Europe Spring 2024: Valencian paella

by | Jun 16, 2024 | Food & Drink, International Travel, Travel

We visited 3 paella-specific restaurants while in Valencia. It’s traditionally a leisurely lunch meal with family and friends on weekends but we did have it for dinner once. Important to note that places charge by the portion (1 person = 1 portion) and usually there is minimum of 2 portions per paella type.

Masusa paella bar
Our dinner paella in Russafa was good, more moist than expected, with lots of greens, including artichokes, green beans, and white beans, plus chicken and rabbit. Disappointingly, no socarrat (burnt bits). More than enough for two, we came home with leftovers. Their house wines were reasonable too.

Arrosseria Boscà 29
We had a reservation for Saturday lunch, and walked into an empty restaurant at 2pm. After double-checking that we were in the right spot we sat down and looked over the menu options. Fifteen minutes later every table was full! We ordered a bottle of Ramon Bilbao rosé (very pale, great value) which came with a small nut mix, a nice snack before the meal. For paella, we ordered the boletus (mushroom) and pork option – a little on the salty side but very flavorful overall with nice toasty bits in the corners. We ate it all! This was the only paella we had where the meat was cut up and distributed throughout the rice. Somehow we saved room for dessert, tarta de queso al horno, a Spanish baked cheesecake served with berry jam. Thankfully, it was surprisingly light.

Arrocería Maribel
El Palmar is an area south of Valencia that is well known for it’s rice fields and abundance of rice restaurants. It’s a hour+ bus ride from the city but we figured we would give it a go on a Thursday afternoon. I had made a reservation about two weeks out and was requested to call the restaurant in advance to order the traditional chicken and rabbit paella so we wouldn’t have to wait when we got there as it take an hour to prepare. When we arrived it was pretty disorganized, and while the staff acknowledged our paella order when we sat down, we watched several tables seated after us getting their food first, which was frustrating. At least we had a nice bottle of cava (Juve Camps Reserva Cinta Púrpura, very nice acidity, good bread and fruit notes) to sip while we were waiting. The fried beef cheek gyoza appetizers we ordered were pretty forgettable with soggy tops like they had been sitting a while.

Our paella arrived an hour later with mildly overdone chicken and soggy green beans. The lima beans were good (thankfully) and the rice was okay but it was the most disappointing paella of the three we tried. Perhaps sensing our disappointment, we were offered a complimentary after meal drink of the area’s traditional rice cream liquor. Eric declined but I said yes – lots of spice, tasted like Christmas.

Tagged with: food | paella | Spain | Valencia | Valencia 2024

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Madrid, Spain (Mar)
Valencia, Spain (Mar+Apr)
Palma, Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Long Island, NY (July)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)
Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)
Grand Rapids, MI (Nov)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)