Valencia is best known for being the cradle of paella. And while lunch in Valencia often revolves around a delicious rice dish of some sorts, the tapas scene in Valencia is also thriving.
Much like anywhere else in Spain, tapas in Valencia are a way of life. But Valencia doesn’t do tapas the same way Madrid or Seville do.
In Valencia, tapas are mostly eaten for dinner. Valencianos tend to order several tapas that are then brought out one by one and placed in the center of the table so that they can be shared between all diners.
Contrary to the popular image of tapas as small plates, tapas in Valencia come in quite large portions. In other Spanish cities, portions this large would be called raciones. But in Valencia, they are more often than not called tapas and two to three of them are usually enough to feed two people.
While it is difficult to narrow down the best tapas bars in Valencia, in all my years living in Valencia I’ve discovered plenty of cozy taverns tucked away on narrow little streets that serve exquisite tapas. The following have gain a place in my Valencian tapas hall of fame.
Nestled within the labyrinthine streets of Valencia’s Old Town, with an Argentinian/Irish team at the helm, Clann Bar has more than earned its place among the city’s culinary elite.
This restaurant offers a small, carefully curated selection of tapas with a focus on fresh, quality ingredients sourced from the local markets. While it may lean towards the pricier end of the tapas spectrum, one bite is all it takes to understand why.
The atmosphere is great and they offer both indoor seating as well as a quiet outdoor terrace. You cannot miss their grilled squid – tender, perfectly seasoned, and bursting with flavor!
Taberna Antonio Manuel
Nestled behind Valencia’s grand City Hall building, this charming tavern provides the ideal setting to savor some tasty tapas in a laid-back atmosphere.
Established in 2011, Taberna Antonio Manuel exudes a nostalgic ambiance, adorned with traditional tiles and rustic wooden barrel decorations. It has both indoor and outdoor seating options, with the outdoor area being a serene haven, shaded by trees on a pedestrian-only street.
This bar offers an extensive tapas menu and top-quality, fresh ingredients, all at reasonable prices. Their commitment to excellence extends to their wine and beer selection, ensuring a delightful complement to the flavorsome tapas offerings.
This is one of the most popular tapas bars in Valencia. Situated in front of Mercado Central, right next to the UNESCO listed Lonja de la Seda, this no frills bar serves some of the best tapas in town.
While it has very limited indoor seating, the large sidewalk terrace facing the recently pedestrianised Plaça del Mercat truly comes into its own during the sunny winter days and late summer evenings.
Bar Boatella has been around for over three decades and their specialty are all kinds of fried tapas, from seafood to artichokes and croquettes.
Also read: 10 Popular Drinks From Valencia You Must Try
This newly opened tapas bar has become an instant hit. Situated in close proximity to Bar Boatella, in the same Plaça del Mercat, this elegant bar is a bit more on the higher-end.
Gran Mercat has a beautiful interior and generous indoor and outdoor seating. The tapas are delicious and the staff is super attentive and professional and go out of their way to keep patrons happy.
Some of the plates are available as media tapa, which is more the size of the small plates served in other parts of Spain, leaving room to try a larger variety of tapas.
This steep in history tapas bar has been around for since 1836! That’s almost two hundred years of experience in preparing tasty tapas and finding the best wine pairings. Let that sink in for a moment.
With a wooden interior dotted with large barrels and Modernista influences, this small tapas bar has a wonderful ambiance great for a romantic evening of tapas.
Casa Montaña is situated in El Cabanyal neighborhood. The proximity to the sea is reflected in the extensive menu rich in fish and seafood tapas. You cannot miss their clóchinas aka mussels!