Today, there’s no doubt that Galician octopus, or pulpo a feira, is one of the most essential dishes in Spanish cuisine. And you don’t have to be a foodie to know that when it comes to the art of octopus, Galicia reigns supreme.
But, to be able to try and be excited by a good plate of octopus in other cities in our country?! Of course! Today we bring you the best restaurants to eat octopus in Valencia, and we’re sure they’ll surprise you.
However, a warning to the most devoted octopus fans — don’t expect this list to be a tribute to homemade Galician food, since our particular Top 10 goes far beyond that. Because the greatest gift gastronomy gives us is its versatility and the ability to start with a specific product (in this case, the quality of the octopus is undeniable) and to surprise the diner with a multitude of ways of cooking it, presenting it, and tasting it.
Roasted, grilled, boiled in water or cooked dry, with or without potato, on a pan, raw or marinated… Octopus is one of those products that, if it’s good and treated with care, is able to crown any food or meal it graces.
We assure you that these 10 restaurants to eat octopus in Valencia fulfill that, and in a noteworthy way! Each one of the chefs behind these restaurants has tricks up their sleeve to make their octopus unique and incomparable. Do you feel like trying them?
This space, one of the most enchanting of all those that cook on the grill, offers an “I-want-to-try-everything” menu. Their grilled octopus with a red puree is pure flavor — smoky, from the charcoal grill — and it’s tender on the inside but crispy on the outside… but we won’t go on, since it’s best if you come discover it for yourself.
2. Crudo Bar
Obsessed with offering the highest quality, Crudo Bar offers raw dishes from around the world, where the ingredients are naked and taste as they should. Honesty and freshness at 100%. On their delicious seafood menu, we find Galician octopus with purple potato, a different way of tasting this product, directly from the sea to the table. You’ve never tried anything this fresh before!
Gabbeach was born in 2006 as a cocktail bar but today, 11 years later, it’s become one of the greatest highlights of the Las Arenas beach in Valencia. The crispy and grilled touch they manage to give the octopus, combined to perfection with the tasty mashed potato that accompanies it and, of course, with the extraordinary seaside views this restaurant can offer on the “front lines” of the beach. Because there are still a few days left of summer, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Gabbeach and taste their version of octopus with friends, family, your significant other — you decide!
If we’ve already taken a leap from Galicia to Valencia, with Hikari Yakitori Bar and its octopus it’s as if we’d moved directly to Japan. The older brother of Nozomi Sushi Bar offers a total of 22 different yakitoris, among which the grilled octopus stands out. Its flavor and the atmosphere of the restaurant will take you on a journey through the most authentic back alleys and taverns of Tokyo. Will you take the ride?
The neighborhood of Cabanyal in Valencia recovered a large part of its life since Fumiferro lit up its grills barely a year ago. After 11 years around stoves, its chef Álex defines himself as a grilling and smoke nerd, and because of this he highlights his Canary Island octopus cooked on the grill with crinkled potatoes. Do the Canary Islands ring a bell? Yes, and the origins of this young chef come from the lands of Teide. You have to try it, because it’s original!
6. La Grava
La Grava is pure Mediterranean and pure tradition, not only for its menu, but also for who’s behind it: a family that’s always been devoted to hospitality and experts in quality, caring, and tasty cooking on each one of their dishes. Their octopus, grilled at a low temperature, has become one of their essentials that, no matter what, will be the perfect accompaniment to any of their rices, meats, or fish. We’ll come back — it’s essential!
7. La Terreta
With little more than a year of life, the kitchen at La Terreta has managed to carve out a niche as a wine cellar and “marketplace cuisine” in Valencia, their home. On this occasion, we find ourselves with an original octopus concept: cooked on the flames with roasted potato and fine herbs. Don’t forget to ask for bread to try the delicious sauce that comes with the dish.
8. Mercat Bar
Born in 2010, this was the first house of Quique Dacosta in Valencia and his first attempt to introduce his homeland to a different concept of tapas bar. The chef put it in place to offer an octopus cooked at a low temperature and accompanied by potatoes, onions and red pesto. Its flavor, presentation, and homage (very direct) to Mediterranean cuisine will all leave you speechless. It’s Dacosta, all a hallmark in our cuisine.
Ryukishin is the first “ramen bar” in Valencia that offers this dish, completely maintaining the exact traditional recipe, along with the origin of the ingredients. You have to order ramen if you’re going to this restaurant, no doubt, but if you precede it with their Japanese version of octopus, you’ll leave with a happy belly — very happy. The highlight at Ryukishin are the Takoyaki, flour balls with pieces of octopus with Takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi and some nori. The best Japanese version of octopus you’ve never tried.
10. Restaurante Sáez
1965. It’s the year this restaurant was born in Vallada, a delightful town situated about 50 km from Valencia. It’s perfect balance of tradition and cutting-edge, and its position for the food of km0 is that, three generations later, it continues to rank as one of the most exemplary restaurants in the area. The octopus with potato was the first bite that drew us into the flavors of this restaurant, and after trying it we could only say: never ever retire, Sáez.
Text: Gemma Bargues
Photos: Laura Torres