Blog, Europe, Travel

October 9, 2017

What to Eat in Spain

When I made the decision to study abroad in Spain, I took a huge leap outside of my comfort zone. I was knowledgeable about the top sites, but not much else. Especially not food. For the girl who grew up on boxed mac and cheese, Eggo waffles and kids cuisines, trying new foods is very much my weakness. I did not know what to eat in Spain or if I would even enjoy the food.

I knew that tapas were a Spanish staple, but had many questions about these tapas. Do we eat tapas for breakfast, lunch and dinner? What time do we eat said tapas? What are typical tapas and do they differ from the American restaurant Eclipse de Luna? In hopes that I am not the only one with these questions, let me break down the typical comida (food) in Spain. I think some things might surprise you!


what to eat in spain quotes



Carbs. Simply put, carbs. This was the hardest part of acclimating to Spanish culture. I am used to starting my day with protein, fruits and veggies. True story – I didn’t eat protein until my second week in Spain. Cue my health panic mode.

  • Croissant
  • Toast with jam
  • Cheese and ham
  • Baguette
  • Tea & Coffee



Meal #2 is typically the largest meal of the day. Spaniards like to take their time at meals during the day, a stark contrast to our typical American 1 hour lunch break. Most Spaniards will head home for a nice cooked meal.

  • Chorizo and lentils
  • Garbanzo bean soup
  • Escargot (snails) – ok, not my favorite, but worth a try. I woke up to my host mom boiling a pot of live snails one day. Naturally, I was anxious for my snail eating time to arrive. However, mixed in with Paella, these little fellows proved to be a fine source of protein (finally!).
  • Bocadillo (sandwich) – if you’re on the go, you will pack a bocadillo. They vary in fillings, but most are tortilla de patatas (cheese potatoes) or ham and cheese.


what to eat in spain garbanzo beans


what to eat in spain sandwich



Dinner is served around my bedtime, 10pm and features lighter fare. Dinner is a meal where Spaniards take their time. They sit outside and enjoy a glass of Sangria. After a meal, they take in churros con chocolate. Spain has a very social culture and you will clearly witness this if you walk around town during dinner.

  • Soup
  • Mixed Salad
  • Jamón – fried, pan seared, grilled, pretty much anyway you can slice it
  • Rice with scrambled egg and tomato sauce
  • Gazpacho – a cold, tomato-y soup.


what to eat in spain paella



My personal favorite meal of the day. Is it a meal? I think so.

  • Churros con Chocolate – sugary, fried churros dipped in warm, rich chocolate sauce.
  • Gelato – give me alllll the nutella flavors.


what to eat in spain gelato


what to eat in spain churros



  • Sangria – the typical Spanish drink that combines red wine, brandy, orange slices, lemons and sugar.
  • Tinto de Verano – often referred to as a poor man’s Sangria, it contains soda, red wine and lemons.
  • Cava – the Spanish version of champagne, mostly made in the Catalan region


Now that you know what to eat in Spain, take a look at where to eat in popular Spanish cities such as Madrid, Ronda, Granada and Barcelona.

  1. […] dish.  If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll love Spanish cuisine. Two years ago, I embarked on a two-week food and wine tour of Spain. You can read more about it here. Not only did I taste Michelin-starred food, but I had […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *