Eating and drinking. In Spain, of course, this is possible in many places, and also in many different ways. Also in the Jalon Valley there is something to be found for every budget and for every atmosphere. But tastes will differ, and also circumstances like the time of year, the mood of the staff and that of your disenjoyed makes of course difference. That’s why it’s hard to give tips that are useful to everyone.
Below we give an overview of the places we ourselves have been, and which we find worthy of mention for some reason. But don’t see it as a complete list, especially go discover yourself! The beauty of this region is that you can still encounter the authentic Spain in many places. As long as you are not directly on the coast, most eateries cater to both Spaniards and foreigners. It helps that many Spaniards come as tourists, and many foreigners as a native (who often also speaks a Spanish mouth).
Alcalali (within walking distance)
- La Torre – Bar and restaurant at the same time, very cosy. Here everyone comes together: locals, winterers and tourists. When the weather is nice, the tables are just right in front of the church, which is only used on Sundays.
- Bar Porche – A little more bar, but also a simple map. At least as Spanish, and also here tables on the church square when the weather permits.
- Bar Toni – From the three places on the square, this is the most bar and the least restaurant. But on occasion Toni also covers his tables in the square, e.g. in summer when there are music venues in the weekends. Otherwise there will always be some tapas.
- Ca Pinet – really local cuisine, and very proud of that. Mainly for lunch, but in the summer also open in the evening. Excellent paella, sangria and other local dishes. Also the vegetables are local and fresh.
- Castellvi – Does both a la carte and three-course menu del dia. We especially enjoyed the first one, but that is also a bit more expensive.
- In Alcalali are even more restaurants with three course menus, characterized by the theme ‘much food for little money’. The price depends on the main course, but is usually between 10 and 20 euros, including a glass of beer or a carafe of wine. Never expensive though, while the main course is often local and fresh. But at those prices do not count on starters, vegetables and desserts being fresh as well.
- El Hierro – Small but cute little place, on and top Spanish. Traditional style. The highlight of the evening is when the owner prepares Crepe Suzette on the mini-kitchen, the art that is apparently passed down from generation to generation… [update: also tasting the Chateaubriand is already a highlight. Just do it!]
- El Karmelet – Another traditional style gem. The front looks like a simple tapas bar, but in the back hides an asador restaurant that is worth a visit. Friendly personel, fresh food, prepared with enthousiasm.
- Bistro Selena – something more luxurious than average, but still not expensive. Atmosphere is not typically Spanish, but popular so booking is advisable.
- Don Pintxo – Pinchos bar, tapas y cañas.
- El Paraiso – Cosy family restaurant, she stands in the kitchen and he does the serving. Nice view, good food and personal attention. Just don’t say aloud that you like karaoke, because then he wants you to sing…
- Era – only lunch. Here also typical Spanish, complete families meet up for a joint paella (a la brasa). But also the squid from barbeque is not too sneeze at, and the prices are very friendly. Nice to combine with a (flat) afternoon walk, or after the ascent of the Col de Rates.
- Bar La Estufa – Various local tapas can be enjoyed here.
Refugio Vista Bernia – Ideal place for a late paella lunch after some effort (e.g. cycling or walking in the area). Who does not want to eat here:
Orba – at the hotel at the square you can get a good menu del dia, for an incredible 10 euros.
Javea – On the boulevard, near the old town and port, there are a number of restaurants. You can see which are the busiest. We had a good meal at Restaurante Calima.
See also the section about (the Museo de) Turron on the page ‘other activities’.