Each March, Valencia becomes an outdoor art gallery and non-stop party zone. But for many people, the best part of Las Fallas is all the delicious food. Here’s your guide to the best Las Fallas food to try.
Las Fallas Festival has often been described as the “Mother of All Parties“. During the last days of the festival, millions of locals and visitors alike take to the streets, eating, drinking, dancing, singing, and throwing firecrackers until the wee small hours of the morning.
To fuel the party, hundreds of food stands and dozens of street markets sprout throughout the city. Bakeries and bars stay open until well past midnight, while mobile discos and nightclubs keep the crowds awake until dawn.
Las Fallas is one of the best experiences to have in Valencia in your 20s and beyond. If you want to enjoy this crazy fiesta to the fullest, check out these popular Las Fallas foods.
Pumpkin buñuelos dunk in hot chocolate
Buñuelos are one of the most typical Valencian foods you can eat during Las Fallas. These doughnut-like treats, more or less round in shape and with a hole in the middle are deep-fried to perfection and served in a paper cone at street stands throughout Valencia.
While you can encounter many buñuelos recipes throughout Spain, in Valencia, buñuelos are traditionally made with pumpkin. They are usually sprinkled with sugar and served piping hot. They taste even better if you dunk them into thick, hot chocolate.
Churros (simple, glazed or filled)
Churros are another super popular snack during Las Fallas.
Just like buñuelos, these thin, elongated fried-dough pastries are served sprinkled with sugar and sold in a paper cone. However, they are crispier and the ingredients used to make the dough are slightly different. Churros are typically eaten dunked in hot chocolate.
If you’d like to try something different, many street vendors also sell chocolate glazed churros and churros filled with chocolate, custard cream, or dulce de leche. One of the interesting facts about Las Fallas is that these are only available during the festivities.
Porras with hot chocolate
If you’ve never had of porras before, you might be a bit puzzled as of what makes them different from churros. At first glance, porras look like thicker, smoother churros made into a spiral. Besides the shape, however, the biggest difference is that porras are usually made with baking soda so they are spongier.
While they taste pretty similar to churros, they are different enough and you should definitely try them as well. Some locals prefer porras over churros, so I guess it’s a matter of taste. Personally, I tend to oscillate between the two. Try them accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate for an extra kick.
Also Read: Fun Festivals in Valencia You Cannot Miss
Paella is arguably the most popular rice dish in the world. While many people think of it as Spain’s national dish, paella actually comes from Valencia. Thus, any celebration in Valencia involves family and friends gathered around a large paella pan.
During Las Fallas, locals love to partake in paella cooking contests as well as cook giant paellas in the middle of the street. I recommend you make a beeline for the latest to enjoy an inexpensive plate of paella.
An authentic paella Valenciana calls for ingredients such as chicken, rabbit, and sometimes snails (see these fun facts about paella for a full list of ingredients). If you’d like to try a truly exquisite paella, book a table at one of these restaurants.
Other rice dishes
Valencia is surrounded by hundreds of acres of rice fields, so it’s only natural for rice to take center stage in many local dishes. Besides paella, you should also try arroz al horno (baked rice with pork, potatoes, and chickpeas), arroz del senyoret (rice with seafood), and arroz meloso con bogavante (creamy rice with lobster).
Just because they are lesser-known, it doesn’t mean they are any less delicious. Actually, it’s not unheard of for some locals to prefer one of these other dishes over paella. Many restaurants in Valencia specialise in rice dishes, which are usually eaten for lunch.
Pumpkin might be on everyone’s lips during Las Fallas due to the buñuelos, but the craze doesn’t stop there. In fact, roasted pumpkin pops surprisingly often on dessert menus and in bakeries during winter in Valencia.
Las Fallas, however, brings roasted pumpkin to street markets as well. Take a quick stroll on the streets of Ruzafa, and it’s impossible not to be attracted by the waft of roasted pumpkin. Grab a slice and enjoy it any time of the day, be it in the park or your hotel room.
During medieval times, the Moors ruled Valencia for more than 500 years. While this inevitably left a deep mark on Valencia’s architecture, the local cuisine was equally influenced. The Ruzafa neighborhood has a number of Moroccan shops that become part of the fabric of Las Fallas every year.
Stop by the piles of colorful Moroccan sweets made with honey, dates, cinnamon, almonds, and figs. You’ll find traditional delicacies such as baklava, chebakia, and almond cookies. They are every bit as appetizing as they look.
Horchata with fartons
Horchata is a plant-based refreshing drink made from chufa (tigernut), a tubercle that grows in the fields of Alboraya, on the outskirts of Valencia. The locals have developed a bit of an obsession with this sweet beverage and would find any excuse to sip a glass of horchata on a terrace.
Since horchata is best served ice cold, the warmer temperatures during Las Fallas mark the beginning of the horchata season. This means you’ll find horchata carts throughout the city center.
If you’d like to try it with fartons (elongate pastries glazed with sugar) you better head to a specialized horchatería like the ones you can find in Mercado de Colon.
Also read: Where to Find the Best Horchata In Valencia
Mojitos, caipirinhas, Spanish beer, and mistela wine (a sweet and fragrant liquor made from local muscat grapes) flow freely during Las Fallas. Bocadillos (Spanish sandwiches in crusty bread) are an inexpensive way to avoid a hangover.
You can find a great variety of bocadillos in any bar, bakery and even at street stands. Among the most popular Spanish bocadillos are the ones with serrano ham, tuna, fried calamari or sobrasada (pork sausage spread).
If you want to try a bocadillio typical from the Valencia region, order a blanco y negro. This bocadillo has two main ingredients — longaniza (white sausage) and morcilla (blood sausage) and is a meat lover’s dream. For a vegetarian option, try bocadillo with tortilla de patatas (Spanish potato omelet).
Another hangover food popular during Las Fallas are these huge slices of bread inspired by the Catalan pa amb tomàquet. Rubbed with tomato and topped with thin slices of hand-carved serrano ham, they’ve become a typical Las Fallas food.
Besides Catalanas, you’ll also find toast topped with all kinds of sausages. They are not on the cheap side, but they are a convenient option for satisfying your hunger quickly. If on a budget, head to pretty much any coffee shop and order a tomato toast – it’s the most popular breakfast foods in Valencia.
Grilled meats and sausages
When it comes to Las Fallas food, one of the most memorable sights are these huge round grills found at pretty much every street market. They are usually filled with meats and sausages, although some veggies might be added for good measure.
The meats are slowly cooked over a wood fire, which gives them a pleasant smokey flavor. They are then served in bocadillos or on a plate accompanied by fries.
If you are a meat lover, you will surely be drawn by the unmistakable aroma of pork. I recommend you order the morcilla (blood sausage). But if this is too much of a culture shock for you, the longaniza blanca (white sausage) or longaniza roja (sausage with sweet red pepper) are just as delicious.