Being a typical Spanish working city first and a tourist destination second, it's not surprising there are numerous Spanish restaurants in Alicante. Also boasting a huge amount of tapas bars, it's sometimes difficult to determine which is a bar and which is a restaurant, but the easiest way to define the two is, a restaurant will have table seating and waiting staff, whereas a tapas bar will seldom have seating other than bar stools and usually only bar staff. Others can be a mix of the two where you will find a selection of tapas in a bar top glass enclosure as well as seating areas, waiting staff and a menu of the day or full a la carte menu.
Lizzaran – Established since 1998, Lizzaran are a chain of tapas restaurants found throughout Spain, with three branches in Alicante City including one in the popular Plaza Mar 2 shopping centre. As with chain restaurants worldwide, Lizzaran boasts stylish decor and prompt service including a regular tray service that goes around the tables for those that want to top up their plates. The choice is superb and includes many tapas geared more towards the tourist palate.
La Ereta – As the name suggests, this large and stylish restaurant is situated in the lovely Ereta Park and boasts great city and sea views. The host is a jovial Spaniard who is always available to recommend the best dishes of the day which include delightfully fresh tuna tartar, seared tuna, homemade pates, succulent kid goat and a selection of paellas.
La Mary Restaurant – As can be the case with some Spanish restaurants in Alicante, shoddy service can put diners off, but this is sometimes just be down to the language barrier, and happily the staff at La Mary do try their best. Artichoke hearts are a Spanish speciality and extremely good here, as is the duck breast. Located in the city centre on Calle Castaños 5.
La Taverna del Racó del Pla – With a traditional Spanish facade and intimate seating, including a popular bar area, some of the highlights here include mixed fish & seafood platters, fresh grilled sardines and razor clams, and a variety of hearty soups and stews. La Taverna is located on Calle Navas close to the central market.
Nou Manolín – Extremely popular with the locals, which is always a good sign, depending on what time you arrive you may have to wait for a table but the quality of the food is worth it. This is one of those Spanish restaurants in Alicante that doubles as a tapas bar, but both main meals and tapas are delicious although prices are on the high side. Located on Calle Villegas 3.
Restaurante Don Carlos – Located close to Ereta Park on Calle Gral. Primo de Rivera, the simple facade, seating and decor at Don Carlos lulls diners into thinking the menu may be the same. Well, that is certainly not the case which is immediately evident in the artistic presentation of the fantastic dishes that include some of the best seafood in the city.
Sudeste Alicante – Throughout the world you will find restaurants that have perfected a certain dish or type of food that sends their reputation soaring, and at Sudeste it's their hamburgers. Using quality, fresh ingredients and secret spices, the burgers here are not to be missed. Sudeste can be found on Calle Bazan in the centre of the city.