La Moleta, Adsubia: This is the closest Bar-Restaurant, 1 km from Casa Sofia. It is a friendly gathering spot for both locals and visitors. Great to grab a coffee, a sandwhich for lunch, or a dinner of typical Spanish fare. The owners do not speak much English, but are very friendly and will do everything they can to help you.
Zorrilla, Pego: Located on the Plaza Ayuntamiento, this family run establishment is known for its Paella and specialty rice dishes, be sure to order ahead. They have an extensive tapas menu, ask your server to recommend an assortment of what is freshest that day.
Bar Daniel, Pego: Also located on the Plaza Ayuntamiento, this is a good place to sit on the plaza and have a coffee, or grab quick lunch of tapas or a bocadillo (sandwich).
Casino Bar, Pego: Located on the Plaza del Mercado, this is a lovely bar-restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating, and a spacious tastefully decorated interior. With an extensive menu, you can get just about anything you may be craving; from a full English breakfast, a 'menu del dia' for lunch, bocadillos, salads, hamburgers, tapas, and a full dinner menu.
L'om, Pego: Located on a charming narrow street, Calle Ramon y Cajal, in a restored rustic stone building, this restaurant is one of our favorites for dinner. If possible ask to be seated in the shady courtyard, that oozes with Spanish charm. They use only the freshest top quality local ingredients, and specialize in Mediterannean meat and seafood dishes.
Buddha Eyes, Pego: Located not far from The Plaza Mercado, this Nepali Tandoori Indian restaurant is fantastic. The menu is extensive, and the service is friendly. They will help you order and will customize the heat of any dish to your liking. Open for dinner and lunch with a daily lunchtime menu.
Lizarran, Ondara: Located in thePortal de la MarinaMall off the N-332, this Spanish Tapas chain restaurant is a fun place to grab a bite for lunch while shopping. All tapas are served on a stick. You can pick your selections from the bar, and in addition servers come to the tables with trays of freshly prepared hot items. When you are finished with your meal, they will count the number of sticks on your plate to calculate your bill.
Tapes i Vins, La Xara: Located in the village of La Xara, just past La Sella. If you are wanting to try a more upscale tapas experience, then you must try Tapes i Vins. This modern restaurant specializes in unusual tapas made from the freshest ingredients. Try a variety of seafood and carpaccio style tapas along with the traditional favorites. Open for lunch and dinner on weekends.
Taberna Antigua, Pedreguer: Located off the N-332 near La Sella. In our opinion, this is one of the absolute best restaurants in the area. Perfect for a special night out, or a special occasion. Owned by a charming couple, who tastefully restored the 300 year old rustic building, maintaining its rustic charm, original features, and cozy atmosphere. The service and the food are all outstanding, with many original dishes and daily specials, featuring high quality meats, fish and seafood. There is a beautiful terrace with both a bar/lounge for drinks and al fresco dining. Open for dinner only, closed on Sunday.
You will want to shop for food for your stay. To stock up on basics, there are several supermarkets 5 minutes away in Pego. The closest one, Mercadona, is also our favorite. Here you will find everything you need including fresh seafood, fresh produce, and a variety of inexpensive Spanish wines. There are also a Mas y Mas and an Aldi in Pego.
Most towns and villages in the area have a market day, a fun way to absorb a little local culture. Outdoor markets sell everything from food, to household goods, to apparel. You may enjoy visiting the stalls of local food merchants, for the freshest fruits, vegetables, and local specialty food items. The indoor markets also have an abundant selection of fish and seafood, cheeses, cured meats, sausages, and baked goods. Here are just a few:
In Pego, every Thursday is market day at Plaza del Mercado, where local farmers will have fruit vegetable stalls, and there are a variety of prepared foods to try. Oliva has the closest indoor food market, located on it's main promenade, and there is an outdoor market day on Friday.
Denia's Municipal Market is a large indoor market open daily until early afternoon. On Mondays and Fridays, the market expands with outdoor stalls. The Fish Market at the Port of Denia is fun to visit to watch the fishing boats come in with their daily catch. Also watch the fish auction that begins at 5:00pm, and after the auction you can purchase a variety of freshest fish and seafood, including the famous Denia Red Prawns.
If you are a wine lover, then this is the place for you. Spain is one of the top wine producers in the world, and Spanish wines are good quality and very inexpensive. For a truly enjoyable day trip, take the beautiful scenic drive through the majestic mountains, about 30 minutes to the south of Casa Sofia, to the Jalon Valley, also known as the Vall de Pop. This scenic valley is a rich agricultural area with olive groves, orange groves, almond groves, and vineyards.
The The Jalon valley is the wine producing area of Alicante. Scattered throughout the valley are a series of charming villages, with several wineries and wine cellars that offer wine tastings. There are also good restaurants serving the local wines. The drive through the valley is most spectacular in February when the almond groves are bursting with their pink blossoms. For more information about the Jalon Valley visit the Vall de Pop tourism website.
While you may want to cook or grill, and enjoy many of your meals al fresco at Casa Sofia, you will also want to visit local restaurants to experience the local cuisine. There are many restaurants, bars, and cafes in the area to choose from.
A few tips to note about dining in the area:
Many of the typical Spanish restaurants offer a "menu del dia" for the mid-day meal, that is usually a very good value. In Spanish culture, lunch is usually the largest meal of the day. It is usually a full meal served with wine, salad or soup, main course, dessert, coffee, and sweet Moscato, for one fixed price.
If you are craving Paella, the iconic Valencian rice dish, most restaurants require that you call ahead to order, as it takes time to prepare. Most restaurants charge for bread, and they automatically bring it to your table. If you do not want bread, just tell your server.
Most restaurants offer outdoor seating for al fresco dining. Sit outside to soak in the beautiful climate and enjoy the people watching.
As in most of Europe, dinner is not eaten until late, and most restaurants do not open for dinner until 8:30 or 9:00 and do not get into full swing until 10:00-10:30. Note that most area restaurants are closed on Mondays, so call or plan ahead.