Glasses of Horchata

La Vida Dulce – Valencia’s best spots for Horchata

If you’ve lingered on a terrace in Valencia on a hot, summer day you may have seen people drinking what looks like a murky, glass of milk. They call it Horchata. (Don´t forget the Spanish “H” is silent.) Five years ago, as a newly arrived extranjera, I looked at it in disgust. Why would anyone want to drink gray milk on a hot day? Give me a glass of sangria over that any day. Eventually my curiosity got the best of me though, and I had to try it. And you know what? It’s seriously delicious chicos!

chufas

Chufa nuts, the main ingredient for Horchata

Horchata (Orxata in Valencian) is made from the chufa (tigernut) which are actually little tubers that grow beneath a grassy looking plant. After soaking in water, the tigernuts are blended with only sugar and water, until a silky nut-milk is achieved, similar to a sweeter, creamier version of almond milk. The result is quite refreshing under the scorching Spanish sun. Even though this sweet beverage seems like a splurge, it’s actually crazy rich in vitamins and minerals and has other beneficial health and digestive properties. Horchata, unlike milk, does not contain any lactose or gluten so health nuts, paleos and celiacs alike can sip safely! It’s also caffeine-free and has been said to cure, ahem, intestinal issues; great for after those copious Spanish lunches.

Did you know? Horchata dates back to the Muslim presence in Valencia in the eighth century, and just like wine it has its very own Designation of Origin.
Farton and Horchata

My horchata brings all the fartons to the yard???

It is served ice-cold and can be ordered frozen, granizado, half and half, mixto, or straight up, liquido. When ordering, don´t forget to ask for a couple of fartons. Say what? Yes that’s what they’re called. These elongated pastries glazed with sugar should be dipped into the horchata and are known by locals as horchata’s boyfriend. When you see the shape of the farton pastry, you’ll understand why.

If you´re trying Horchata for the first time, there’s no other place to do so than the infamous village of Alboraya just outside the center of Valencia. This village is well-known for its Horchata as it is surrounded by fields of the plant it’s derived from.

So where are the best places to chug down a ‘tall one’ of this unique Valencian beverage? Here are our top 6 picks to sip Horchata in and around Valencia.

Horchatería Daniel – Avd. De La Horchata 41, 46120 Alboraia (Valencia) – Calle Jorge Juan s/n- Mercado de Colón 46004 València
This horchatería is best-known for its long standing family tradition in making horchata since 1949. They have two locations, one conveniently located on the main level of Mercado de Colon and the original in Alboraya on Avenida de Horchata. Besides serving delicious horchata and fartons, Horchateria Daniel keeps our mouths watering and our bellies expanding by offering an array of delectable horchata themed treats including the Tartaleta, Danielets, the Mini Corona, and Turron de Chufa. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ve gotta try this place!

Horchatería Sequer Lo BlanchCamino Hondo, 23, 46120 Alboraia (València)
It’s been said that José Belloch and his Horchatería Sequer Lo Blanch are to horchata, like a winemaker is to his winery and the wine culture. Inaugurated in 2011, José Belloch was inspired by the trending tours and tastings at wineries, to restore an old drying house to create his new vision of what a horchatería should be. Located smack dab in the middle of the fields that create the unique gem of Valencia, this horchatería is his reflection on the chufa estate and the horchata revival. The large and inviting terrace overlooks the chufa fields and is a perfect spot to spend the afternoon enjoying wood-fired paella and refreshing horchata.

horchata_pastries

Tartaletas, Pastries filled with custard made from horchata

Horchatería Els Sariers – Calle de Sarcet, 6, 46020 València
This local favorite found on the edge of the city, near the Machado metro station, and overlooking Alboraya, boasts a terrace next to a quaint barraca. The horchata and fartons are house made and some of the best around. On summer evenings expect to find the interior and terrace jam-packed with patrons come merienda, or evening snack between 5 and 7.

Horchatería RinCarrer d’Emili Baró, 83, 46020 València
Just around the corner from Els Sariers, you´ll find Horchatería Rin. This family favorite has been making horchata since 1980. Also known for their ice cream, this welcoming spot pleases everyone on warm summer evenings. Outside seating is limited so if you prefer to sit on the terrace make sure to go early.

Horchatería Santa CatalinaPlaza de Santa Catalina, 6, 46001 València
As mentioned in our Fallas Street Guide, with over two centuries of history, Horchatería Santa Catalina is the oldest and most well-renowned horchateria in the city and is located in the corner of Plaza de la Reina in its own mini-plaza across from the Santa Catalina church. Their delicious horchata can be sipped while admiring the beautiful Valencian ceramic tiles that line the walls of this beloved treasure.

Casa de l’OrxataCalle Jorge Juan s/n- Mercado de Colón 46004 València
Ideally located in Mercado de Colon, the Casa de l´Orxata is a perfect stop when you’re out shopping in the fabulous Colon district. The market is open air, and the stunning architecture creates the perfect backdrop to sit and admire while sipping on a cold glass of horchata in the shade.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *