Valencia, Spain’s third largest city after Madrid and Barcelona, is a charming, vibrant place with understated elegance and a more manageable feel and slower pace than its larger cousins, yet it has everything you need in a large city.
This is the home of paella – the quintessential Spanish rice dish -, Valencia oranges, and a burgeoning wine industry from nearby Utiel-Requena and Alicante.
After a long absence, I went back to the city this spring and got re-acquainted with the local wine scene. Below is a short list of my favorite wine bars in the city:
El Rodamón de Russafa. A modern, trendy restaurant and wine bar in the Russafa district. It focuses on international cuisine and “fusion” tapas (the mushroom croquetas are delicious), and an excellent list of wines by the glass.
The friendly, knowledgeable staff led us in the discovery of lesser-known, quality producers from Valencia and beyond, including the unique “Sentada sobre la bestia” red blend from Fil-loxera & Cia, Temide Brisat (a skin contact white from Daniel Bordera) and a salty, mineral Verdejo (Arenas de Santyuste) from Esmeralda Garcia.
Bodega Baltasar Seguí. A true gem in the Benimaclet neighborhood north of the old town, this is a very cozy, traditional retail shop and bar combination that’s always full of locals going for a drink after work or picking up a bottle to take home. Behind the counter they have several wood barrels where they sell wine in bulk for you to refill your bottle directly from.
Manager and sommelier Ana is incredibly knowledgeable and goes out of the way to make you feel at home, even if you’re visiting for the first time. They have a list of 8-10 pours available by the glass, including a spicy Bobal from Bodega Murviedro, a juicy red blend from Celler del Roure, and a rotating offering of Sherry and Cava. A must for any wine lover.
Casa Montaña. A culinary institution of the city, located in the Cabanyal district a few steps from the beach. Founded in 1836, and now run by two generations of the Domene family, the legendary Casa Montaña is one of the oldest and best-loved restaurants in Valencia.
The menu is primarily seafood-based, and the long wine list touches on all corners of Spain, with a focus on local bottlings like Mustiguillo Mestizaje (a Bobal blend) and the amazing Brut Reserva Especial Cava from Dominio de la Vega. A classy, elegant place full of character and history.
Antiga Bodega Biosca. A favorite among locals since 1932, family-run Bodega Biosca is a popular spot in the hipster Russafa neighborhood.
Though not exactly a wine bar, the recently renovated Mercat Central (Central Market) in Valencia’s old town is a foodie’s paradise. One of the oldest markets still in use in Europe and has been declared a ”Heritage of Cultural Interest” site by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
For other suggestions on wine bars in Madrid and Barcelona, please check out these posts:
Favorite Places to Drink Wine in Madrid and Favorite Places to Drink Wine in Barcelona.