No matter what type of food you may fancy, there are restaurants in Torrevieja that cater for all tastes and budgets, including a wide selection of international choices. For the size of the city there are surprisingly few takeaways and fast food establishments, partly because the Spanish prefer eating healthier food and will rather visit a tapas bar for a snack, and partly because just about every restaurant in the city has a takeaway menu. Aside from the main beach front Burger King on the Paseo Maritimo Juan Aparicio Promenade, there are a few kebab restaurant/takeaways just one block behind the Burger King. A few blocks up from the promenade are a selection of pizza restaurants, including Domino’s and located around the Habaneras Shopping Centre there are a few more takeaways, including the healthier Subway.
Throughout Torrevieja and its residential areas visitors can enjoy authentic Spanish cuisine, either in the form of traditional tapas bars, small family run restaurants with just a scattering of tables and chairs, or more elaborate affairs where bookings for their specialities are required. Fresh fish and seafood features highly on Spanish menus, as does tourist favourites such as paellas, patatas bravas and tortilla (Spanish omelette) Be adventurous when trying Spanish food and you won’t be disappointed. You can sample delights such as rabbit in a red wine sauce, squid cooked in its own ink, and fall off the bone oxtail casserole. For an evening of Spanish entertainment, Villa Salada is a must, with equestrian shows and flamenco dancing accompanied by wonderful food in a glorious setting.
Chinese food is a firm family favourite and you won’t have to go far to find Chinese restaurants in Torrevieja. They are literally all over the city, suburbs and even in the countryside villages. Hungry holidaymakers can enjoy the infamous ”Wok Buffets” where you can eat as much as you like, with some even serving seafood in the menu choice. By and large the Chinese restaurants here are not very imaginative with their signs, and have simple names like Asia Wok or Buffet Oriental, and some just have a sign written entirely in Chinese.
For a more fragrant and spicy taste of Asia, there are a selection of Thai restaurants in the city and a further choice in neighbouring Orihuela Costa. Personally, I find the Thai cuisine in Spain of a higher standard than Chinese, due to the wonderful combination of herbs and spices giving each dish an individual flavour. Don’t get me wrong, I have dined in Chinese restaurants such as Chino Nan King in Villamartin where each dish was delicious and bursting with flavour, but the majority can serve you 4 different dishes that all taste the same, because they all have the same main ingredient, sugar !! For great Thai food, try the Papaya Tree Restaurant located in Centro Comercial, Playa Flamenca.
Britain’s favourite food can be sampled in a number of establishments in Torrevieja, and I’m not talking about a full English breakfast. Yes, you guessed it, Indian food in all its glory awaits visitors to the city. The dishes available on most menus include the milder, butter chicken and korma, medium rogan josh, madras and jalfrezi, and more spicy vindaloo and phaal. Tandoori mixed grills feature highly, and all the usual accompaniments such as riata, mango chutney, popudums and nan breads accompany every meal. For great value, some of the Indian restaurants serve an ”early bird” special where you can get a rice or nan, side dish, main and drink for around 10€ before a certain time in the evening.
For superb fish and seafood, the beach front promenade has a number of restaurants specialising in fresh shellfish and seafood and you will notice that most of them will have further extensive menus. This is the case for the vast majority of restaurants in Torrevieja catering mainly to the tourist trade, and the reason being, with competition being so high, they all want to offer as much as possible in order to cover as many peoples tastes as possible. I always think this must be an absolute nightmare for the chefs and kitchen staff and it also makes me wonder what the quality of such a high number of different dishes is like. Other international restaurants that can be found in the area include Japanese, American and Italian. I have not seen any dedicated vegetarian restaurants in Torrevieja but most include a selection of vegetarian options on their menus.