While Covid continues to keep us on our toes and cases don’t appear anywhere near slowing down, the recent decision by the regional government to close all bars and restaurants in Valencia (and now extend the measures until 1 March) will be devastating for many small business owners. Restaurants can, however, open for takeaways – and while walking around I’ve seen restaurants and chefs reinventing themselves and their menus to try and retain their customers and salvage business as best as they can.
I hope we can all band together to support these businesses by ordering to go! Here are five of the city’s best takeaway options:
Best Mexican – Taquería La Llorona
Taquería La Llorona has always been a busy joint and chef José (who is actually from Mexico) makes the meanest and most flavoursome tacos.
I just love everything on the menu but highly recommend you try the Taco de Bimi (tenderstem broccoli), Taco al Pastor (marinated pork with spices) and Taco de Pescado (fish). The starters are also great, particularly the chilaquiles (not to be confused with Nachos) and the sopa. The restaurant also prides itself on an excellent selection of Mezcal to polish off your order (which will also make your night in all the more entertaining).
Best Chinese – Chang Fu
It took me a while to find my go-to Chinese in Valencia but then I found Chang-Fu. Everything I’ve tried on the menu is yummy and hits the spot. The crab, peking duck and spare ribs are excellent. It’s very inexpensive and they always deliver quickly.
Opening hours: every day: 11.30am-10pm. Address: Carrer de Bailèn 4, 46007 València. Tel: +34 961 157 207
Best Lebanese – Bekaa
Bekaa restaurant is such a great spot for those who love Lebanese food. It’s a cute place in Russafa and has a really tasty menu. The Taboule and Moutabal which are Lebanese staples are simply delicious and the desserts are just incredible. I also highly recommend the Farush Box which comes with tasty grilled chilled, hummus and a special Lebanese garlic oil – and the Arnabit, a cauliflower tempura with a delicious tahini (sesame) sauce. The Hamra Street Shawarma – a popular sandwich from Beirut is also worth a try. The prices are also very good for the quality and portions.
Best Pizza – Trattoria Napoletana de Carlo
Trattoria Napoletana de Carlo is a Valencian classic when it comes to pizza and was actually recommended to me by an Italian who prefers it here to restaurants in his home town back in Italy. The whole menu is delicious and very authentic – however the pizzas are an absolute must to take away. Sadly they’re only open for lunchtime but all the more reason to support and order from them.
Opening hours: Mon–Sun: 2–4pm. Address: Carrer del Dr. Manuel Candela, 79, 46021 Valencia. Tel: +34 963 935 562
Best Spanish with a Twist – Cocaloka
Cocaloca is famous Valencian chef Richard Camarena’s lastest transformation in the Mercado de Colón, as always with an interesting take on traditional Spanish cuisine. True to form, Camarena serves only the best and freshest local produce.
My personal highlights include the Curry rojo de cerdo iberico (red curry with Iberican pork), Pekín de secreto ibérico (an Asian style iberico pork), Brioche frito ‘chili crab’ (fried brioche) and of course the Cocas – if you’ve never tried a coca, I would describe it as a small doughy and hearty Spanish pizza, hence the name of their Instagram ‘ni pizza ni coca’. The prices are great and the quality is excellent.
Opening hours: Thurs-Sun: 7–10pm. Website: www.ricardcamarena.com. Address: Mercado de Colón, Carrer de Jorge Juan, 19, 46004 Valencia
Stephanie Alacreu runs Encantada, a recently launched bespoke relocation service and concierge for those looking to move or spend time in Valencia, the Costa Blanca and the Balearic Islands, and whose services include: orientation, property search and rentals, legal and family services. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org