Updated: Jun 18
Fishmongers shout out their daily offers at the Lonja marketplace, and Michelin star chefs comb through tables of brightly coloured greens and fresh vegetables in the art deco Mercat Central. Bulging sacks of Valencia’s famous bomba rice are brought in from the paddies surrounding Albufera’s nutrient-rich lagoon, and cured meats arrive in waxed paper packages from all over Spain.
Surrounded by acres of farmland and embraced by the glistening Mediterranean Sea, Valencia is home to a unique cuisine centred around its abundance of fresh produce and seafood. And from hearty paella to bright seasonal salads, the ingredients for it all can be found in the vibrant city's many bustling markets.
A chef’s haven
To delve into the city's incredible cuisine, we must meet the Michelin stars leading from the front lines. From Valencia’s beloved three-Michelin-star Quique Dacosta to Michelin Green Star winner Ricard Camarena, a community of top-rated chefs calls Valencia home. Among them, a German native with a Valencian soul, Bernd H Knöller, a returned Valencian daughter, Begoña Rodrigo, two Argentine chefs with a mission, German Carrizo and Carito Lourenco, and Japanese sushi star Yoshikazu Yanome.
Chapter One: El Poblet
After four years of working shoulder to shoulder with Quique Dacosta in his eponymous Denia restaurant, chef Luis Valls now leads the kitchen at two-Michelin-star El Poblet, one of only two restaurants in Valencia to have received the prestigious recognition. Catch a glimpse into the soul of the Valencian pantry in this relaxed but elegant restaurant located in a vibrant neighbourhood just minutes from the city’s main train station.
Chapter Two: Lienzo
Chef Maria Jose Martinez pays homage to her Murcian roots from the kitchens of Lienzo in Plaza Tetuan, just a few minutes from the Turia Gardens. Here, the team has truly conquered that authentic essence of Mediterranean cuisine, and whether you opt for the lunchtime executive menu or one of two tastings menus, seasonal vegetables and fresh fish burst with intense flavour. Don’t miss Pico’s four-cheese cannelloni wrapped in orange blossom and black garlic.
Chapter Three: Kaido Sushi Bar
With darkened interiors, a spotlight on the sushi bar and a single table for ten, eating at Kaido Sushi Bar is like being a member of an elite club. The unassuming exterior belies the genius of chef Yoshikazu Yanome, who was crowned the best sushi maker in Spain. Admire Yanome’s culinary theatre in an intimate setting just minutes from the Mestalla Football Stadium, and discover why Kaido won its first Michelin star just a year after opening.
Chapter Four: RiFF
Bernd H Knöller’s RiFF received the first Michelin star to land in Valencia in 2009 and has only cemented its position at the forefront of Valencian cuisine since then. The Mediterranean-inspired tasting menus are heavily influenced by seasonal produce, and the resulting masterpieces are presented with exceptional flair and explanations from the friendly chef. Located in the Eixample district, RiFF enjoys a joyful ambience in intimate surroundings.
Chapter Five: Fierro
Straight out of the kitchens of Quique Dacosta’s Valencian restaurants, Argentinian chefs Carito Lourenco and German Carrizo have now found fame under their name for Fierro. Bringing home its first Michelin star in 2021, Fierro offers an intimate dining experience with just a smattering of tables in an intimate space and an exquisite tasting menu focusing on the bounties of Valencia’s soils and sea. Located in modernist Ruzafa, Fierro is the result of a shared dream.
A dream come true
Chapter Six: La Salita
Back in the city of her youth, after many a year on far-flung shores, Chef Begoña Rodrigo serves Albufeira-inspired cuisine from her Ruzafa restaurant. Settled within a reformed 18th-century palace, La Salita shines a spotlight on garden produce and offers tasting menus that combine Mediterranean ingredients and tradition with Asian and South American inspiration. Enjoy an indulgent cocktail on the sun-kissed terrace, and don’t miss the seafood, Tiara, the show's star.
Chapter Seven: Ricard’s Camarena’s
Ricard’s Camarena’s eponymous two-star restaurant lies beside photography exhibitions and a canteen for underprivileged youths within a refurbished art deco industrial complex in Marxalenes. Camarena’s approach brings his Green Michelin star meaning with a focus on sustainability and tradition, and his menu features Mediterranean-inspired dishes with an innovative, cosmopolitan twist. Expect exceptional pairings and a relaxed atmosphere.
Lapped by the gentle waves of the Mediterranean on one side and flanked by farming lands on the other, Valencia’s cuisine combines abundant fresh produce with delicious seafood and blends tradition with innovation. The vibrant city’s gastro scene is on the rise, and Valencia is finally enjoying its moment in the spotlight, with several Michelin-star chefs heading some of the best restaurants in Valencia.
Built up an appetite reading this? Click through any restaurant names above to learn more about the best Michelin-star restaurants in Valencia.