Shopping and Eating in Alicante, Spain
Alicante is one of the largest cities in the country of Spain.
Shopping in Alicante
Few people go to Alicante just for shopping, as this is by no means comparable to London, Paris or Milan. But the prices are good compared to the Scandinavian level, and you can do some bargaining in Alicante. The most common products tourists travel home with are toys and dolls for the children, while adults often buy shoes and leather products such as bags and jackets for themselves.
Of popular gift items we find the local sweet turrón, which is made of almonds and honey. Chocolate, dates and locally produced wine are other common choices. You may also be interested in visiting the two nearby villages of Biar and Agost, which for centuries have been known for the best pottery art in the region.
The best shopping areas in Alicante
The most popular shopping areas of Alicante defined by AbbreviationFinder are located in and around the two north / south-walking main streets of the city center, Ramblas and Avenida Federico Soto / Doctor Gadea. Also in Avenida de Maisonnave there are close to famous shopping chains, and two large shopping arcades, where you also find the department store El Corte Ingles.
Also, stop in at the large leisure and shopping center Panoramis, located down by the harbor marina on the western end of Explanada.
Of the more traditional and everyday shops, we have Alicante’s old Mercado Centrale, in a beautiful building from 1921, where locals are constantly buying their fresh produce and flowers. The address is Avenida de Alfonso X El Sabio, 8.
Opening hours and tax-free in Alicante
The stores are normally open from 0930 to 1330, and from 1630 to 2000, but this varies. Most shops are closed on Sundays, although some local businesses may find that they are open. The largest shopping centers do not have siesta, and are open continuously from 1000 to 1900 or 2000.
Don’t forget that you pay VAT and that on all purchases over a certain amount of euros you can get a refund of the VAT on departure. Not all businesses have this scheme on their sales, so look for the Tax Free Shopping badge at the entrance if you are going to buy some expensive products and bring you a completed and stamped form and receipt.
Eating in Alicante
Alicante has been serving tourists for a number of years, so here you will find everything you expect from food and dining. From McDonald’s and Burger King via Spanish tapas bars and pizzerias to stylish international restaurants. And once you are here you must of course try the dish that has put the Valencia region on the international food map; paella.
The word paella is valentian for frying pan, and tells a little about how this dish is cooked. It is based around meat or fish, cooked in a pan with vegetables, added rice, olive oil and saffron. Paella is traditionally eaten on Sundays and cooked in large quantities in connection with festivals. If you want to try making paella yourself, you can find a recipe in English here.
Many small restaurants and tapas bars can be found in the pedestrian street Calle Mayor, which in the evening changes from the shopping street to the restaurant street. Here, hundreds of tables appear outside the many eateries. While the waiters rush to and fro, street musicians with Spanish guitars and sombreros pass by to entertain and earn some euros. Also on the piers outside Plaza Puerto del Mar, it is teeming with dining, most of the modern, trendy type.
Generally about eating in Alicante
Remember that people in Alicante (and Spain) eat late at night. Lunches are often between 1400 and 1600, which is why dinner is usually as late as between 2100 and midnight, and many of the restaurants do not open until the evening before 1900 or 2000. However, the most tourist-infested areas open for dinner earlier, when the travelers often have different dining habits than the locals in Alicante.
Some select restaurants in Alicante
A renowned restaurant is Restaurante Casa Pepe, located by Avd. de Cataluña, 14, Playa de San Juan, Alicante, phone 965 154 523 for reservation.
Family restaurant with reasonable prices and top quality. Here you get both fish and meat, and not least delicious paella dishes.
The restaurant is small, so the danger is that you will not get a table unless you have reserved a table. The Al Medina restaurant is said by many to struggle to serve the best Paella in Alicante with Casa Pepe. Al Medina can be found in the Old Town, more specifically Piazza Santissima Faz 1. But there is a tourist trap too, so expect things to take time.
Do you like Italian food? Then try Ristaurante Spiga in Calle Mayor 11. Popular restaurant that suits you with normal holiday budget. Restaurant Spiga gets good feedback as long as you stick to the simple classic dishes. Affordable wine on sale!
Special food tips in Alicante
If you have access to a rental car or want an excursion, try a real Spanish family restaurant. Call 96573 0629 and reserve a table at Casa Canto located in Benida’s Avenida Pais Valencia.
Casa Canto is a traditional family business that has been run by a married couple and their two sons with success since 1983, and is very popular with Alicante’s locals. NB! Closed Mondays. At Casa Canto you can get a five course dinner for two including wine and mineral water for about NOK 600 if the exchange rate is good for you.