Updated: Sep 8, 2022
When it comes to the best places to eat in Valencia, the Ruzafa neighbourhood has more than its fair share of delicious eateries.
Among the Spanish tapas spots, bars and Japanese restaurants, a new addition opened right in the middle of the pandemic - Bekaa Bistro Valencia.
Despite an inauspicious start, it soon saw queues out the door as people flocked to order fresh Lebanese flavours to take away. Perhaps it had something to do with the slick glass and gold design, or maybe the baker creating fresh Lebanese flatbreads in the window.
Whatever the reason, Bekaa has now found its place in Valencians' hearts and is consistently fully booked. So you'll need to make a reservation to enjoy the friendly service and authentic Lebanese flavours served with flair
Where you’ll find it
-Streets of Ruzafa.
Bekaa Bistro is right at home in multicultural Ruzafa, a hip and bustling neighbourhood in the district of Eixample. Once a neighbourhood that had seen better days, it has become one of the most happening spots in the city. Beautiful modernist architecture painted in bright colours provides the perfect backdrop to terraces overflowing with tables and local beers, where artists and creatives rub shoulders with tourists and Ruzafa locals alike.
Just 10 minutes away from Ruzafa's grand market lies Bekaa Bistro. At the entrance, an open kitchen invites you to watch how the talented chefs make traditional flatbreads, while glimpses of an interior patio and water feature call you further in.
Inside, intricately carved furniture, traditionally decorated plates, pictures of Lebanese landscapes, and mystical Middle Eastern music make you feel like you've stepped off the streets of Valencia into a whole new world.
What’s on the menu
Scents from a range of authentic Lebanese dishes waft out of the kitchen, while the variety on the menu conjures images of tables piled high with silver dishes. Vegetarians are in luck, too, with plenty of options for those avoiding meat.
To start, try the fragrant cauliflower dish, Arnabit, spiced with garlic and lemon and drizzled with tarator sauce.
Another must-try is the thick and creamy fresh hummus, served with piping-hot pita bread that melts in your mouth. Choose from various types of hummus, ranging from a silky traditional hummus to an aromatic dish topped with seven-hour roasted lamb from the grill.
A tempting selection of meat-based dishes will prepare your appetite to conquer the main course.
From chargrilled quail and roasted chicken to sirloin skewers, slow-roasted lamb, and ox meat served with Bulgar wheat and dusted with dried herbs.
Vegetarians, let your taste buds be tempted by the pumpkin and walnut 'vegeballs', thick slices of Cypriot halloumi, and whole-roasted artichokes seasoned with zesty garlic and lemon sauce.
Or, opt for the crispy feta and mozzarella-stuffed rolls, the home-made falafel or the steaming almond, pine nut, and smoked green wheat risotto,
When you arrive at Bekaa Bistro, you'll walk past glass counters laden with baklava, pistachio semolina cookies, crispy filo pastry rolls, and other puff pastry temptations you can't miss. Try the Ashta ice cream, a heavenly combination of intense vanilla ice cream with mastic, and gum, from the Greek island of Chios, flavoured with a touch of rose water and pistachios.
The perfect finish to an authentic meal, order a traditional Lebanese coffee with the perfect touch of cardamom that will take you on a gastronomical journey to the streets of Beirut.
Brunch and bakes
If we've managed to whet your appetite, and you're ready to savour some authentic Lebanese food in Valencia, head over to cosmopolitan Ruzafa, where you'll find this foodie haven at 40 Carrer de Pere III, el Gran.
Bekaa Bistro opens at 1 for lunch and 8 for dinner on Thursdays through to Mondays, and you can reserve by contacting them through their website here.
-Cristian Roldán painting on the iconic logo of Bekaa Bistró.