Best places to eat and drink in Villajoyosa

Villajoyosa is a great place to eat. I reckon you could dine well here every day for a fortnight and never visit the same restaurant twice.

It does help if you like fish or seafood though! Not really surprising as Villajoyosa (aka La Vila Joiosa) has its own fishing fleet, with the catch coming in every weekday afternoon. 

If you are not a fish fan, don’t despair. There are meat dishes on most menus. Most restaurants also have a few veggie or vegan dishes too.

These recommendations should keep you well fed for a good few days. We’ve tried them all ourselves! If you’re coming in low season, some places may be closed, so check online first. 

Find your restaurant!

I’ve grouped restaurants in four categories: tap the link to jump straight to each one.

Around the marina

El Pòsit:

A couple of hundred metres from the marina on Avinguda del Port. An excellent modern restaurant that does tapas with a twist. Try the “surtido de tapas”; a selection of eight small tapas made with real imagination – menu here. They also do delicious small desserts (be bold and order a couple).

El Pòsit restaurant on the seafront near the marina: tapas with a twist
A selection of tiny desserts (postres) each – order a couple at least!

A great beach view; eat inside or outside. Closed Monday evenings and Tuesdays. Not the cheapest restaurant in town, but a great place to eat. Vegetarian dishes available.

Ca Marta

Currently our favourite! Specialises in locally-supplied fish and seafood; really good range of well-cooked rice dishes, great selection of seafood tapas. Friendly service, good wine list.

There’s a simpler menu in the bar and on the outside terrace, across the road from the marina. You get a wider choice of rice dishes if you eat inside the restaurant.

Really popular these days, so booking is a must, especially at lunchtime. Have a look at their online menu here

Fideos (noodles) with monkfish and langoustine, Ca Marta

El Hogar del Pescador  

Probably the best known fish and seafood restaurant in La Vila, next to the Club Nàutic (yacht club).

High quality fish, seafood and rice dishes with a great view over the marina. 

El Hogar del Pescador. High quality fish, seafood and rice overlooking the marina.
El Hogar del Pescador
Top quality arroz abanda, El Hogar del Pescador
El Hogar del Pescador
Pulpo a la brasa (grilled octopus), El Hogar del Pescador

A lot pricier than the seafront restaurants in the old town, but different class. Great rice and a good wine list. Link here.

Club Nàutic (yacht club)

Almost next door to El Hogar. You don’t have to be a member to eat here. Just turn up, though it’s a good idea to book at weekends. 

Restaurant terrace, Club Náutic Villajoyosa

The menu del dia is great value at €20 a head and you get to eat it on the terrace with a beautiful view of the harbour. Contact details here


A relatively new arrival a few metres along the road from Ca Marta. Mostly Spanish cuisine with some French influences, especially in the wine list. There’s a tasting menu on offer, plus an arroz del dia (rice dish of the day). Eat outside on the terrace or in the restaurant. Good food – see the menu here.All dishes are advertised as gluten free.

Solomillo (sirloin) grass fed beef from up the road in Polop, served with foie gras

There have been a few restaurants in this location over the last few years, Let’s hope this one endures longer than its predecessors. And why the name MADE? It’s a mixture of the initials of the owner’s family!

Restó René

A little further out, overlooking the boatyard right at the end of the marina. Some creative cooking here – some dishes are prepared in a Kamado oven, which I’d never come across before (it’s an oval ceramic barbeque, originally from Japan).

Restó René, an elegant restaurant with a wide terrace overlooking the boatyard.

There’s a good tasting menu for €25pp with matching wines. A la carte is more expensive, but some interesting dishes – think fish wrapped in clay, cooked in the embers. Menus here.

On the beachfront

La Marina

La Marina: no-frills fish and seafood

On the seafront in the old town (Avenida Jose Maria Esquerdo). A traditional fish, seafood and rice restaurant.

No frills here, and the service is pretty basic on busy days, but the menu del dia is good value (starter, main dish, dessert, a drink and coffee for around €17). 

Try the arroz abanda (rice cooked in fish stock, garnished with tuna and seafood). Advisable to book at weekends. No vegetarian dishes the last time I looked.


Also on the seafront in the old town, and for my money, a classier option than La Marina.

There’s good paella, seafood and fish here and plenty of variety on the rice dishes too. The paella alicantina features rabbit, chick peas and red pepper and their arroz de raginetes has mountain snails and rabbit too.  They also serve the traditional La Vila dish of pebrereta – pumpkin, red pepper and tuna – as a starter.

