I’m currently in Spain looking at several Spanish towns as possible places to move to. Altea in Spain, is a distinct possibility as it fulfills not only all my prerequisites for a new home, it’s top on my list for the most important one – Altea has some of the best cafes and coffee shops on the Costa Blanca.
While some might think it stupid, as a professed coffee lover and coffee shop and cafe addict, any town I live in must have a variety of cool, trendy and comfortable cafes, where I can spend time drinking coffee and writing.The lovely town of Altea on the Costa Blanca in Spain, not only has cafes and coffee shops in spades, they’re all set in stunningly beautiful locations, with many overlooking the Mediterranean, gorgeous promenades and beautiful old Spanish vistas. With so many cafes and coffee shops to choose from in Altea, these are my favorites and the ones I classify as the best in Altea.
The Railway Station Cafe – The most unusual yet lovely cafe in Altea is the small coffee shop at the Altea railway station. Just a tiny two platform station, the Altea railway station has the cutest cafe you’ve ever seen, nestled away at the end of the small ticket office building. With access to the cafe from inside the building at a small counter where you can stand European-style and drink a cafe con leche, or through a door outside the building into the tiny cafe sitting area, this place is simply lovely.
My favorite way to enjoy the Altea railway station cafe though is by ordering a cafe con leche and an apple pie, then taking it outside to sit on the paved patio overlooking the railway platform. Here, sitting at stylish European metal tables, you can watch the passengers arrive for the next train,, see the trains pulling in and leaving, all while looking out over the railway lines to the most gorgeous view of old Altea town up on a hill. Factor in that coffees and cakes here are some of the cheapest in Altea and you cannot miss having coffee here. With only a couple of trains an hour though, try to time it so you’re there when they arrive. That’s the coolest part of all.
Citrus Cafe – I love Citrus Cafe. Only a tiny coffee shop and restaurant in Altea, it’s overlooking Altea’s beautiful waterfront and is owned by the loveliest British man ever. At Citrus Cafe, it’s service with a smile and a joke, a great cafe con leche, delicious scones or apple pie, a good British breakfast and some darn good lunches and dinners too.
At Citrus Cafe, prices are reasonable, there’s a stream of regulars who come again and again (a great place to meet people and make friends), and when you can sit on a patio looking out over Altea’s harbor with the sun shining, palm trees all around and the sound of seagulls, while enjoying one of the best coffees in Altea – seriously, what more could you ask for?
Citrus Cafe is on the promenade, just a few doors down from the Masymas supermarket.
La Barraca – Right on the water front, La Barraca is an unassuming cafe/restaurant that, once you walk through its small front door is a big surprise on the inside. All Spanish bodega, dark and cozy, the interior of La Barraca is cool and trendy with comfy sofas and chairs and mellow Spanish music playing.
The last time I went to La Barraca, I sat outside on the small patio as I love to watch the people walking by. The folks I was with went for cafe con leches with a glass of brandy. I splurged (well, only 3 euros 50 cents – about $5) and had an Irish coffee, which was creamy, rich and delicious and loaded with whiskey.
La Barraca has a full menu of meals and snacks and, throughout the day, serves various specials including apple pie and coffee for only 3 euros 50 cents, coffee and brandy for 3 euros, happy hour beers and mixed drinks and more. The staff at La Barraca is lovely too. You’ll find La Barraca overlooking the water, just a couple of blocks down from Burger King.
Valentine’s – My final choice for one of the best cafes and coffee shops in Altea is a lovely little place called Valentine’s. Run by an English couple, Graham and Tracie, who’ve been in Spain for a couple of years, the first thing you notice upon arrival is the beaming smile and joke from Tracie and an equally friendly and warm welcome from her husband, Graham. (See photo above of the charming couple).
Valentine’s is a wonderful place to stop off, while on a walk on the promenade or coming back from a day on the beach, as there are so many excellent specials to choose from (coffee and brandy, coffee or tea and cake, coffee or tea and an English scone with jam and cream), as well as a large menu of breakfasts and fully-fledged meals for lunch and dinner.
The gammon (ham) and chips at only 4 euros 90 cents ($6) is a steal and the burger and chips, or Cornish pastie, chips and beans are also a cheap yet extremely delicious meal.
Valentine’s is in a perfect location, looking out across the water, and, with the inexpensive prices and delicious food (and yes, I had the scone, cream and jam and it was superb), and the delightful owners, Valentine’s is a sure winner.
You’ll find Valentine’s in Altea on the waterfront, a bit over a block away from the Burger King.