There is so much food to eat in Spain and even a few months after my visit, I am still thinking about it. Eating out is relatively cheap and I am going to share with you how to save the most money while eating in Spain (*Warning: This post might cause you to drool*)

Before starting in on what to eat and where to eat, you should first know WHEN to eat, as Spain has it’s own time system for eating meals, which can take some adjusting to get used to.

Mealtimes in Spain

  • Breakfast (El Desayuno): early in the morning to about 10 am – eat light!
  • Lunch (La Comida): 2:00 pm – 4:30pm/5:00pm – eat the Menú del día (see below)
  • Dinner (La Cena): 9:00pm – Midnight
  • Tapas & Merienda: eaten throughout the day when you are not eating your regular meal

Saving Money: Menú del día (aka Menú)

The Menú del día is the main meal of the day and can also be one of your most inexpensive meals of the day. It comes with El Primer (your appetizer), El Segundo (the main course), El Postre (your dessert), and a beverage ( I usually went for Tinto de Verano – pictured below).

Drumroll…. What to Eat & Drink in Spain

Churros con Chocolate

A ‘typical’ Spanish breakfast, churros dipped in chocolate is a heavenly treat that will excite your mouth! The picture below was taken at the famed Chocolatería San Ginés in Madrid.

Churros con Chocolate


Bocadillos de Calamares

Sandwiches with fried calamari inside. Absolutely delicious!

Bocadillos de Calamares

Tortilla Española

Spanish tortilla; Egg filled with potatoes and onions. No photograph, but see the video below  where my CS host family made it for me on my first night.

Boquerones en Vinagre

Anchovies in vinegar. Also, not pictured but in the video below.


Tinto de Verano

Tinto de verano is a summer drink comprised of wine and a light soda served over ice. The drink is very cool and refreshing. When many people think of drinking in Spain, they think of sangria, but the Spanish actually prefer to drink tinto de verano (or ‘tinto’).

Tinto de Verano



Paella is a food that is best known for coming from the southern region of Spain, but can be found throughout the country. It is a mixture of rice, vegetables, and seafood.

Paella de Marisco in Madrid


Where To Eat in Spain

There are a lot of wonderful restaurants in Spain. Below are my personal favorites from my trip, and some links to finding more great places to eat! (Note: Avoid eating in overpriced areas such as Plaza Mayor and Sol). 

  • La Campana (Calle de las Botoneras, 6, Madrid, Spain) – Cheap bocadillos de calamari at 2,80 Euro each and almost NO tourists
[Yelp Reviews]
  • Cal Pep (Plaça de les Olles, 8, Barcelona, Spain) – Amazing fresh food. My favorite meal in Spain. A little on the pricey side. Get there 30 minutes early. [Yelp Reviews]
  • Lavapiés (Madrid, Spain) – There is a street in this neighborhood that is full of different foods in this area; great place for eating lunch and people-watching
  • Cervecería 100 Montaditos (Madrid, Barcelona) – Extremely cheap miniature bocadillos
  • Have you tried any of these foods or others during your trip to Spain? Which were your favorite(s)?

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