One of the first things that you notice when you arrive in Barcelona is that this city, like all other cities in Spain, runs on a very different timetable from that which you are probably used to. Locals stay out until all hours of the night on the weekends, dancing the night away, while Sundays are sleepy and almost everything stays closed. And most notably, the meal times are much later than most other countries. That said, what time do people eat their meals in Barcelona?
Most people have a small breakfast before they leave for work or school that usually consists of a coffee, juice, or maybe cereal or fruit for a burst of energy on the way out the door. However, it’s not uncommon to have a second breakfast later in the mid-morning with something a little more substantial to tide your stomach over until lunchtime. This could be toast, a small sandwich, or a pastry like a croissant or a muffin. If you’re looking for a good breakfast or brunch in Barcelona then try Brunch & Cake, a favorite of locals and tourists alike.
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Lunch is the main meal of the day, often consisting of several courses and heavier foods. Most people in Barcelona eat lunch anytime between 1 and 4 pm, with 2:00 or 2:30 usually being the most common. Traditionally, lunch has a first course with something like soup, salad, or vegetables, and is followed by a second course of meat, rice, or maybe pasta. Dessert usually follows these courses and could be something like yogurt or fruit to finish off your heavy meal (and maybe a siesta).
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Coffee and snacks
If you’re walking around the city around 6 pm, you will see that many of the bars and cafes start to fill up as people head out to grab an afternoon coffee or snack. Since dinner is still several hours away, many people have a small snack like coffee, juice, or a pastry to keep their stomach from growling later between lunch and dinner.
Dinner is a lighter meal than lunch and typically is eaten between 9 and 10 pm during the week, although if you go out to dinner on the weekend you might not eat until 11 or 12! People enjoy tapas if they go out to a restaurant, or if you have dinner at home it’s common to have something like fish, soup, or salad for dinner. Just make sure that you give yourself enough time to digest before you head off to bed later.
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