One of the most important things you have to understand about society in Spain is the role of the cafe and bar in making society function. Cafe Society in Spain cuts across social, cultural and racial boundaries as everyone takes time out during the day to have their morning coffee, often accompanied by a huge mid morning bocadillo, pinchos or tapa, and then an afternoon pick me up coffee is usual too. Whether you go into the best coffee house in the town or the lowest greasy spoon cafe you will notice one thing above all others, the coffee will still be better than in Starbucks and probably less than half the price.
Valencia city of course is the hub of cafe society in the region but each town and village will have their cafes that are frequented and kept alive by the local population. There are even small villages in the Valencia region that have advertised free accommodation for anyone willing to come in and take on the local village cafe. The cafe acts as a social and cultural meeting point, a discussion forum for everything going on in the village and it forms the glue holding the pace together meaning that having someone willing to do the job even in villages of fewer than 100 people is imperative for a place to maintain its social bonds.
One thing about coffee though, there are so many ways to have it. Just so you know when you come over and invite me for a coffee, mine is often as follows; “Cafe con leche tocado de Baileys.” In the summer I might add "Con hielo" to that I don’t know how many times in my life I have said those words. However yours might be a “cortado”, un “Americano” un “bomboncito”, “con gotas”, “doble”, “fuerte con poca leche” or any combination of the above. Different parts of the country have different names for each type of coffee. In Asturias where I used to live a Cafe con Leche in a big cup is a "Mediano". My first few months in Valencia I kept getting the wrong coffee served as a result. The following graphic taken from the Food Tapas and Wine blog gives an idea though there are even more variations on a regional and national level.
Today we are going to look at Cafe Society in L'Eliana where it's strong. It's probably one of the best suburbs to live just outside Valencia because of the facilities and that is made better by the choice and variety of cafes, bars and restaurants in the town. Today we are going to look at some of the Cafes.
There has been a bit of an explosion in Cafe Society recently in L'Eliana probably due to the economic boom around Valencia as a whole and the generally higher disposable income levels of the people living in the area. I took a walk around the other day taking photos of some of my favourites and showing you where you can get your daily dose of caffeine while enjoying the atmosphere and the town.
The image that illustrates our main photo for this piece is taken from the Cafe Zantó in L'Eliana, the sloth was placed onto my coffee the first time I visited. Not sure if it was a comment on my appearance, movement or whatever. Cafe Zanto import their own green coffee beans from small producers in Costa Rica where one of the owners, Wendy, is from. Her experience is matched by her Italian business partner Vincenzo. They roast their own beans here and you can buy their roasted beans too for home use.
Anecdotally I believe they can place any image on the froth of your coffee if you like and they have excellent air conditioning inside along with a nice large terrace outside which is often in shade in the mornings and early afternoons in the summer. You can choose the strength of coffee you want and obviously have any of the above types of coffee you want plus a few more esoteric options.
Not only a coffee shop but also an excellent cake shop, Cafe Lidora continues to delight. And unlike many of the cake shops starting to flourish around Valencia and Spain, they make their own cakes and they make them well (You can order them for home use/parties too). Specialists in Brownies, Pure Chocolate, Bannoffee and Cheesecake with mango I can inform you honestly that they are all excellent ;-) However if you haven't got a sweet tooth then their sandwiches, toast and snacks including the now almost obligatory Argentinian Empanadas are also worth it.
Set on a quiet backstreet just off the main square in L'Eliana and with an excellent French restaurant next door, try their cheese platter, Lidora is fast becoming a must visit reference point for a lot of people in L'Eliana.
Another new entry having opened at the start of 2022, Peaberry is on the main avenue through L'Eliana and has a decent shady terrace out the front. The usual coffee and cakes motif is added to here by going down the Brunch route with their Eggs Benedict and other choices and it includes their cake of the day, nice. Don't look at their online reviews though, they are shocking. They always talk about the bad service and maybe you should only go here if it looks relatively empty ;-).
Also on the avenue but on the other side is La Favorita. It's a coffee and cocktails place with an excellent terrace set back from the road and some really nice atmospherics inside. Like Peaberry their online presence is woeful but maybe they are just concentrating on serving drinks rather than updating social media or having an actual functioning website.
