My first suggestion would be Mercato Central – well you’ve already realized that I am very fond of this place (sometimes it looks like I would even sleep there). It’s simply so appealing to me, that I can’t resist 🙂 You will find here such abundance of different hams, cheeses and all kind of goodies, that you will now know where to start. I will help you – it’s easy – start at the first deli (Charcutería) or bar. You can’t go wrong! You may buy at Mercado all your picnic food or you may go to any of the bars inside or outside of the Market.
The most famous is Central Bar – with it’s Michelline star chef, but again, I am not an advocate of the “best of the best”, I’d rather find the what’s “the best of the best” for myself. So, honest suggestion would be – go to any bar and find your favorite sandwich or tapas.
Bars and Cafes
If you hungry and Mercado Central is far away, just head to the nearest bar or cafe and again, you can’t go wrong 🙂 Honestly, sometimes I think that this city has the greatest number o small cafes/bars of all the cities I have ever visited (and I visited many trust me). On every corner you will find two (OK maybe one 😉
I personally like “corner bars” where locals go, and where “everybody knows your name”. They may not look “Instagram like”, but there you can be sure to get good food and kind smile (well not guaranteed, but most likely).
There are also few chain bakeries that offer great almuerzo and if, for some reason you are suspicious of “no fancy” local bars (there is no reason to be), just enter Panaria or Granier and you are safe 🙂 If you ask for my favorite it’s Granier, but both of them are good.
I really like Paniacos – bakery “where everybody knows your name. Great pastry, sandwiches and one of the coffees I had in Valencia, plus service is excellent. Last, but not the least that is kind of interior I enjoy a lot – kind of eclectic (rustic, urban, modern antique 🙂
There are quite a few restaurants that serve breakfast – just look for the almuerzo/desayuno menu
When you see all those places filled with people at that hour, you wonder, do these people ever work. Yes they do, it’s just that their 10 o’clock almuerzo is somewhat sacred in this city and nobody even asks any questions.
English/ American Breakfast/Brunch
With lots of Brits and Americans moving to Valencia, the need for their food grew, so these days there are few places where they can find their “home sick” food. If you close your eyes at some of those places, you would think that you are at “Diners” 🙂 Some are not that good, but will talk about that later at 5 Best American English Breakfast Brunch Places. I have to tell you however, in Valencia you will not find anything like brunch places in US. Maybe in a near future that will change and make sure you will be first to know 🙂