##Ruzafa or Russafa (Valenciano) means something similar to “scented garden” in Arabic. The Valencian barrio is known for being an upbeat and progressive area and home to many artists, local families and immigrants. Located on the southern side of the city, historically, it used to be seen as somewhat apart from the centre of action in Valencia. Now it is a vibrant neighbourhood with colourful buildings and hip restaurants like ‘Huerta y Huerta’. When I first came to Valencia, I was given my living arrangements and found out I’d be in Ruzafa and now that I have been here for a good few weeks, I would not want to be anywhere else. Whether it’s 8am or 9pm, you can always find something going on.
BARS: The overall feeling of Ruzafa is a relaxed and fun community. There are multiple bars to check out. I took a trip to ‘Casa Pepe’, which looked like a small beach-like bar. The outside has turquoise and white features which drew me in. I ordered a mojito and sat outside on the straw stools. It was very relaxing…
Calle de Sueca, 33
Hours: Mon-Thurs 6pm- 1:30am, Friday 6pm- 2am, Saturday 11am- 2am, Sunday 11am- 1:30am
‘Ubik Café’ is regarded by many to be one of the most emblematic bars in Ruzafa. Click on this link for a review: http://247valencia.com/ubik-cafe-in-ruzafa-valencia/
CAFÉS: Living in Ruzafa, I passed by the same café every day, ‘Dulce de Leche Boutique’, and it always looked bustling with people and I could see the delicious food on their plates through the window, so I decided to check it out. Upon first arrival I thought. “Wow, there is a line!” Granted, it was noon… so solid brunch hour but most other places I passed by didn’t have the same status. There are glass shelves with all of the pastries and sandwiches you could ever imagine.
Once at the front of the line I decided to order a breakfast sandwich, chocolate cake and an iced latte which came out to 11 euros. I was able to find a table even though it was packed. The inside of the store has a beautiful modern and rustic vibe and urban music playing. When my food came it was on a wooden tray, which added to the rustic vibe and was aesthetically pleasing. The iced latte came with a paper straw which, as a lover of environmental conservation, made me happy. Not to mention the food was amazing. My bagel sandwich had egg, ham and avocado which reminded me of home in the US. The cake to die for and the iced coffee was the cherry on top. Definitely a must-visit!
Another day, my friend and I were looking to find coffee to take to class. We found ourselves at “Le Grand Café” on Gran Via. We asked for iced coffee and they mentioned the option of putting whipped cream-flavoured ice cream in the coffee to cool it. It was incredible and not to mention the café itself has a whimsical appearance inside.
Dulce de Leche Boutique Ruzafa
Calle de Cuba, 46
Tel: 960 03 59 49
Hours: Everyday 9am- 9pm
Le Grand Café Ruzafa
Gran Via de les Germanies, 37, 46004 Valencia, Calle de Sueca, 1
Tel: 960 22 66 48
Hours: Everyday 9am- 1am
SHOPPING: ‘DTES Magatzem ‘ is a welcoming boutique that sells teas from around the world and gourmet products from the local region. Here is a link with more details: http://247valencia.com/shopping-at-dtes-magatzem-boutique/
TAPAS: There are a wide range of tapas bars in Ruzafa, ranging from the traditional to the exotic like the tasty and welcoming ‘Kaña Makan Bistrot’ which has Middle East influences: https://www.facebook.com/KanaMakan/. Our current favourite is ‘Oli Bar’ in the park. Click on this link for an interview: http://247valencia.com/tapas-in-the-park-oli-bar-of-ruzafa/
RESTAURANTS: This is a link to a ’24/7 Valencia’ report on ‘Huerta y Huerta’, which recently made the televised final of “The Top 3 hipster restaurants” in Valencia: http://247valencia.com/huerta-y-huerta-in-ruzafa-valencia/
LIVE MUSIC: ‘Café Mercedes Jazz’ is a very established live venue with Jazz, Blues, Bossa, Soul, Latin and more with quality acts from Valencia and abroad plus post-concert expert DJ sessions sometimes on vinyl and sometimes CD. See their website for full programme: http://www.cafemercedes.es
NIGHTLIFE: Ruzafa is home to quite a few nightclubs with electronica at ‘Oven’ and 60s/70s rock & soul at ‘Hotel California’ and both are located on Gran Via de les Germanies. Additionally, the club ‘Flash!’ is a good place to spend the night dancing with friends under the bright lights to quality urban beats and their cocktails and terrace are great too! If at the end of a night out you find yourself hungry, you can swing by to the legendary ‘El Horno de los Borrachos’ on Calle de Sueca. They are open all night and have countless pastries and sandwiches for a great late-night snack. They have been serving the public since 1951!
Oven Club Centro
Gran Via de les Germanies, 31, 46004 Valencia
Tel: 687 24 55 49
Hours: Thurs-Fri 1am-7am, Sat 12am-7am, Closed Sun, Mon, Tue, Weds
Gran Vía Germanías, 27, 46006 Valencia
Tel: 696 64 29 96
Hours: Thurs 7pm-1am, Fri 10pm- 3am, Sat 7pm- 3am, Closed Sun, Mon, Tues, Weds
Calle de Sueca, 16, 46006 Valencia
Tel: 963 35 53 19
Hours: Fri 11pm- 4am, Sat 5pm- 4am, Closed Sun, Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs
El Horno de los Borrachos
Calle de Sueca, 3, 46006 Valencia
Tel: 963 41 49 20
Hours: Always open
My best advice is to get lost in Ruzafa. Take a different route home or rent a bike for the day and ride around, visiting the dynamic Ruzafa market or the attractive Manuel Granero park. There are so many amazing things to see around each street corner and keep your eyes peeled for street art. Living in Ruzafa has most definitely made my time in Valencia the best it could be.
No matter where you decide to visit, Ruzafa is a must-see!
Article by Stephanie Penn
Copyright 24/7 Valencia