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! Many of the restaurants around the marina and seafront specialise in fish, seafood or rice dishes of one kind or another. 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. Vegetarians find life a little harder, but most restaurants have a few veggie dishes, or will rustle up something on request.

Take a look at these recommendations. It’s not an exhaustive list, as we’re still happily working our way through local restaurants. But these suggestions should keep you well fed for a good few days! 

I’ve grouped recommendations in four categories:

  • Near the marina 
  • On the main beachfront, near the old town
  • Up in the centre of town
  • A little further out


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. 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) for €1 each

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

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, beautifully served 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 fair bit pricier than the seafront restaurants in the old town, but worth it. 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. Link to menu here.

Ca MartaCa Marta

Currently our favourite! Specialises in locally-supplied fish and seafood; very good range of well-cooked rice dishes, great selection of seafood tapas. Friendly service, good wine list. Great value for money. It has a simpler menu in the bar and outside terrace. There’s a wider choice of rice dishes in the restaurant inside.

Not as pricey as El Hogar del Pescador though the restaurant is slightly more expensive than places on the seafront in the old town. Different class though. Have a look at their online menu here


La MarinaLa Marina

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.

MadridMadrid restaurant Villajoyosa

Also on the seafront in the old town, a little further along the beach from La Marina on the corner of Placa Sant Pere.

Good for rice dishes, seafood and fish. More variety and definitely higher quality than La Marina. 

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

OTHER OPTIONS AND COOKING STYLES: there are other styles of cooking within easy walking distance.

The Maharajamaharajah

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. Book the rooftop terrace for amazing views over the old town, the sea and Sierra de Bernia. The best Indian food we’ve had in Spain. Menu here.


The best pizzas in La Vila and great value for money. You can also order home delivery by phone.  They offer a wide selection of other Italian food, burgers etc, but my advice is – stick to the pizzas. 

Near the Hotel Allon on the seafront. Friendly service.  We also like them because they sponsor La Vila’s rugby team!


Tres14: 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 was closed to traffic in summer 2020, so there’s plenty of socially-distanced dining outside. Booking advisable. Link here

TRES14 Villajoyosa  

They 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 here 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 rice dishes 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 in the market), 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.

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

There’s a less expensive ‘menu mercado‘ and, of course. a range of rice dishes, served as secos (dry, traditional rice), caldosos (served in fish stock) and melosos (creamy rice)

Casa Elordi
Magret de pato (duck) with medlars and beetroot slices, Casa Elordi

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

El Mercantil

El Mercantil at the top of Carrer Colón

This beautifully restored old cafe-restaurant at No 1 Carrer Colón was at the heart of La Vila society ever since 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 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 a mixture of traditional tapas, plus some with a modern twist. Eat inside in the nicely restored bar or outside on the street – there are plenty of socially-distanced tables since Carrer Colón was closed to traffic.

El Mercantil is part of the Zerca group based here in La Vila – they have several places around town. There’s a sushi place (Zerca Old Town)  and an Italian pizzeria/pasta restaurant (Il Forno di Pietro) in the Plaza de Iglesia in the Old Town. There’s also Zerca del Mar on Avinguda del Port, near the harbour, next to Ca Marta. We haven’t tried these yet though.


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.

GambrinusGambrinus Villajoyosa 

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.

Cantina Gallinaimg_5049.jpg

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 – 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 three heladerías – one in Poble Nou on Carrer Nou d’Octubre, just round the corner from Mercadona, one on Calle Colón near the tourist office, 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.

Heladería Alboraya on Calle Colón
Heladería Alboraya on Calle Colón, near the tourist office.

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. Maja’s coca valenciana, the local version of empanadas, is well worth a try too.

Maja Villajoyosa
Maja pasteleria in Poble Nou. The best cakes and pastries in town!
Ensaimadas from Maja. The best in town. Originally a breakfast delicacy 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. 


La Teula Negra

A family run place in Malladeta, on the outskirts of Villajoyosa, as you drive in from Alicante. The family moved down from Barcelona back in the 80s and converted the handsome building – then pretty much derelict – into a restaurant. Really nice meat dishes served on the attractive terrace, plus a range of fish and seafood. Link to menu here

Terrace at La Teula Negra, on the outskirts of Villajoyosa

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.

© Guy Pelham

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

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