We spent a few days at the Costa Blanca recently, to relax, visit friends and test the restaurants at the Costa Blanca.
Our friends, Catherine and Joost, have owned a second home here for years, and started a very ambitious project last year: they are building a luxury boutique hotel. The doors to The Adelante House will open in a few months’ time, but there is a lot of work to be done yet. We were allowed a sneak peek, and I can tell you that they will see us there regularly! Follow them on Instagram.
The Costa Blanca is a beautiful region from Denia to Pilar de la Horadada in Spain. The coast is 244 km long, and has no fewer than 74 beaches. Everyone knows the popular cities Alicante, Calpe, Moraira, Altea and Benidorm. This is where Belgians feel at home. The climate is fabulous, which means that a lot of people spend the winter here. It is not too hot in the summer, with temperatures around the 30 degrees, and even in the coldest winter months, the temperature easily reaches 16 degrees.
If you are looking for people, Benidorm and Alicante are the places to go. If you are looking for peace and quiet, stay in towns like Moraira, Benitachell and Javea.
There are masses of hotels in all price categories, and there are wonderful holiday homes for rent. From 1-bedroom apartments to villas for the whole family. From simple and traditionally Spanish to super-de-luxe and modern.
And last but not least, there is a lot of good food to enjoy in the region. Catherine and Joost are true locals and as they enjoy their food, they were the ideal companions to show us the best Costa Blanca restaurants.
Travel to the Costa Blanca
We once drove to the Costa Blanca, but as it is about 2000 km away, it is easier and quicker to fly. There are numerous flights from Brussels, Amsterdam, Eindhoven or Dusseldorf that will get you to Alicante or Valencia in about 2 hours.
Restaurants in Javea
We stayed at Casa Adelante in Benitachell. 15 minutes will get you to the beach in Javea, one of the fanciest beachtowns of the Costa Blanca. There are lots of restaurants and bars along the Playa Arenal. Thanks to the below tips you won’t fall into the tourist traps, but you’ll enjoy excellent food in tastefully designed establishments.
La Siesta is a trendy beach bar where you can hang out for the day. You’ll plant yourself at a table in the morning and enjoy a wonderful breakfast with a sea view. Start with an English breakfast, or perhaps even better, a Mediterráneo. Heavy night of drinking? Try the Budha Detox. All equally delicious and beautifully presented.
Have a lie down on the beach before retiring to one of the wonderful salons for an aperitif. I like a Gin & Tonic or a Frozen Daiquiri.
For lunch I choose a Catalan Baguette with a beautiful Iberian ham, but all sorts of tapas are also available.
At the end of the day you can enjoy the setting sun and a lovely dinner. To sum up, a real winner.
Chabada is another top spot at the Playa Arenal. First it was only a restaurant. The owner then purchased the building next door and turned it into a wonderful cocktail bar. The alleyway between the two was transformed into a fairy tale lane. It looks spectacular, especially at night.
The restaurant will serve you a revitalising breakfast, light lunch or delicious dinner. The mixed paella was very tasty and the service is particularly quick and friendly.
La Bambula lies at the very end of the Playa Arenal. There are a number of cosy lounge corners where you can enjoy a glass of cava or a cocktail. You can enjoy a big breakfast here in the morning, or a healthy roll with avocado, hummus and vegetables. Besides Spanish cuisine, pasta and other things, they also serve exquisite seafood dishes. We enjoyed the premium seafood tray. Beautifully presented and freshly caught. If you ask me, this is one of the best places to eat in Javea.
Acqua is located besides Bambula. It is a bit more modern, and you also enjoy a good view of the beach and the sea from here. They have a wide variety on the menu, serving the classic dishes as well as pizzas, pasta and burgers.
If you fancy shaking a leg in the evening, this is the place to go. Achill is a trendy bar located above Bambula and Acqua restaurant. A DJ takes care of the music while you enjoy one of the many cocktails and burn some calories on the dance floor. A necessity after all that food in the best restaurants of Javea.
La Bohême only serves lunch and dinner. You have a lovely view of the sea at the front, at the back it feels as though you’re on a cosy square. Beautiful atmospheric lighting and tastefully decorated. They serve market fresh fish and tender bits of meat.
If you want to organise a party in Spain, this is the ideal location. This restaurant in Ibiza-style lies on top of a cliff in a beautiful bay. Nonchalant but stylishly decorated, beautiful vistas and a southernly breeze. Add some wonderful food and you know that you’ve arrived at a top restaurant. Be sure to try the calamari and pasta with fruits of the sea.
The Beach House
Are you looking for the bar with the best view? The Rooftopbar of The Beach House the place to be. The terrace is boho chic, and guarantees an amazing view. It is fairly warm here in the afternoon, and a frozen strawberry daiquiri delivers the needed refreshment. They serve tasty food in the bistro downstairs.
You have a special occasion, or perhaps you’re just in the mood for something more? Reserve a table at BonAmb. The interior of BonAmb, meaning “pleasant atmosphere” is exactly that. In this unique, stylishly decorated building they conjure up real masterpieces. The restaurant opened up in 2011, and was awarded a Michelin star shortly after. Not long after that a second star followed. Chef Alberto Ferruz is a rising star in the world of Spanish gastronomy. He was chosen as Best Chef of the Year by the ‘Academia de la Gastronomía de la Comunidad Valenciana’ in 2015.
We enjoyed a multi-course meal (I lost count after about 14 dishes). One dish looking even more spectacular than the rest. It was not only a feast for the eyes, but also for the tongue. Sooooo delicious! And they did not go for the obvious choices in the accompanying wines. For instance, we were served a Spanish sake and a Chilean wine with hops (a mix between beer and wine). So if you ever visit the area, you must visit BonAmb for a meal. And keep an eye on Alberto Ferruz, because you’re guaranteed to hear from him.
Tasca La Rebotica
If you are looking for an authentic tapas restaurant, be sure to visit Tasca La Rebotica.
Other Costa Blanca restaurants
Vall de Cavall
Vall de Cavall is situated in the village of Gata de Gorgos, about 10 minutes inland from Javea or Denia. The village is mostly known for its handmade, wicker products. Call in here during the day for an affordable wicker beach bag or hat.
However, we were here to have some food at Vall de Cavall. This restaurant is situated on an enormous estate. The endless driveway brings you through the fields and ends at the finca.
The country style interior is homely, and the service is quick and friendly. We shared a number of starters. The calamari and the croquettes (with ham and chicken) were mouth-watering. We chose the Chateaubriand a la Piedra for our main course. This is a beautiful bit of beef that was fried on a hot stone at the table. Recommended!
We got caught in a rain storm in Denia. What can you do? Well, yes, go for some food. We ordered a paella and a fidua (a type of paella, but with pasta instead of rice). Another bullseye. Miguel Juan
Le Dauphin is a particularly stylish restaurant at Moraira beach. The restaurant is situated on the hill side and looks out over the bay of El Portet. Elegantly set tables with linen tablecloths, silver cutlery and crystal glasses. The kitchen is Mediterranean with a French twist. The lamb was my favourite.
If you’ve had enough of the Spanish kitchen, you can visit Vespa's in Moraira for a tasty pasta, risotto or pizza. According to our kids, this was, by far, the best pizza ever.
Mandala lies on a small bay in Benissa, close to Calpe. The setting is beautiful, the view breath-taking and the paella heavenly. Need I say more? i
After visiting all those restaurants on the Costa Blanca, there was no more time (or energy) to do much sightseeing. Well, at least we have a good reason to return.
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