true foodies, people who want to learn all about the local cuisine, ingredients, and restaurant scene. Try it!
Our Evening Tapas Tour in Valencia: Off-the-beaten-path!
For our Valencia tapas tour, we decided to go outside the tourist center and into the buzzing Ruzafa neighborhood. Despite its proximity to the city center, many never make it to Ruzafa! And while the center has some great traditional eateries this part of town has an energy that just can't be beaten!
We visited wine shops, tapas bars, and ate and drank many local delicacies on this tour-- food and fun combined 🙂
- La Conservera (Try their delicious selections of tinned seafood (a delicacy here!) -- maybe some olives and potato chips too! And of course, wash it down with a local wine or beer.) Carrer del Literat Azorín, 18
- Bar Vermudez (You must order their cod fritters (buñuelos de bacalao) accompanied by a glass of locally produced dry white wine from DO Valencia). Carrer de Sueca, 16
- El Rodamón de Russafa (Order a variety of hot-off-the-grill tapas made with the freshest market ingredients and go for a big and bold barrel-aged red wine from DO Valencia) Carrer de Sueca, 47
Valencia is a delicious city and pretty easy to get around on your own. I hope these self-led food tours in Valencia help you on your next trip. Did I miss anything? Leave me a comment!