When Is Breakfast Eaten In Spain?

Spain is the heart of some of the world’s best loved dishes. And the Spanish certainly know what they’re doing when it comes to food!

When Is Breakfast Eaten In Spain?

Spanish cuisine is one of the richest around the world, with a whole range of flavors on offer depending on the dish.

But what about when it comes to mealtimes? How do the Spanish differ from other cultures around the world?

Ever wondered when breakfast is eaten in Spain? Then you’ve come to the right place!

Today, we’re going to cover everything that you need to know about mealtimes in Spain.

We’re going to cover when they eat breakfast, what other types of meals they eat throughout the day, and which meal is typically the largest.

So let’s find out everything that you need to know about breakfast in Spain and when this is typically eaten during the morning!

When Is Breakfast Eaten In Spain?

On the whole, most Spanish people tend to eat their breakfast between the hours of 8am up to 11am, depending on what they do for a living, what they will be getting up to that day, or any other factors that can influence when they choose to have their breakfast. 

For some Spanish patrons, breakfast isn’t considered to be the most important meal of the day, and they will even skip breakfast entirely in favor of lunch.

In this case, the Spanish will typically opt for a beverage such as coffee or tea instead.

The Spanish that do eat breakfast don’t tend to stick to the classic cooked breakfast that is popular in America or the UK.

Instead, they opt for a more traditional Spanish breakfast, featuring churros, los picatostes, croissants, or variants of toast that feature tomatoes, olive oil, or serrano or Iberico ham.

What Time Do Spanish People Eat Their Meals?

So we now know that the Spanish tend to eat their breakfast around 8am to 11am. But what about the rest of their meals?

Lunch is typically considered to be the largest meal of the day, and this is often eaten around 2pm to 3pm depending on the individual’s schedule.

When Is Breakfast Eaten In Spain?

Their lunch break tends to be on the longer side, with businesses opening up again at 5pm once they have finished enjoying lunch. 

Lunch tends to feature lots of bread with appetizers such as more cured meats and cheese, soup, seafood dishes, green salads, desserts, and of course drinks.

Lunch is often served as multiple courses depending on what the Spanish fancy eating that day.

They tend to eat their final meal of the day much later than we would, and usually don’t sit down to enjoy their food until around 9pm to 10pm, or in some cases up until midnight.

For dinner, the Spanish tend to enjoy fresh seafood dishes, lamb, or roast chicken served alongside a portion of rice or fried potatoes.

Unlike us Americans, the Spanish tend to enjoy a much smaller meal in the evening, when they do sit down to enjoy their food.

This is typically because they have had a larger meal earlier on in the day, and don’t require as much energy by the time they sit down to enjoy their evening meal.

How Many Meals Do Spaniards Eat A Day?

The amount of meals that Spaniards eat in a single day can differ from person to person, but the vast majority tend to enjoy between 4 to 6 meals a day.

This is all down to the larger lunch, which has several different courses alone.

So if someone were to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they could be eating as many as 5 or 6 meals depending on the amount of courses served at lunch time.

Why Does Spain Eat So Late?

When Is Breakfast Eaten In Spain?

When us Americans are used to eating to a different schedule, it can be confusing knowing why they tend to eat so late.

So why do the Spanish tend to eat so late? It all comes down to the position of the sun.

Rather than focusing on the time of day that the clock suggests, the Spanish listen to the sun in the sky.

So even though they have a different time zone to the rest of Europe, the Spanish tend to eat around a similar time.

Which Meal Is The Largest Meal Of The Day In Spain?

The largest meal of the day in Spain is lunch. This typically consists of several different courses, and these are usually served alongside wine.

There are often around 5 to 6 different dishes served during the lunchtime period, featuring lots of different dishes.

Soup, rice dishes such as paella, and seafood dishes are popular in Spain at lunchtime.

The vast majority of dinner courses tend to start with a bowl of soup, followed by the main source, and then a salad course.

Dessert finishes up the lunchtime meal for the day, which is then followed by after lunch drinks.

In Summary

So there you have it! You now know that the Spanish tend to eat breakfast between the hours of 8am and 11am depending on their individual schedules.

Some Spaniards don’t tend to have breakfast at all, and will instead opt for a cup of coffee.

These Spanish tend to wait until lunch for their first proper meal, as this tends to be the largest meal that they will enjoy throughout the day.

A typical Spanish breakfast mostly features toast, but with lots of tasty additions such as tomatoes, Spanish ham such as serrano or Iberico ham, or olive oil.

Other popular breakfast treats include croissants, los picatostes, or churros.

Even though breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the Spanish tend to have a much larger lunch.

This usually includes several different courses, as well as wine. Dinner is much smaller than lunch.

Which is certainly an interesting way of tackling your mealtimes for the day!

Andrea Arthur