Best Brunch in Valencia: The Definitive Guide
When you're visiting Valencia and you wake up too late for a great breakfast but you're far too hungry to wait until lunch, you may well think that the best thing to do is go for brunch. Brunch, the meal that's neither one or the other rather a combination of the two, is not a word that exists in Spanish. Ask for brunch in Valencia and your request may well be met with a few puzzled looks. In Spain you can either have a late breakfast, an early lunch or, if you're exceptionally late getting up, a merienda, which is an afternoon snack.
Does that mean you're going to have to wait to get fed? No, it doesn't. Even though they might not be called by the same name there are some great brunch options in Valencia which could well see you planning on staying in bed late every day. Before you head out onto the streets in search of a brunch experience, it's helpful to know what sort of brunch food is available in Valencia. Having an inkling about where the best bocaterias, cafeterias, tapas bars, and restaurants you can get brunch-style food from is also good. Why? Being in the know will save you from wandering around the streets of Valencia in a semi-comatose, zombified state because your blood sugar levels are at an all-time low or your hangover from the night before is just a bit too heavy to deal with. Believe it, being zombified really isn't the best way to get around Valencia.
In this guide to eating brunch in Valencia you'll be amazed to discover what the best typical Spanish brunch foods are. You'll also find out where to get the best brunch whether it’s a Spanish, American, or a European-style one. But before you head out your morning meal, don't forget to drop off your bags with Bounce luggage storage in Valencia. Traveling light means you can focus on the food.
What typical Spanish food can you eat for brunch in Valencia
There's a super variety of Spanish food you can eat for brunch in Valencia that you'll find not only surprisingly good, but also very appetite satisfying. There are low-cost options too as well as health-conscious, guilt-free ones and ones that, far from being healthy food, are likely to raise your cholesterol levels to a new high.
Food wise, tortilla Espanola, or Spanish omelette, is a basic go-to for brunch in Valencia. Served all day in the majority of tapas bars, ask for this and you'll be presented with a door-stop sized wedge with some pieces of crusty bread on the side. Traditional Spanish omelette is a substantial dish made from fried potatoes, onions, and eggs. On occasion, depending on the cook making it, it might have chopped-up bell peppers or carrots added to it for extra color and flavor. There is also a spinach version of Spanish omelette, but that's not so easy to come across in Valencian tapas bars. Either way, it's a delicious option for good food in Valencia.
Where to get the best Spanish omelette brunch in Valencia
Bodega la Peseta – For being such an antiquated tapas bar, the Bodega la Peseta on the Carrer del Crist del Grau is surprisingly one of the trendiest brunch restaurants in Valencia. It attracts a young crowd and one of the main reasons for that is their fantastic Spanish omelettes. Walk into the Bodega la Peseta and you'll see the cheese-round-sized omelettes on display in a refrigerated cabinet on the bar. If that doesn't make your stomach rumble then nothing will. At the Bodega la Peseta as well as the traditional potato and onion version they serve several varieties of tortilla including one with chorizo. This amazing place is known for good service as well as great food, so there's no reason not to stop by soon.
Bar Alhambra – The Bar Alhambra on Carrer de Calxit III is renowned all over Valencia for its legendary tortillas Espanolas. In the Bar Alhambra, omelettes reign and they make fourteen different kinds which are put on display in a refrigerated cabinet in the window. They don't last long as locals and visitors alike queue up to get a wedge. There's always more though so you'll have no problem getting some for brunch.
Cerveceria Tortillea – the Cerveceria Tortillea on Carrer de Luis Garcia-Berlanga Marti is a new bar run on the concept of the only food you need is tortilla accompanied by a craft beer. Here you can dig into a tasting menu of five different tortillas, have a portion topped like a pizza or invent your own six egg omelette filled from a range of gourmet ingredients including fruit. The only complaint you might have at this hidden gem is the lack of options, but with great food like this, you won't miss a broader range of choices.
To say a bocadillo is a filled bread roll is a major understatement. The reason why bocadillos are a good brunch option is because they're basically a meal between two pieces of freshly baked bread. You can brunch on bocadillos in Valencia loaded with anything and everything. The most popular are either tortilla, serrano ham, grilled chicken breast, or tuna salad. One bocadillo that's a must-try brunch, unless you're vegetarian, is a pepito. A pepito is thinly sliced steak, that's been marinated in garlic oil before being grilled, laid on a bed of lettuce and tomato on a bread roll that's been given a good dose of ali oli which is garlic mayonnaise.
Where to get the best bocadillo brunch in Valencia
Bocateria Tandem – Bocata is a Spanish word which roughly translates to bite and that's what you get in a bocateria – bites of food. In the Bocateria Tandem on the Carrer d'en Llop 3 you'll be able to bite into some of the best bocadillos in Valencia at a ridiculously cheap price. It's a hip place with multi-colored furnishings that could strain your eyes if you're hungover, but you can always eat wearing shades. At Tandem you can devour a wide range of crusty rolls stuffed so full the fillings will fall out on the plate and they mostly have a side serving of french fries with them too.
