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Everything You Need To Know About Paella

If you don’t know what paella is, where have you been? It is a traditional Valencian dish that has been around for centuries and whilst you’re living here in Valencia it is essential that you try it!

It began as the food of labourers who used to cook it over a wood fire with whatever ingredients they could find. Now there are hundreds of variations that are made all over the world - although the nicest paella is always found in its home in Valencia. It is a sociable dish where everyone often eats straight from the same pan and it is commonly at the centre of gatherings and events.

The different types you should know about:

1. Paella Valenciana

Paella Valenciana, if you can’t tell, has its origins in Valencia. It is the original type of paella which traditionally usually contains chicken, snails, rabbit and beans alongside rice. It is also the most common type and is made in many restaurants across Valencia.

2. Paella de marisco / seafood paella

Due to Valencia’s proximity to the sea, it is not surprising that various types of seafood began to be used in paella. Nowadays paella de marisco usually replaces the meat of original paella with seafood such as shrimp, mussels and squid. There is also paella mixta which contains both meat and seafood.

3. Paella negra

Paella negra or “arroz negro” is similar to seafood paella but is made with squid ink, giving it its recognisable black colour. It also gives it a very peculiar and exotic taste which would be interesting to try.


Whichever type of paella you want to try, make sure you choose one of the many authentic paella restaurants within Valencia - some renowned ones are La Pepica and Restaurante Levante.

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