For a bitesize break bursting with fabulous food and heaps of culture, Valencia is hard to top. This pocket-sized port city on Spain's south-eastern coast is overflowing with cool cafes, lovely local restaurants, buzzing tapas bars and a pulsing nightlife. Read on to discover the top foodie experiences in this sunny Spanish city.
Fresh Fare in Central Market
Hit the ground running with a visit to the city's stunning Central Market. Nestled in the heart of Valencia's historic centre, the market (one of the oldest in Europe) is housed within a magnificent modernist building bedecked in colourful hand-painted tiles. Inside, beneath the huge vaulted roof are hundreds of stalls - 900 in total - selling the finest, freshest local fare. Grab yourself a fresh smoothie and something to nibble on and get browsing.
When deciding where to eat in Valencia, do as they do in the rest of Spain and put tapas at the top of your list. While wandering around the city's wonderfully walkable centre, duck into a rustic restaurant and order yourself a selection of traditional treats to feast on, from freshly grilled sardines to a tasty tostada (toast topped with something delicious), all washed down with a glass or two (or ten) of wine.
Leisurely Lunches in Russafa
The beating heart for the city's hip crowd, Russafa is the place to go for indie shops, late-night bars and tiny hidden-away art galleries. With its countless cool cafes, Russafa is a great spot for a long lazy lunch, a steaming cup of coffee and a big slice of cake followed by a wander along its orange-tree dotted streets to walk off your food.
Crazy about Churros
Sweet tooth sufferer? Luckily, Valencia is packed full of places to satisfy a sugar craving, from gelato stands and bakeries to cake-filled cafes and dreamy dessert spots. For the ultimate combo, nab yourself a sunny seat in an outdoor cafe and tuck into warm, indulgent churros (Spanish-style doughnuts) dunked in thick gooey chocolate… heaven.
Valencia is a city of contrasts: coast and culture; colourful graffiti and age-old buildings; meaty menus and... vegan eateries? Although the Spanish may be better known for their carnivorous cravings, walking around the sun-dappled streets you'll be delightfully surprised to discover that Valencia food is pretty vegan-friendly. Tuck into plant-based patties in burger bars and taste veggie chicken nuggets that will leave you convinced you accidentally ate the real thing.
Overflowing with Oranges
Everywhere you turn in Valencia there are oranges; on the trees, in the shops, on the menu.
Perfect for chasing away winter's chill with a good dose of Vitamin C, sip your way through the day with a freshly-squeezed zumo de naranja (orange juice) in the morning and the much-loved local cocktail, Agua de Valencia, come evening.