The Top 10 Foods From Valencia (Food Guide 2024)

Want to make sure you’re trying authentic food from Valencia? Then follow this food guide to learn about the most famous Valencian dishes so you can unleash your inner foodie. This guide is written by a food-obsessed traveler that’s lived in Valencia since 2018. 

The Best Food from Valencia

Valencian cuisine is rich, varied, and often changes from town to town. There are probably hundreds of specific foods from Valencia – so there’s no way I can include all of them in one article. 

Instead, this Valencia food guide is intended for people who are traveling here and would like to get a tasty introduction to the gastronomy. 

So I’ll start with 10 foods from Valencia you have to try. Then later on, I’ll list some extra dishes you should look into if you have the time (and the appetite). 

Here are my top 10 foods from Valencia:

Paella

Valencia is the birthplace of paella, so naturally we have to include this! Pronounced pah-ay-yah, this world-famous rice dish is actually named after the pan it’s cooked in. This means that there are several types of paella that you can try. 

The classic example is the paella valenciana – made with chicken, rabbit, and seasonal vegetables. 

But you can also go for a paella de marisco (seafood) or a paella de verdures (vegetables). 

To be fair, the best paella is always the one made by one of the dads in the family. But if you can’t find a Valencian dad to make one for you, then you’ll want to find a restaurant at the beach or in the Albufera. And if you get lucky, you can always try it at the international paella competition each year!

Just note – when you order a paella, it’ll be a 2-person minimum, and they’ll put the whole pan in the center of the table. So if you come with a group – you’ll probably only choose one type of paella for everybody. 

➡️ Here’s where to get the best paella in Valencia

Arròs al forn

This is the vegetarian version my husband and I made!

Even though paella is the most famous Valencian food, I have to admit that I actually like arròs al forn better. This baked rice dish is packed with carbs, proteins, and deliciously pan-fried vegetables. 

It is the perfect dish to knock you into a food coma and immerse yourself in becaeta (siesta) culture

I like to think of it as Valencia’s best-kept secret. It’s an essential part of Valencian cuisine and shows just how many different ways they make use of the locally-harvested rice. 

Fideuà

If Italy has pasta, then Valencia has fideuà! To give a crude explanation, fideuà is kind of like a pasta-version of paella

It’s cooked in the same pan, but uses a wheat-based noodle. Most of the time, it’s cooked with a seafood broth and uses shrimp and shellfish. 

This is the perfect dish for anyone that’s not a huge rice fan. This is a traditional Valencian dish that originates from Gandia, a small city in La Safor. 

So if you’re looking for some tasty seafood, I’d highly recommend going for a fideuà. To get some, I’d recommend going to the beach, the Riuà restaurant in the center, or taking a day trip to Gandia! 

Coca

@abroadinvalencia

I’ve also learned to not use Coca outside of Valencia because many Spaniards are only familiar with coca especial. #language #food #cultureshock

♬ original sound – Kevin 🍊 American in Valencia

⬆️ Check out my TikTok where I talk about coques! ⬆️

Coca is a word that means many things in Valencia. But in general – anything that is made with dough can be a coca. 

So you can have a savory coca that looks like a flatbread, or a spongy poundcake with an orange glaze. 

This is probably one of my favorite Valencia foods. I recommend going to a local bakery to try some traditional versions – both sweet and savory. Or if you want to sit down and enjoy some, then Zalamero in Russafa is a great option to try some modernized versions.  

Esgarraet

This Valencian recipe has a few different names and variations. Esgarraet, escalivada, titaina, espencat – these are all similar dishes. 

Typically, they are roasted vegetables that are shredded (esgarraet means torn/ripped). Then, they’re added onto a plate with high-quality olive oil and garlic. Sometimes parsley or lemon is added, too. 

This Valencia food changes a bit depending on the area. You’ll also see versions with seafood, as well. So if you’re a vegetarian, make sure to ask! 

Enjoy this tasty tapa with some fresh bread, sop up the olive oil, and savor every bite! 

All i pebre

This is one of the most traditional Valencian dishes. It’s also a great example of how you’re in Valencia – Spain – food is something that changes a ton throughout the peninsula. You probably won’t find this recipe anywhere else!

