Are you about to go on a trip to Valencia in Spain and do you want to eat paella in Valencia? If so, you are in the right place! Valencia is the paella capital in the world, and it is scattered with paella restaurants. This in contrast to cities like Barcelona and Sevilla. Here it is much harder to find a decent paella restaurant.
Eating Paella in Valencia – some things to be aware of
Can you drop by at any time at any restaurant in Valencia and order paella? Not at all.
Eating paella is a tradition that has been woven into the Valencian culture for many centuries. Therefore, it is recommended to keep some things in mind when eating paella in Valencia.
1. Paella is a lunch dish
Paella is traditionally a dish that is eaten during lunchtime. At most locations on the east coast of Spain, this is from 1:30 pm.
When you decided to enjoy paella somewhere in Valencia, make sure you are between 1:30 pm and 2:00 pm in a restaurant.
Preparing a delicious fresh paella can take half an hour to three-quarters of an hour so it will soon be around 2.30pm before you start eating.
As paella is generally a hearty meal, it is advisable not to have a too heavy breakfast in the morning. When you start your day a little later, lunchtime will be there in no time.
2. Be patient
As mentioned above, preparing a paella can take half an hour to three-quarters of an hour. So please be patient after ordering and enjoy a drink together with some small starters.
Sometimes you can reduce waiting time a little by reserving in advance and specifying the type of paella you want to eat when you make your reservation. In that case, one can take this into account and do some of the preparations beforehand.
3. Make a reservation (especially during the weekend)
Are you planning on eating paella in a renowned paella restaurant in Valencia? If so, make sure you make a reservation in advance. In that case, you are guaranteed to have a table.
Also reserve a table if you are planning to eat paella during the weekend because many Valencians are also going to a restaurant so that they can be quite crowded.
After all, it would be a pity when you are there for a few days, and your favorite restaurant is full.
4. There are multiple varieties of paella
Another aspect of being aware of is that paella has multiple varieties and THE paella does not exist.
The dish paella can be prepared in many different varieties. Some of the best-known varieties are:
- Paella Valenciana – authentic chicken and rabbit paella.
- Paella de Marisco – seafood paella.
- Paella de Verduras – vegetable paella – often vegetarian.
- Paella Mixta – a paella of meat, fish, and seafood.
- Paella de Pollo – chicken paella.
Most restaurants only prepare fresh paellas for two or more persons. Keep this in mind during the decision making and ordering.
5. Check out reviews before eating paella
Even though the best place to eat paella is Valencia, not all paella restaurants are excellent.
In recent years, tourism has increased significantly in Valencia. Because of the increase in tourism, the number of restaurants, and with that, the so-called ‘tourist-traps,’ have also increased.
To prevent you from disappointment it is wise to have a look at some reviews before entering a restaurant.
Another way to select the best restaurants is to ask a resident. Every Valencian knows where to find delicious paella.
Eating Paella in Valencia – this is where it can be done
To help to make the selection a bit easier elsewhere on the website, you will find an overview of 11 Valencian restaurants that serve great paella.
Are these not yet enough? Then take a look at the Wikipaella website.
The Wikipaella organization supervises the quality and authenticity of paella. On their website, you will find a map with certified paella restaurants in Valencia and the rest of the world.