Spanish Food Culture: The Mealtimes and Culinary Customs of Spain

Spain and their people are full of energy and come from a diverse culture.


The vibrant air of the country mainly comes from their amazing culture and of course - the food. If you are interested in rich selections and dishes full of flavours, you will love Spanish food.


We are going to explore the common timings, names and dishes the common Spaniard would eat and what is included in a typical daily Spanish feast!


Comida is the third Spanish mealtime of the day. It's essentially lunch but is usually served around 2 pm or even later. Eating in Spain: Typical Meals & When to Have Them · Desayuno: El desayuno is the first meal of the day and is the meal that most often gets skipped. 

Unlike other countries where people like to have three meals a day, the Spanish people like to eat more often than an average person.


Here is everything you need to know about the mealtimes and culinary customs of Spain:


1. El Desayuno (Breakfast)

For Spanish people, breakfast is the smallest and lightest meal of the day. It is usually eaten at home between hours 7 am to 9 am.


A common Spanish breakfast would involve:

  • Coffee & Orange juice

  • Jam or cheese-filled rolls or Bollos (Bollo is a bun, popular in Latin America & Spain, made from corn, yuca or potato)

  • Croissants & Pastries

2. Almuerzo (Snack)

The next meal that is a little heavier than the breakfast is the Almuerzo.


It takes place between 10 am to 11:30 am, and is usually called the second breakfast. We can call it ''the snack''-meal.


The snack dishes could be tapas. The main aim is to go out to a bar and socialize. The dishes are served either warm or cold and are served on a small plate with beer or soda.


Here are the few amazing tapas for this time of the day:

  • PATATAS BRAVAS - The fried potatoes topped with a tomato sauce or spicy sauce

  • PAN TOSTADO CON TOMATE Y ALLIOLI - Toasted bread with tomato and garlic mayonnaise.

  • TORTILLA DE PATATAS - Traditional Spanish omelette made with potato and onion, accompanied by allioli.

  • GAMBAS SALTEADAS - Fresh prawns sautéed with garlic and chilli



3. La Comida (Lunch)

The most important and highly nutritious meal in Spain is lunch! It is eaten between 2 pm to 4 pm and is a very hearty meal. It is usually a three-course meal with a drink to make it complete. Here are a few popular dishes:

  • STARTER - Pasta and potato-based salads and vegetables, cold tomato soup (Gazpacho)

  • ENTREÈ - Paella or Seafood dish, a stew, roasted lamb or chicken with potatoes are other favourites

  • DESSERT - Ice cream, fresh fruits or flan.

  • DRINKS - Coffee, or expresso shots




4. La Merienda (Snack)

I usually set between the hours 5 pm to 7 pm, this mid-afternoon snack is usually a bread-based or sweet snack. Here are a few popular Merienda dishes:

  • Churros - They taste like cinnamon doughnuts – but BETTER because you've got crispy ridges.

  • CALAMARES DE LA CASA - Breaded and fried calamari rings (Squid), topped with mayonnaise.

  • Hot chocolate and/or Sangria


Comida is the third Spanish mealtime of the day. It's essentially lunch but is usually served around 2 pm or even later. Eating in Spain: Typical Meals & When to Have Them · Desayuno: El desayuno is the first meal of the day and is the meal that most often gets skipped. 

5. La Cena (Dinner)

Dinner is an important yet light meal of the day. It also comes in small portions. It takes place between 9 pm to 11 pm. Most people like to go out for dinner with friends and family.


Here is what Spanish people have for dinner:

  • Croquettes

  • Potato omelette

  • Fish with a green salad

  • Yoghurt and fresh fruits for dessert

6. After Dinner

Spanish people love to stay up late, especially on weekends; the streets are full of people chatting and enjoying themselves with their friends and family.


Because people stay up late, they like to eat a few things to satisfy untimely hunger. It can be a leftover dish from the day. However, the most common after-dinner dish is a mug of fresh hot chocolate or churros.


Taste the Spanish living today!


Quiero Spanish Restaurant


Your Favorite Spanish Restaurant in Dubai - from the Spanish coast of Valencia to the Dubai desert.



Quiero (I Want) is your Spanish traditional restaurant in Dubai that offers an exciting culinary experience - tapas, paella and mouthwatering Sangria.


Our menu features dishes assembled from the freshest ingredients, that make sure to bring bold and traditional flavours into your life.


Why travel to Spain - when Spain can come to you!


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