The daily Spanish eating customs are quite different from other countries. This is true when we look more closely at their eating habit. In addition to their tapas and pintxo culture, Spaniards have unique dining hours as well as the la siesta tradition.
Spanish Eating Customs
In Spain, do not expect to dine before 8:30 pm, and do not expect to eat lunch at noon either like other countries, but everything happens a couple of hours later.
Breakfast or El Desayuno
In Spain, breakfast is called El Desayuno. They rarely have breakfast. The breakfast typically consists of a cup of coffee with a croissant or churros because for them breakfast is not really important especially for office workers. The breakfast time usually begins at 10:00 am.
Coffee, Tapas, and Pintxo
It has been known that tapas and pintxo are two eating cultures that are very attached to Spain. After a light breakfast, about at 10:30 am to 11:00 am, the workers enjoy their coffee break time by going to the bar. They drink coffee or beer in small glasses while enjoying tapas or pintxo. This small portion of food can keep their belly until lunch time.
Lunch or La Comida
Lunch is the main meal in Spanish eating customs. Starting from a light menu like soup or salad, then proceed to the main menu like rice, meat, or fish, and covered with fruits or sweet pastry. Lunchtime is at 2.00 pm or 3.00 pm. Usually, Spaniards get 2 to 3-hour break from school or workplace to enjoy lunch with family at home.
The Spaniards have a tradition called La Siesta. La Siesta is a tradition for taking a nap for 15 – 30 minutes between 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm. Because of this tradition, many stores throughout Spain usually close during this break period.
La siesta held because the heat in Spain reaches its peak around 2 pm. So, the people prefer to rest at home until the heat subsides during the break period.
Dinner or La Cena
Because of the long lunch break, Spaniards come back home after work at 8:00 pm. They will have dinner at 9:00 – 10:30 pm. Even in summer, the dinner time can start in the middle of the night at 12.00 am.
The dinner menu is lighter than the lunch menu. They usually eat seafood, grilled chicken, or roasted goat with vegetable salad, fries or rice. After dinner, they will go to the pub or nightclub then just go home at 6 am.
The daily Spanish eating customs are quite different from other countries. In Spain, do not expect to dine before 8:30 pm, and do not expect to eat lunch at noon either like other countries, but everything happens a couple of hours later.