Monday, April 15, 2013


ALICANTE (includes Cocentaina & Pinoso)
Hospes Amerigo – 7 Calle de Rafael Altamira; 011-34-965-146-570;; delightful boutique; contemporary.
Hotel Melia Alicante – 3 Plaza del Puerto; 011-34-965-205-000;; large, well-equipped property near beach and close to restaurants.
SHA Wellness Clinic – 5 Verderol; 011-34-96-681-1199;; strikingly beautiful setting.

L’Escaleta – 205 Pujada Estacio Nord (Cocentaina); 011-34-965-592-100;; contemporary restaurant with world-class wine list.
El Monastrell – 7 Calle de Rafael Altamira (at Hospes Amerigo); 011-34-965-146-575;; Alicante’s high cuisine seat; for aficionados; Catalan and Mediterranean dishes; local, organic produce; Iberian ham from acorn-fed pigs, saffron, and lemon oysters with cucumber and red tuna with lemongrass soup and rocket sprout are typical of the menu.
Nou Manolin – 3 Calle Villegas; 011-34-965-200-368;; institution; regional cooking based on best local ingredients.
Paco Gandia – 2 Calle San Francisco (Pinoso); 011-34-965-478-023;; try rice with rabbit and snails or gaspatxos (stews).
La Taberna del Gourmet – 10 Calle San Fernando; 011-34-965-204-233;; considered among Spain’s best tapas restaurant; friendly and lively.

Casa Canto – 237 Avenida Pais Valencia; 011-34-965-730-629;; hour’s drive up coast from Alicante; handsome place with great view and varied menu; strong on regional cuisine; try octopus puchero (2-course meal, starts with soup and then cooked octopus).

Hotel Ferrero – Carretera Ontinyent-Villena, km 16; 011-34-962-355-175;

Restaurant at Hotel Ferrero – Carretera Ontinyent-Villena, km 16 (at Hotel Ferrero); 011-34-962-355-175;

Quique Dacosta – 1 Carrer Rascassa; 011-34-965-784-179;; try “Oyster Guggenheim Bilbao” (single oyster, draped in edible titanium-silver alloy film to mimic museum) or “Animated Forest.”
Restaurante Miguel Juan – 39 Calle Loreto (Denia); 011-34-628-948-232; 1929 vintage, urban tavern; traditional local food with emphasis on seafood.

La Sirena – 14 Avenida Madrid; 011-34-965-371-718;; sophisticated seafood restaurant with lively tapas bar.

Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Horchateria El Siglo – 2 Plaza de Santa Catalina; 011-34-963-918-466; Valencia famous for drink called horchata (chufa (tiger nut) juice), dating from Islamic period (8th-13th Century); pair with café cortado and farton (fluffy pastry finger dusted with powdered sugar).

Bars & Nightclubs
Bar los Picapiedra – 25 Calle de los Caballeros;; bohemians, miscellaneous walk-ins, and students guzzle cider out of large, spouted glass porrones, which look like watering cans.
Café Negrito – 1 Plaza Negrito; 011-34-963-914-233; for after-dinner drinks.
MYA – 5 Avenida Autopista del Saler; 011-34-963-319-745;; domed club underneath landscaped walkway leading to Principe Filipe Science Museum; Studio-54-meets-Imperial-Spain-meets-Jersey-Shore; starts around 1:00 a.m.
Slaughterhouse Books – 22 Denia (Russafa); 011-34-963-287-755;; former butchery (still has meathooks); now combination bar, bookshop, gallery, and performance space.

Hospes Palau de la Mar – 14 Navarro Reverter; 011-34-963-162-884;; design hotel built in adjoining 19th Century mansions; melds arches, detailed woodwork, and marble stairs with 66 minimalist-chic rooms.
Petit Palace Germanias – 14 Sueca; 011-34-963-513-638;; in 19th Century residence; comfortable 41-room boutique hotel in Russafa neighborhood.

Balansiya – 3 Paseo de las Facultades; 011-34-963-890-824;; out-of-way restaurant authentically recreating medieval, Moorish Valencia; exquisite décor; great prix fixe meals.
Carosel – 6 Taula de Canvis (Barrio del Carmen); 011-34-961-132-873;; chic but unpretentious restaurant; prix fixe menu is bargain; make sure to try assaffa (Andalusian pasta with chicken, cinnamon, and nuts), waraka inab (cereal-stuffed grape leaves in almond-mint vinaigrette), and xarab Andalusi (flower, fruit, herb, and spice drink).
L’Estimat – 16 Paseo de Neptuno; 011-34-963-711-018;; best paella; make sure to try paella Valenciana (made with chicken and rabbit).
Maipi – 1 Maestro Jose Serrano (Russafa); 011-34-963-735-709; small tapas restaurant; fills up in early afternoon; soccer fan favorite.
La Pepica – 6 Paseo de Neptuno; 011-34-963-710-366;; best known paella restaurant; on shore.

Bugalu – 6 Calle de la Lonja; 011-34-963-918-449;; accessories and clothing by French, Spanish, and Swiss designers, as well as international labels like Paul Frank.
Gnomo – 12 Denia (Russafa); 011-34-963-737-267;; design boutique.
Madame Bugalu y Su Caniche Asesino – 3 Danzas; 011-34-963-154-476;; accessories and clothing by French, Spanish, and Swiss designers, as well as international labels like Paul Frank.
Slaughterhouse Books – 22 Denia (Russafa); 011-34-963-287-755;; former butchery (still has meathooks); now combination bar, bookshop, gallery, and performance space.

Sights & Sites
L’Almoina – Plaza de Decimo Junio Bruto (Barrio del Carmen); 011-34-962-084-173;; museum focused on ancient Roman origins; visitors walk over glass floors through which can see ruins.
Barrio del Carmen – city’s creative center and oldest part; check out Plaza del Tossal for bars and tapas restaurants.
Cabanyal – decrepit seaside neighborhood; art nouveau buildings and huge, maritime tile murals.
City of Arts & Sciences – Avenida Autopista del Saler; 011-34-902-100-031;; buildings’ billowing, curved facades resemble everything from whale skeletons to giant eye’s upper half (completed by reflection in pool); make sure to visit L’Oceanografic, Valencia’s marine complex; designed by Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela.
Jardin del Turia – Calle del Turia;; former river bed wholly converted into gardens.
Lonja de la Seda – Plaza del Mercado; 011-34-963-153-931;; 15th Century, late Gothic, silk exchange.
Mercado Central – 6 Plaza del Mercado (in Barrio del Carmen);; high-fashion party locale.
Russafa – city’s Muslim immigrant community center; alternative hub for artists and students.

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