There are restaurants for every kind of budgets in Valencia. Most of them are traditional restaurants that serve a variety of local Spanish specialties. A number of more cosmopolitan restaurants offer a range of international cuisine, including Chinese, French, Indian, Italian and Mexican restaurants.
Many of the best restaurants stand along the streets close to the university campus. For luxury restaurants and fine dining in Valencia, head to the Cánovas area, which borders the Old Quarter. Here you will find a number of historic buildings which have been converted into superb restaurants, including some of the best in Valencia.
The Barrio del Carmen neighborhood is also known for its exclusive restaurants. Some of the most popular restaurants in Valencia are close to the beaches and seafront, with magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea from the tables.
Not surprisingly almost every restaurant in Valencia offers some variation on paella. The traditional recipe pairs short-grained rice with so called "poor" ingredients like rabbit, chicken and snails. The seafood version of paella is a later development, and not the most authentic paella. The best paella is usually found near the port, or around the southerly fishing villages of El Palmar or El Saler.
Lunch generally commences between 14:00 and 16:00, during Valencia's siesta time, when most restaurants become particularly busy. Dinner in Valencia starts from around 21:00, with many of the main restaurants remaining open until midnight or later, particullarly at the weekends. An increasing number of restaurants in Valencia now open for early evening dinner at around 18:00 onwards, this is primarely aimed at tourists used to dining at this time.