A taste of Althea

Xef Piratas-Gastro Bar i Altea
A taste of Althea: Xef Piratas-Gastro Bar in Althea

Do not eat hamburgers and bad prawn sandwiches in Spain on holiday – Get a taste of Spain and a taste of Althea!

We are food freaks and we travel to enjoy and challenge all our senses. We do not travel to Spain to be offered Norwegian food. Some would probably say we’re snobbish, but food is for us a way to get to know a country’s culture and their way of life. Therefore we eat Spanish food in Spain, not Italian pizza or Norwegian sandwiches. But on the Costa Blanca`s many tourist spots, large sign are placed all along boardwalks and offers Norwegian, Swedish or German cuisine – in their respective languages. When you pay your bill, the waiter says “Thank you for visiting” in Norwegian!

Althea, north of Benidorm, has fortunately escaped the worst mass tourism. The beach in Althea has pebbles and not soft, white sand and many believe that this is the reason why the big hotel chains have not been interested in building hotels as they have done in Benidorm and Alicante. Fortunately! Here in Althea, you can still get an experience of the Spanish way of life.

Althea offered some great dining experiences and we felt like we really got a taste of Althea. First and foremost, in the small tapas bar, Xef Piratas-Gastro Bar (Calle Angel 22), which served some absolutely wonderful little flavor bombs, including baked porcini, all provided by efficient and friendly young staff. It is a small and informal place, a few tables spread over two floors and 3-4 tables outside on the sidewalk. The place is open only in the evenings and it can probably be wise to reserve a table if that’s where you realy want to eat. And it should be – the place has a reputation as the best tapas bar in Althea and met all of our expectations on our visit.

Meridian restaurant på strandpromenaden i Altea
Restaurant Meridian in Althea
Ande lever hos Meridian i Altea
Duck liver served at Meridian in Althea

Excellent is also the Hungarian-owned Meridian Restaurant located on the sea promenade, Paseo Maritimo 18. Chef Andrea makes an absolutely wonderful dish of roasted duck liver with grated apple in a soft and tasty herb sauce. Simply just heavenly! We ate there 4 times and we ordered duck liver for lunch at least twice each. Roasted sea bass was also a pleasure and if you like calve schnitzel then order it! It was not much wrong with that either. We can also recommend the scallops on a bed of risotto, magnificent flavors – truly a taste of Althea with a Hungarian twist!

_MG_8036
A taste of Althea: Scallops on a bed of risotto at Meridian in Althea

El Perro Negro is run by a French man and offers many exciting dining experiences. I tried a spicy stew inspired by North Africa, and it tasted excellent. One of their specialties are fresh oysters from northern France.

Just below the church in Carre Major, is Oustau de Althea. A nice place that really try to give their guests a total experience of taste and atmosphere. The food was good but not super.

Tre tapas biter blir en perfekt lunsj
3 bites of different tapas makes a perfect lunch at Tapas Gastro Bar
Tapas Gastro Bar
Tapas Gastro Bar in Althea

A little further down the hill, on the small square just inside the gate, you will also find a good tapas bar, Tapas Gastro Bar. They are open from quite early in the day and is a nice place for lunch. We ordered 3-4 tapas each and a glass of white wine. Just enough and the great thing about tapas is that you can enjoy many different flavors at the same meal.

Deli shop Al Tall is situated in A Llargues 2, in the north end of the shopping street. If you want to take some good cheese and ham back home, visit this deli shop. Super quality and you can sit down to have a glass of wine and the owner might come with samples of the most beautiful Spanish hams. We were so lucky to experience this when we took shelter for a surprise downpour and ended up sharing a whole bottle of white wine of the highest quality. The result was of course that all our shopping was undertaken here. A young couple runs the place and the husband travels the world to teach how to treat Spanish ham in a respectful manner. He had also been in Norway and we had a nice chat while we enjoyed one of the best hams we’ve ever tasted.

Inne fra Al Tall i Altea.
Inside of Al Tall in Althea.
Delikatessebutikken Al Tall i Altea
Deli shop Al Tall in Althea

 

Vidunderlig skinke hos Al Tall i Altea
A taste of Althea: Wonderful ham at Al Tall in Althea
Fristende is og kaker rett bak kriken i Altea
A taste of Althea: Here they have tempting ice cream and cakes.Photo taken early in the morning!
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14 Comments

  • I don’t consider that food snobby at all! I totally feel you, if you’re going to visit a country with great food, you want to eat their national food! Who would want to pass up on tapas?

  • It seems like most the places are owned by foreigners, as many touristic villages in Spain and Portugal. Fortunately Althea seems to be away from the mass tourism for now.

    • Yes, a lot of the houses and apartements in the old city are taken over by foreigners and prizes are high. But we still met old ladies who lived in the middle of the old city and went on with their every day life as they had always done.

  • Nothing wrong with being a food snob…what’s the point of travelling abroad only to eat the same stuff you would at home. We’re the same (though sometimes have been known to have a sneaky pizza when we’ve had enough rice and noodles to last a lifetime). That ham looks gorgeous, the Spanish really know how to eat don’t they!

  • You hit the nail on the head for me with ‘food is a way to get to know local culture and way of life’ – every destination is best experienced through your stomach! Great pics as well!

  • The duck liver and the scallops look DIVINE! This looks like a great place to visit. I have to agree with your food philosophy. I think that local food should be enjoyed as much as possible. Especially since there are so many delicious foods to try around the world!

  • Hola Bente! Thank you for your visits with your husband to our little restaurant in Altea, and the very kind words about us. We look forward to see you and your friends from Norway back again. The duck liver or foie gras is not only French but also a Hungarian specialty, so if one day you travel to Budapest, I would recommend you some places where it is prepared the way you like it. Wish you all the best and we will follow your trips on this website.

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