Spain: Food & Drink
Food in Spain is not simply a way to stave off hunger, but rather is an experience that has become a massive part of what makes the country unique. For North Americans, breakfast has traditionally been considered the most important meal of the day, but in Spain, it is lunch. Spread out over multiple courses, people generally devote quite a bit of time to this meal, traditionally served between 1:30-3:30 pm. As a result of such a large meal, dinner is a considerably lighter affair and is generally eaten much later than in North America.
Various regions of Spain have varying specialties. The interior is known for its meat dishes including roasts and suckling pigs. The east coast is popular for its rice dishes, while northern Spain boasts sausages and seafood. As a nation with long coastlines, naturally fresh seafood is not hard to come by.
Popular dishes include:
Paella: a rice dish that is flavoured with saffron and other local spices. A dish commonly associated with Spain, Paella is traditionally served with shellfish, chicken, sausage and peppers.
Chorizo: This dish consists of slices of smoked pork sausage that has been seasoned with smoked paprika.
Gazpacho: Originating in Andalusia, Gazpacho is a tomato-based soup that is served cold.
Croquetas: These are small fritters served with béchamel sauce and ham, tuna or cod.
Pimientos rellenos: This dish consists of skinless red peppers that have been stuffed with either tuna or cod.
Tapas: Another cultural element closely associated with Spain is Tapas. It is a wide variety of appetizers or snacks that can be made up of hot or cold elements. Tapas is meant to encourage conversation, as diners aren’t solely focused on one main meal.
For Spaniards, wine is considered the national drink and is produced throughout the country. No matter where one travels, they are sure to come across tasty wines. Wine may be the national drink, but Sangria is arguably the most popular. It is a red wine punch flavoured with oranges, lemons, seltzer and sugar. Beer, or cerveza, is another common drink in Spain with domestic brands including: San Miguel, Mahou, Aguila and Cruz Blanca.
Things to Know:
While tipping isn’t a major part of Spanish culture, between 5-10% is acceptable for good service.
Remember: Because lunch is served later, and for longer, most restaurants open later for dinner than North American travellers may be used to. It is important to keep this in mind when dining out.
16 for wine and beer, 18 for spirits.
Spain Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Spain.
Learn about the history and culture of Spain, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Spain's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with Country Quickfacts compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Spain for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Spain tours today!
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