Eating and drinking

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 have visited ourselves, and which we find worthy mentioning for some reason. But don’t see it as a complete or definitve list, please 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 also many Spaniards come here as tourists, and many foreigners come as a native (who often also speak some Spanish).

Alcalalí (within walking distance)
  • Bar Porche – Atmosphere is a little more bar, but also serves a simple menu and tapas. At least as Spanish, and again 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 – yet closed, awaiting the new owner to open soon.
  • Lulah’s – Nicely situated at the crossroads. Relatively simple menu, unfortunately specifically aimed at foreign residents and tourists. But a very cozy interior, worth trying if you want to stay at walking distance.
  • Ses Feixes – Strikingly situated, on the other side of the village on the road to Jalon. A large garden where you can have a lovely lunch, dinner, or just a drink with maybe some patatas bravas to satisfy your hunger during the day. Dishes are a bit more luxurious, with a more luxurious price level. But very relaxed, and much more Spanish than the above one.
  • Musette Café – small coffe bar on the main junction, home made cakes. Has had the privilege of serving not only Miguel Indurain but also Tadej Pogacar and many other professionals. This coffee stimulated Tadej to take the KOM on the Col de Rates/Observatory in an awfull way.
  • 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.
  • Café la Palmera – For the real coffee or tea lover, this is the place to be. Coffee in all different ways, various kinds of tea, and of course homemade cakes to go with it. But also cheese plates, guacamole or other tapas. Open from Thursday to Sunday, also for (cava) breakfast.
  • 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. The cook is a Basque fisherman’s son, with a lot of enthusiasm for cooking (and not just fish). If you want to know how Calamares a la Romana should taste (fresh!), You can taste it here.
  • Cal Xixonero – Unobtrusive from the outside, but well worth a visit. The dishes are created around local products and executed very delicately. You don’t really expect that for such a small price.
  • Bistro Selena – something more luxurious than average, but still not expensive. Atmosphere is not typically Spanish, but popular so booking is advisable.
  • AroMas – combines bistro-food from fresh produce with a magnificent terrace where you can hang around. Prices are not so Spanish unfortunately, but the views are.
  • Casa Caty – nice restaurant on the square near the Velosol, but unfortunately not always clear when it is open (often not in the summer).
  • Bohemia [not yet visited ourselves] – this one is definitely still on our list of places we’d like to go to again, because the reviews are good. Just outside the village, after the roundabout on the road to Lliber, on the left.
  • Don Pintxo – Pinchos bar, tapas y cañas.
  • El Nou Mosset – Fine tapas bar with outside terrace, on the square opposite Casa Caty.
  • Bar Rull – Tapas bar on the Plaza Mayor, always cozy.
  • Pizzeria Capriccio – we’ve not been there ourselves, but there are always people there so they must be doing something right!
  • Dockers Hangout – never ate here myself, but heard good stories about their burgers. And here too it is often still buzzling when the shops around are already closed.
  • 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. Unfortunately for paella you need to make a reservation well in advance.
  • Bar La Estufa – Various local tapas can be enjoyed here.

Nou Portet – This nice restaurant is located between Alcalalí and Orba, just 2.5 km from the villa. Excellent dishes, friendly staff, they serve both menu and a la carte. Also a great option with a lot of choice if you are looking for a relaxed place to eat a salad in the afternoon.

La venta de Collao – Above Benimaurell lies this lunch restaurant with a beautiful terrace and delicious Spanish cuisine (the leg of lamb was really perfect, and certainly not the only success). Situated on the ridge, so it can be a bit windy on the terrace sometimes. In any case, it is useful to make a reservation in advance: you do not want to drive up here for nothing and it is a popular place for good reason. Also ideal to combine with a walk, e.g. over the ridge with a view of both the Jalon and Orba valleys (see our page about Hiking).

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:

Casa Susi – halfway between Jalon and the Bernia, in Maserof, is this charming restaurant where Susi holds sway. Ideal place to walk from Villa Arbolada (less than two hours, 250 altimeters) and then enjoy a tajine with, for example, lamb and almonds. Better call ahead, and bring cash money with you! Basically open Thu-Sun, until 3:30 PM.

Ca’s Pelut, Tarbena – above the T-junction at Tarbena, then 50 meters further along a small road. Family restaurant with nice view and value for money. Great paella mixta, but if you phone a day in advance they will also make a paella di pulpo for you. Unfortunately we had not, so we will definitely go back for that.

Can Pinet, Tarbena – in the village itself there is another authentic family restaurant, here too the whole family present in the open kitchen or service. Usually a bit less busy than above: here there is simply no terrace with a view, but the food is just as good and the interior is also cozy.

Gusto Italiana, Orba – both a pizzeria and a ‘normal’ Italian restaurant, so something for everyone. We had a delicious a la carte meal there and will definitely come back again.

Bar-restaurant La Plaza, Orba – at the hotel at the square you can get a good menu del dia, for an incredible 12 euros..

Benidoleig – here you can get very original tapas at Gastrotaberna El Temple. Tapas bij El Temple

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. The paella at Restaurante Cala Bandida was also delicious, with a view over the entire bay.

See also the section about (the Museo de) Turron on the page ‘other activities’.