Liaopastel makes it into our list despite it being a franchise and a chain. It can't be denied that their pile it high and sell it relatively cheap concept for cakes is successful as you see them sprouting up all over the place. I don't particularly like their method of service which is "stand at the counter as you go in and wait until you are served then pick up your order and take it to a table" especially when it's school out time and everyone wants to pay individually but the seating is comfortable, the places are spacious and the decoration is always decent. The Liaopastel in L'Eliana is on the road in from the motorway and is easy enough to find on a side road away from the main. However, parking is easy enough on the car park just after the sports centre.
An oldie but a goodie on the main square behind the church and next to the town hall, this is where the civil servants, politicians and pen pushers get their morning coffee. This is an all day cafe and bar for Breakfasts, Almuerzos, snacks, coffee and even Menus. They specialise in their Tortilla on the mid morning Almuerzo bocadillos. As I write this Bar Torrent is into its 63rd year so they have been around for a while and they certainly know what they are doing but as with many of the bars and cafes in L'Eliana their social media and website game is horrific, their last Instagram post was around a year ago but then again, Insta definitely wasn't around in 1960 when they opened.
Described by themselves on their publicity as the best terrace in L'Eliana and it certainly is as long as you like the view of the metro station in front, Nou Racó is a good choice for your morning coffee while waiting for a train or getting a rather excellent Almuerzo bocadillo. And as you can see from the image the terrace is good, shady, large and even with a covered part for the winter months. And it's not only coffee of course, the Nou Raco does the famous Almuerzo Popular with the big bocadillos and choice of fillings and it also does the menu of the day and more. Well worth a visit and not only when getting the next train or arriving back in L'Eliana on the metro and fuelling up before walking back into town.
Obviously there are plenty more options in the town and I'd be happy to add your favourites to these featured places. Just send us a mail with your suggestions and your review and we'll include it here. If you click on the image below you'll be taken to Google maps to see some of the possibilities and can check out those that we have suggested.
Property in L'Eliana
Of course L'Eliana is one of the places where we sell the most properties outside of Valencia. There's a reason for this, we wrote about a few of them in the past here.
You can see the current selection of properties we have on the following link to our L'Eliana property page or just click on the image below, there are plenty to enjoy. Remember too that when we are talking about L'Eliana we also include many properties in Ribarroja so don't miss out on our Ribarroja page either.
Property of the Week
We warned a couple of weeks ago that this would be coming and now it's up. This fantastic property on the Portacoeli estate belonging to Serra is really inviting.
"Valencia Property presents a beautiful house, a fantastic pool house overlooking an excellent pool and gardens, a separate build for guests and storage, a huge plot on a gated estate in the Valencian countryside but just 25 minutes from the city, 20 from the airport and 15 to plenty of choice in your international schools... What more could you ask for?
Well, more photos would be good and there's a reason for not having a full report with 360º photos and walk through video and that is that the house is full of... stuff. The owners run a business from here where they do house clearances and collect antiques before selling them on Instagram and other social media platforms to clients all over the world.
Let's just say that people abroad have very specific tastes. This is one of those houses that is better viewed as you get more of an idea of the size and the potential as well as the lovely gardens.
The basics though are excellent, the large main house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms a huge L shaped living room, an excellent covered Naya which essentially acts as a second sitting room (When not full of antiques) and a good sized kitchen.
The pool house can be open to the elements as it is in the summer or closed off like it is in the winter months to allow usage during the, let's say, cooler time of the year.
The extra building has a bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette with two other rooms currently used for storage but there are plans in place for a modernisation with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and kitchen.
The plot is huge, much larger than typical plots on urban land like this and has a manicured fruit garden to the front along with covered parking, and a patio whereas to the rear it is much more of a Mediterranean feel with pine trees and play areas for the kids.
The property can be found on the hugely popular Torres de Portacoeli gated estate between Betera and Olocau. With it's shops, cafes, restaurants and fantastic sports centre Torres de Portacoeli is always popular with families.
Why the sale? Well the business was hit hard by the Ukraine war as one of the owners is Ukrainian and that's where the majority of sales were made and the owners need to buy a separate storage facility for the antiques and a smaller house. This one has been used well over the last two years with plenty of refugees making it their initial home before being found somewhere semi permanent to stay long term."
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