Valencia – Ciutat Vella – El Mercat
Around La Lonja and Mercado Central in the barrio of El Mercat are a few other nice buildings, including some old churches.
For food, Tasca Angel (Elementary B+) at 1 Carrer de la Puríssima, is a classic (since 1946) stand-up tapas bar just around the corner from La Lonja. It’s a tiny place and always full to bursting, so they appreciate it if you keep reusing your glasses. We tried the All i Pebre (chunks of eel in a garlic and pepper sauce) and while it was a good example of this dish, I’m still not a fan of eel (B-). The sardines and brochettes here are good though.
The famous La Pilareta aka Bar Pilar (Intermediate B+) at 13 Calle del Moro Zeit, is considered by many to be the best place in town to have Clochinas (Valencian Mussels). Clochinas are smaller and more yellow in colour than normal mussels and have more flavour. Both are on the menu so you can compare. I had them ‘al Vapor’ (steamed and served in a broth of, I think, garlic, bay leaves. black pepper and paprika) and they were great (B+). The Calamari, fried in a very delicate batter were excellent as well, some of the best I’ve ever had (A). The old chap in the pictures is showing us the gas powered machine that was used to refrigerate food in the old days.
There are a few quirky shops around here too. For modern and very cool clothes I really like Bugalu at 6 Carrer de la Llotja. Original CV at Plaza del Mercado is a good place to buy local products to take home.