Spanish people love to eat. And Valencians are no exception to that. However, if you are new in town you might get perplexed with number of meals and their timing, which is very important. Here, lunch is the largest meal of the day.
It is so important that word for it is la comida – meal. It traditionally takes three hours, between 1:30pm and 4:30pm and is associated with famous siesta, afternoon nap. Once it was common that during those hours entire Spain comes to a still. However, and unfortunately, if I may say, ever faster way of life is trying to bring down that tradition. Yet Valencians give their best to endure.
Lunch consists of two courses and each has its own place and time at the table. In workdays Valencians usually have lunch at a restaurant, enjoying dishes from menu del dia – day’s menu, which is a great way to learn about local food. Sunday lunch is taken at home, with traditional, or innovative, paella.
You will find plenty of restaurants all over the city with various offers. Sometimes it looks to me that they are on every corner 🙂
Lunch (Menu del dia) consists of:
- drink, which can be wine, beer or some of the soft drinks,
- dessert and/or cup of coffee.
In restaurants with Mediterranean cuisine (and I will focus on them, because pizzas, burgers and sushi are pretty much the same everywhere, right?) it often comes in the form of various sea food, soup, paella, cheeses, dishes with ordinary or sweet potato, rice, fish, prosciutto, salads and many, many more.
Depending on your restaurant of choice, you can have grilled octopus or cuttlefish, smoked eel fillets, sausages, mixed dried meat plate or one of the numerous salads that are on offer. Or almost indefinite variety of other food, since, you know… Valencia.
This main dish, with meat, vegetables, fish, pasta and others.
Again, based on your preferences, there you may enjoy pepper stuffed with cod and prawns, lamb stew, various dishes with various fish, such as, tuna, cod, hake or other, dishes with lamb or pork, octopus with anemones as dressing, ox tail, chicken in coconut curry…
Dessert and / or coffee
I made a whole page on traditional Valencian desserts to help you make your choice. However, these days you may find all kinds of different desserts find it here!
There is a separate page about coffee in Valencia – How to order coffee in Valencia
You may choose wine (vino tinto or blanco) , beer (cerveza), soft drinks or water. Note: In Valencia they will not serve you water freely, neither do they drink tap water.
Ordering beer s not that simple here, so please consult the page How to order beer in Valencia
Prices range from 7.50 € to 30 € per person
You’d be surprised by a quality of food at some of those inexpensive local bars or restaurants. My advice would be – do not turn your head away from “cheap” menu del dia. Give it a try! Usually those are the places frequented by regulars from the neighbourhood.
There you go. I laid some of it out for you. But I know, and I’m sure you will agree, there are few things that can compare with discovering your next favorite meal. So what are you waiting for? Make the best use of time and start with restaurant hunt! Hope you enjoy your meal!