In the center of Valencia, in the Eixample district (in the Ruzafa neighborhood) we find La Anjana. La Anjana specializes in Valencian style tapas. The restaurant is cozy and modest, an excellent place to go with friends or family and share a bite to eat and a “caña” (beer). If you are in Valencia in spring or summer, they feature a nice terrace, the perfect place to sit back, relax, and spend the afternoon.
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Style of this restaurant
Spanish gastronomy derives from a very complex history and the influence of many cultures, but also a very diverse landscape. There are very large differences from region to region and despite Spanish gastronomy is meant to be “Mediterranean”, local dishes are to be found in each region or province. There are some very famous “national dishes” like paella or fideua from Valencia, cocido from Madrid, Gazpacho from Andalusia, Pan amb tomato from Catalonia, pintos from the Basque country, octopus from Galicia and the list goes on and on… A restaurant offering traditional Spanish gastronomy may opt-in its menu to offer a selection of some of these dishes.
Valencia´s most famous dish is also probably the best well-known Spanish dish too. Yes, we refer to Paella. Whilst locals from Valencia do not call their traditional dish a paella, most other people do. Paella is meant to be the pan used to cook it. The dish is “arroz” Valencians cook their Arroz with either rmeat or fish. If we refer to a meat paella ingredients will be: chicken, rabbit, pork ribs and sometimes snails. Vegetables are always added: tomatoes, paprika, rosemary, saffron, garlic and beans (a local bean called garrafón) or sometimes artichoke.
A fish or seafood paella would contain normally monkfish, mussels and schrimps. There are many variations to local paella and despite the so called “mixed paella” is the type of paella most frequently found at restaurants in Spain (outside of Valencia) or elsewhere, locals do prefer not to mix. In any case, the most important things for a greast paella are probably the brith and the quality of the rice itself. This dish was born as a Phoenician soup which explains why the broth is key to ensure the rice will get all of its flavour!
There are many other interesting dishes in Valencia. Arroz amb costra is a very special rice-dish. What set´s it appart is the egg used at the end of the process when the rice is put in the oven.
Fideau. This is a paella style of dish but cooked with noodles. Sailors run out of rice whilst in the sea and it seems they prepared a seafood paella with noodles… fideua was invented! Monkfish is normally used.
Olla valenciana is a bean and meat stew, very tasty and normally used in winter time.
Valencia is well-known in Spain for the quality of its vegetables, so we strongly recommend to try local grilled vegetables.
You should not leave Valencia without trying horchata, a very refreshing and natural drink. There are few experiences that define Valencia best than drinking horchata at a terrace. Enjoy it!
There is no precise rule as to how much to tip in Spain. Spaniards only tip if they consider the service to be good. A 5% is normally considered a good tip. Having said this, some local waiters know tourists tip more than local Spaniards do and may expect more from foreigners.