It’s a stew that is made with eel and potatoes, then spiced with garlic and paprika. All i Pebre means Garlic and Paprika

It comes from El Palmar, a neighborhood around the Albufera. Since this natural lake is full of eels – the local fisherman made use of the ingredients available to them. 

For some people, this may seem like a bit of a daring or unique meal. But it literally doesn’t get more authentic than eating a local delicacy using native ingredients! 

Clòtxines

Mussels are another one of the most classic examples of food from Valencia. As you can tell – Valencians took advantage of everything the Mediterranean sea gave them. 

This is a common tapa/appetizer to begin a meal, especially at a restaurant. They’re prepared with lemon, garlic, black pepper, and sometimes a spicy pepper. 

Clòtxines are a delicacy and a beloved part of Valencian cuisine. If you’re looking to enjoy some light tapas and drinks, this is a common choice. 

Fartons i Orxata

Let’s move on from typical dishes from Valencia and look into some desserts. Fartons i orxata is probably the most famous sweet food you can get in the city. 

Fartons are a type of sweetbread that is dipped in orxata – a tigernut milk drink. 

To give you an idea, Imagine dipping a sweet breadstick into an almond milk slushie. But it has a completely unique flavor that I can’t quite describe. 

I recommend going to Daniel’s, a famous Oxateria with multiple locations throughout the city. They are typically eaten as a berenar – a mid-evening snack. So I suggest going to the Mercat de Colom in the afternoon and taking a quick break there to try them yourself!

Bunyols

If you’re coming to Valencia during Les Falles – then you HAVE to try bunyols. This is one of the most iconic foods from Valencia. 

They are fried balls of dough made with pumpkin, and sometimes stuffed with figs. People dip them in hot chocolate, but you can eat them alone if you prefer. 

It’s the most common festival food during the holiday. You’ll see stands set up throughout the city to try them. 

Note: Outside of Les Falles, almost nobody eats them! 

Mistela

Enjoy an authentic meal full of Valencian cuisine, order some coffee, and then when you’re done – order a round of Mistela. 

This is a sweet grape licor that people drink as a digestif after meals. And don’t worry if you can’t handle your liquor – it is definitely sweet! 

Especially in the summer, finishing off a meal with a round of mistela is the best way to enjoy an authentic Valencian experience. 

And if you’re not really into sweet wines – keep on reading, I’ll give you a list of other after-meal drinks to enjoy during your sobremesa. 

Other Delicious Valencia Foods

That was the list of foods from Valencia you absolutely need to try. If you’re coming to the city, those should be your top priority of foods to try if you want to get a taste of the cuisine. 

But like I say – there are hundreds of local recipes, dishes, and foods to try. So let me give you a quick list of some other alternatives to look for. 

Again, this isn’t completely exhaustive – I’d need to write a full book for that. Although this is a good first introduction to the world of Valencian gastronomy. 

Valencian Savory Dishes

Let’s start with some savory Valencian dishes to try. Valencia is famous for their rices. People say you could eat a different rice dish every day of the year. 

So I’ll point out a few favorites, plus give you some suggestions for other dishes to look out for: 

  • Arròs a banda – Rice with a seafood stock 
  • Arròs al senyoret – Rice with peeled shrimp and prawns 
  • Arròs amb fesols i naps – Rice with beans and turnips
  • All i oli – Garlic and Oil sauce (aka aioli in English) 
  • Pastissets – Savory pastries with many different fillings 
  • Croquetes – Fried doughballs stuffed with a creamy filling

And of course, there are many savory foods that are common throughout all of Spain’s territories, as well. 

Valencian Desserts

Need to satiate that sweet tooth? Luckily Valencia won’t disappoint. 

There are tons of classic desserts. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that almost EVERY town has their own speciality. 

Which gives you pleeeeenty of desserts to try. 

But let me narrow it down to a few of the most well-known sweets to try:

  • Turró – Nougat usually eaten during Christmas 
  • Xurros – Fried dough eaten with hot chocolate
  • Mona de pasqua – Sweet bread during Easter 
  • Massapà – Marzipan desserts shaped like fruit 
  • Pastisset d’anís – Anise-flavored pastries 
  • Pastisset de moniato – Sweet potato pastry 

Valencian Drinks

Just like practically any place in Europe, you’ll find Valencia has a rich history of alcoholic beverages to keep the townspeople happy! 

