Spanish Cities For The Most Delicious Paella

Types of Girl about the Globe – Foodie GatG

The cities with the best-rated paella restaurants according to Google

Anyone who’s ever been to Spain has ordered paella at least once. It is one of the most iconic dishes of Spain after all! With its many versions, for example with seafood, chicken, rabbit, or vegetables, everyone will enjoy this delicious dish. But where can you find the best paella in Spain? That’s a question that might spark a heated debate among locals and tourists alike, as each region is very proud of their own version of the paella.

To settle the debate once and for all, Spain-Holiday, holiday rental experts in Spain, has worked together with Holidu to find out which cities are the best places to have paella. Thanks to Google Maps data, it was possible to find out which cities have the best-rated paella restaurants. Be warned: you might end up with a serious craving for paella after reading this!

Discover the full top 50 ranking here!

Paella © Sandra Wei via Unsplash

1. Valencia

It’s official: the very best place to enjoy a paella is Valencia! And this should not be too surprising, because Valencia is the birthplace of this iconic dish after all. The city has 49 paella restaurants that are rated 4.5 stars or more, and 15 restaurants that have won the acclaimed international paella competition.

This means that you will be able to taste the most authentic paellas! You can try the most famous version, the seafood paella, but more adventurous foodies may want to try the most traditional version with rabbit, or a more modern take on the paella, served with snails. And of course there are plenty of veggie versions too!

Best Paella in Valencia

  • Restaurante Navarro (4.6 stars): one of the most famous paella restaurants in the entire
    city, a household name for all locals (Calle de l'Arquebisbe Mayoral 5)
  • Casa Carmela (4.5 stars): where they still prepare the paella over a wood fire, which
    gives it an incredible smokey flavour (Calle d'Isabel de Villena 155)

Valencia © William Carletti via Unsplash

2. Madrid

In a ranking about the national dish of Spain, the capital cannot be missed. With 38 4.5 star restaurants and one award-winning paella restaurant, Madrid comes in second place. And with good reason! The chefs of Madrid have been experimenting with different flavour combinations for many years.

Paella with monkfish, lobster, cauliflower and more, if you’re a foodie you have to try one of the delicious paellas of Madrid. Enjoy a lovely dinner with views at the Plaza Mayor or the Gran Vía, or go for one of the smaller, family-style restaurants hidden away on the streets of Madrid.

Best Paella in Madrid

  • Socarratt (4.7 stars): delicious paella at a very fair price. You can eat at the restaurant or
    order your paella as takeaway (Calle Manuela Malasaña 5)
  • Larrocería (4.8 stars): a stall at the Mercado de Guzmán El Bueno where you can not
    only try their excellent paella but also other typical rice dishes (Calle Andrés Mellado 43)

Madrid © Victor via Unsplash

3. Malaga

The next city that’s a must for paella lovers is Malaga. This city in the south of Spain is famous for its fried fish, but with 48 4.5 star or higher rated paella restaurants, you shouldn’t skip this rice dish during your stay in Malaga. While you can order many variations of paella, the star of Malaga is the seafood paella, made with fresh, locally caught fish.

From the classic paella with shrimp to black paella coloured with squid ink, there are so many options to choose from! Take your partner, family or friends and enjoy a wonderful foodie experience on the beach in Malaga.

Best Paella in Malaga

  • La Proa de Teatinos (4.5 stars): specialists in seafood paella. They also serve an alternative version of paella called arroz caldoso (Calle Andrómeda 11)
  • Arrocería ALL RICE (4.6 stars): serving paellas with endless flavour combinations like duck and mushrooms or paella pilpil (Avenida de las Américas 9)

Malaga © Myfanwy Owen via Unsplash

4. Barcelona

Because Barcelona is such a huge tourist hub, it’s not surprising that many restaurants in the city serve Spain’s most iconic dish. While finding a good paella can be hit or miss without some research, if you go for one of 32 4.5 star restaurants in the city, you can be sure to enjoy the authentic version.

The restaurants in the Barceloneta neighbourhood are known for their excellent seafood paellas, while in the rest of the city you can find other, more experimental versions thought up by the local chefs. Don’t forget to taste the local paella variety, paella parellada, which is served with a delicious seafood stock.

Best Paella in Barcelona

  • El Xiringo (4.6 stars): with a seafood paella that’s widely considered the best of Barcelona this restaurant is a must for all foodies (Carrer de Sant Carles 23)
  • Arume Restaurant (4.6 stars): delicious paellas with a modern twist, plus a wide variety of other traditional dishes from the country (Carrer d’en Botella 11)

Barcelona © Enes via Unsplash

5. Cordoba

Back to the south for the next city in our ranking, to Cordoba! While nature lovers will be enchanted by the city’s patios, Cordoba is also a foodie paradise. Here you can enjoy all the traditional Spanish dishes from gazpacho to tortilla de patatas, and of course paella.

You can visit the gastromarket and try different types of paella at the many stalls serving local and international cuisine, or maybe you’d prefer to have lunch in a traditional Cordoba patio. Whatever option you prefer, there will be plenty of paella variations for you to choose from!