Bocatame – Bocatame is an upmarket bocateria on Carrer del Turia which will blow you away with its contemporary style, it's fantastic terrace and its incredible bocadillos. If you're into fine dining even when you're only having a bread roll, then this Valencian eatery is the one for you. At Bocatame, before you choose what goes in your bocadillo, you need to decide on the type of bread you want and they have gluten-free. When you think bocadillo here, think big and think fancy.
Bar Restaurante Ana 3 – The Bar Restaurante Ana 3 on Carrer de Lebon takes making bocadillos to the extreme. If you can tackle a brunch that's a foot long then you'll be in happy land here as that's how long the bocadillos are and you can get a double sized one if you want. They don't stint on the fillings either, whether it's calamares, that's a popular bocadillo in Valencia, smoked pork with fried egg, or tortilla with spicy sausage. They also serve a mega-sized vegetarian version with onions, mushrooms, and peppers.
Once upon a time in Spain a sandwich, or tostado, was a sad thing which consisted of no more than some plasticky ham and cheese melted on a grill between two slices of sweet white bread. Thankfully in the last decade, sandwiches have undergone a major transformation in Spain and are now a delicious brunch option when you're visiting Valencia.
What's the difference between a bocadillo and a sandwich? The answer to that is the bread. Sandwiches are made from two or three slices of bread rather than a roll and it now comes in a variety of types like granary, wholemeal, gluten-free and not just white. Spanish folk like their sandwiches toasted so that's the way they're usually served. If you prefer otherwise then you need to make that known when you order.
Where to get the best sandwich brunch in Valencia
Toastone – Toastone on the Avinguda de l'Oest is a modern sandwich shop which has elevated the art of sandwich making to a gourmet level. Similar in a way to a Danish open sandwich, Toastone's sandwiches are served in a unique way with the slices of topped bread laid out on a special tray or layered and cut into triangular wedges to show off the filling. Toastone's sandwiches make a great brunch when you have a side of fries or nachos with them. It's good food made well.
Where to get an American and European-style brunch in Valencia
Valencia has an international food scene as well as one that's typically Spanish, so if you really want to eat something for brunch that's familiar, you can in one of the city's few brunch restaurants. You might have to search a little harder to find an English breakfast, eggs benedict, or American-style pancakes, but there are a few brunch restaurants and cafeterias in Valencia that serve them
Brunch Corner – Brunch Corner has two premises in Valencia both serving the same international brunch menu. One is in the Plaza de Sant Bult and the other on the Carrer Conde de Almodovar. In Brunch Corner you can fill up on a Full English, an all-American with pancakes and syrup, a stack of waffles or a breakfast burrito. Brunch Corner serves their brunch menu until four in the afternoon, but also has a restricted item all-day brunch-style menu so you can still get New York-style pancakes late in the afternoon if you fancy them.
Trencat – Trencat is a trendy cafeteria in Valencia's Central Market which serves international brunches consisting of bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon, Italian-style bread with tomato, club sandwiches, tacos, wraps, and a big selection of burgers as well as a wide range of sweet pastries and cakes.
La Rollerie – La Rollerie is where you go when you want to treat yourself to a posh brunch in Valencia. The main feature of this attractively decorated restaurant is its garden terrace. Take advantage of the outdoor seating to brunch on a menu of cinnamon rolls, a late Mexican breakfast of ranch eggs with tortitas, any of five different eggs benedict dishes, or a New York-style bacon and cheeseburger. Brunch is served at La Rollerie until four in the afternoon, but eggs benny you can order until eight at night.
NuezCafe – If you're wanting to brunch on as many delicious sweet things as you can cram onto a plate, you should drop by the NuezCafe on Carrer del Convent de Sant Francesc. It's a real brunch-time indulgence for anyone with a sweet tooth and you could find yourself staying there to enjoy this pasteleria's menu of goodies for several hours. You can pretend to have a healthy brunch by tucking into one of their muesli and fresh fruit bowls before getting stuck into the sweet breads, pastries, and cakes like carrot or dark chocolate. No-one ever said a brunch had to be savory.
If after you've read through this definitive guide to brunch in Valencia you're planning on getting up late every day of your stay there, who can blame you? While brunch in Valencia isn't strictly speaking a recognized mealtime, there's no reason why you can't buck the trend and forget regular Spanish eating hours. Whether you go for a Spanish-style brunch in a tapas bar or an all-American pancake feast in an internationally-oriented eatery, just remember, it's not brunch. It's either a late breakfast or an early lunch, but who cares so long as it tastes delicious? Buen provecho as they say in Spanish, and hopefully your brunch will set you up for all the things there are to do at night in Valencia.