A family-owned restaurant set in the city’s green outskirts and steeped in the history of Valencia’s lush Huerta farmlands, Ca Pepico is a favourite among locals.
It has even attracted famous faces, such as actors Diego Luna and Stellan Skarsgärd, who visited for a Valencian paella when filming the latest Star Wars spinoff, Andor, in the city.
Famed for its fresh produce and excellent wine cellar, this is one of the best places to eat in Valencia for those seeking a traditional taste of paella in a homely environment.
With rustic interiors, a pretty interior patio and a terrace outside the entrance, it’s lovely all year round but the perfect choice for spring and summer. Come with the family, on a romantic date or with a group of hungry friends, and sample the Mediterranean restaurant that has been in the same family for three generations.
A tempting city escape
Situated among the abundant agricultural land and quaint cottages of Valencia’s Huerta Norte, this charming restaurant offers a delightful escape from the buzzing city. In the rural enclave of Roca, 15 minutes north of the city or a 20-minute train journey from the North Station into the zone of Meliana, you’ll find some of the best Mediterranean food the Community of Valencia offers.
To truly make the most of the day, take some time before or after your feast to soak in the glistening waters of Meliana Beach. And enjoy the fresh air of the surrounding open fields, spotting where the ‘chufa’ (tiger nuts) are cultivated to make the city’s favourite horchata drink.
A splash of Mediterranean flair
Housed in a gorgeous building constructed in the early 20th Century for Jose Ferrer Rodrigo's family, the current owner's grandfather, Ca Pepico, has been a watering hole for the small village for three generations.
Originally just a tiny shop that Meliana villagers were obliged to pass on the way to their beloved beach, Pepico, grandfather of the current owners, quickly set up a few tables outside to make the most of this passing trade.
From serving beer, wine, peanuts and lupin beans, Pepico’s son started offering lunches and then dinners when he took over in the 70s. By the 80s, the business had become a reference point for fresh food in the Huerta, and the queues outside could last for an hour.
The history of the restaurant’s development is highlighted by the interiors' rustic open brickwork, the wooden furniture's elegance, and the family photos giving pride of place on the walls. In the corner, you’ll find a heavy wrought iron table covered in ceramic tiles, which has been in the family for over a hundred years.
High ceilings and heavy rafters lend a spacious appeal, while crisp white tablecloths and a splash of green life bring the interiors into the modern-day. Further tables are bathed in the golden Mediterranean sun on the patio and outside the restaurant.
Sun-blushed Valencian flavours
Surrounded by the fertile fields of the Huerta Norte and just moments from the bountiful Mediterranean Sea, the kitchen at Ca Pepico focuses on creating traditional dishes with fresh local ingredients and as little manipulation as possible. Their garden also provides a refreshing offering of the best seasonal produce.
This local focus comes through in the irresistible tapas selection, featuring local favourites, including the typically Valencian ‘esgarrat’, made with red peppers, cod and salt-cured tuna. Whether tempted by the melt-in-the-mouth squid tentacles, the artisanal cheese board or the grilled vegetable platters, these sharing dishes provide the perfect start to the meal.
Appetite piqued, savour a seafood delight concocted with the day’s catch, a rich steak or a roast pig plate guaranteed to satisfy. Vegetarians, rest assured that a diverse offering of meat-free alternatives will have you smiling for days.
Of course, one couldn’t visit the homeland of paella without indulging in the fragrant rice dish, and this Mediterranean restaurant is renowned for pulling out all the stops. Duck, lobster, seafood or vegetables also offer the traditional Paella Valenciana you can read all about here.
The dessert list leaves little to ask for, with the Apple Tatin a crowd favourite and the olive oil and banana ice cream a unique combination you’ll wonder why you’ve never thought of.
Authentically warm service
While Ca Pepico's gourmet dishes thrill, the service differentiates it from its counterparts. The staff go above and beyond to ensure your table has everything you desire before you even consider it. And, a good sign for any restaurant within the region, you'll find many of the tables occupied by local families enjoying the exquisite Mediterranean food.
Relaxed yet prompt, friendly yet professional - there's a reason this classic restaurant invites so many of its diners back time and time again. Combining the exquisite tastes and courtesy of a fine dining experience with the beloved Spanish charm, the atmosphere is truly unforgettable.
Wondering what to eat in Valencia? Trying the rich paellas in this rural retreat is an unmissable experience during your trip, so we’d suggest you call the restaurant to guarantee your pan. This saffron-infused delight takes a while to cook up, and with the restaurant's local fame, places fill up fast. Just remember, as is the case for most of Valencia’s paella, the price is per person, with a minimum of two people to order.
Don’t miss the restaurant’s fantastic wine cellar, with its diverse selection of over 500 local and international labels. Ask the server for the best pairing for your delectable food from Valencia, and they’ll be happy to suggest it. And finish up with a glass of sweetened ‘mistela’ on the house; it’s the perfect accompaniment to dessert.
A rural paradise for the foodie within
Set in charming farmlands and rich in tradition, it is one of the best restaurants in Valencia for those looking for quality Mediterranean dishes, from the catch of the day to a paella made from fresh Valencia ingredients in a tranquil setting. Just remember to book your paella ahead to avoid being left with a limited choice!
If you're looking for the perfect place to stay among the verdant tapestry of the Huerta Norte of Alboraya, La Mozaira boutique hotel offers a romance-infused sanctuary just a 20-minute stroll away.