For people who thought that rice was only popular in Asian countries, Alicante definitely holds a surprise for them, since rice in Alicante is not just a side dish like in most other places. In fact, there are dedicated rice restaurants (known as “Arrocerías” by the locals) that sport more than 100 different recipes based on rice, being Paella (a mix of saffron rice, shellfish and vegetables) the most famous dish of them all. On top of that, Alicante is also very known for the quality of its fish and seafood, since it is always fresh and of the best quality. And for those who would prefer sausages or any other type of meat, these are all produced in the mountains near Alicante. Varied salads are also offered everywhere.
Drinks and Desserts
One very popular local drink is made of tiger nuts and is known as “horchata”, and is served in bars all throughout the city. There is also a very popular (an exquisite) Spanish dessert called “turrón”, which is made with egg whites, sugar, almond and honey, and that can be bought anywhere in bar shape and even as an ice cream flavor.
Popular Areas for Eating in Alicante
The center of Alicante is home to several restaurants; most of them located near the city Town Hall. Another very concurred area for enjoying a meal is the Old Quarter area, also known as El Barrio. There, close to the Plaza del Carmen (located near the cathedral) visitors will find a series of restaurants that offer fine dining all night long.
In general, lunch in Alicante starts between 12pm. and 1pm. and ends at about 2:30pm. Dinner starts at 8pm and usually lasts for about two hours.
Food culture in Alicante (as well as in the rest of Spain) is something that is taken very seriously by Spanish people, and is one aspect of the culture that visitors are encouraged to learn in order to fully enjoy it. In Alicante, eating is a leisurely affair, and lunch and dinner seating are not meant to be rushed.
Here are some recommended restaurants:
La Ereta Restaurant
Address: Parque la Ereta, Monte Benacantil
Phone: +34 965 143 250
Located right beside Mount Benacantil, La Ereta restaurant is one of the most popular in Alicante, offering very fine cuisine that can satisfy even the most demanding customers. The restaurant also provides privileged views of the coastline, of Santa Barbara’s castle and of all the surrounding area.
Address: Marina Deportiva St., Muelle Levante No. 6
Phone: +34 965 207 399
This is the place to be for anyone who wishes to try the real Spanish “Paella”, since it is one of the specialties of this restaurant. The restaurant is also one of the oldest of the region, and offers visitors gorgeous views of the coastline.
Nou Manolin Restaurant
Address: Villegas St. No.3
Phone: +34 965 200 368
This restaurant is one of the most accessible in Alicante, being located on one of the most transited pedestrian streets within the city. It offers a varied menu, but the dish it is mostly known for is its “tapas”, which keeps delighting both local and foreign customers.
El Cantó Restaurant
Address: Alemania St. No.26
Phone: +34 965 925 650
Another restaurant in Alicante known for its famous “tapas”. Definitely recommended but, since they don’t take any bookings, anyone wishing to eat here will almost surely need to make a line and wait for a while. But it is definitely worth it.
Address: Pintor Velazquez St., No.21
Phone: +34 965 200 184
This popular “tapas” bar is located right in the centre of Alicante and is one of the few restaurants in the area that offers home-made meals, which have made it very popular among the locals. However, it has become even more popular thanks to its famous “montaditos”, which are big sandwiches that can be ordered with several different fillings.