Signature cuisine: life in bite-sized chunks
Valencia is an example of sustainable, Zero KM and Mediterranean-based gastronomy. The equation "locally-sourced produce + magic and imagination + seasonal cuisine" finds its maximum expression in the wide range of local haute cuisine restaurants, a paradise for those who love to eat life in small, bite-sized chunks.
There are some great chefs in the city’s gastronomic temples, and they will ensure that you get to savour authentic culinary canvases created in their kitchens.
Here are some of the most outstanding ones.
Ricard Camarena, who turns everything he cooks into an ethereal experience and who has achieved the status of true vegetable alchemist thanks to his deep commitment to ecology, offers the best of the best at the magnificent premises located in the former Bombas Gens factory, with two Michelin stars and three Repsol suns. He practises vegetable-based cuisine masterfully, with products grown in his own orchard, and this has earned him a Michelin green star, the one that rewards the commitment to sustainability in the gastronomic field.
Also at a very high level is El Poblet, with two Michelin stars and two Repsol suns, just a short walk from the town hall square, the main brainchild of the master Quique Dacosta in the city, and very well run in the capable hands of the young chef Luis Valls. His menu combines Dacosta’s creations, which are very much a presence in Valencia through his wide range of restaurants, with Valls’ own love for the products of the Albufera. Look out for his distinct take on cold meats and their wonderful textures.
La Salita, located in a beautiful mansion in the heart of the Russafa neighbourhood, with a Michelin star and two Repsol suns, is the project that Begoña Rodrigo once dreamed of when she was experimenting with new things while travelling halfway around the world, and that has managed to merge local aromas and flavours with those of Asia and Latin America. Rodrigo gives locally sourced vegetables the place they deserve with some very personal touches that will surprise you.
Bernd Knöller is the most Valencian of German chefs and the real soul of Riff, which has a Michelin star and two Repsol suns and is a well-established gastronomic proposal located in the heart of the Eixample district, with a special sensitivity for seafood. Knöller also shows his passion for rice dishes, in a way of cooking that reinterprets in a masterful way the concept of the Mediterranean diet.
In a minimalist setting where paintings by Valencian artists stand out, María José Martínez offers a highly creative Mediterranean cuisine with seasonal Valencian produce. The chef, with a Michelin star and a Repsol sun, prepares delicate dishes that surprise with their originality and flavour in sauces and creams, served with impeccable aesthetics. A canvas that evokes the vegetable garden, the sea and traditional flavours transformed into authentic works of art.
With a Michelin star and a long career in the kitchens of Quique Dacosta, Germán Carrizo and Carito Lourenço have made their dreams come true in this small restaurant next to the Ruzafa Market. Here they serve fusion cuisine with a creative and Mediterranean approach, and with roots in their homeland, Argentina.
Kaido Sushi Bar
A very special Japanese restaurant with a Michelin star. Only for 10 diners at any one time, it serves a menu based on produce from the Valencian coast, with red shrimp as the main ingredient.
We owe the magic of Saiti to Vicente Patiño, a two-Repsol-sun restaurant located between the centre and the Turia Garden, which champions a modern cuisine with a traditional Mediterranean base and menus for every season of the year. He is a great lover of local products, such as Albufera duck and eel, and is highly meticulous when it comes to working with the ingredients in search of the most authentic flavor.
The success of Kaymus, rated as a Bib Gourmand restaurant in the Michelin guide and with two Repsol suns, is based on the tenacity of the brain in the kitchen, Nacho Romero, whose magnificent product stands alone in the Campanar neighbourhood. His is a free and creative cuisine, with much spark, one that avoids fads and always employs the best raw material and masterful skill to get the best out of fish. Do not pass up the opportunity to sink your teeth into the Kaymus salad with seafood cocktail, croquettes or cod fritters.
With two Repsol suns, this is the result of the efforts of several generations of the Andrés-Salvador family and a prize for the taste buds from the terrace of the iconic Veles e Vents building. They offer magic a la carte, from their highly celebrated and renowned appetizers, a pleasure for the senses, to the latest of their offerings, and, of course, they never turn their back on the sea. The iconic dishes of the matriarch, the much-missed Loles Salvador, are still present in their creations, such as the legendary rice with chard.
Vertical, boasting two Repsol suns, led by Jorge Andrés, and with the best views of the City of Arts and Sciences from anywhere in the whole city belongs to the same group as La Sucursal. It offers a permanent revision of the Valencian recipe book but with a new take on it. Among its tasting menus is "Sorolla. Vision and Flavours of Spain", an explosion of flavours inspired by the series of paintings that Joaquín Sorolla did for the Hispanic Society of America.
This establishment, with two Repsol suns to its name, brings us the perfect union of tradition and modernity, and offers an important range of menus, which are highly varied and based around Mediterranean cuisine. What is on offer is conditioned by the seasonal products available. It is a luxury to get to try its precise and meticulous creations.
The list of great restaurants in Valencia with signature cuisine is much wider. So, do not miss the opportunity to taste the wonders of Askua (two Repsol suns), a steakhouse with the product in the leading role and with grilled marrow, steak tartare and magnificent meats as undisputed stars of the experience; or Kabuki Komori, which also boasts two suns, and combines the highlights of Japanese cuisine and local ideas. Two delicious examples are the Esgarraet de Gindara, or the maresa Eel Nigiri.