Travel Ninja

Top Tapas Bars in Valencia You Must Try

Exploring Valencia’s tapas bars is like diving into a dream come true for any food lover. As Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia offers endless options for tasting delicious choices of Valencian cuisine. On a recent quick day trip from Madrid and Barcelona, I found myself wandering the narrow streets of the Old Town Valencia, where the historic sites are seemingly endless and tapas spots are scattered among shops and restaurants.

It’s easy to feel like a local as you sip a beverage and enjoy a snack amidst both tourist traps and hidden gems. One of my top picks was a tiny bar where the historic sites were just a stone’s throw away, providing the perfect backdrop for this culinary adventure. Whether you’re staying longer or just popping in for a visit, these tapas bars are a must.

The Valencianos have embraced the tradition, and with so many choices on offer, from restaurants to charming shops, the experience is highly engaging and fulfilling. With historic sites nearby, it’s highly doubtful you’ll ever run out of new places to discover and enjoy.

Best Tapas Bars In Valencia

Tasca Ángel

Nestled in the heart of Valencia, Tasca Ángel is a restaurant that perfectly embodies the spirit of the city’s tapas culture. Despite its small side menu, this vibrant spot proves that quality trumps quantity. Known for its house specialty of freshly fried sardines, Tasca Ángel offers an authentic atmosphere that draws a lively crowd. On my recent visit, I found myself squeezing through the bustling patrons to find a seat, eager to indulge in the renowned sardines.

Best Tapas Bars In Valencia

The simplicity of the dish, paired with the energetic vibe, made the experience unforgettable and truly reflective of Valencia’s rich culinary traditions.

El Pederniz

Tucked away in a charming residential neighborhood just outside the touristic center, El Pederniz is a hidden gem where the welcoming, enthusiastic staff make you feel at home immediately. During my visit, I was warmly greeted by Owner Fouad, who treats his guests like family. He takes the time to talk to each group, understanding their likes and dislikes to ensure a high-quality dining experience that suits everyone’s tastes.

Best Tapas Bars In Valencia

The ample menu boasts dozens of delicious, homemade dishes perfect for sharing, and the wine experts are always ready to recommend the perfect bottle of vino from their selection of more than 600 varieties to pair with your meal.

Boatella Tapas

Nestled between the Silk Exchange and Mercado Central, Boatella Tapas is an unassuming place that captures the essence of a classic tapas bar. Known for its fried seafood, this spot sources fresh, seasonal produce directly from the Mercado. The platters of food on display invite you to simply point at whatever catches your heart’s desire.

Whether seated at the tables on the terrace or inside by the side window, the fried goodies never disappoint. The gambas fritas, or fried shrimp, are lightly battered and crisp, allowing you to pop the whole shrimp—shells, legs, tail, and all—into your mouth, enjoying the moist meat with its sweet concentrated flavor. Add a squeeze of lemon and a cold caña of beer for pure perfection.

Best Tapas Bars In Valencia

The pescado frita, featuring mixed fish of various sizes and colors, is another highlight, while alcachofas (artichokes) are served in season, fried without batter, their thin outer leaves caramelized and crispy, and the heart retaining a buttery, al dente bite.

Boatella Tapas
Plaza del Mercado 34
Every day 8:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Bar Pilar (La Pilareta)

Stepping into Bar Pilar, affectionately known as La Pilareta by locals, feels like a journey back in time. This iconic tapas bar in Valencia is a historic establishment that started as a grocery and liquor store before serving food in 1917. The historic ambiance is cherished by Valencianos, who flock here for the house specialty—clóchinas, or fresh mussels. Sitting in this charming spot, one can truly appreciate why it remains a beloved part of Valencia’s culinary scene.

Casa Montaña

When you walk into Casa Montaña, one of the oldest tapas bars in Valencia dating back to 1836, you’re immediately struck by its classic, elegant establishment. The posh interior and exquisite selection of wines and tapas have delighted both Valencianos and guests for generations. A must for any visitor, Casa Montaña offers a high-quality dining experience that embodies the rich culinary traditions of Valencia.

Taberna La Sènia

Tucked away in Valencia’s old town, Taberna La Sènia may be small, but it offers an impressive quality and quantity of food from its kitchen the size of a closet. Owners Julia and David have been delighting patrons since 2009, with a dozen wines by the glass that change regularly. The cozy inside features just five tables, but you can also enjoy the charm of sitting outside with a glass of wine and a tapa. The fresh local products from the nearby Mercado Central shine in every dish, especially the homemade pâté casero, based on a Tuscan recipe from Florence, Italy.

Their creative and delicious uses of sepia, like the Tallarines de Sepia con Pesto Casero, mimic a pesto pasta dish with noodles made from thinly sliced sepia, offering a texture similar to fat al dente pasta with the subtle flavor of cuttlefish. Instead of the usual patatas bravas, the menu features Papas Arrugas con Mojo Picon, where baby potatoes are covered in a spicy red mojo sauce made from red pepper that tingles with spice.