In general, I’d say that most of the drinks are rather sweet. Especially if you compare it to drinks from the US. 

Many of them are also served after lunch as a digestif, or in the early evening during tardeo. So here are some of the most common drinks from Valencia:

  • Licor d’arròs – Sweet rice liquor served with cinnamon
  • Casalla – An herbed liquor (very strong)
  • Aigua de València – A classic drink that is mostly only served to tourists these days 
  • Cerol – A coffee-flavored liquor from Alcoi, often mixed with Lemon Fanta or Coca Cola
  • Wine – Especially from Requena
  • Cremaet – A coffee drink with alcohol that’s set on fire to burn off the alcohol

Foods that people make at home

Finally, I want to give you a quick list of foods that Valencians usually make at home – but probably wouldn’t ever order at a restaurant. 

The reason is that these are super simple, cheap recipes. So eating them at a restaurant can feel like a waste of money. 

So these are some more authentic dishes, but just know that if you get it at a restaurant – you’re probably paying too much. 

  • Bollit – Boiled potatoes, green beans, and onions.
  • Putxero – A stew with chickpeas, potatoes, carrots, and a ton of meat
  • Ensalada Valenciana – The typical salad your mom makes: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, olive oil, salt, vinegar.

The Esmorzaret

A Valencia food guide isn’t complete without mentioning l’Esmorzaret. This is a traditional mid-morning meal that was traditionally eaten by farmers to give them the energy they need to keep going until lunch. 

It consists of a large sandwich (like a sub), often stuffed with a potato omelette. People often eat it with olives, peanuts, and pickled vegetables. They’ll also drink a beer, a glass of wine with soda water, and a coffee. 

Now, you don’t need to be working on a farm to enjoy an esmorzaret. This meal has become an integral part of Valencian culture, especially on nice occasions to meet with your friends. 

You should expect to pay around 6€ for a huge, filling meal. It’s just another reason to love this mealtime! 

Travel Resources

Hopefully this list gives you a good place to start tasting some Valencian cuisine! Thanks to its farmlands, the Albufera, and the sea – Valencia has a diverse and tasty gastronomy. 

So if you’re a foodie coming to Valencia, you’ll have a great time. 

Here are some more resources to help you get a taste of the food from Valencia:

Bon viatge and bon profit!

FAQs

What are the most common foods from Valencia?

The most typical Valencian foods are paella, arròs al forn, fideuà, coca, all i pebre, and clòtxines. You’ll see lots of rice dishes, seafood dishes, and savory breads. 

What foods is Valencia known for?

The most common dish Valencia is known for is Paella. But other rice dishes and seafood plates like fideuà are also very typical.  

What is the national dish of Valencia?

Paella Valenciana is the national dish of Valencia. This is a rice dish made with chicken, rabbit, and seasonal vegetables. Make sure to get it from the beach or l’Albufera for the most authentic version! 

What food to take home from Valencia?

You should bring home drinks like Mistela, Licor d’arròs, or local wine. You can also bring back Valencian olives and get them vacuum-sealed in the central market. 

Need help planning your trip to Valencia?

Here are the tools I use for the cheapest (and most reliable) vacation planning:

  • 🏠Booking – Affordable hotels and apartments
  • 🏠Hostel World – Safe and budget-friendly hostels 
  • ✈️Skyscanner – My favorite tool for cheap flights
  • 🚗Discover Cars – Best place for car rentals
  • 🚄Trainline – The easiest way to book local trains in advance
  • 📶Airalo – eSim cards for easy internet access while traveling
  • 🦺Safety Wing – The #1 travel medical insurance 
  • 💸Airhelp – Cancelled flight compensation (it’s free!)
  • 💱Wise – Easiest low-fee way to transfer currency 

Affiliate disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. These are links to services I personally recommend using for your trip to Valencia. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission from these brands if you choose to make a purchase. Your support helps me pay my bills and eat more bunyols!

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