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.
Dulce de Leche
This Argentinean-owned bakery is gaining cult status locally for its stunning array of incredibly tempting desserts, including everything from lemon and poppy seed cake topped with strawberries to rich chocolate creations featuring the namesake caramel sauce. Plus, their empanadillas are the best in town. If you’re visiting for breakfast, try the croissants with coffee or fresh juice and get a slice of cake wrapped up for later.
Dulce de Leche, Calle Jesus 69-71, Valencia, Spain,+34 960112316
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
La Mas Bonita
What could be better than enjoying brunch while looking out to sea, followed by a walk on the beach? La Mas Bonita Patacona is the perfect place to go if that’s how you fancy spending your morning in Valencia. It has a stylish, rustic-meets-modern interior in beachy white and blue, with high ceilings and plenty of comfortable seating indoors and on the terrace. They have a varied menu with everything from fried bacon and eggs to great slabs of Spanish tortilla, or creamy cheesecake and coffee.
La Petite Brioche Bakery
Every city needs at least one cute and quirky French bakery with great pastries, cakes and quiche, and this is Valencia’s best. Slow down and enjoy the vintage-style décor and the huge selection of sweet and savoury treats.
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.
Plaça del Mercat, 34, 46001 Valencia, Spain, +34 963154071
If you’re craving a taste of the USA while in Valencia, Bluebell Coffee has everything from American-style cakes to nachos and hummus to enjoy in their cosy courtyard frequented by a young and international crowd. The café also hosts live music, art exhibitions and other special events.
Bluebell Coffee, Carrer de Buenos Aires, 3, Valencia, Spain, +34 963225413