Welcome to Alicante, a beautiful coastal city in Spain that is not only known for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture but also for its culinary gems. Alicante is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, offering a unique blend of traditional and modern cuisine that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. From fresh seafood caught daily to traditional rice dishes and mouth-watering tapas, Alicante has it all. Whether you are a foodie looking for a gastronomical adventure or a traveller seeking to experience the local culture, Alicante’s culinary scene is sure to delight you. Join me as we explore the best restaurants in Alicante and discover the hidden culinary gems that this beautiful city has to offer. Get ready to indulge in a culinary journey that you won’t forget anytime soon!
Traditional cuisine of Alicante
Alicante’s traditional cuisine is a blend of influences from the Mediterranean, Andalusia, and Valencia. The city is known for its rice dishes, which are often made with fish or seafood. One of the most famous Alicante dishes is arroz a banda, a rice dish that is flavoured with saffron and often served with alioli, a garlic mayonnaise. Another popular dish is the arroz con costra, a rice dish baked with a crust of egg and breadcrumbs.
Alicante is also known for its seafood, which is caught daily and served fresh in many of the city’s restaurants. Some of the most popular seafood dishes include grilled squid, octopus, and prawns. The city’s tapas culture is also worth exploring, with many bars and restaurants offering small plates of traditional Spanish dishes such as patatas bravas, croquetas, and albondigas.
Top restaurants in Alicante – Michelin-starred and local favourites
Alicante has several Michelin-starred restaurants that are worth visiting for a special occasion or a fine dining experience. One of the most famous is Quique Dacosta, located just outside the city in Denia. The restaurant has three Michelin stars and is known for its innovative cuisine that blends traditional Spanish flavours with modern techniques.
Another Michelin-starred restaurant in Alicante is Monastrell, located in the heart of the city. The restaurant is known for its creative Mediterranean cuisine that uses local ingredients to create dishes that are both beautiful and delicious.
For those seeking more casual dining options, there are many local favourites worth trying. El Portal is a traditional Spanish restaurant that is popular with locals and tourists alike. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes, including seafood, meat, and rice dishes, and has a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.
Hidden gems – lesser-known but highly recommended restaurants
While Alicante has many well-known restaurants, there are also several hidden gems that are worth seeking out. One of these is El Bistro de Antonio, a small and intimate restaurant located in the city center. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes, including traditional Spanish dishes and more modern creations. The menu changes regularly to reflect the seasons and the availability of local ingredients.
Another hidden gem is L’Atelier, a restaurant that specialises in seafood and is known for its creative and beautifully presented dishes. The restaurant has a relaxed and informal atmosphere and is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Budget-friendly options for foodies
While Alicante has many fine dining options, there are also several budget-friendly options for foodies. One of these is La Taberna del Gourmet, a tapas bar that serves a variety of creative and delicious small plates at affordable prices. The bar has a lively and welcoming atmosphere and is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Another budget-friendly option is La Cantina, a Mexican restaurant that serves a variety of dishes, including tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. The restaurant has a fun and colourful atmosphere and is a great option for a casual meal.
Alicante’s street food scene
Alicante’s street food scene is worth exploring, with many vendors offering traditional Spanish snacks and meals. One of the most popular street foods in Alicante is the churro, a fried dough pastry that is often served with hot chocolate for dipping. Other popular street foods include bocadillos, or sandwiches, and empanadas, a type of pastry filled with meat or vegetables.
Alicante’s food and wine festivals
Alicante is home to several food and wine festivals throughout the year that are worth attending. One of the most famous is the Bonfires of San Juan festival, which takes place in June and celebrates the summer solstice. The festival includes a variety of traditional foods, including paella and grilled sardines, as well as fireworks and live music.
Another popular food festival is the Alicante Gourmet, which takes place in November and celebrates the city’s culinary heritage. The festival includes cooking demonstrations, tastings, and workshops, as well as the opportunity to sample dishes from some of the city’s top restaurants.
Tips for dining out in Alicante
When dining out in Alicante, it’s important to remember that many restaurants close for a siesta in the afternoon, typically from 2 pm to 5 pm. It’s also a good idea to make a reservation, especially at popular restaurants or during peak tourist season. Tipping is not mandatory in Spain, but it’s customary to leave a small amount of change or round up the bill to show appreciation for good service.
Alicante’s foodie experiences – cooking classes and food tours
For those looking to get more involved in Alicante’s culinary scene, there are several foodie experiences worth trying. Cooking classes in Alicante are a great way to learn how to make traditional Spanish dishes, including paella and tapas. Food tours are also a popular option, with many companies offering tours of the city’s markets and local food producers, as well as tastings at some of the city’s top restaurants.
Conclusion and final thoughts
Alicante’s culinary scene is a true gem of the city, offering a unique blend of traditional and modern cuisine that is sure to delight foodies and travellers alike. From Michelin-starred restaurants to hidden gems and budget-friendly options, there is something for everyone in Alicante. Whether you’re exploring the city’s street food scene, attending a food festival, or taking a cooking class, you’re sure to have a culinary adventure that you won’t forget anytime soon. So pack your appetite and get ready to discover the best restaurants in Alicante!