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Brunch is a way of life in Valencia, but this is not quite brunch as we know it. Every day at around 10.30am Valencianos, whether at work or not, dash to the nearest cafe-bar for almuerzo. This mid-morning snack involves strong coffee, fresh local orange juice and a slice of toasted baguette with grated tomato, or perhaps a hefty wedge of tortilla. That doesn’t mean the US-style brunch trend hasn’t made its way here, too; there are plenty of places to spend lazy Sunday mornings lingering over coffee and cake. When you’re in a city that eats a late breakfast or brunch every day, it would be a shame not to join in. Here’s our pick of the best places to indulge.
If you want authentic Valencian almuerzo, seek out this tiny neighbourhood bar. Though it might not look like much from the outside, it’s always packed with locals and has a reputation for serving some of the best tortilla de patata around – as you’ll see from the numerous newspaper clippings taped onto the walls. You’ll see the day’s selection of tortillas on the counter, with everything from the classic potato tortilla to a version spiked with sobrasada, a local spicy sausage, always perfectly cooked with a gooey middle and a slightly crispy edge.
Carrer de Calixt III, 8, 46008 Valencia, +34 963843057
One thing you must try while in Valencia is the local drink horchata, made from ground tiger nut, and there’s no reason why it can’t be part of your brunch. This pretty artisanal café is popular with local families for its excellent version of the drink, plus hot chocolate, pastries and other delights.
It might be a tapas bar, but this local bar opposite the Central Market is great at any time of day. Their outdoor seating is a great place to watch the hustle and bustle in this main square. If you missed the hotel breakfast, never fear, as they’re happy to bring out the grated tomato on toast (tostada con tomate) and strong coffee at any hour of the day. You’ll also see plenty of locals stopping for a huge baguette filled with fried fish, and a mid-morning beer. Staff are friendly and helpful but they are never in a hurry, so expect laid-back Spanish service.