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Local-approved cheap eats in Alicante—the best places to visit for unmissable tapas & fresh Spanish ingredients

Arriving from the stunning Menorca Experimental hotel on the island of Menorca, I had a day and a half to kill in Alicante before traveling down the coast to meet a friend. It was my first time in the sunny port city, and after the chilled vibes of Menorca's beautiful beaches Alicante felt a bit rough and ready, it had a different kind of charm but it was definitely a cool one. I didn’t know much about Alicante before arriving, but in my mind, it had a bit of a shady bachelor party reputation, however, after checking into my hostel, I put my preconceptions behind me and decided to do what I always do when I arrive somewhere new, look for places to eat. Being in Alicante for only a few meals I knew I had to make them count and the first thing I noticed was how much cheaper Alicante was compared to Menorca. As soon as I escaped the tourist-filled sweeping boulevard that runs parallel to the sea I found cute little bars serving wonderful affordable tapas on par with the tapas in Menorca, but soon happily realized that in Alicante, I could eat and drink well for under $12 (£10) a meal. Here are the places I’d recommend…

Plate of spanish croquettes with honey in alicante
Croquettes—one of the best cheap eats in Alicante 

The best places to visit for cheap eats in Alicante, Spain


I chanced upon Tres Semillas as I was getting off the airport bus ready to search out my hostel, a couple of streets away. Noticing people sitting on the pavement seats outside, chatting to friends and drinking espresso, I marked it in my mind to go back for coffee once I’d checked into my room. Specialising in homemade, incredibly good vegan cakes, they also serve breakfast, freshly squeezed juices, pastries and savoury snacks all at a reasonable price, making it one of the best places for cheap eats in Alicante. I’m not vegan but was super impressed by the Grandma Cake, a kind of layered, biscuity, chocolate cake that you wouldn’t even know was vegan. To go with the cake I ordered horchata, a drink I’d never heard of at the time but have since tried in various other places including Valencia, the city where it's from. Horchata is tiger nut milk served cold and is pretty tasty but definitely not the best drink to have with cake, they were both seriously sweet! The next day I returned for breakfast and ordered a toasted baguette with olive oil and tomato, plus carrot juice and coffee, all for the brilliant price of $3.50 (£3).
Address: Tres Semillas, Av. De la Constitución, 16

cake and Horchata at Tres Semillas in alicante
Horchata, grandma cake and espresso at Tres Semillas


After walking up and down the hill to Santa Bárbara Castle, I was looking for a small bite and cold beer and happily found this place down a side street. Their special montaditos are small sandwiches filled with brilliant combinations of delicious flavours. The first I ordered was called ‘Ivan’, made up of pork loin, foie gras, nougat cream, Maldon salt, rocket and nuts. The second called ‘Sofia’, had won an award in the latest Alicante tapas competition and was filled with pork loin, young garlic, Iberian ham, spicy sauce and a quail egg. At $2.50 (£2) each they were a real bargain—filling and tasty, especially when eaten with a couple of small, cold beers. Who knew Alicante was such a great city for serious food lovers?
Address: Cerveceria Sento Barrio, Calle San Pascual, 7


I love nothing more than finding food markets when I’m away and Spain has some of the best. Open everyday bar Sundays, the central food market sells locally grown fruits and vegetables, incredible meat and fish, as well as some of the cheapest eats in Alicante. Set over two floors, the place has a traditional feel with each counter offering their own specialities—I love how people shop here, rather than buying everything wrapped in plastic at the supermarket. There was even one counter that only sold eggs—a whole stall piled up with different varieties of eggs, how fabulous! While this market is more of a local place to shop you can still pick up some food for a makeshift picnic, there’s jamon for sandwiches, pretty heritage tomatoes to snack on and some of the biggest peaches I’ve ever seen, all at amazing prices.
Address: Mercado Central de Alicante, Av. Alfonso El Sabio, 10

counter full of meat at the central market in alicante
Mercado Central de Alicante

4. OZÚ

This old-school, unpretentious bar is one of my favourite places in Alicante. There are fake flowers in vases on each table, the menu is written in chalk on a blackboard, there’s no air-con, just a fan in the corner of the room and paper red and white pom-poms hang around the bar. The owner—a super friendly guy from Seville—has a banging soundtrack of classic 80s hits that you’ll sometimes hear him sing along to. I found Ozú one evening when I was looking for dinner and promptly ordered a glass of white wine which was served with some fried potatoes and breaded chicken tapas on the house. I wasn’t sure what to order next so let the owner pick a couple of dishes for me, I had chicken and black truffle croquettes and seared tuna cooked with onions, both were flavoursome and delicious and the whole meal, including two drinks, cost less than $12 (£10). Ozú without a doubt serves some of the best tapas I’ve had in Spain and the unpretentious vibe only adds to its charm. 
Address: Ozú, Carrer Pintor Velazquez, 48

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