##The city of Valencia can be split into sub-divisions or neighbourhoods often known as “barrios”. One of these barrios is called Benimaclet, a name with Arabic origins meaning “sons of Majlad.” This barrio is located to the northeast of Valencia’s city centre. Before 1970, this barrio practiced local sovereignty; therefore, Benimaclet was its own town or village distinct from the city of Valencia. Today, the authenticity and independence of this area is still very tangible. The area’s history seeps through the pores of the buildings and streets. For example, ‘Casa De Trencadís’ is dated from the twentieth century and is famous for its ceramic décor, which is in honour of Gaudí. Benimaclet is a unique and intriguing area that is quite under the radar but has recently been calling for much more attention. Benimaclet is part of the up-and-coming sphere, due to having a variety of entertainment and attractions that are worthy of everyone’s interest. It is close to the university, attracting a fresh crowd while at the same time providing a timeless, classic feel for seasoned veterans of the going out scene. With many different options ranging from food and drink to easy-going hangout spots, there are endless reasons for Benimaclet to be visited and adored.
Our first stop, Café London (also known as London Lounge Bar), grabbed our interest with their weekly deal on classic and delicious cocktails. Every Tuesday is cocktail day! Order from an assortment of your favorite cocktails, like gin and tonic, whiskey sours, or cosmopolitans all for just 5€ starting at 20:00h. Of course, there are many other drink options as well. Their drink menu focused heavily on their expansive collection of gin and may even be considered a Gin Bar. The bar itself is spacious and has seating compatible for any social experience you are looking for. There are bar stools to interact with the friendly staff (highly suggested), many tables for small groups, and even couches for late-night lingerers. While the title reveals the style and design of this westernized pub, once you’ve arrived you can do nothing but admire the area and youthful vibe. It is perfect if you are looking for a pub or lounge experience without it being too crowded or noisy. There is a dart table set up in the back, usually under the use of locals from the University. Along with this, the music played will have you stopping mid-sentence to sing along. Café London is located at C/ Enrique Navarro, 8, 46020 Valencia. Their hours are from 18.30h -02.00h everyday and closed on Sundays.
Kaf Cafe is a cafe, bar, and an homage to Franz Kafka all in one. There is something for everyone at this charming little café! Every weeknight, the cafe turns into an intimate stage setting where singers, poets, and musicians alike perform to a warm and welcoming crowd. In June, the cafe hosted the trio “Tuning of Hearts & Jesús Andrés”. They performed traditional Middle Eastern music to a full room of all ages in an experience that could be described as both immersive and spiritual. The band had an ideal balance between elegant instrumental work with the smooth voice of the vocalist. Each song was inspired by a Sufi poem and although the lyrics were in a foreign language, the message and emotion of each poem still deeply enchanted and resonated with the crowd. If good music, good people, and good coffee are something that interests you; Kaf Cafe on C Arquitecto Arnau, 16 is an absolute must when visiting Benimaclet!
Pata Negra Restoran is a whimsical and affordable place to eat in Benimaclet. We recommend this place to everyone for their adorable atmosphere and mouth-watering food. The restaurant is embellished with a variety of eclectic décor, ranging from a Mediterranean style to a vintage Americana vibe. Music is something that many Benimaclet residents seem to share a deep appreciation for. This is clear from the jazz records and instruments that are heavily featured throughout the interior of the restaurant. There are indoor seating options for a cosy feel as well as the option to dine in the courtyard. The courtyard is covered in lush greenery that breathes life into the small dining area. For lunch, there is a pre-fixed menu which includes different choices of a starter, an entree, and a dessert for only 12 €. A better deal is hard to find! Visit Pata Negra at C/ Barón de San Petrillo, 3, 46020 Valencia for lunch or dinner.
El Carabasser is a lively tapas bar located on the corner of C/ Reverendo Rafael Tramoyeres. If you are looking for a more intimate and late night experience, this is the place. The bright lights and the mass of satisfied and happy diners make this place hard to ignore. Expect to spot groups of energetic people sitting in and outside of the restaurant. In fact, we were originally drawn to this place when walking down the street one night. We could not keep ourselves from venturing inside and we are quite happy we did. Once inside, the ambience was welcoming and bubbly. The bar offers local cervezas and flavourful, one-of-a-kind tapas. Pumpkin, the bar’s namesake, is featured heavily. Go with some friends and try the pumpkin-cheese dip for a meaningful experience that you won’t be soon to forget. Don’t have much time to sit and relax? No worries, El Carabasser also has many options on display meant to take to go. The restaurant is located on C/ Reverendo Rafael Tramoyeres, 35, 46020 Valencia and open everyday from 20:45h – 01:00h.
Last but most definitely not least, sweets must be mentioned. In the land of horchata, Horchatería Daniel may sweep the competition. This “ice cream shop” is filled with display cases of colorful and tempting pastries and sweets. There is ice cream, chufa, coffee, fartons and horchata as well. Horchatería Daniel is as authentic as it comes, continuing its tradition of naturally hand-crafted sweets since 1949. The store was family operated and opened in 1960 and has been running smoothly ever since. There are multiple locations. The store closest to Benimaclet is located at Horchateria Daniel on Av. l’Orxata, 41, 46120 Alboraia, Valencia. It is only a second outside of the barrio of Benimaclet but well worth the visit!
‘Espai Verd’ is a building in Benimaclet, designed by architect Antonio Cortés Ferrando. This building combines the surreal and the material worlds; it is dreamy yet dense, heavy and raw. Its layers of concrete and vegetation seems to bring to life the dreamscape of Miyazaki’s “Howl’s Moving Castle.” Espai Verd is designed in the architectural style of Brutalism. Brutalism was a modernist movement that gained momentum under the ideology of a “social utopia.” The buildings in this style are designed to appear as “streets in the sky” and that dreamy visual is invoked immediately upon looking at the geometric superstructure that is Espai Verd. This edifice is a commanding and unique piece of architecture that is impossible to find elsewhere.
Whether you are looking for a cute café, a lively bar scene, quality tapas, or just a change in scenery away from the typical tourist spots; look no further than the barrio of Benimaclet. This close-knit and festive neighborhood does not disappoint and is well worth a visit.
Article & photo by Nathalie Feingold & Quincy Walter
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