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Hola Valencia’s Top Five: Restaurants

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More of Hola Valencia’s Top Five
Plazas | Day Trips

This was a really difficult list to compile, as we’ve been to a lot of restaurants during our time in Valencia. We tried to get include a good mix, from traditional Valencian to sushi. We operate on a budget, so you won’t find any wallet-smashers on this list (nor, for that matter, anywhere else on our site!) If you’ve not visited any of our top five, wait no longer! Here they are, in no order:

El Albero

One of the first restaurants we discovered in the city, El Albero is a great place for dinner, serving up a huge array of Andalusian tapas. Always busy, the place is small but offers outside seating.

Calle de Ciscar, 12
Our Review of El Albero

Las Cuevas

Extremely popular with Valencians, the windy, dark interior of Las Cuevas does just to its name. They offer an interesting menú of tapas that combines popular favorites with other more unique items. Don’t miss the flaming rum-soaked chorizos!

Calle Samaniego, 9
Our Review of Las Cuevas

Ao Yama

Possibly the best lunchtime deal in the city, Ao Yama is a Japanese sushi restaurant, offering unlimited food for a small price. As long as you keep packing it down, they’ll keep bringing the sushi and other great dishes like chicken in orange sauce and grilled shrimp.

Calle Joaquín Costa, 3
Our Review of Ao Yama

Al-Balansíya

The best Arabian meal in Valencia can be found in the University district, in Al-Balansíya. The plates full of authentic and delicious Arabian food just keep coming in this popular locale. Baba ganoush… chicken tajín… groan.

Paseo de las Facultades, 3
Our Review of Al-Balansíya

La Utielana

Home Cookin From Mama! This restaurant, in the heart of the city, is so popular that you’ll have to take a number before getting your table. Incredible Valencian eats at outrageously good prices, with an open kitchen and a fleet of matronly waitresses attending to your every need. We’ve been back a lot.

Plaza Picadero de Dos Aguas
Our Review of La Utielana

Suitcase Stickers For Fun Travel Time

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July 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm Comments (2)

Our Trip to Segovia

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Don’t miss out: Our trip to Segovia part II

Hotels and Hostels in Segovia

In 2010, we’re making good on our promise to see more of Spain! We recently spent a weekend in the gorgeous medieval city of Segovia, an hour north of Madrid. The entire casco antiguo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason. Within the old walls of Segovia are any number of treasures, including a bustling Plaza Mayor, an imposing cathedral, twisting alleys, and an abundance of restaurants serving the famous Segovian cochinillo (roast suckling pig). But the highlights are the Alcázar and the mind-blowing Roman Aqueduct, found at opposite ends of the city.

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Segovia is about 4 hours from Valencia by car, so doesn’t really qualify as a “day trip”. But if you’re in Madrid and have some extra time, you should definitely make the effort. Enjoy our pictures of this beautiful ancient city.

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Juan Bravo – Segovia’s 15th Century War Hero
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The inspiration for Never Ending Story?
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The Roman Aqueduct is over 2000 years old
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Goodnight, little piglet, try not to think about the next picture
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Built in the 16th Century, the Gothic Cathedral is mightily impressive
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Hotels and Hostels in Segovia

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April 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm Comments (4)

22nd Festival of Wine and Sausage

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For us, one of the highlights on the Valencian calendar is the yearly Wine Festival, celebrated in the Turia riverbed. The Mostra de Vins i Menjars offers cheap wines and food (for €10, you get 4 glasses of wine and 4 samples of sausage or cheese), in a wonderful location.

wine-fest-valencia

Valencians show up to this festival in droves and, by around 9pm, everyone on the grounds will be buzzing, providing an exciting and boisterous atmosphere. It’s easy to fall into conversation with both vendors and other attendees; inhibitions are largely not present.

The festival, which began on Wednesday evening and runs through Sunday the 18th, features over 140 stands. We plan on visiting all of them… let’s see, 3 days, 140 glasses of wine. Doable.

Keep in mind that the closing time is early, at 10pm, probably to avoid drunken late-night rowdiness. If you’re in Valencia, we highly recommend this feria — go, sample some wines, and buy a couple bottles of your favorites.

Sausage Festival in Requena

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April 16, 2010 at 9:22 am Comments (3)

Granada – Bodega Barranco Oscuro in Las Alpujarras

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Hotels in GranadaHostels in GranadaFlights to Granada

Midway into our drive through the Alpujarras, we stopped at Bodega Barranco Oscuro, a small family-run winery near Cádiar. It was the off-season, and just after 5pm, so I think the owner was a bit surprised to see our car ambling up the muddy path. Two huge dogs bounded towards us in greeting, and we let them guide us to the bodega’s doors.

spanischen-wein

The owner was extremely gracious — her husband and son were on tour in France, but she let us in and introduced us to their selection of wines. The interior of the bodega was neat; it had just been recently redone and sported wooden tables for wine tastings and enormous windows showing off a magnificent view over the Alpujarras and the Mediterranean. On a clear day, she said, you could even see to Morocco.

After we tasted the Pinot, we were taken on a little tour of the bodega. The current family has been running the show for about a decade, making all-natural wine with the grapes grown in the unique, cool mountain conditions. And the house has a history of wine-making going back hundreds of years. We saw the press and barrels, and then the ancient storage area, not in use anymore. Juergen was in Photographer’s Heaven.

We spent too much money, but the wines really are great. If you’re in the area, we definitely recommend popping in to Barranco Oscuro, especially during the harvest season. They have a website and blog with news and information here.

Buy your Granada guides here. Click for: USA, UK, Germany, Spain

More from Our Granada Trip

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Barranco-Oscuro-andalucia


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March 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm Comments (6)

Requena’s Sausage Fest: The Aftermath

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On Saturday morning, we bundled up and took the train from Valencia’s Sant Isidre station to Requena; a beautiful 90-minute continuous ascent into the mountains. Snow was falling, lightly dusting the trees, ravines and cliffs we passed. This was the first time all year I’d seen snow.

sausage-fest-requena

The sausage festival was about as we expected it — sausagey. For €9, we got 5 little sausage plates, 2 glasses of wine, a water, bread, and something vaguely described as a “Product from the Housewives Association”. It was cheesy and fishy, and I don’t think I’d like to dwell on it any further.

The festival was a bit smaller than I anticipated; but then, how many sausage stands does one need? We bravely munched through 4 of our 5 desgustaciones of chorizo & morcilla, before hoisting the white flag.

– Stay over night in Requena: Requena Hotels

The best part of the day came after we left the festival — an extended visit to Meson del Viño. This is an awesome little pub/restaurant, decked out in bullfighting paraphernalia. We had a couple hours to kill before our train back home, and didn’t feel like walking around in the freezing cold, so we were happy to spend some time in this extremely loud and lively bar. Worth a visit when you’re in Requena.

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February 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm Comments (4)

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