If you are planning on traveling to Spain, you should know, lunch is totally different from anywhere else around the world. To begin with, lunch time is way latter, but not jut that, it is also the most important meal of the day, therefore, traditional Spanish lunch foods are usually super heavy.
Today we will show you some of the most important traditional Spanish lunch meals as well as many other things you must know about having a typical lunch in Spain.
📋Spanish lunch foods list:
Doesn´t matter if you are at home or visiting the country, if you want to try the best Spanish lunch food recipes, you can´t miss any of the ones we are going to show you below. Here you can find the top 10 Spanish lunch foods:
Of course, we had to start our list of Spanish lunch foods with one of our favorites!
Croquettes are usually eaten as a tapa in bars and restaurants, but they are heavy and in some places their size is huge, so they can perfectly be a first plate or a starter.
Although it is believed croquettes were originated in France, at this point, Spaniards love them so much, that we can even consider it a Spanish meal. There are many kinds of croquettes, but the most famous ones are made with, mushrooms, chicken or jam (which are the Spanish ones) We won´t lie to you, cooking croquettes takes a lot of time, but it is totally worth it, below you can find our recipe.
🥩2. Spanish Pork Chops
Before you say anything, no, Pork Chops are not from Spain, it is an international meal that you will be to try in almost every country in the world, but there are many reasons why we rank them in this list of lunch foods in Spain.
To begin with, here in Spain, almost everyone loves eating meat, therefore pork chops are frequently eaten. Second and most important of all, there is a unique way of making them in Spain, and that´s what we call “Spanish Pork Chops”.
Here is the most popular Spanish Pork Chops recipe.
🍅3. Salmorejo and Gazpacho
Other typical Spanish lunch foods are the Salmorejo and Gapacho. These two dishes are usually eaten as an appetizer, but as it happens with croquettes, some people prefer to get more and eat them as first plate.
Even though this tomato soups look similar, their taste is totally different. Furthermore, there are even people who like one of them, but not the other. The main difference they have, is that Gazpacho is made with pepper and Salmorejo isn´t. In any case, we recommend you trying them both.
Out of all the traditional Spanish lunch dishes, the most famous one is for sure the Paella and we are 100% sure you have heard of it before.
There are many ways of making paella, but the main ingredients will usually be rice, vegetables and either different types of fish or chicken. In case you are vegan or vegetarian, don´t worry because in many places you can also order a paella without meat or fish and it is still delicious.
Paellas can be eaten everywhere in Spain, but the original and best ones are from Valencia, so if you have the chance you should totally visit the area.
🍛5. Cocido Madrileño
Another one of the most popular Spanish lunch foods is the Cocido Madrileño. As its own name says, this meal is typical from the capital of Spain, Madrid.
Cocido Madrileño is a stew made of all kind of meats, noodles and of course chickpeas, it is super heavy, so if you are planning on eating it, make sure your breakfast is lighter that day.
There are two ways of eating this dish, you can either have it all together, or divide it in two plates, the first one with the soup and noodles and the second with the chickpeas and the meat. It is up to you!
🥗6. Pisto Manchego
If you are looking for a healthy Spanish lunch food that doesn´t take much time, the pisto manchego will be the best option.
For those who have never heard of it, pisto is the Spanish version of the French ratatouille. It is mainly made of vegetables such as tomatoes, green pepper, red pepper, onions, garlic, tomato soup… and of course olive oil which it truly matters. Sometimes it is also made with eggs.
This Spanish lunch recipe is super easy to make and will take you between 20-30 minutes, just make sure to cook it correctly.
Migas in English literally means crumbs, it may sound like a super simple plate, but it is pretty heavy. Migas are many times cooked with leftovers from other recipes, because of it, in the past this plate was always made by the lower class.
The situation is different now and migas are eaten by everyone. Furthermore, there are so many different migas recipes that no one can really tell which one is the original.
The most famous migas are from Aragón and La Mancha, but there are also migas from Extremadura and Andalucía. All of them differ from a few ingredients. It is one of the easiest Spanish lunch recipes.
It looks just like paella, both are from Valencia and even the taste is kind of similar, but still, there is a big difference between one and the other, paellas´ main ingredient is rice, while fideua is primarily made with a type of noodle.
We are not going to lie, paella is way better than fiedua, but it is also very good, and it is also one of the most common Spanish lunch foods.
As it happens with paella, you can either make it with fish, meat o just vegetables. Here you have an easy recipe.
In the community of Galicia, in the north of Spain, there is unique way of cooking it, Gallegos are known for making the best octopus in the world.
But the Galician octopus’s recipe is not the only one you will find in Spain, there are more than 50 different styles and that´s the reason why even though there are octopus all over the world, Spaniards take them as one of those typical Spanish lunch dishes you can´t miss.
The other most popular octopus recipe is the Grilled Spanish Octopus. In this article we explain the differences between one and the other and we show you both recipes.
🧆10. Spanish Meatballs
Finally, in this Spanish lunch foods list, we have the meatballs.
Albondigas, which is how they are called in Spanish, are famous for one thing; You will eat them every time you go to Grandma´s house, either that or pasta with tomato sauce, kids love them! Other than eating them for lunch, albondigas are also served as tapas in many bars.
They can be made with many different ingredients, beef, pork, chicken, fish or even a mix of different things. Below you will find an easy and simple recipe.
⏱Lunch time in Spain?
At what time is lunch in Spain? That´s probably the most asked question by tourist when they visit the country. Everyone knows mealtimes in Spain are always super weird, but the worst one of all is lunch. While in most European countries, they eat around 12pm, lunch time in Spain is way later, the average will be between 2 and 3pm.
Luckily, thanks to the tapas and the importance of tourism in Spain, restaurants and bars are usually open all day long, so you will be able to have a lunch whenever you want.
Those are our best Spanish lunch foods ideas and everything you should know about having lunch in Spain, but there are other options. We would love to know, what would you choose if you had to design your own Spanish lunch menu!