Costa Blanca restaurants

By Derek Workman, your Costa Blanca expert

I write for English language newspapers in Spain, Finnair .... Read more

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Casa del Maco

Price guide: Expensive
#1/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

A hotel with an excellent restaurant or an excellent restaurant with rooms?

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La Sort Restaurant

Price guide: Expensive
#2/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

London, New York – all gastronomic roads lead to Moraira.

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Nou Manolin

Price guide: Expensive
#3/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

Who is going to argue with the world's top chef?

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Restaurante Monastrell

Price guide: Expensive
#4/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Best for Gourmets -
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

At the court of the saffron queen.

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#5/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Beautiful views with a menu to match at this cosy hotel restaurant.

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Restaurante Belvedere

Price guide: Expensive
#6/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

The dizzy heights of decadent dining.

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#7/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Dining poolside or inside is a delight at this year-round restaurant.

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Restaurante El Rodat

Price guide: Expensive
#8/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Traditional in appearance but innovative in the kitchen.

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Los Remos la Nao

Price guide: Expensive
#9/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

You almost eat on the beach at this well respected restaurant.

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La Taberna del Gourmet

Price guide: Expensive
#10/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Eat, drink and shop at this wonderful top deli-diner.

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La Maja

Price guide: Expensive
#11/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
No image
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Maja by name, maja by nature – elegant and refined, with a touch of deliciousness.

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Retaurante Le Dauphin

Price guide: Expensive
#12/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

Art in all its forms.

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Restaurante La Seu

Price guide: Expensive
#13/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

The design is as chi-chi as the food.

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Dársena

Price guide: Expensive
#16/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

High and dry, but with the feel of being all at sea.

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Restaurante Ca Nano

Price guide: Expensive
#28/40
expert-rated restaurants in Costa Blanca
Expert overall rating:4.3 (out of 5)

One of the most wonderful settings to dine.

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Showing 15 results
Set focus

The Costa Blanca is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and has attracted chefs from every corner of the globe, as well as some of the best in Spain. The region between Valencia City and Dénia was the most agriculturally productive in the known world during the times of the Moorish occupation, and still prides itself on the superb quality of its produce, especially its fish, which is landed fresh every day at a number of ports.

Some useful tips

  • Paella, the iconographic dish of Spain, was invented in the Albufera, the ancient rice fields to the east of Valencia City, so it comes as no surprise that there is hardly a restaurant – a Spanish one at least – that doesn’t have a rice dish on its menu. There are three main types; paella is dry, and if properly cooked will be burned on the bottom, the socarrat, which is the most sought-after part. Tradition dictates that everyone eats from the same pan, the flat paella, from which the dish takes its name, although most places will serve it on a plate these days. Arroz meloso is similar to a risotto, and arroz caldozo is more soupy. From there on in it gets very, very complicated.
  • Sharing a few tapas between friends is a splendid idea, but bear in mind that it can be a very expensive way to eat if you get carried away. A more economical way to have lunch is the ubiquitous menu del dia, a fixed price menu, usually served at lunch, but sometimes also served at dinner. Most places of all levels will serve some sort of fixed price menu with a short selection, and they also might offer a menu degustation, a sampling menu of smaller portions of a selection of the main dishes on the carta. The word ‘menu’ only ever refers to a fixed-price menu, if you want a la carte you must ask for la carta.
  • Most people barely think beyond the name of Rioja when they think of Spanish wine, but wine production in Spain is now in the hands of a new and younger breed of producer, and the Alicante region, and the Valencian Community in general, are producing some superb wines. It really is worth trying some of the local wines, such as those from Bodegas Enrique Mendoza, only fifteen minutes from Benidorm, which is scooping up awards on a regular basis. There are also some excellent bodegas producing no more than a few thousand bottles a year which can be visited.
  • Perhaps the most important thing to take account of in Spain is that they eat very late, at least for lunch and dinner. Breakfast (desayuno) is usually nothing more than toast with tomatoes, olive oil or marmalade, or a croissant. This is followed by almuerzo, a snack at around 10.30 to 11. Sometimes you may hear someone refer to lunch as almuerzo, but this is usually called la comida, and is between two and four during the week, but can run much later at weekends. Cena is dinner, and you will rarely find a restaurant begin serving until nine in the evening.
  • Tipping is very much a personal issue. The Spanish either don’t tip or give very little. The British tend to be the biggest tippers, so if you want to seem more like a local don’t leave more than about five per cent.
Set focus

In my selection I’ve tried to balance the exquisite, the big treat or celebration restaurant with basic bars, pizzerias and local cafeterias, for the simple reason that even though we might be on holiday we don’t always want a high falutin’ meal; sometimes just somewhere we can eat well and enjoy the atmosphere. Personally, the food is only part of the experience; the ambience, décor and service colour my enjoyment as much as a delicious and beautifully presented dish.

Perhaps more than in almost any field of endeavour, the restaurant business can have its off days. I try and take this into account when I visit, because you can pretty soon spot if the bad service or lack of quality is habitual. If your experience is different please let me know and I’ll take another look. I have also taken into account recommendations from friends, as the Spanish are a very food-savvy race, and I’ve depended very much on people who live locally to point me in the direction of places I’d never have found on my own.