Top 10 Paellas in Spain

    Categories // spanish-food, Interest Tourist Places in Spain

    Have you already decided where you will stay on your holidays in Spainenlace? Have you booked your travel flight, accommodation and planned your trip? You have surely chosen one day to taste the best dish in Spanish cuisineenlace and the favourite one for foreign tourists who choose our country as holiday destination. If you come to Spain and you do not taste our paella is like visiting Venecia and not having a ride in a gondola or visiting Paris and not admiring the Eiffel Tower.

    Taking into account the fact that it is virtually impossible to establish the tastiest rice dish, which is admired by tourists around the world and considered the most iconic dish of our cuisine, we have selected some of the best paellas in Spainenlace. Sadly, homemade paellas are not included in this selection.


    Photo Charles Haynes / CC BY SA 2.0

    We can reveal the most famous paella in Spain. The Valencian paellaenlace is the symbol of regional cuisine and even some people are determined to preserve, promote and defend “the authentic Valencian paella”. If you are curious on the ingredients used in the Autonomous Community of Valencia you should visit the web Wikipaellaenlace, where you will find the true DNA of this dish (traditionally made with rice, lime beans or large white beans, tomato, beans, chicken, rabbit, salt, olive oil, water and saffron), this shows you how this historic dish differ from regional gastronomy.  Paellas are cooked on firewood and rice from Valencia which is considered an exquisite delicatessen as well as a festive and solemn place.


    Top 10 Paellas in Spain:

    1 - Casa Elías (Monovar – Alicante). Gastronomic experts and culinary guides define this paella as the best paella in Spain. Rice with rabbit and snails, herbs, and slowly cooked on firewood. Upon your arrival to the restaurant you will know that the choice is unbeatable. The first thing you see when you arrive is a large window which welcomes you with the burning firewood ready for your paella.

    2 - La Sirena (Alicante). We continue in Alicante where only rice is called paella just due to a kind of healthy competition with its Valencian neighbours. Here, we decide to taste the arroz a banda (rice cooked in fish stock) with prawns which always comes with a delicious garlic mayonnaise sauce and cooked with ñoras which is a type of dried pepper which is the main ingredient of a secret sauce and the best rice from Alicante is used.

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    3 - Quique Dacosta (Alicante)
    This chef has already been mentioned as the genius of rice and Mediterranean cuisine as well as his 3 Michelin stars restaurant in our Top 10 Restaurants in Spainenlace.  His art in the kitchen has majestically moved to rice: The grain is firm and crispy, does not stick together but it is integrated in the dish, cooked with an exquisite technique; this certainly is a different concept from what is found outside our country.

    4 - La Cuina Mediterranea de Galbis (L’Alcudia – Valencia)
    Valencian people should not be angry as we have started in Alicante as they are the experts of the authentic Valencian paella. Juan Carlos Galbis will surprise you with a recipe where waterfowls and Valencian vegetable garden are the most important elements and in a gastronomic place where the chef cooks for his friends and there is a close, friendly, tasty and authentic atmosphere. His father is well-known for cooking the biggest paella in history.

    5 - Casa Carmina (El Saler – Valencia). We continue in Valencia because there are hundreds of places that can be part of this Top 10: Velarte, Ca Consuelo, Els Pins, Casa Roberto…and so on. Between the sea and the Valencian Albufera, this small place offers one of the most exquisite Valencian paellas. Stew rice with beans and turnips, paella with lobster, with cuttlefish and artichokes, with seafood, with monkfish and mushrooms: Tough choice.

    6 - Posada Real (Santa María del Campo Rus – Cuenca). It must be said that the best Valencian paella is found in Castilla La Mancha, especially in Cuenca, in this restaurant which is run by the chef Julián García and it was decided in the last contest “The World’s Best  Paella” held in Sueca, Rice City in Spain. Arroz bomba (short-grain rice), chopped chicken and rabbit, garrafo, green beans and crushed tomatoes, snails, saffron, rosemary, paprika, colouring, chicken stock, olive oil and salt. The most traditional ingredients of the Valencian paella are the main elements of this Castilian paella.


    Photo Hugo Pardo / CC BY 2.0

    7 - Que si quieres arroz Catalina (Madrid)
    Located in the heart of Casa de Campo in Madrid, you will find one of the best rice restaurants in the capital. The chef is Rafa Morales with 14 years of experience working with Ferrá Adriá and with 2 Michelin starts at El Bulli Hotel in Seville. Now he is dedicated to cooking the most delicious paellas you will find in Madrid, which are stewed in a duck stock and accompanied with rabbit, artichokes or snails.

    8 - El Suquet de I’Almirall (La Barceloneta – Barcelona). In the heart of Port Vell, you will find this establishment which is our favourite one in Barcelona. The choice is easy: Paella Barceloneta with very fresh prawns and crayfish and elaborated with a magical fume. Feel free to add the tasty garlic mayonnaise sauce.

    9 - Venezuela (San Pedro del Pinatar – Murcia). The rice is served smooth and sticky, next goes guts and livers and then fish. This restaurant has over 50 years of experience and includes a pleasant sea atmosphere. The types of rice offer the traditional Arroz al Caldero Murciano which is a tribute to this traditional recipe which was used to be made by fishermen of Mar Menor (Minor Sea) on firewood  on the beach sand.

    10 - Restaurant Can Reus (Palma de Mallorca). In order to finish our Top 10 Paellas in Spain we travel to Mallorca where you will find a good establishment to taste some of the most traditional and exquisite paellas or try the traditional “Arros Brut”, which is a type of rice from Mallorca with all types of vegetables and meats as well as stock and will surprise you due to the taste of black pepper.


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    Making use of your internet connection in Spain…if you find a paella that you believe is worth to be included in this Top 10 Paellas in Spain…Feel free to add your recommendation!

    Published by:
    Julio R. Astarloa

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