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Shellfish-packed paellas using rice grown in the local area are served up and down the coastline. In fact, tucking into a fragrant bowl of mussels, prawns and rice while watching the sun set over the Med tops the list of Costa Blanca must-dos.
Those with more adventurous taste buds shouldn’t hesitate to sample less conventional regional specialities. Salzones (salted fish), all i pebre (baby eel stewed up with garlic and paprika) and esgarrat (cod in red pepper, garlic and olive oil sauce) are among the dishes you’re likely to spot on local tapas menus.
You’ll find seafood restaurants, ice-cream parlours, tapas joints and gastro pubs scattered liberally around all Costa Blanca resorts, but the focus of the area’s foodie scene is Alicante.
The city is home to two Michelin-starred restaurants, not to mention some delectable tapas joints. Local favourites Nou Manolin (Calle Villegas) and La Taberna del Gourmet (Calle San Fernando) serve tapas so good you’ll be permanently spoiled for tourist-centric imitators.
Denia is another gourmet hub, with three-Michelin-starred Quique Dacosta (Calle Rascassa) leading the foodie scene.
Calpe’s contemporary European cuisine, the scrumptious seafood bars of El Campello, and Altea’s family-friendly fine dining scene are also well worth exploring.
In Benidorm, you’ll find plenty of places catering to the British palate – try Amigos Bistro (Avenida Armada Española) for the biggest burgers and best views in town, or gorge on perfectly cooked (and remarkably inexpensive) steak at Paneil’s (Calle De Palma).
If you’re not watching the waistline then there are plenty of wonderfully indulgent junk-food joints in town as well, including Peggy Sue’s American Diner (Avenida Ruzafa) and Country Ribs Steak House (Calle Derramador).
Need to work off some of those calories? How about busting some moves on a Benidorm dancefloor? Discover the top spots around the White Coast by visiting our Costa Blanca nightlife page.