Valencia is a buzzing mix of history and modernity thanks to its iconic City of Arts and Sciences complex, designed by star architect Santiago Calatrava. For quick drink as you explore, or a pretty spot to pause at, we list the best coffee shops in this stylish Catalan city.
Cafe de las Horas, Valencia | Photo courtesy of Valencia Tourism
The first thing you’ll notice upon entering this café is its design flair, with neo-Baroque interiors enriched by romantic dim lighting and floral decorations. Located close to the central Plaza de la Virgen, a stop in this coffeehouse is like a detour into a fancifully-styled period piece. Café de las Horas is well known for its themed events and cocktails in the evenings, but by day you can also enjoy a variety of delicious teas and coffees with any of their freshly homemade cakes.
Most locals will tell you Mayan Coffees serves the best coffee in Valencia. The interior design underscores the beans with its traditional Mayan and Guatemalan elements. If you aren’t sure which of their coffees is the one for you, ask the staff: the baristas are knowledgeable and they’re happy to give you full profiles of each coffee’s history and flavor breakdown. If you love the coffee here as much as the locals do, you can also buy some beans to take home.
An horchatería is a traditional Valencian bar that serves horchata, a cold sugary drink made of tiger nut and akin to sweet milkshake. It’s a smart and popular choice in the summertime, as it’s both highly refreshing and nutritious thanks to the protein from the nuts. If you’d like to try this local specialty for yourself, one of the best horchaterías in Valencia is the historic and central Horchatería de Santa Catalina. In addition to their famous horchata, they also serve coffee, tea and hot chocolate for cooler weather, along with sweet treats such as Spanish churros, ice cream and fartons, local pastries.
If you’d like to do some time traveling on your search for the perfect cup of coffee, step over the threshold of Antique Café and cross into another era. This extraordinary coffeehouse charms its guests with beautiful vintage interior décor and cozy seating, evoking the feel of an old Parisian café. On a sunny day, be sure to take advantage of their terrace. It won’t be easy to pick among their extensive selection of coffees and teas, so you may have to make a return visit to get to every flavor that catches your eye. The cakes and pastries are all homemade, and the sweet scents and presentation of these desserts take a lot of discipline to pass up, unless you’re already full from one of their decadent milkshakes.
Tea lovers discovering La Petite Planèthé for the first time may feel like they’ve touched down on their own little home planet. The soothing scent of tea greets you the moment you walk in, and the lovely interior décor will complete the spell to leave you completely enchanted. The tea selection seems to go on forever, offering popular classics, rare and unusual options, and even their own mixes. If you like anything you’ve tried here you can also purchase their teas to take home; best of all, if you do bring some home, get hooked, and run out, you can always order more off of their website and have it shipped to you abroad.
Dulce de leche is an Argentinian sweet cream with a delicious caramel flavor. It’s also the titular hero of this coffee shop, and the starring attraction in a stunning ensemble of homemade cakes and pastries. The staff here are intent on making every guest happy, and they start by preparing every dessert with careful attention to detail. Their treats are best enjoyed alongside a hot cup of coffee or tea (with cream or lactose-free milk), or one of their freshly-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices.
La Fornarina is a bakery that serves a great selection of coffee, tea and even full meals, and is beloved by locals for the sweetness of both the baked goods and the staff. This bakery seems like a small, standard operation from the outside, but inside you’ll find a surprising amount of space to enjoy your coffee and the friendly atmosphere. La Fornarina is a second home to many Valencia locals, and during your visit, it may briefly become yours as well.
Cacao Sampaka is made for chocolate fanatics. The owners call their enterprise “the market of cocoa”, and it’s indeed a perfect place to rediscover cocoa and all its endless possibilities. Here you will find high quality chocolate and innovative chocolate pralines; try the wasabi praline for an extraordinary taste treat. Out on the patio, they also serve coffee and tea to enjoy with the sweetness dancing on your tounge,