Walking through Valencia and making the right choice for your meal often becomes a challenge. Everything looks delcioius and tasty but there are big differences. You even cannot tell by the look&feel or the people in the Restaurants which place is a tourist trap with bad food, as well as unreasonable prices and which one is keeping the promise of the wonderful spanish cuisine.
This link leads you to my selection for a great food experience, whether it´s a snack, lunch, dinner or breakfast: Good Restaurants
Guide to spanish ways of enjoying food
In general there are 5 different categories of how to eat. You have to make your choice already at the beginning when you order and let your waiter know whether you want:
Tapas are small sized dishes, which typically have no “owner”. You can order as many as you want and the waiter brings them in random order or at the same time for the whole group of people to share. It is a very socializing and fun way of spending time together.
Platos is the way of eating like in most countrys. Each person orders something from the menue (a la carte).
Montaditos is similar to tapas. Usually you can choose from a buffet as many tapas as you want. They come along on a piece of bread and with wooden sticks, which at the end the waiter counts in order to prepare your check. This way of eating has become popular more recently. It is not as social as Tapas but can be fun too.
Paellas and other rice dishes are served in huge pans and everyone eats from the same dish, either on her/his own plate or directly from the pan, which is more traditional. These dishes tradicionally were prepared to enjoy within the family. When everybody came home from their duties, the families sat around the large Paellera to eat, talk, laugh and enjoy. Paellas and rice-dishes are available in many varieties – so there is a lot of choice but you have to decide for one for your group.
Bocadillos are large sandwiches made from white bread (baguette style). You can choose from an endless variety. The most traditional are: ham and tomato, tortilla española (just an omelette) or de patatas (omelette with potatos), blanco y negro (2 saussages). Bocadillos can be eaten in the restaurant but most likely people take them away to eat them in the Mestalla (CF Valencias old soccer stadium, if you like sports), one of the beautiful plazas, parks or the awesome recreation area in the former riverbed of el Turia.
¡ Qué aproveche !