Especially in summertime the Valencians often meet with friends in a Horchateria. A Horchateria serves home-made Horchata as well as many different types of granizados (slush), coffees, sweets, ice cream and coffee. In the winter months some horchaterias are closed and some sell churros instead. Of course with a thick hot chocolate. Have a look out for Buñuelos, again such a nice local delicacy.
A horchata is a cold drink made of Chufa, this is a tiger nut also called earth almond but it is actually a tuber. You can also eat these nuts, try them in a horchateria or buy them on the market. Then let them sit in water overnight, then they are much nicer!
These chufa’s are very healthy a true superfood! They contain fibers, magnesium, potassium and many more nutrients.
The horchata is made of chufa, sugar and water, it is served at 2 degrees. You can also order it as granizado or try different types of coffee or ice cream.
Order a farton (try not to laugh when ordering) to go with your horchata. This is a very light, croissant dough-like breadstick with icing or powdered sugar. You should dip the Farton into the horchata.
The chufa is being cultivated in the north of Valencia in Alboraya. You can easily get there by metro and there is also a nice cycling route so you can cycle through the Valencia countryside. There are really authentic Horchaterias in Alboraya full of Valencian families. If you are in Valencia with children then I recommend the Horchateria Vida they have a playground.
One of the popular horchaterias is Horchateria Daniel in Alboraya. No chance to go out of town, this same Horchateria you can find in the Mercado Colon.
You will find me drinking horchata in the 100 year old family business, horchateria collado, close to the mercado central. Not the fanciest but a true traditional horchateria with great quality, friendly service and I love the handwritten menu cards.
See here a video about the horchata I have made with the cooperation of Horchateria Collado.
You can also taste the horchata during the culinary tour of Tours in Valencia.