Tapineria Market, in the historical center of Valencia, is the place that knows best how to bring together everything that defines the Ciutat Vella: art, gastronomy, commerce, tourism and leisure. Bar&Kitchen, one of the two gastronomic spaces that make up the microcosm of this particular market, is very much known for its innovative offer and unique atmosphere. A cool and dynamic local – the doors are always open and the kitchen is always in progress – and eclectic in the decor, the menu, and even the clientele.
To reinvent the space, you should know about the square where it is located. The traditional enclave of the guild of the tapineros, craftsmen of sandals, had remained here in the years that it was practically abandoned, until it was invaded by a group of creative professionals who took on an unprecedented project in the city: 3 spaces that were destined to become ephemeral shops and two restaurants. The market hosts a different event every 15 days, and with each one of them, the result is an integrated whole that gives off talent and imagination.
Fernando Monforte, one of the minds behind this project, knew that he needed to feed the stomachs in addition to the eye and the mind of visitors if he wanted to energize the square and turn it into a meeting point. This is why he brought two Valencian brothers with experience in the hospitality world and shared a creative concern with them: Jose and Raquel Pérez. His good work in the kitchen and his attitude have become Bar&Kitchen, and showcases good vibes and has become a magnet for the curious.
As a declaration of intent, they started in 2012 with an offer that blends rice dishes and stews. Over time, they created an imaginative menu of tapas. Loaded with fresh products – being located next to the Central market of Valencia, there could be no other way – its gastronomic offer is fun, healthy and economical, with excellent flavors that make you visit time and time again. It is impossible to overlook any of its tapas with traditional Valencian ingredients, such as its spectacular baked bravas with sweet potato and pumpkin, the hummus of Garrofó, or the foal tartar. Loaded with the same affection that they put in their baked rice, they bring to your table some of its most international dishes, such as curry chicken, or a delicious selection of arepas.
The industrial style is integrated into Bar&Kitchen with warm and personal details. A scaffolding tray serves as a lamp on the tables with uneven chairs, and serves as a shelf in the bar, illuminated with a huge focus on an old theater. In front of the nakedness of the metal or polished cement floor, the artistic carpentry of Manolo García stands out in the form of a bull’s head, the pine wood in the sliding doors in the bathrooms and in the warehouse, or the pallets with vegetables stacked against the wall.
Bar&Kitchen is liked by the outsiders, but is also liked by many locals. How do they do it? With fresh market products, a fun and cosmopolitan menu that doesn’t forget it roots, and an offer that keeps the room alive at all times. The relaxed atmosphere during the week gives way to the ambience for the weekends. If you pass by there on a Saturday evening when there is not a soul in the plaza, don’t think about it, come in and let yourself go.
Hours: Everyday from 9:00am to midnight
Text and Photos: Marta Pascual