It really helps if you like fish and seafood in La Vila! Many of the restaurants around the marina and seafront specialise in fish, seafood or rice dishes of one kind or another. Not really surprising as Villajoyosa is home to a fishing fleet, with the catch coming in every weekday afternoon. Take a stroll round to the fish quay around 4.30pm to see what's for dinner!
If you are not a fish fan, don't despair....there are meat dishes on most menus. Vegetarians find life a little harder, but most restaurants will have a few veggie dishes, or rustle up something on request.
Here are a few of the restaurants we've tried and enjoyed. It's not an exhaustive list, as we're still working our way through the best places to eat. But these suggestions should keep you going for a few days!
El Pósit (Taverna Valenciana): at the marina end of the seafront. About 150 metres from the breakwater with the red lighthouse.
An excellent modern restaurant that does tapas with a twist. Try the “surtido de tapas”; a selection of 8 small tapas made with real imagination. They also do good arroz dishes and excellent small desserts at €1 each (be bold and order a selection).
A great beach view; eat inside or outside. Closed Monday evenings and Tuesdays. Not the cheapest restaurant in town. Vegetarian dishes.
La Marina: on the seafront in the old town
A traditional fish, seafood and rice restaurant. No frills here, and the service can be pretty basic on busy days, but the menu del dia is great value (starter, main dish, dessert, a drink and coffee for around €17) and the paella/arroz dishes are good.
Try the arroz abanda (rice cooked in fish stock, garnished with tuna and seafood). Advisable to book at weekends. No vegetarian dishes.
Madrid: also on the seafront in the old town, a little further along the beach from La Marina.
Good for rice dishes, seafood and fish. A little more variety on the menu than La Marina. Decent quality, reasonable prices.
AROUND THE HARBOUR: there's a good range of bars and restaurants here, and they're closer to our apartment than the old town.
El Hogar del Pescador: one of the best known fish and seafood restaurants in La Vila. Recently moved down from the centre of town, now next to the Club Nàutic (yacht club).
High quality fish, seafood and rice dishes, beautifully served with a stunning view over the marina.
Pricier than the seafront restaurants in the old town, but well worth it. Great rice, great service and a good wine list.
Almost next door is the Club Nàutic (yacht club). You don't have to be a member to eat here...just turn up (though it's a good idea to book at weekends).
The menu del dia is excellent value at €20 a head and you get to eat it on the terrace with a beautiful view of the harbour.
La Caravelle: rated top restaurant in La Vila on Trip Advisor....but we've not eaten here yet, so we can't tell you whether their star rating is well-earned.
Menu has plenty of fish and seafood as you'd expect, but also pasta and meat dishes. A few Asian-influenced dishes also. Have a look at the menu on their website here
Ca Marta: specialist in locally-supplied fish and seafood; good range of rice dishes. Friendly service, decent menu and wine list. Good value for money. It has a simpler menu in the bar and outside terrace.
Not as pricey as El Hogar del Pescador (see above) though the restaurant is slightly more expensive than places on the seafront in the old town. Have a look at their online menu here (in Spanish only).
OTHER OPTIONS AND COOKING STYLES: Most of the places above are on the seafront and specialise in fish or seafood. But there are other styles of cooking within easy walking distance, including some up in the centre of town.
The Maharaja: the only Indian restaurant in La Vila (at least, as far as we know!) On the seafront halfway along the beach, about a ten minute walk towards the old town.
Has a big menu, with most dishes familiar to British curry diners. Decent quality, Indian beers.
Gusta Pizza: The best pizzas we’ve tried in La Vila and great value for money. You can also order home delivery by phone. They offer a wide selection of other Italian food, burgers etc. Wine list short, but good.
Near the Hotel Allon on the seafront. Friendly service. We also like them because they sponsor La Vila's rugby team!
UP IN THE CENTRE OF TOWN
Try Tres14 on Calle Colón, virtually opposite the tourist office.
They specialise in rice and seafood dishes; which they call "cuina de barca" (literally 'shipboard cooking') and also do good tapas. Sit outside on the street (though with the traffic grazing your backside!) or inside the restaurant.
Looks unassuming from the outside, but the food is good. Link here
Gambrinus: decent tapas dishes and good beer up on the main street in La Vila (Avinguda del País Valencia).
They also have a separate and more upmarket tapas place round the back in the parallel street, (Carrer Colón).
Zerca: again, a nice place to go for tapas and a drink on Carrer Colón, just up the road from the tourist information office.
It has a pleasant internal patio, which is cool and shady in the summer time.
Zerca have recently opened a bar/tapas place in the Plaza de la Iglesia in the old town. It's small inside, but there are tables outside in the square. Nice place to relax with a beer in the shade. They do a couple of sushi dishes alongside their regular menu (the sushi revolution is starting to catch on in Spain).
Maja: this pasteleria is quite something. Go there at least once!
The cakes and pastries - all made on the premises - are the best we've had anywhere, bar none. The ensaimadas and coca valenciana (the local version of empanadas) are terrific.
Try going there for breakfast. It's in Poble Nou, the other side of the river bridge on Carrer Jaume 1. Well worth the walk though!
Cantina Gallina: the main daily market on Carrer Canalejas has a lively bar/cafeteria near the entrance.
Go shopping in the market and then ask them to cook your fish or seafood on the grill. Food doesn't get much fresher than this!
Ca Barto: this stall inside the market itself is one of our favourites. It stocks a great range of delicacies, all produced within the Comunidad Valenciana region.
Try a few Valencian oysters with a glass of Valencian cava! Barto also stocks a great range of craft beers from the region, including our favourite, Althaia, from just up the road in Altea. They brew everything from pale ale and blond beer to a winter warmer. They also welcome visitors.
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