You may have read about my holiday in El Campello recently. Well in this article I take a closer look at El Campello Food in Alicante province. Although this seaside town has lots of Italian, American and Spanish food to taste I sought out the most typical authentic dishes during my stay.
I do find the local variations across Spain fascinating particularly in food and recipes.
Almost as soon as I arrived we headed over to Chocolatería Valor to enjoy chocolate and churros. That day was stormy and windy so the hot treat was welcome. Chocolatería Valor is on the seafront at El Campello. This company was founded in 1881 in La Vila Joiosa (Alicante) by Valeriano López Lloret. The chocolate is absolutely delicious, its thick, dark and not too sweet.
You can order churros for one person if you like or even choose coffee instead of chocolate if you prefer. They also have cakes and other options here, not exclusively churros. From the café you have sea views, they have outdoor seating too.
Fish Auction at the Lonja
El Campello is one of the few places in Spain that holds a fish auction which is open to the public. At the end of the fishing day when boats come back to harbour, they unload the catch of the day. Then it is all set out for people to buy at the auction.
El Campello Fish Market
Depending on the season, time of year the seafood that has been caught varies. Prices are very competitive as there is no middle man. You get to buy directly from the fisherman. You can´t get fresher fish that this. It´s at the building called La Lonja just before the Club Nautico. Usually starts at 6pm weekdays.
Weekly Market Day
El Campello has a weekly market held every Wednesday. This is set up on the streets around Calle Alcalde Oncina Giner and close to El Campello Town Hall. Although the market has lots of food, there are also household items, clothes, children´s toys too.
Fruit and Vegetables stalls here offer the best local and seasonal produce. One of the most popular stalls on the Wednesday market sells Roast Chicken.
Locals queue to get a tender chicken for lunch off this outdoor stall. As you walk around the market you´ll notice how big it is. It stretches over quite a few streets and has lots on offer. If you plan to go expect to spend around 2 hours mooching around the stalls.
Tonya + Cocas
One of my own personal food highlights in El Campello was the Sweet and Savoury cocas. This delicious food is typical in Catalonia and the Valencian community. Yet in Andalusia it is not so typical so its been a very long time since I got to try them.
They come in sweet and savoury flavours. Coca is very similar to focaccia (an italian dish) and made with ingredients such as green or red peppers, tomatoes or tuna. These ones shown below are savoury ones.
Coca is also very typical for the celebrations of Sant Joan on 24th June. Then it is filled with creme patisserie, or topped with pine nuts (piñones).
Another sweet treat that is typical in El Campello is known as coca boba or tonya. It´s a deliciously light sponge cake topped with sugar. You can see it below in the centre of the photo.
Head over to Joyma to eat savoury or sweet cocas. You can also get them to go. They open everyday from 5pm to 8.30pm except Sundays. Find them in the old town at Carrer de Pal, 7 El Campello.
Another option to get traditional coca and delicious cakes is Gabriela. They are not far from the tram stop on Avenida de l’Estación. Open everyday from 7.30am to 3pm and weekdays in the afternoons from 4.30pm to 9pm.
Ice Cream in El Campello
If you have a sweet tooth like me you´ll be happy to know that El Campello has it´s fair share of ice cream shops too. IMHO the best one is Mira. Located on the seafront on C/Sant Vicent.
They have been trading since 1986 and have space to sit at outdoor or indoor tables. You can also take away too. They also offer granizado de limon (lemon slushie) and other drinks like milkshakes or black coffee topped with ice cream.
You can´t visit the Alicante region without trying horchata. This traditional drink is made from tiger nuts. Great for digestion and packed with antioxidants, horchata is a cold drink served in many places in El Campello. It´s quite an unfamiliar taste when you first try it but I really like it now. A healthier alternative to ice cream and of course its also a vegan option too.
Restaurants in El Campello
If you want to try Authentic Food in Alicante while you are staying in El Campello. Here are some recommendations from my time there.
I enjoyed a delicious mixed Paella at Cavia. (1st photo above) Located on the seafront, this family business is welcoming and busy with locals. They are open everyday except Tuesday. It´s most busy on Sundays so book ahead if you want to eat their on the weekend.
Casino El Campello
This typical bar used to be the Casino in the town decades ago. But still remains a popular place with locals. Located in the commercial area (rather than near the beach) its on Plaza de la Constitución. They have a menu del dia on weekdays and lots of local dishes on offer at reasonable prices.
Chiringuito Club Nautico
The Sailing Club in El Campello has a very smart restaurant that welcomes non members. However on the harbourside they have a chiringuito which is more informal and equally delicious. Serving up fresh fish and seafood it gets quite busy and you may have to wait for a table.
The views and quality/value make the wait worth it. This is my top pick in El Campello.
Another great place particularly for rice and fish dishes. La Cova has views of the harbour, this restaurant is perched above the marina next to the Torre de Lilleta. (Entrance is on Carrer San Bartolomé) You can see the restaurant windows on this photo on the left side. They close on Sunday evenings and all day Monday.
On the seafront Seis Perlas is a large restaurant serving a big range of dishes. They are open from 11am to 11pm daily. If you are going on the weekend its best to book your table as it can get busy.