El Madrid, on the corner of Plaça Sant Pere. Good rice and seafood with a great sea view
A delicious plate of chipirones – baby squid – from el Madrid


Right on the seafront near the Hotel Allon. Good food here – some typical Spanish dishes but there’s also an Asian/Moroccan twist going on. They also offer a range of tuna dishes, including sashimi and a good tataki. Menu here

Good food with a twist on the seafront
Tuna tataki on the T-Class menu


If you’re suffering from seafood and rice overload, this is the place to put that right. ILPI is an Argentinian restaurant, and that generally means plenty of meat on the menu (though there is a “Mix de Vegetales” on offer). The steaks are cooked on a proper charcoal barbecue – check out the menu here.

A good cut of entraña with chimichurri from ILPI

Try the entraña (skirt), an Argentinian cut of beef popular here in Spain. The empanada de ternera, an Argentinian speciality that looks like an English pasty (but tastes a lot nicer!) are good too.

Eat outside on the paseo maritimo overlooking the beach. The wine list features some Argentine choices for those Brits missing their Malbec.

Tables outside ILPI on the beachfront near the old town

The Maharaja (Indian cuisine)

Has a big menu, and most dishes will be familiar to British curry diners. Decent quality, Indian beers.

On Avinguda del Port, halfway along the beach. Menu here.

If you’re prepared to travel a little in search of a really good curry, try the Crown of India just up the coast in Altea (see my review below)

In the centre of town


On Calle Colón, virtually opposite the tourist office. Excellent fish and rice dishes and the menu del día is great value for money. Calle Colón is closed to traffic, so there are plenty of tables outside. Booking advisable. Link here

Tres 14 on Calle Colón – excellent fish and rice dishes

They really know their fish here and offer what they call “cuina de barca“; literally ‘shipboard cooking’ in the local Valenciano language. “Cuina de barca” takes its inspiration from the days when the boat crews ate what they caught while out at sea – mostly the fish that they couldn’t sell when they got back to port.

The paelleras they use are not the traditional shallow paella dishes; they’re quite a lot deeper. Back in the day, this would have prevented the hot caldo (fish stock) sloshing over the sides when cooking arroz on a moving boat, especially the more liquid arroces melosos and caldosos.

They also serve pebrereta here, the typical poor man’s dish of Villajoyosa. It’s a stew made from salted sangacho (a cheap and rather bloody cut of tuna which the fishermen couldn’t usually sell), pumpkin and peppers. La Vila holds a pebrereta festival every June, in Poble Nou.

Arroz de bacoreta
Arroz con bacoreta (tunny), sepia (cuttlefish) and habitas (green beans). The paellera at Tres14 has deeper sides here than the traditional dish.


An excellent new-ish restaurant near the church in the old town of La Vila. You get to dine on the 16th century town walls with the tower of the church actually overlooking your table. It’s a converted house in Carrer Pou, with a few tables inside, but most outside on the terrace. 

The guy in charge also runs one of our favourite places, El Pósit on the seafront (reviewed at the top of this blog). 

The terrace at DRoca – the stone wall on the left is the tower of the church.

Some really nice little brioches, stuffed with rabo de toro (oxtail) and bogavante (lobster) get you off to a good start.

As you’d expect, there’s plenty of fish on the main menu, but cooked with real imagination (think cod in pumpkin sauce with a delicate curry flavour, or a delicious tuna tataki). The presa (a cut of iberico pork) in monastrell sauce was excellent. Take a look at the rest of the menu here. If in doubt, go for the Chef’s Selection: 6 immaculately prepared smaller plates for €36.

View from the terrace on the old town walls, DRoca restaurant

Not cheap, but the food is great. They also have boutique rooms upstairs.

Casa Elordi

A high quality family-run restaurant next to the Mercado Central, Casa Elordi has an elegant upstairs dining room serving gourmet standard food with a good wine list.

Push the boat out and try the excellent 8-course Menú Elordi … a menú de degustaciòn (tasting menu) which has some real highlights. It may not be cheap, but there are some great flavours going on here. 

Casa Elordi, fine dining next to the Mercado Central in Villajoyosa
The elegant upstairs dining room at Casa Elordi

Casa Elordi was placed 46th in a list of the top 100 restaurants in Spain in 2018, according to the Spanish online guide El Tenedor. Take a look at the menus on offer here

Ca Barto

Try this little place in Calle Bigueta in the old town for a glass (or two) of cava with Valencian oysters. Great combination for an aperitif. Open Thursday-Sunday. 