Taberna La Sènia
Carrer de la Sénia, 2
Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 7:00pm – midnight Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12:30pm – midnight Closed Tuesdays

Central Bar

In the heart of the bustling Mercado Central, Central Bar stands out as a prime example of Valencia’s classic tapas bars with a modern twist. Michelin-starred Valencian chef Ricard Camarena, the mastermind behind this gem, ensures that every tasty dish is crafted from the freshest ingredients sourced directly from the market.

Best Tapas Bars In Valencia

My recent visit to Central Bar felt like a classy dining experience, elevated by the use of locally sourced products. The blend of traditional flavors with innovative techniques makes this spot a must-visit for anyone exploring Valencia’s vibrant culinary scene.

Tasca Sorolla

Stumbling upon Tasca Sorolla was like discovering a hidden gem; very small with just a few chairs, it encourages customers to stand by the windows, creating a cozy, local vibe where it feels like everyone knows each other. This classic tapas bar offers a wine list written on a chalk board, featuring a dozen wines by the glass, including the unique blanco Tempranillo, a white wine made from Tempranillo grapes. The owner recommended his favorite vino blanco, which paired perfectly with the mussels, simply prepared with garlic, bay leaves, and lemon.

The tapas available are written on a board and made from products sourced from the nearby Mercado Central, ensuring the food is prepared fresh in the tiny kitchen behind the bar. I couldn’t resist the pescadito frito, where the fish is cleaned right before battering and frying, served hot, fresh, and absolutely perfect.

Tasca Sorolla
Calle Derechos, 27
Hours
Tuesday – Saturday 12:00 – 4:00, 7:30 – 11:30
Sunday 12:00 – 4:00

Tinto Fino Ultramarino

Wandering through Valencia, I discovered Tinto Fino Ultramarino, one of the most unique tapas bars in the heart of the city. This spot combines a fantastic wine selection with Mediterranean-inspired tapas, reminiscent of an Italian trattoria but with more than just pizza and pasta. The simple, flavorful food creates a fun, inviting ambiance that radiates good vibes throughout the place.

La Otra Parte

During my recent visit to Valencia, I stumbled upon La Otra Parte, a gem with a prime location near the beach. This spot offers great tapas with a modern touch, blending Spanish classics and international fare seamlessly. The menu features patatas bravas, perfectly cooked secreto, ceviche, and mini burgers, perfect for a fun, laid-back meal with good company. It’s the ideal place to unwind and enjoy a beach day in Valencia.

The Plaza Redonda

Exploring Valencia led me to the charming Plaza Redonda, a circular plaza originally constructed in 1840. Located in the geometric center of the city, this plaza was restored in 2012 and is now surrounded by shops selling clothing, lace, and traditional Valencian souvenirs. The Plaza Redonda also boasts a number of restaurants and tapas bars, making it an ideal spot to enjoy the local cuisine while soaking in the historic ambiance.

Pintxo i Trago

One of my favorite spots in Valencia is Pintxo i Trago, renowned for its croquetas, a common Spanish tapa found in most restaurants and bars. These delightful bites have a thick béchamel filling made from butter, flour, and milk, shaped into balls, coated in breadcrumbs, and fried to perfection with a crisp crust and a smooth, creamy interior. Some classic additions include bacalao and jamón, but here, you can find the best variations.

Ordering them fresh from the menu ensures they arrive sizzling hot with a choice of five different fillings. The Croquetas de Rabo de Toro al Vino with oxtail are divine, featuring a crunchy outside and a creamy interior filled with shredded beef. For the adventurous palate, the Croquetas de Chipiron y Ajos Tiernos combine little squid and tender garlic with the intense flavor of squid ink.

Best Tapas Bars In Valencia

Enjoying these treats by the window of the bar overlooking the Placa de Lope de Vega offers a refuge from the nearby crowds and occasional tour group visiting La Estrecha, the narrowest house in Europe with its novelty building history as a home and jewelry store on the bottom level, now integrated into the bar next door, Tasquita La Estrecha.

Pintxo i Trago
Plaza Redonda, 9
Every day 9:30 AM – 12:30 AM

Plaza de la Reina

Walking through Valencia’s Old Town, the Plaza de la Reina stands out as one of the busiest plazas. This plaza is a large open park surrounded by cafes and leading to the entrance of the magnificent Valencia Cathedral. The Cathedral bell tower, known as El Micalet, was constructed in the Gothic style primarily between the 13th century and the 15th centuries, with Baroque features like the main door called the Iron Gate added in the 18th century.

Best Tapas Bars In Valencia

Inside, the true Holy Grail is displayed in the Chapel of the Holy Chalice, accessible for a small guided tour fee.

Colmado LaLola

Nestled near the Micalet bell tower of the Cathedral, Colmado LaLola stands out amidst the touristy restaurants in this often crowded area. Owned by Jesus Ortega, who also owns Restaurant LaLola, this high-quality, reasonably priced spot offers a delightful combination of grocery and tapas bar. You can sell and take away wine and food, with a large selection of tapas to enjoy at the bar or tables outside.

