One of my main motivations to move from the historical city of Caceres in Extremadura, all the way across Spain to the other coast, in Valencia, was to find a bit more culture. Whilst you certainly can find some of the best Spanish food that I have tasted in my time here, the options in this small and fairly rural city are limited to (fantastic) Spanish food or Chinese food. And so the move to Valencia was prompted by wanting to find somewhere with a lot more options when we were in the mood for something different. And so one of the things I've sought out here in Valencia is Asian cuisine, of which there is no shortage.
Cover photo credit @ vikuschka
Photo credit @ bgton
I'm a huge fan of Asian food, both in the style and flavours of the dishes, and also in the way of eating. After being in a beautiful but rural setting for a year or so, it's refreshing to be back in a larger city where you really can explore your culinary options...
A restaurant I absolutely would recommend in the centre, if you are craving good Thai food, is Lemongrass on Carrer Ribera. It's about a three minute walk from the Xativa metro station, the train station and the Plaza de Toros, and Carrer Ribera is one of the most central streets in the city. Although these streets are pretty busy, there is always a little space, and whether you want to eat outside in the bright sunshine in tables in the middle of the street, or in the slightly quieter and more intimate inside area, there will be a space for you. This is a popular restaurant but they are really good at finding extra spaces, and if you end up waiting, luckily Thai food is a quick affair, so the wait shouldn't be too long.
Photo credit @ RossHelen
The 'eating outside' culture in many of the warmer Mediterranean countries adds something special to the process for me. Instead of eating being something that is necessary (something of the mentality in the UK at times), in Spain it's a pleasure, and to be able to lounge in the sun and enjoy great Thai food at good prices is a joy.
If city centre busy streets are not your thing, then the other option that I've tried is a Thai restaurant slightly further out of the city, in the centre of the student district on Calle Blasco Ibanez. This is a long tree lined avenue (something that Spain does fantastically well) with restaurants, bars and shops on both sides. These places are the hangout area for most of the students who study at the several universities in the city.
This is a packed and hectic little place (one of several of the Little Thai brand that are in the city), and entering is like stepping into a whirlwind of food, smells and busy waiters. But that being said, the service is excellent and fast, and more importantly, the food is even better. If you visit on Wednesday, the dishes are all the same (reduced) price, and so visiting on this day means you can enjoy several of their traditional (modernized/westernized) Thai dishes for incredible prices.
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