Best Paella in Cordoba

  • Restaurante Tellus (4.5 stars): serving one of the best paellas in the city, made with all
    local ingredients (Calle María de la Judía 1)
  • Astoria Casa Matías (4.7 stars): one of the ten best restaurants of Cordoba with a wide
    selection of paellas and other rice dishes (Calle el Nogal 16)

Cordoba © Jean-Baptiste D. via Unsplash

6. Palma de Mallorca

If you’re a huge fan of seafood paella, it won’t get much better than the paellas served in Palma de Mallorca! The restaurants on the island prepare their paella with freshly caught fish by the local fisherman.

Pair that with a nice glass of wine produced on the island, and it can’t get any better than that. Go for a lovely plate of paella at one of the restaurants along the beach promenade, or head to the hilly part of Palma and enjoy your dinner with wonderful sunset views of the city and the Mediterranean.

Best Paella Mallorca

  • Restaurante Hoyo 10 (4.6 stars): a cosy family restaurant with the best value for money
    paella of the city (Passeig de Bartomeu Barceló i Mir 11)
  • Ca'n Manolo Palma (4.6 stars): large portions, ample choice of fresh fish and a lively
    atmosphere make this restaurant a must for foodies (Carrer Federico García Lorca 4)

7. Alicante

The next city where you can find an amazing paella is Alicante on the Costa Blanca. There are no less than 34 restaurants with a rating of 4.5 stars or higher that serve the most delicious paellas. A lot of paella restaurants are located right on the beach.

The sound of the waves in the background, a delicious paella and nice glass of wine or beer to go along with it, that’s the ultimate Spanish holiday feel! Choose from a paella made with fresh fish or meat, or a completely vegan version: even the pickiest eaters will find a version they love.

Best paella in Alicante

  • Racó del Pla (4.5 stars): a typical Spanish tavern where they serve the classic paella as
    well as many local varieties (Calle Dr. Nieto 42)
  • La Mar de Arroz (4.5 stars): try their mouthwatering paella made with local ingredients
    while you enjoy beautiful views of the port (Port Pesquer de Ponent Nova Local 6)

8. Granada

Considered one of the most romantic cities in Spain, Granada is also a great destination for foodies, and its place in this ranking is well-deserved. Enjoy a beer with some paella and other tapas on the side at one of the beautiful plazas, or have a wonderful romantic dinner with views of the Alhambra.

At Granada’s restaurants you’ll be able to try classic versions of the paella, as well as more exclusive varieties of this dish, like lobster paella or curry paella.

Best Paella in Granada

  • Carmen San Miguel (4.6 stars): order your paella à la carte or with a tasting menu, and
    enjoy your food with spectacular views of Granada (Plaza Torrres Bermejas 3)
  • Rincón de Rodri (4.6 stars): trytheir delicious paella as a tapa, which gives you the
    chance to order some of their other dishes as well (Calle Músico Vicente Zarzo 3)

9. Seville

Stunning Seville attracts thousands of tourists looking to experience the city’s beauty. And what could be better after a long day of sightseeing than enjoying a delicious plate of paella on the enchanting plazas of the city?

While there are some tourist traps in Seville, you won’t be disappointed if you go to one of the 24 4.5-star restaurants. Order your paella with rabbit, chicken, fish or snails if you’re feeling adventurous!

Best Paella in Seville

  • Manolo Leon (4.5 stars): located inside a stately house with patio, this restaurant severs
    several paella varieties and other delicious Spanish dishes (Calle Guadalquivir 8)
  • El Pincho Taberna (4.6 stars): an authentic Spanish bar serving paella for dining in and
    for taking out that’s loved by locals (Calle Paco Gandía 5)

10. Zaragoza

This ranking closes with a wildcard: Zaragoza! This city in the north of Spain is not that well-known by tourists, but ask anyone who has visited before and they will tell you that Zaragoza will leave you awed.

From the ancient Roman city walls to the Basícila and cathedral, the city is absolutely stunning. And the local cuisine is also to die for! Enjoy a wonderful paella at the Plaza de Pilar or the gourmet market to recover your strength after all that sightseeing.

Best Paella in Zaragoza

  • Restaurante El Cachirulo (4.5 stars): this restaurant located in a beautiful finca in the outskirts of the city serves delicious paellas and Mediterranean cuisine (N-232 km 1 5)
  • Urola Restaurante (4.5 stars): serving not only paella but also other traditional rice dishes and wonderful deserts (Calle de San Juan de la Cruz 9)

The History of Paella

Although you can now find paella in even the most exclusive restaurants, this dish has very humble origins. The story goes that rural workers in the fields surrounding Valencia invented the paella because they wanted an easy to prepare dish with fresh ingredients that they already had available. The dish spread rapidly in popularity and eventually became known around the entire country.

The first version of paella was made with either rabbit meat or beans, but over the years chefs have got more creative. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of different versions all over Spain.

And while paella is very versatile and can be made with almost any ingredient, there is one thing that differentiates a good paella from an excellent one: the socarrat. That is the name of the crust that forms on the bottom of the paella pan. It’s considered to be the most delicious part of a paella.

Where's your favourite Spanish city for paella? 

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