If you’re looking for perfect paella Valenciana with all the trimmings then Casa Carmela should be at the top of your list.
What is Paella Valenciana?
Paella traditionally reigns from Valencia, little do most people know.
An authentic Paella Valenciana includes chicken, rabbit, duck, snails, white beans and green beans. Ours also included artichoke but apparently this is only used when in season.
Paella Valenciana is very different to the more commonly ordered seafood paella! Casa Carmela is as typically authentic as paella comes.
I don’t know about everybody else but I love the bits of crispy paella stuck to the bottom of the pan. Paella should only ever be a thin layer of rice. If it’s not, then it’s not traditionally made.
I must admit, I didn’t partake in the (slimey) snails. Indeed, one might have slithered out and combined with the rice. Unknowingly I may have eaten one but I did not go out of my way to try one!
David did try them out. He ate one. This was probably just to prove he wasn’t a wimp and a liar. He had previously declared to me that he found eating snails an easier experience that oysters.
On this front, I DO NOT AGREE! I would much rather eat an oyster any day.
Getting to Casa Carmela
Walking along Carrer d’Isabel de Villena from Playa de la Patacona to Casa Carmela, the street is lined with grand architecturally impressive houses (if they can even be called that!). They are gated off with foyers featuring working fountains, perfectly pruned gardens and swimming pools.
Then you arrive at Casa Carmela. As soon as you walk in you can imagine what the inside of the other houses must look like! Blue and white tiles, fountains, a huge dining room and also a big outside area for eating, which we were kindly shown to.
Casa Carmela also allow you to view the kitchen where the chefs are ferociously cooking huge paella pans over scolding wood-fires. The traditional way!
Hands down the best paella I’ve ever tasted! If you want to try Valencian paella you have to call at least 24 hours beforehand and pre-order it.
We tried to visit Casa Carmela on or first visit and they had closed to go on holiday. I can tell you that the two year wait was well worth it!
The table next to us were eating a lobster paella which looked extremely yummy, too! Next time I might be tempted to try this out.
Casa Carmela are only open between 1-4pm Tuesday to Sunday. Therefore you will need to make a reservation! Also, ensure to tell them you want to order the paella valenciana!
On my next return to Valencia I’ve already decided I’m revisiting. However, next time around I’m not going on our last day. So I’ll be able to drink plenty of fresh Sangria and not worry about driving home from the airport later!
I’d also probably order an espresso carajillo. Thanks to Bodega Casa Montana for introducing me to these little cups of wonder!
I’m pretty sure the Valencian’s spend the whole three hours basking in the sunshine, indulging in fresh batches of paella valenciana and enjoying jugs upon jugs of cold Sangria. If that’s the Valencian way of life then sign me up!
If you’re looking for other tapas options whilst visiting Valencia, I highly recommend Bodega Casa Montana. My favourite place for tapas in the city!