Ca Barto in the old town
Valencian oysters at Ca Barto

La Placeta

A nice place to relax over a tapa or two in the beautiful Plaça Castelar, overlooked by the church tower of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. Try their magro de cerdo (pork cubes in a tomato sauce) or ensaladilla rusa, washed down with a cold caña.

La Placeta cafe bar in the old town.

Il Forno di Pietro

This upmarket pizza restaurant has a location that’s hard to beat, just round the corner from La Placeta, right in front of the church. Eating outside as darkness falls after the heat of the day has real atmosphere. The pizzas are pretty good too. They’re certainly a fair size; you won’t go hungry here!

Il Forno only seems to be open in high season though, which is a bit of a waste of a great location.

Outside dining at Il Forno di Pietro in the Plaza Iglesia

Try also Pizzeria Da Marc, next to the Mercado Central.

El Mercantil

El Mercantil at the top of Carrer Colón

This beautifully restored old cafe-bar at No 1 Carrer Colón was at the heart of La Vila society when it opened in the 1870s, and there are plenty of old black and white photos on the walls inside to prove it.

The upper crust of town society used to meet upstairs at the Casino, and nardo vilero – the traditional drink of Villajoyosa – was invented here. It’s iced coffee and absinthe if you fancy trying it.

Cafe Mercantil back in the days when it was at the centre of La Vila social life. One of the old pictures inside the restored building

These days, El Mercantil offers traditional tapas, either inside the nicely-restored bar or outside on the street.

El Bodegó

A popular place on traffic-free Calle Colón for tapas and more.

El Bodegó on Carrer Colón

Check out their delicious Tortitas de Camarones – shrimp fritters – a dish from Andalucia in the south of the Spain (the boss is from Cádiz). Try also Huevos Rotos – literally ‘broken eggs’ – fried eggs on jamón. Eat on the street, on the covered terrace at the back of the restaurant, or inside.

They’ll also do you a barbecue on the terrace at the back – minimum group of four, booking advisable. Link to menu here.

Tortitas de camarón, El Bodegó


Valor chocolate is famous all over Spain, and it’s made here in La Vila. If you can’t make the factory tour, sample the produce at the Valor chocolateria on the main road through town (Avda del Pais Valenciana).

Valor chocolateria Villajoyosa

If you haven’t tried chocolate con churros — dough sticks fried in batter, coated with sugar and dunked in liquid chocolate — this is the place to put that right. They also sell boxes of Valor chocolate inside, or you can make your own selection. 

Chocolate con churros; a Spanish classic. Deep fried dough sticks coated in sugar, dipped in hot chocolate.

La Vila boasts two other chocolate factories. One of them – Chocolates Pérez – has just opened a chocolateria on the seafront in the old town. 

The Pérez chocolatería at the end of the main beach.


Gambrinus is a chain serving the usual tapas dishes and good beer up on the main street in La Vila (Avinguda del País Valencia). Plenty of tables outside to watch the world go by.

Gambrinus Villajoyosa 

Cantina Gallina

The main daily market on Carrer Canalejas has a lively bar/cafeteria near the entrance.


Choose your fish or seafood in the market and they will cook it on the grill (check first at the counter before you buy- there are a few things they won’t cook). Food doesn’t get much fresher than this!

Heladería Alboraya

The best ice cream place in La Vila, they make their own produce and they’re a local company. They have two heladerías – one in Poble Nou on Carrer Nou d’Octubre, and another on Calle Colón at the top of Calle Palasiet.

There’s a wide range of ice creams and frozen yoghurts, but also great granizados – in English, a slush puppy. An ice-cold granizado de limón on hot day is about as refreshing as it gets.

They also do horchatas, a Valencian speciality made from tiger nuts (chufas), served cold with a straw. Alboraya also offers agua de cebada, a Villajoyosa speciality based on barley, also served cold.


This pasteleria in Poble Nou, just across the Villajoyosa river bridge on Carrer Jaume 1 is quite something. Go there at least once! 

The cakes and pastries – all made on the premises – are the best we’ve had anywhere, bar none. 

The ensaimadas, a sugar-coated breakfast pastry originally from Mallorca, are a marvel. I’ve eaten ensaimadas in Mallorca and didn’t find any better than Maja’s!

