Spanish eating habits: all you need to know

Spanish Eating Habits: All You Need To Know

Are you moving to Spain in the next months? If you’re not from a Mediterranean country, their eating habits may seem somehow strange.
But don’t feel lost! When gathering together with your friends around the table there are a few things you need to know. Live a genuine experience 😉

Spanish eating habits: a genuine lunchtime from the beginning to the end

This is pretty much how you should behave during lunchtime in Spain to pass unnoticed (when there is free time, of course, as lunchtime at work is so much different). Take good note!

    1. Wait until 2pm minimum

      It’s not very common to see a Spaniard having lunch before 2pm. In fact, during the weekends the usual time to start is from 2pm to 3:30. The mindset behind this is: why be in a hurry if we can make the most out of the morning?

      Eating habits in Spain: traditions

    2. Lay the table, sit down and wait (a little bit)

      Laying the table is a key part of it. It’s done slowly, by several people, and it’s an experience itself. The informal conversation starts now, so make sure to keep tuned!
      Once the table is ready and cooking has finished, people start to sit down. Lunch really doesn’t start until everyone has been served and the diners wait until that moment to go for the dishes.

    3. Relax: lunchtime was made for enjoyment

      Yes, Spanish lunchtime was made for enjoyment! It’s the perfect time to catch up with each others life…a time of sharing. Some of the most funniest memories of your stay abroad will undoubtedly happen around a table!

      Spanish eating habits

      Source: Chris Sloan (

    4. Choose the correct topic

      How? Well, you will be expected to talk about informal things. Try not to mention too controversial issues! And, of course, make several comments about the food and how nice it is…and how you missed this or that traditional dish. It’s completely necessary to praise the cooker (whilst you don’t stop eating).

      Spanish food cooking

    5. Take your time during sobremesa time

      When diners have finished eating, plates are removed and sobremesa time starts. Lunchtime in Spain implies some minutes (or even hours!) of small talk. With a coffee or beer or tea in hand, prepare yourself for the best Spanish eating habit of all.

      Sobremesa Source: Apetitu (

    6. Talk about when you will meet again

      Every mealtime in Spain finally ends with the same question: “So, when will we meet again?” When you hear that sentences, you can be sure that lunchtime has finished.

Have you lived this great experience? Feel free to add any other eating habits you found peculiar!

Spanish eating habits

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