El Portal

Excellent in every way, this plush corner spot sports deliberately OTT decor that changes biannually but is always interesting. Grab a table or squeeze up at the bar to enjoy some of this part of Spain’s finest produce. Plump Dénia prawns, excellent tuna, fresh fish, mouthwatering ham; it’s a feast for the palate. Excellent wines are available by the glass. It’s not cheap but the quality is sky-high. The atmosphere is smart but relaxed with a DJ responding to the mood as plates of seafood make way for gin and tonics in the mid-afternoon and later at night.

Cervecería Sento

Top-notch montaditos (little rolls) and inventive grilled tapas (try the turrón and pork ‘Chupachups’) are the reason to squeeze into this brilliant little bar. Watching the cheeky, nonstop staff in action is quite an experience too: they make every visit intriguing. It has a bigger branch nearby, but this one has the atmosphere.


It’s easier if you speak a little Spanish at this wonderfully eccentric place with its faithful following of regulars, but your ebullient host will make sure you get the best anyway. It’s a true bistro, with the walls scarcely visible for Parisian-style photos and posters, and there’s no menu. Just listen carefully as Bartolomé intones. Characterful and memorable.


This quality restaurant is strong on rice, seafood and fish, which arrives fresh daily from the wholesale markets of Dénia and Santa Pola. There’s a huge variety of tapas and a valenciano speciality that changes daily. It’s a short walk west of the centre or downhill from the train station.

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