They serve 8 wines by the glass for under €3.50 and a larger list of wines by the bottle with a €5 corkage fee if you want to drink them there. Their selection includes vermouths and sherries, making the terrace a great spot to enjoy jamon and vermouth while watching tourists. Unlike other places that serve fried potatoes with sauce, the Patatas Bravas LaLola style features potato squares filled with garlic alioli and sprinkled with paprika.

Colmado LaLola
Calle Bordadores 10
Hours
Monday – Friday 12:00 pm – midnight
Saturday, Sunday 10:00 am – midnight

Chocolatería Valor

For a sweet treat, Chocolatería Valor offers the thickest and richest hot chocolate in Valencia. Valor has been making chocolate in the Valencian Community since 1881 in a factory located in Alicante. Their chocolate shop on the eastern side of the Plaza de la Reina is a lovely spot to sit on the terrace and dip fat crispy churros into thick melted dark chocolate.

Best Tapas Bars In Valencia

Chocolatería Valor
Plaça de la Reina, 20
Hours
Monday-Thursday 8:30am – 9:30pm
Friday 9:00am – 1am
Saturday 9:00am – 1:30am
Sunday 9:00am – 10:00pm

Horchatería Santa Catalina

Stepping into Horchatería Santa Catalina, which has been serving sweetness for over two centuries, feels like a journey through time. This beloved cafe can handle large crowds and is adorned with traditional ceramic tiles from the Valencian town of Manises, famous for its ceramics. The specialty here is horchata, a traditional Valencian drink made from chufas (or tiger nuts) and served cold. Complement your horchata with a variety of handmade fartons, sweet bread sprinkled with sugar and meant to be dipped. If horchata isn’t your preference, they also offer hot chocolate and churros for dipping.

Horchatería Santa Catalina
Plaza Santa Catalina, 6
Hours
Daily 8:15 am – 9:30 pm

Torres de Serranos

Exploring the Torres de Serranos is like stepping back in time to the 14th century. These majestic towers once served as the main gates to the walled city of Valencia. The impressive sight of the towers is captivating both outside and inside. For a modest €2 entrance fee, you can climb the stairs to the top and enjoy breathtaking views over the rooftops of Valencia.

Las Cuevas

Just two hundred meters south of the Torres de Serrano, you’ll find Las Cuevas nestled in a quiet little plaza called Plaza Cisneros. This traditional Spanish restaurant boasts an interior uniquely designed to resemble a wine cave. With a small tapas bar at the front, the real appeal lies in the terrace shaded by orange trees and the cozy little bar space by the walk-up window. Las Cuevas offers a wide selection of tapas, including various rellenas or stuffed things like red peppers stuffed with tuna, tomatoes filled with bacalao, and seafood-stuffed shells.

They also serve pastries filled with ham or cheese. Although some pre-made tapas might lose their texture and flavor when reheated in a microwave, the key is to seize the moment when something fresh hits the tapas bar. Favorites like Torra de embutido con habas (mixed sausage with beans) and Albondigas (meatballs) are always freshly prepared. The pork meatballs are moist and tender in a mild tomato-based sauce with carrots, while the mixed sausages offer a satisfying selection of chorizo, pork sausages, fava beans, leeks, and rich morcilla sausage.

Pair these with a vino blanco, like the white Rioja made from 100% Viera grapes, which boasts a golden yellow color and flavors of apricot and petrol, all for just €1.50 per glass. And do watch out for cars and motorcycles passing through the street that runs through the plaza.

Las Cuevas
Plaza Cisneros, 2
Monday – Friday 1PM – 1AM
Saturday 7PM – 1 AM
Sunday closed

The Plaza de Ayuntamiento

The Plaza de Ayuntamiento, or Plaça de l’Ajuntament, is truly the center of life in Valencia. This vibrant plaza is where the city’s major celebrations, concerts, protests, and the famous fireworks known as mascletàs take place. The Ayuntamiento building, originally a 17th-century girls’ school called the House of Teachers, was converted into the Town Hall in 1904.

Across the plaza stands the eclectic styled Edificio de Correos (Post Office), constructed between 1915 and 1922. Whether you’re enjoying the loud mascletàs or admiring the historic architecture, the Plaza de Ayuntamiento is a must-visit.

Beher

When it comes to Spanish ham, jamón ibérico from BEHER is considered some of the best in the world. Situated on the edge of the Plaça de l’Ajuntament, BEHER is a name synonymous with Spanish gastronomy and culture. The family of Bernardo Hernández Blázquez has been raising acorn-fed Iberian pigs in the village of Guijuelo, Salamanca, Spain, since the 1930s. Their restaurant and retail store offer a variety of plates featuring their exquisite jamóns and other meats at reasonable prices.

I recommend trying the half racione size plates, which range from €8 to €12, to savor the buttery fat and nutty flavor of Jamón Ibérico Bellota as it melts on your tongue. The wine list here is also exceptional, with jamón-friendly red wines by the glass. The servers are knowledgeable and offer excellent recommendations, such as the local Nodus Reserva from the D.O. Utiel-Requena wine region within the Valencian Community.

BEHER

Plaça de l’Ajuntament, 16
Every day 8:30 AM – 11:30 PM

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