According to a recent study, Valencia currently boasts 6 bars per 1000 inhabitants – and it’s not hard to see evidence of this as soon as you step foot outside your flat. Stroll through Plaza Xúquer on any evening of the week and you’ll pay testament to the amount of bars that line the streets of Valencia, and busy bars at that. Head out on a Friday or Saturday night and you may even struggle to get a table if you haven’t booked.
One of the night-out hotspots of Valencia City has to be the San José district of Valencia, more commonly referred to as Plaza Xúquer which tends to go hand in hand on the night out agenda with neighbouring square Plaza Honduras, just north of Avenida Blasco Ibáñez. Once a standalone district and separated from the city, San José is a hub of nighttime activity. The popularity of the two squares may be put down to the fact that they are very close to the universities as well as some of the main nightclubs.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the highlights of the two bustling plazas:
Traditional tapas and bocadillos are the main constituent of the menu at El Bocho, a small bar/restaurant that first opened its doors in 1970. The brascada bocadillo, packed with steak, fried onions and jamón, comes highly recommended, as do the bravas. Just don’t be too alarmed when you come out of the place stinking to high heaven of fritanga. No biggie, though – you’ll just make everyone hungry in the nightclub later.
Calle Serpis 1
This bar has earned its place in the article purely for the fact that I wanted to alert readers about/congratulate staff on the top job they’re doing to keep Los Malagueños trapped in the 1980’s. Typical tapas and bocadillos are generally served by greasy looking mustachioed men with 4 or 5 shirt buttons undone allowing a bush of curly chest hair to gush forth. The latter must be a requisite as all waiters seem to sport this laughably awful combo, and the décor isn’t pushing the boundaries of modern day, either.
Calle Serpis 13
Right across the road from the greasy time warp is popular montaditos bar, Tanto Monta. Large, “out of the ordinary” montaditos and home-made desserts are served at reasonable prices. Much like many other places fitting a similar bill, if you want a seat, you need to arrive early.
Calle Poeta Artola 19
Get ready to sample Valencia’s best kebab. No joke. No exaggeration. I wasn’t even that much of a kebab fan before coming to Valencia (please don’t doubt the authenticity of my British passport) – but the Bósforo has well and truly changed all that. A sensational kebab, chips and a pint for €7? Yes please! One question though – is it a sign that you go too often when the waiter greets you by name and can recite the whole group order from memory? The poor sod is always rushed off his feet but still manages to remember everyone’s order down to the last coffee. Cheers, Cherry!
Plaza Honduras 4
And what about an after-dinner tipple?
Zombie Rocks is a regular component in the weekend plans of Sepia writers; a darkly lit rock bar with cheap cocktails and Jägermeister on tap. Bright purple and green walls are plastered with strips from cult comic books and classic horror films are mutely shown on the projector screen. Expect to listen to rock, punk and garage. Listening to Wau y Los Arrrghs!!! with a mojito in your hand? After a Bósforo kebab?? Perf.
Calle Serpis 62
And then there’s Kraken, a rock bar owned by a very placid gentleman with wild hair. Head here to drink Sailor Jerry’s rum amidst a swarm of black band t-shirts and boots. *punk rock hand gesture*
Plaza Honduras 37
Fancy a dance? Murray is just around the corner, normally spinning indie and pop until 7:30am. Entrance normally costs a tenner including 2 beers or a mixed drink.
Avenida Blasco Ibáñez 111
Other options in the area include reggaeton-tastic Rumbo 144 across the road on Blasco Ibáñez. For years scholars have been trying to find out the meaning behind the 144 – we’ve concluded that it’s the average number of chonis in the vicinity dancing to pachanga at any one time.
Find most of the places mentioned in this article over on our interactive map of Valencia.
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