Altea Gastronomy – 10 BEST Local Dishes to Try

Nestled on the Mediterranean coast, Altea is not just a stunning locale known for its whitewashed houses and pebbled beaches, but also a culinary destination with a rich gastronomic heritage. The traditional dishes of Altea reflect the abundance of the sea and the creativity of its people. Here, we explore ten of the best local dishes that every visitor should try to truly experience the essence of Altean cuisine.

1. Paella Valenciana

While paella is a celebrated dish across Spain, the Valencian version is special and widely regarded as the original recipe. Traditionally made with chicken, rabbit, green beans, white beans (garrofó), snails, and sometimes artichokes, this dish captures the essence of the region. Saffron and rosemary infuse the rice with flavors and colors that are unmistakably Mediterranean.

2. Fideuà

Fideuà may remind one of paella, but instead of rice, this dish uses noodles. It originated from the coastal regions of Valencia, and in Altea, it is prepared with a mix of seafood such as squid, prawns, and monkfish. Cooked in a fish broth and often garnished with aioli, Fideuà is a must-try for seafood lovers.

3. Calamares Rellenos (Stuffed Squid)

In Altea, stuffed squid is a traditional dish that combines local seafood with delicious stuffing. The squid is filled with its own tentacles, chopped together with onions, tomatoes, and herbs, then simmered in a tomato-based sauce. It's a perfect blend of sea flavors and rich sauce.

4. Arroz al Horno (Oven-Baked Rice)

Arroz al Horno is a hearty dish that's especially popular in the colder months. It's made with pork ribs, potatoes, chickpeas, black pudding (morcilla), and rice. The ingredients are cooked in a clay pot, allowing all the flavors to meld beautifully in the oven.

5. Tapenade

Though originating from the Provence region in France, tapenade has found a welcoming home in Altea, given its love for olives. This dish is a paste made from crushed olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil, typically served with bread or as a condiment. It's a testament to the Mediterranean’s simple yet profound flavors.

6. Coca de Mollitas

Coca de Mollitas is similar to a pizza, but with a distinctly Spanish twist. It features a thick pastry base topped with a crumbly mixture of flour, olive oil, and sometimes sausages or anchovies. This dish is rustic, flavorful, and often enjoyed as a snack during local fiestas.

7. Pulpo Seco (Dried Octopus)

Dried octopus is a delicacy in Altea, typically served as a tapa. The octopus is boiled, then sun-dried, and finally grilled or fried before serving. It's known for its chewy texture and deep, concentrated seafood flavor.

8. Mojetes Marineras

A traditional fisherman's dish, Mojetes Marineras is a type of fish stew made with smaller, local fish, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes. Often flavored with saffron and garlic, this stew is both nourishing and imbued with local flavors.

9. Albóndigas de Pescado (Fish Meatballs)

Fish meatballs in Altea are typically made from a mix of fish and sometimes shellfish, combined with garlic, parsley, and bread crumbs, then fried or cooked in a savory tomato sauce. This dish showcases the versatility of seafood in Altean cuisine.

10. Turrón

No gastronomic journey in Altea would be complete without trying Turrón, a sweet nougat made from almonds and honey, often bound with egg whites. This confection is a Christmas tradition but enjoyed year-round in Altea.


Each of these dishes tells a story of Altea’s history, culture, and its people’s connection to both land and sea. From hearty rice dishes to delicate seafood preparations, Altea offers a taste of the Mediterranean that is as diverse as it is delicious. Whether you’re strolling through its charming streets or dining by the seaside, these local dishes provide a culinary experience that is deeply rooted in the traditions and flavours of this beautiful Spanish town.

Frequently Asked Queations (FAQs)

Paella Valenciana is one of the most traditional dishes in Altea, known for its rich flavors and authentic Valencian roots

Yes, dishes like Coca de Mollitas can be adapted for vegetarians, and there are also plenty of vegetable-based tapas and salads available

Fideuà, Calamares Rellenos, and Pulpo Seco are essential seafood dishes that showcase the best of Altea's local seafood

Authentic Turrón can be found at local confectioneries and during festive markets, especially around Christmas time

Many traditional dishes like Arroz al Horno and Pulpo Seco are naturally gluten-free, but it's always best to consult with the chef about cross-contamination

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