Foodie trip to discover Spanish food culture
As a family we have a clear focus when we travel to Spain. We just love to go on a discovery Spanish food trip. We want to share our pick for the best places to eat in Alicante and Vega Baja. Nevertheless we tend to go back to some of them, time after time. This is why I am lucky to have Spanish friends that will give me tips on local restaurants close to their work or homes.
Southern Alicante is a great choice if you want learn about he local food culture and production. Go to a local farmers market and spend a morning smelling, tasting and buying fresh vegetables and fruits. Above all. enjoy a great lunch in one of the many restaurants in the region.
I have over the years enjoyed great food and one each time I go I try out something new. It is exciting to find new restaurants, bakery, street kiosk and other exciting food related places.
A region with great local produce
Alicante has historically held a strong position in the green industries. Mainly in the production and cultivation of vegetables, fruit and wine.
In Vega Baja, where Villa Balea is located, the local farmers grow: tomatoes, paprika, broccoli, artichoke, onion, cucumber, salad, eggplant, melon.
However, if you go inland, towards mountain areas, you will find almonds plantations, located on terraces on the slopes of the mountains. Virtually wherever you go you can see citrus cultivation. Only 20 minutes from Ciudad Quesada, in Elche you can find pears, peaches, dates and pomegranates.
A must is to find a restaurant serving a plate of grilled recently harvested artichokes. It is a delicacy.
Our list of best places to eat Spanish food in Alicante and Vega Baja is based on:
- We follow many local food blogs and their recommendations.
- Our Spanish friends help me to find the best places to eat.
- Suggestions from local repair people that come to fix Villa Balea. They have a great insight into where you can get the best value for money lunch menu.
- We have tried some of them
- We would always keep our eyes open for new restaurants in the center of Ciudad Quesada, Rojales and Benijofar.
- Not all the places on this list are restaurants, there are also bakeries, dessert shops, and food markets etc.
- However, the list is in not particular order.
Our top picks – Alicante city
- La Taberna del Gourmet – Spanish gastronomy
- Restaurante La Ereta – Alicante cuisine
- La Taverna del Racó del Pla – Tapas
- Restaurant Nou Manolín y Piripi – Spanish cuisine
- L’arruzz, Alicante – Mediterranean
- Cervecería La Galería – Casual Spanish cuisine
- El Portal – Spanish cuisine
- El Chaflán de Luceros – Spanish cuisine
- Prefiero Sussu – Pastries and cakes
- La Magdalena – Pastries and cakes
- Pasteleria By Torreblanca Alicante – Bakery
- Turrones Espí – Dessert and win shop
- Mercat Central d’Alacant – Alicante Central Market
- Kiosko Monerris Sirvent – Pastries kiosk
Top pick Elche ( municipality )
- Restaurante Nugolat – Traditional cuisine
- El Estanquet – Traditional and Mediterranean cuisine
- Restaurante Matola ( one of our favourites)
- Kiosko Susi- Tapas in El Altet
- Hostal Maruja in la Marina – Mediterranean ( we go every time we are in Villa Balea)
- Confiteria Castell – Cake shop
- Pastelería y Panadería La Espiga de Oro S. L. (T1) – Bakery
Our top picks – Vega Baja
- Restaurante la Herradura in Montesinos- Spanish gastronomy
- La Meson Cuchara – Paellas and rice dishes in Dolores (we go every time. Great value for money)
- El Nuevo Cocodrilo – Fomentera de Segura
- Restaurante El Cortijo -Fomentera de Segura Casual cuisine
- Cervecería Don Carlos in Ciudad Quesada- Casual cuisine ( great for first evening in Ciudad Quesada)
- El Resspiro in Rojales
- Club de Petanca in Rojales. ( Great tapas and if you like boule / Petanque it is for free to play)
- Pintxos in Ciudad Quesada ( I have not been myself but recommended online).
- El Cruce in Almoradi- Mediterranean gastronomy
- Resturante Luna Park in Almoradi
- Restaurante Silvino in Almoradi
- Bar Parque de la Naturaleza in Almoradi
- Gastro Moon Restaurante in Almoradi
- Pasteleria Crujiente in Redovan- Pastries shop
Spend a day in Elche: Commerce, history and great restaurants
Elche is a very nice city to visit. Here you can find palm parks, orchards, some of the best places to eat in Alicante, and great shopping. In other words, it is a city with a lot of businesses and commerce, trade and manufacturing. As Spanish love their businesses lunches, you can find great and high quality food here.
Among other things Elche is Europe’s “city of dadel”. There is a significant production of dates. It is a historical legacy from the Arabs and Phoenicians. These people settled down in the area around Elche.
Nevertheless, dates are sold fresh October to January. The rest of the year you can buy frozen or dried ones.
Another fruit that is very much connected to the Elche region is the pomegranate. In addition, Alicante municipalities, Elche, Albatera, Crevillente, produce approximately 90% of Spain’s total production. It is a delicious fruit, rich in C and E vitamins and antioxidants. Buy and taste the delicious Pomegranate “Mollar de Elche”.