Now an exquisite delicatessen, Paella started out on a rather unfortunate note. This famous rice dish which stands synonymous to Spanish cuisine was born out of humble efforts of the poor farmer’s and peasants who threw together everything they had in a pot or a ‘paella’. And that’s how this iconic dish was born. There are other rice dishes from Spain, but nothing comes close to paella. It is widely claimed that the Valencian rice makes the best paella. If you’re on a Spanish trip, or even better, road trip, we might just know where you can find the best paella in the region. Hold your breath, people. By Shubhanjana Das

1. Casa Elías (Monovar – Alicante)

There must be something about Casa Elias that makes it popular among locals, domestic tourists, and food critics alike. It’s their paella, arguably the best in Spain. We can’t tell you about the menu of Casa Elias for all we really know is about its Paella — a delectable and masterful preparation of rice with rabbit and snails, herbs, and slowly cooked on firewood.

2. La Cuina Mediterranea de Galbis (L’Alcudia – Valencia)

Valencian people are proud and boastful of their paella and there are a hundred restaurants that could be named from Valencia itself (sadly, we can’t include home recipes). As for this particular one, Valencian waterfowls and vegetable from the garden are what make Gablis’s paella the best in Valencia.

3. Restaurante Cheriff (Barcelona)

Make sure you don’t take a U-Turn from this humble-looking restaurant for it houses the secret to the best paella in Barcelona. With fresh seafood from the port, it’s no doubt that the daughter Cheirff and the son-in-law who run the place, have made this restaurant a legacy of Barcelona itself.

4. Que si quieres arroz Catalina (Madrid)

Sitting proud in the heart of Casa de Compo in Madrid is Chef Rafa Morales and his secret and 14 years’ worth of experience in making paella right in Que si quieres arroz Catalina. Paella stewed in duck stock and accompanied with rabbit, artichokes or snails is the norm here and Madrid as well as Spain seems to be head over heels about it

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