Alicante and the surrounding areas on Spain’s East Coast not only have great all year round weather (average temperatures of between 10ºC and 15ºC in the winter), but some superb fine dining options to discover too, as well as best tapas.
Head out of the city around 40 minutes by car directly north towards the town of Cocentaina and you’ll find the two-Michelin-star L’escaleta restaurant, where chef Kiko Moya has elevated local, seasonal cuisine to a whole new level, while on the city’s port itself you’ll find the one Michelin star Monastrell restaurant, which celebrates its 21st birthday this year – the perfect place to watch the sun set over the Mediterranean. And of course, a little further up the coast, in Denia, is chef Quique Dacosta’s eponymous three-Michelin-star cathedral of haute cuisine.
But if you’re looking for a more casual bite in the city itself here’s our guide to where to eat the best tapas in Alicante.
This buzzy neighbourhood bar is a great place to start the night and is renowned for the quality of its seafood, which sits invitingly on display. Grab a beer or wine and take your seat at one of only six tables, or at the bar.
The little sister of chef María José San Román’s Monastrell, La Taberna has it’s own vegetable garden and a bakery on site, so with that in mind, try filled buns, such as a ‘Juanito,’ a small squid sandwich, and fried aubergines with honey, before moving on to the paella menu. The cold cuts are a must too, while the olive oils are heavenly.
Close to the main train station, you’ll find the two-storey Piripi, which has both a tapas bar (where it’s at) on the ground floor, and a more formal space upstairs. The fideuá (similar to paella, but using noodles instead of rice) is a must-try, washed down with jugs of the very serviceable house wine.
Nou Manolin is from the same restaurant group as Piripi and is similarly split-level, with a less formal bar downstairs. Try and beat the locals to a seat at the bar there, the best place to enjoy the local seafood and rice dishes.
This upmarket tapas bar and delicatessen doesn’t except reservations, but it’s worth joining the queue for the chance to kick back in its splendid bar area and feast on luxurious products such as king crab and Denia red prawn.
A feast for the eyes, as well as for the stomach, the elaborately decorated El Portal is more upbeat, with regular DJs, an extensive wine and Champagne list, great cocktails and tasty dishes to please a glam crowd.