When you say Valencia, I say paella. This typical Spanish dish finds its origin in the region of Valencia. It’s certainly a dish you can’t skip while visiting Valencia. But, where do you go to eat the best paella in Valencia? In this article, I highlight one of my all-time favourites: La Pepica at the beach.
Valencia, the paella region
That paella finds it’s origin in Valencia, is because of the many rice fields just outside the city. In Albufera National Park about one-third of all paella rice of Spain is being produced! It’s one of the biggest rice areas in Spain. Albufera and its villages (El Saler and El Palmar) are definitely worth a visit. I will write more about that soon!
Paella in Valencia
Back to finding the best paella in Valencia. There are hundreds of restaurants where you can eat paella. Often, they have a paella pan “waiting” for you outside. My suggestion: keep walking! ? Paella is at its best when it’s prepared freshly and that takes one hour at least. The paella at the front door of the restaurant will just be heated up for you…
Best paella in Valencia: La Pepica
So, where do you get to eat the best paella in Valencia? Our favourite is La Pepica, a restaurant right next to the beach. This restaurant has a history of over 120 years and besides that its included in many travel guides, it still attracts mostly Spanish people.
Maybe it’s the interior that scares away tourists… ? Think about bright TL lighting and many tables in a big, open space. On the walls, you will find old pictures showing the history of the restaurant. The waiters – mostly elder men – are running around to serve anyone. If you can look through the maybe not so cosy interior, this really is a nice place to eat. And if the weather is good, you won’t be sitting inside anyway, because they also have a nice terrace in front of the restaurant, with see-side views.
The best paella is, of course, Paella Valenciana, the classic of Valencia. It’s made with rice, beans, chicken (pollo) and rabbit (conejo). Yes, rabbit… But don’t be afraid, it really is tender meat with a very nice taste. Worth the try!
Make a reservation at La Pepica
Making a reservation at La Pepica is no luxury, especially when you are visiting on Sunday. That is the day a lot of Spanish people escape the city of Valencia and go to the beach to eat paella. Making a reservation can be done via the English website.
In case you forgot to or don’t want to make a reservation, you can try to go there, but there might be a line outside. However, it might be worth the wait.
The best time to go eat paella is between 13:00-14:00h. When you arrive earlier, the restaurant might be still closed or you will be the only one. ? Arriving much later is also not a good idea, because the restaurant closes between 15:30h and 20:30h.
On the menu in Spain, you often find a Menu del día, the menu of the day. With this, most of the times you’ll get three courses (one of them is probably a paella) and something to drink. At La Pepica they also have this kind of menu, which is a good option to try.
Address La Pepica
Please let me know in the comments below if you have visited La Pepica! Buen provecho!