Where to find American food in Valencia

  • February 13, 2024

Living in Valencia as an American expat offers a wealth of culinary delights, with various options to satisfy even the most discerning palate. When it comes to finding your favorite American foods and alternatives in Spain, two prominent supermarket chains often come to mind: Consum and Mercadona.

Say goodbye to long cereal aisles when you live in Spain. One American food in Spain you will have to compromise around is cereals. Consum has more choices here but still not near the levels of the United States.

American cereals in Spain

Consum, known for its extensive selection of fresh produce and local products, is a popular choice among expats seeking quality ingredients for home-cooked meals.

On the other hand, Mercadona, with its wide range of imported goods and competitive prices, caters to those looking for convenience without compromising on variety. Both supermarkets offer ample options and have multiple locations across Valencia, making them easily accessible to residents.

Top 10 hard to find American foods in Spain include:
  1. Peanut butter: While peanut butter is available in Spain, it may not be as widely consumed or available in as many varieties as in the United States. Buy Captain Mani here >
  2. Breakfast cereals: Certain popular American breakfast cereals, particularly those with unique flavors or brands, may be more challenging to find in Spanish supermarkets. Consum has a larger selection than Mercadona,
  3. Marshmallows: While marshmallows can be found in Spain, they may not be as prevalent or available in as many varieties as in the US, especially for baking purposes. Consum has these, not many though.
  4. Ranch dressing: Ranch dressing, a staple condiment in American cuisine, may not be as commonly used or readily available in Spain. Gonna need the American Store for this and expensive.
  5. Graham crackers: Graham crackers, often used in desserts like s’mores or pie crusts, may be harder to find in Spain, although similar alternatives may be available. Have not seen these yet.
  6. American-style barbecue sauce: While barbecue sauce is available in Spain, American-style barbecue sauces with specific regional flavors may be more challenging to find. Plenty of similar alternatives. You will also save alot on the price of ribs and the quality of pork is much better in Spain.
  7. Pumpkin puree: Canned pumpkin puree, commonly used in American recipes like pumpkin pie, may be less common in Spanish supermarkets outside of the autumn season. Good luck with this. American store stocks some around Thanksgiving.
  8. Macaroni and cheese: While pasta and cheese are readily available in Spain, pre-packaged macaroni and cheese mixes similar to those popular in the US may be harder to find. This isn’t hard to find really, just less choice.
  9. American-style hot dogs: While hot dogs are available in Spain, American-style hot dogs with specific brands or flavor profiles may be less common. Plenty of options for this at Mercadona. Cheaper and better tasting.
  10. Maple syrup: While maple syrup can be found in specialty stores in Spain, it may be more expensive and less widely used compared to other sweeteners like honey or agave syrup. Good luck with this. American store stocks some,
Where to find American food in Valencia, Spain

However, despite the abundance of options, Americans living in Valencia may find some of their favorite American foods in Valencia and favorite items less readily available compared to the US. For instance, specific brands of peanut butter, pancake syrup, or certain types of breakfast cereals may not be as common on Spanish supermarket shelves. In such cases, expats can explore specialty stores like Taste of America or The British Store, which cater to international tastes and stock a wide range of imported goods. Alternatively, online retailers such as Amazon or El Corte Inglés offer a convenient solution for sourcing hard-to-find items, albeit at a higher price point. El Corte Inglés is a very expensive store for everything and American food in Spain is no exception.

Missing the American style peanut butter in Spain? Captain Mani to the rescue. 3 Euro a jar on Amazon Fresh. It is very close to Skippy or Jif in flavor and texture.

Moreover, for those craving a taste of home, Valencia boasts a burgeoning expat community with various international grocery stores and delicatessens catering to diverse culinary preferences. Places like Global Food, Casa del Americano, or The English Butcher offer a curated selection of imported goods, including American staples like BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or marshmallow fluff. Additionally, farmers’ markets such as Mercado Central or Mercado de Colón provide an excellent opportunity to discover local and artisanal products while mingling with vendors and fellow food enthusiasts. When it comes to American food in Valencia the markets will help with meat dishes and turkeys.

What fast food places are in Valencia, Spain?

In addition to supermarkets and specialty stores, American expats in Valencia can also find familiar tastes at various franchise outlets and fast-food chains scattered throughout the city. From beloved burger joints like McDonald’s and Burger King to coffee giants such as Starbucks and Dunkin’, Valencia offers a range of popular chains where expats can indulge in their favorite treats. These establishments are often located in key tourist areas, shopping centers, and transportation hubs, making them easily accessible to residents and visitors alike. Whether craving a classic burger, a comforting cup of coffee, or a sweet indulgence, American expats can find solace in these familiar franchises, providing a taste of home amid the vibrant culinary landscape of Valencia.

What about finding Thanksgiving dinner items in Spain?

As Thanksgiving approaches, American expats in Valencia may find themselves longing for the traditional flavors of a classic Thanksgiving dinner. While sourcing all the ingredients for this festive feast in Valencia may require a bit of creativity, fear not—several local establishments cater to expats seeking to recreate the iconic flavors of Thanksgiving. Turkey, the star of the show, can often be found at butcher shops like Carnicería Benimaclet or larger supermarkets like Consum and Mercadona. Cranberry sauce, a quintessential accompaniment, may be available at specialty stores such as Taste of America or The British Store. The larger supermarkets will be able to get you a turkey but will have a waiting list and must be preordered in advance. We ended up paying $45 for a larger turkey here in Valencia, Spain when we were able to find a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner here in Valencia. Sadly we have had little luck with finding pumkpin pie in Spain. You can get it from bakeries in Russafa that will overcharge you for them but they are not very good.

The good news? All the produce is better tasting in Spain.

Additionally, potatoes for mashing or sweet potatoes for baking can be found at local markets like Mercado Central or Mercado de Colón. Other Thanksgiving essentials, such as stuffing mix, pumpkin pie filling, and gravy, can be sourced from international grocery stores like Global Food or Casa del Americano. You will be better off buying the dried bread and making stuffing from scratch than paying $4-5 a box at a Taste of America location. With a bit of planning and resourcefulness, American expats in Valencia can gather all the ingredients needed to create a memorable Thanksgiving dinner, celebrating the spirit of gratitude and togetherness even while far from home.

In essence, while adapting to the culinary landscape of Valencia may require some adjustments, American expats can rest assured knowing that the city offers ample resources and alternatives to satisfy their gastronomic cravings. Whether it’s exploring local markets for fresh produce, browsing supermarket aisles for everyday essentials, or seeking out specialty stores for familiar favorites, Valencia provides a rich tapestry of food experiences waiting to be savored.

All this above said? You will have your hands full with the superior flavors, produce, pork and choices in Spain and should focus on the endless choices of new!

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