I’d walk back to Spain for…

*Reposting this post from earlier this year!*

On my 7th day of my solo trip, I found myself wandering the streets of Valencia. I had made crazy itineraries for all the cities I was visiting in Spain and yet when I reached Valencia, I decided to throw the plans aside and just walk around the old town. The plan was to have an easy day with a no rush plan, to just take in the city and every day life there while covering a few key tourist places. For the people who don’t know my travel style – I like walking a lot! Whenever I’m in a new city, I try to cover most of the places on foot not because I want to save money but sometimes you just stumble upon something amazing and unkown while randomly walking around.

Streets of Valencia

At lunch time, I decided to try the famous Valencian Paella. I had postponed eating Paella till I reached Valencia. I quickly googled the best Paella in Valencia and walked to this tiny little joint all excited and very hungry. My excitement turned to upset in a few seconds when I was told that they wouldn’t serve me the Paella because it was a two person dish and I had come on my own. I tried to convince them that I’d pay for the full dish but they stubbornly refused to give into my pleas. Upset, angry and tearing up – I quickly exited the restaurant and started walking around in a blaze of anger trying to stop myself from crying. I had no idea where I was walking to but I kept going, walking past the 100s of restaurants serving the Paella as well. After 20mins, I calmed down and decided to stop at the next decent restaurant and eat whatever I could get my hands on. I suddenly took a left turn and arrived at this cute little square with a yellow building all decorated and these really cute aged ladies bustling about serving everybody.

The restaurant

Intrigued, I stopped to ask them if they were serving the Paella and could make a vegetarian version (yes, I don’t eat meat). The lady quickly ushered me onto a table and offered me the menu which was a fixed lunch with a starter, Paella and a dessert all for the cost of €12! I silently prayed that they’d understand me and serve a vegetarian paella. The ladies weren’t well versed with English but with some effort understood what I was saying and agreed to serve the paella without meat. I quickly ordered my food & a glass of house wine and settled in to enjoy the ambience of this really cute restaurant. I chose the gazpacho soup (another Spanish delicacy) as a starter and eagerly awaited the paella that I had been craving all day!

Gazpacho (cold soup)

And finally they served me with the dish that I had been eagerly waiting for. At first sight it looked like any other rice preparation – we have many different rice preparations in India as well. But the first bite and I was a goner! It was the most amazing thing I had eaten in my entire trip. The flavours, the smell, the rice, the vegetables all just came together in such an amazing way. I didn’t stop eating till I was half way through the dish and then also I only stopped to breathe. The restaurant was a tiny, homely one run by these 4-5 women and the food tasted like home. I think that’s why I liked it even more the homely feel of the restaurant and the food. I’d walk back to Spain to eat at this restaurant again!

The insane paella

The paella was followed by dessert which was Spanish bread roll, another genius dish but I was too stuck up on the paella to really give the bread roll a chance to win my heart. If you are in Valencia (sometime after this pandemic settles down) do head here and give this paella a chance to win your heart.

The bread roll

Did you ever eat a dish that blew your mind completely? What dish was it and where?

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33 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love travelling alone myself! Beautiful photos, seems to me a beautiful place and the food looks delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you!!! Travelling on your own is such a thrill!!

      Like

  3. AggieSoon says:

    Yum! Looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      It was!!! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tara says:

    Haha, I love this saga – sounds all too familiar that it was hard to find and then it was absolutely delicious and perfect happenstance! We had family friends who used to live in Valencia and I studied abroad in Granada…Amazing place but the best spots are always tucked away!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Truly!! The best spots are usually the ones you randomly stumble upon, hidden away somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds yummy and very typical to stumble on the perfect lunch. Love Spain.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ashleigh says:

    stunning colors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you! Valencia is a beautiful city to walk around in!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope you had an amazing time! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I did! Best trip of my life. 😊

      Like

  8. Throwing plans out, walking around, and tiny restaurants are all my kind of travel. Kindred spirits!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Same. I love itineraries but usually while on the trip, I just love ditching plans and walking around.

      Like

  9. chocolatesandfeelings says:

    Hey I love your hair color! Beautiful post by the way 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you!!! ❤️

      I cut off the coloured part earlier this year. 🙈 But I’m tempted to get it coloured again like a fun purple colour!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Her says:

    Great post! After reading now I want try Paella (vegetarian).😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      You definitely should! But I should tell you that to make the paella vegetarian, they just removed the meat from the meat paella and served it to me. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Her says:

        Woo.. that would be a problem for me. 🤔 Thanks for this insight!

        Like

  11. I really wish we had that bread roll here in the U.S 😭 it looks so good. You always take the BEST pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank youuu! ❤️

      It was really really good. This meal was perfect!

      Like

  12. tanvibytes says:

    𝙸’𝚟𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚎, 𝙸 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚝𝚛𝚢 𝚒𝚝! 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚑𝚘𝚝𝚘𝚜 𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚜𝚘 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚝𝚝𝚢, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜 𝚢𝚞𝚖! 😋

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Definitely try it in your 20s. It’s the best way to find yourself – travelling alone. 😊
      The food was amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t understand why a restaurant would refuse to serve you because you were alone. It seems like a bad business practice to refuse customers for silly reasons. I’m glad you still got your paella!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Same – I was so confused!!! I tried to reason with them but they were so adamant on not serving me since I came alone. 🙈 But I think sometimes things workout in funny ways – I’m sure the meal I had was even better. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What an incredible, vibrant place 🥰 I’m so in love. Paella is really good, hey! I’m sure I’d really enjoy an authentic Spanish version but for now I’ll settle for Nandos, haha.

    Beautiful post love! Gives me all those wanderlust vibes 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank youuu! I loved this place so much – this meal was a big highlight of my trip. 😊

      Nandos is yumm too!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Juliette says:

    Great post! I loved Valencia so much when I visited and it really felt like a city I could definitely live in! Thanks for sharing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you 😊
      Valencia was really pretty and I liked that it had a slower pace of life in comparison to Barcelona and Madrid.

      Liked by 1 person

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