Their coca valenciana, the local version of empanadas, is well worth a try too. Choose fillings from calabacin (courgette) bacalao (cod) and pisto manchego (a kind of Spanish ratatouille)

Maja Villajoyosa
Maja pasteleria in Poble Nou. The best cakes and pastries in town!
Ensaimadas from Maja. The best in town. A breakfast delicacy originally from Mallorca.

Try going there for breakfast – ensaimadas, freshly squeezed orange juice and cafe con leche are simply the best way to start the day in La Vila. 

A little further out

Hotel Montíboli

A 5-star clifftop hotel about 4km out of Villajoyosa – bear left as you drive past Playa Paraiso on the Alicante road.  The spectacular location is the best thing about the Montíboli – the Alhambra terrace looks out over the sparkling Mediterranean and down onto Playa La Caleta far below. 

Montíboli Hotel Villajoyosa
Views from the Alhambra terrace are spectacular
Hotel Montíboli Villajoyosa
View down to the beach from the clifftop Montíboli terrace

Full disclosure: we haven’t tried the Emperador Restaurant here, but we have had tapas on the terrace. Come here for the views, which are seriously impressive. And you don’t need to be a hotel guest to eat here.

Casa Modesto

Right on the beach at Cala Finestrat, just along the coast from La Vila just before you get to Benidorm. Good quality rice dishes with a great view out to sea. 

Singapore Garden

Good Asian fusion food in this nicely refurbished restaurant in Coveta Fumà, about 20 minutes drive south of Villajoyosa. There are plenty of classic dishes on offer – check out the menu here.

The patio at the Singapore Garden, Coveta Fumà

The place takes a bit of finding down some narrow twisting roads, tucked in amongst all the seaside villas, so have your sat nav handy. You can go by tram too. Get off at Coveta Fumà stop and the Singapore Garden is a few minutes walk.

Dine outside on a spacious plant-filled patio – great on a warm evening. There’s a surprisingly good wine list too, especially from local bodegas.

Crown of India

The best Indian restaurant we’ve come across around La Vila – just 20 minutes drive up the coast from Villajoyosa in Altea old town and definitely worth the trip. The food’s great, but the views from the rooftop terrace over the sea and the Sierra de Bernia are simply unbeatable.

When was the last time you had a view this good with your curry? From the rooftop terrace at the Crown of India.

Make sure you specify a table on the terraza when you book – there’s a small supplement to eat up there in summer. Take a look at the menus here. Plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.

You can get to Altea by tram from La Vila (change in Benidorm). Altea tram station is at the foot of the hill, so the climb up to the old town should give you an appetite!

Set menu at the Crown of India – good value for money.

© Guy Pelham

For help in finding your way around a Spanish menu, try these blogposts:

2 thoughts on “Best places to eat and drink in Villajoyosa

  1. Angela Burrow

    A home-from-home for me was a little family run restaurant called Las Palmeras, on Carrer Paloma, on the N332, opposite the camp site. I first visited in the early 90s & spent almost every night there for the 20 years when I used to spend 6 weeks every summer in La Vila. I only don’t go now because I’m bed-bound & stuck at home in the UK. It’s a small, simple restaurant which serves lots of good quality food with the emphasis on home cooking & excellent service. Prices have always been more than reasonable. In the first few years of visiting, you got a starter, main course, pudding, bread, wine & coffee for 700pts. The last time I went, c.2004, it had gone up to 10€. It’s my favourite restaurant in the entire world. The owners, are a lovely couple. The lady cook’s for visitors as though they’re family, & it shows, & her husband is the waiter, always with a welcoming smile on his face. I remember being ill once & she insisted on making me a soup she used to make for her son when he was ill with a similar complaint, with every single ingredient hand-made from scratch. I’ve never had such excellent service from anywhere else. Another time I mentioned I fancied red mullet, so they bought some especially for me ready for my next meal. If I had the chance, I’d eat there every day of my life & never get bored of their food. They provide simple family-style meals perfectly cooked that beat every fancy restaurant I’ve ever visited, & I have visited some of the greats.

    1. Hi Angela! Thanks for reading my blog – so sorry to hear you’re unable to make it La Vila these days. Las Palmeras is still there and I drive past it often, although I’ve never eaten there. After reading your lovely memories of the place, I’ll definitely give it a visit. All the best – Guy

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