Every major city has an up and coming hangout where all the cool kids go, and so for Valencia my favorite has to be the neighborhood of Ruzafa. It’s an easy 15 minute walk south east of the city centre.
Here is Valencia's Best Kept Secret:
Head to the large indoor market on Plaza Baron de Cortes. You’ll only find locals here stocking up on what is possibly the freshest vegetables you’ll see anywhere - picked from the local land that morning. Look out for a butchers’ called ‘Filo’. It has won awards for it’s mouth-watering homemade burgers of 10 - 20 varieties (go for the beef and veg). In rush hour you could be waiting for 30 minutes to get served!
Go see ’Color Elefante’ on Calle Sevilla, 26. It’s an open space where local artist showcase their latest work and where jazz and acoustic musicians often play at the weekends. ‘Microteatre Valencia’ (Calle Cadiz, 59), puts on short 10-15 minute performances in literally a micro theatre. It’s worth going even if you don’t understand Spanish, just for the cosy atmosphere.
For coffee and enormous portions of gooey carrot cake, I love to hangout out at La Mas Bonita on Calle Cadiz, 61. The staff are always really friendly and it’s the perfect place to chill without worrying about moving on.
For the evening go to Cafe Berlin on Calle Cadiz, 22. It’s full of mixed-matched chairs and tables. You can also get your hands on Valencia’s local beer ‘Turia’. You can also try cafe Ubik on Calle del Literato Azorín, 13 . It’s a big meeting place /bar/ bookshop where there’s an event going on pretty much every night and it always seems to be full of life.
Russafa is full of places to eat, but your best bet is to head to Calle Sueca. Yes, Valencia is home to paella but save that for later and try the gourmet burgers at either ‘Mediterránea de Hamburguesas’ or ‘The Black Turtle’. Opposite on the same street is ‘Maiz Bistro’ where they serve up awesome Colombian and Venezuelan food in the form of filled corn pittas, steaks and civiches.