La Seu is the most central barrio in the old town, between El Carme and La Xerea. It’s central point is Placa de la Mare de Deu from which runs Carrer dels Cavallers, the main street in the old town which is thronged with tapas bar.
This post is about eating and drinking, see the next one for stuff to see in the area, and the previous one for drinking horchata.
La Salvaora (Advanced A), 19 Carrer de Calatrava, www.lasalvaora.com
I celebrated my birthday here in 2014 but can’t recall much about it! Five of us had the tasting menu which consisted of Braised White Asparagus with a Vinaigrette of Cherries, Tuna Tartar with Ginger and Peach, Turbot Stuffed with Aubergine in a Veloute of Langoustines, Confit of Iberico Pork with Mash and to finish, Yogurt with White Chocolate Cream, Tonka Beans and Red Fruits. I so remember it was all very good!
Just a stones throw away from La Salvaora is the lovely Placa de Negret which is full of bars where you can sit outside. The most famous is Cafe Negrito but I’m not sure why as it doesn’t look particularly attractive inside. It’s probably easier to get a seat at one of the other bars.
La Lola (Intermediate B), 8 Calle de la Subida del Toledano, Tel. 963 018 045 www.lalolarestaurante.com
Down a small back street next to the cathedral, you will find this friendly modern restaurant with a reasonably priced set menu. I first came here at the suggestion of my dear old friend Angeles, a local lass, on a warm evening in June 2012.
I hadn’t considered coming here before because their greeters stand on the street with the menus trying to persuade passers-by to come in, a sign of desperation and potentially poor quality in my book. It was perhaps a little unfair because the food is absolutely fine and the place is a little hard to find.
I remember the Gazpacho (or was it Salmorejo?) as being very tasty (A) but the attractive looking Goats Cheese starter was a bit of a letdown taste wise (B) though the cheese itself was nice obviously. The Bacalao with sauteed vegetables was tasty too I’m sure (B+?) though I cant recall what the sauce was.
Can’t remember what we drank either. I wasn’t concentrating due to the fact I hadn’t seen Angie for about 5 years and we were having a good old chat! Still it’s a good place, and I’d definitely come back.
Which I did in 2014 with Angie and her other half, Juan. Again the food was nicely presented and original but a bit hit and miss in terms of flavour. However I remember really liking the Meloso (wet paella) with snails, quail and mushrooms. Juan selected an excellent Merlot from Penedes to go with it.
Cafe de Las Horas (Intermediate A), 1 Carrer del Comte d’Almodóvar, www.cafedelashoras.com
The city’s favourite cocktail is called Agua de Valencia which is made from gin, vodka, fresh orange juice and cava or champagne. This beautiful bar, decorated in a Baroque style, is one of the best places to try it. Definitely a good place to start a night on the town.
Las Cuevas (Intermediate A), Technically at 8 Carrer del Comte d’Almodóvar but actually in Placa des Cisneros
‘The Caves’ are just around the corner from Cafe de las Horas. This famous tapas bar gets its name from the three low-ceilinged rooms inside but there’s an outdoor area where if you can sit out in the sun.
Cava Siglos (Intermediate B), 12 Carrer dels Cavallers, www.cavasiglos.com
A young and trendy cava bar on the main drag. I tried it on a quiet evening and quite enjoyed the ‘tapas de mercado’, which in my case were canapes of morcilla and cured ham with camembert (A).
One activity I thoroughly recommend is going on a tapas tour, especially if you’re on your own as I often am. My research led me to www.toursinvalencia.com which is run by Suzie Añon y García who is a certified tour guide. She does many different kinds of tours but I chose the eating tour in La Seu.
A gang of eight of us (including four Londoners and two Swiss) went to three bars: La Huerta Santa Catalina, Blanquita and Tasca el Botijo, none of which were particularly historical or famous, they were just good ordinary tapas bars. The food was good and very reasonable (€30 with three drinks) and it was nice to meet some new people.
The highlight of the evening was drinking from a Porron, a wine jug with a pointed spout that you hold high above your head while pouring the wine into your mouth. No mean feat, hence the bib!