Valencia is a city with already stable foundations in the culinary world with deep rooted traditions that have given rise to the most famous of Spanish dishes, paella.
However, a number of innovative projects from renowned chefs and aspiring gastronomic entrepreneurs are building on the city’s gastrotourism offering just in time to make Valencia the top foodie destination for 2021.
Perhaps one of the most ingenious projects to arise in Valencia is the creation of a gastronomic homage to the world-renowned Valencian artist, Joaquín Sorolla. “Sorolla. Visión y Sabores de España” (Sorolla. Vision and Flavours of Spain) is a gastronomic project by Jorge De Andrés, founder of Restaurante Vertical (main image), that has seen the establishment transformed in its design and married with a new menu inspired by an artistic series, “Visión de España”, that saw Sorolla paint 14 murals of different Spanish regions for the Hispanic Society of America in 1919.
De Andrés’ menu pays homage to each of the 14 works by incorporating the best produce from each of the Spanish regions into the menu but with a contemporary twist. The restaurant interior and dinnerware has been created together with artist and designer, Laura Maldonado, to capture the essence of Sorolla’s masterpieces. The dining experience will be in place at Restaurante Vertical throughout 2021.
An exciting new addition to Valencia’s Canyamelar-Cabanyal neighbourhood is La Sastrería which has caught many an eye for its striking interior design. Ceramic tiles cover almost ever surface of this new restaurant bringing it to life with checkerboard patterns.
The restaurant is located in an old tailor shop and has three sections with each one making special references to the local neighbourhood including a dining room, decked out in glossy dark blue tiles and featuring a hanging ceiling installation designed to make the diner feel like they are submerged in an ocean setting, a nod to the neighbourhood’s maritime location.
The menu features highlights such as the marine salad with torreznos and artisan pickles and the tasty Wagyu meatball on roasted potato with Pedro Ximénez sauce. The restaurant seeks to pay tribute the character of the area, generating a new culinary and sensorial experience for diners.
One Michelin-starred La Salita from renowned Valencian chef, Begoña Rodrigo, has reopened in an old 18th century palace in the Ruzafa area having previously been established in L’Amistat. The new dining experience is characterised by its setting in an open-air palace garden with traditional whitewash and wooden Valencian architecture.
The transformation of La Salita is not only reflected in the new space, but also in its gastronomic proposal. Begoña is committed to delving into Valencian produce and putting ingredients that, in some cases, are underappreciated on the pedestal. For example, the bachoqueta, a traditional green bean that is added to paella, is highlighted in a dish of vegetable noodles with courgette, mushroom slices and summer truffles, accompanied by kimchi sauce and raw sheep’s milk cheese.
For visitors to the city looking for less of the fine dining and more on-the-go quality street food, El Garaje is an old 1960’s truck workshop transformed into a gastronomic space. The space brings together a collection of trucks serving street food from different eras including the 50s, 60s and 70s. The new culinary experience also stays true to its roots as a truck repair shop by serving food from food trucks which are in themselves an exhibition.
El Garaje features seven historic vehicles including three classic Citroën HY, a Saba, two Avia and a Vespacar. The décor also includes old motorcycles, vintage furniture and uniformed waiters dressed as mechanics. The Galician blonde beef burger come highly recommended as do the artisan pizzas, Valencian tapas dishes and sweet treats called ‘cremaets’, traditionally from the province of Castellón.
Restaurants, eateries, bars and cafés all across Valencia are adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols set out by the local government, ensuring that visitors remain out of harm’s way and able to enjoy the incredible culinary scene Valencia has to offer in 2021.
For more information on Valencia, please visit www.visitvalencia.com