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11 March 2019

six places to eat and drink in ruzafa, valencia

i'm not going to lie, charl and i did verrrrrrrry little sight seeing while in valencia, preferring to sight see our way around tapas bars and cava bars over the actual attractions the city has to offer, but actually.. that was kinda great. in fact, we both commented to each other just how great it was to not have to rush about to take in everything there was to see, choosing instead to take our first trip together slow, to get to know each other better, and to actually - have a relax for once! so, i may not be able to tell you what to see and do on your next trip to valencia, but i certainly can tell you where to eat. so, let's go!

breakfast & coffee

panaria centelles

our first night's stay didn't include breakfast, which was fine as we had been given a few great recommendations by the friendly staff at the hotel that we wanted to try. sadly, those recommendations all turned out to be overrun with tourists (we think they might be insta-famous but we didn't stick around to discover the truth), so we kept wandering until we found a quiet little cafe with fresh oranges on the tables, and array of pastries in the window. we sipped freshly squeezed valencian orange juice, ordered iced coffees (with real cream!), and enjoyed warm cheese tarts in the shade of lane-way palms. we were only there a half an hour or so, but it was the perfect start to the day! the breakfast was so cheap too, we got change for all of that from a tenner. very affordable for breakfast, and the staff were very friendly and spoke excellent english too.

find it here: calle los centelles, 37 bajo dcha 46006 valencia

los picos cafe

later that afternoon, as we were starting to lag a little, we wandered into picos as it was nearby to a cute wall we were photographing, and also, there was a dog in there as we walked past. it had a verrry hipster vibe, with home-grown beans on show, and that minimalist look about it (plus: some very good music from the 90s on) - you know the one i mean, and also the menu of dairy free alternatives was lengthy. that's how you know you're in good hands! i ordered an oat latte and the barista made it so lovingly and served it sans lid for me to go, but stared at me and wouldn't let me leave the shop until i'd taken a sip to make sure it was to my liking. it very much was, but i also appreciate that sort of commitment to customer service. the flat white was no more than two euro, and the (all recycled) cup was cute as hell too. double extra bonus for the awesome window decorations as well (they read: a damn fine cup of coffee)(which is from twin peaks, but also a great quote), which always make for some nice instagram fodder.

find it here: plaza de manuel grandero, 20, 46006 valencia

tapas & drinks

la flaca

we loved la flaca so much we actually came back twice in two days. the first time was to drink 3.50 euro cava in the sun, followed by some of the most amazing tapas we'd ever had; the second time was, well, for more of the same - just in the evening. and with dessert. but let me tell you about the tapas: it wasn't the cheapest, it was between 2.50 and 4.00 euro per portion (per portion! as in, per one piece! we only discovered this when it came to paying - although on second inspection, it does say that on the menu), but it was sooooo damn tasty that we genuinely didn't mind. the menu was all in spanish so we just sort of.. guessed at first, but we soon discovered what was what, and what we liked.

i can't find the menu aaaaanywhere to verify my memories, but the scallop dish was absolutely incredible. steamed in some sort of garlic butter and bernaise sauce, it was a taste sensation (we had one each on the first day, but then had to order more. on the second day we just ordered four pieces. ha!) also, let's talk about the dessert. our waitress suggested something else, but we wanted this. it was a chocolate sphere with caramel butter sauce and, oh, home-made marshmallows that were so very incredible. we even ordered a whole bottle of cava on the second night - we just couldn't get enough of it. so, if you are in the area, you have to try those scallops! (bonus points for the amazing pink-tiled bathroom too)

find it here: carrer de puerto rico, 4, 46006 valencia

la cooperativa del mar

we popped in here on our last night for an early dinner before a later supper. makes sense, right? we'd basically just been eating little and often, and it was about the time t eat again. it is right around the corner from la flaca, which is handy if you want to start your night here, then go there for dessert - which we did. the tapas here is 100% fish based, and no matter what you do, you will over-order. still, for four glasses of wine, two bottles of coke, and five portions of tapas we spent no more than thirty euros - for evening wine and tapas, it was a bargain. my fave tasties were the homemade bread and the tomato and basil salad, as well as the marinated scallops (i think? again, cannot find a menu online!) and cod tacos with quacccc! but there was so much choice, i just let charl order for me (she's just a gentleman!). the restaurant is super cute, too, and seeing as it's called "co-operative" i can only assume that the food is local and organic - always a bonus? plus, the decor was seaside themed, with paper birds hanging from the ceiling and fish crates for chairs - and who doesn't love a themed restaurant?

find it here: calle literato azorin 18, 46006 valencia 

trendy drinks

hotel malcom and barret

i've already written aaaaall about our beautiful stay at hotel malcom and barret, but it's also just an all-round fab place to sit and have a couple of drinks at the bar (or: in bed, if you're that lucky). you can have a read all about our stay here. did you see that wallpaper?!

find it here: av. d'ausias march, 59, 46013 valencia

ubik cafe

this was one of the best suggestions the hotel receptionist gave us: a wine bar, but make it educational. yeeeeep, this wee wine bar is set in a library. and couldn't be any cuter if it tried. the books aren't even off limits - they're fair game, and you can read and eat and drink and read and it's so chill and lovely and full of a variety of people too. seriously, there was a couple next to us ordering dinner who couldn't have been younger than sixty, while another couple making out at the bar crossed the generational gap from the thirties to the fifties - that's not even accounting for the young'uns getting their fill of poetry or the classics over a glass 1.50 euro wine. i shit you not, 1.50 euro wine. need i say more?

find it here: carrer del literat azorin, 13, 46003 valencia

honestly, between the fresh orange juice and 1.50 wines, to the local seafood tapas the the sparkling cava, there wasn't anything i didn't love about the valencian food scene. my only regret is that we didn't have long enough in the beautiful city to maybe, you know, actually see some sights, but also to eat and drink a lot more. if you get the opportunity, you really must visit valencia. and take me with you.

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