Expat shares what Britons 'must know' about eating in Spain - popular British custom is 'not a big deal' there

Expat shares what Britons 'must know' about eating in Spain - popular British custom is 'not a big deal' there

Spain boasts nearly 8,000km of beautiful coastline

YouTube / Spain
Anna Barry

By Anna Barry

Published: 24/02/2024

- 10:00

Updated: 28/02/2024

- 07:34

Spaniards typically enjoy a light breakfast and have their main meal at lunchtime

Spain is a very popular destination among British tourists, as well as those who want to relocate.

However, Britons may find that life in Spain is very different from life in the UK. According to an expat, non-Spaniards may be shocked to find that breakfast isn't popular in this European country.

James, a Kiwi who has been living in Spain for 12 years, shared what people visiting Spain "must know" before arriving.

Sitting down to meals might be a little different in Spain than in other parts of the world, including the UK.

Are you an expat and have a story to share about your new life? Contact our team by emailing lifestyle@gbnews.uk and share your top tips.

Woman eating pastry / James from Spain Revealed

An expat revealed that Spaniards typically go for something light for breakfast, such as a pastry

GETTY IMAGES / YouTube / Spain Revealed

"Generally, breakfast isn't a big deal in this country. It's really light," James said on his YouTube channel Spain Revealed.

This might be a bit of a culture shock for Britons, who are famed for their love of full English breakfasts. If you are visiting Spain, expect something minimal in the morning.

What's more, locals typically eat different breakfasts depending on where in Spain they live.

James said: "In Madrid, in the mornings we'll have something sweet with a cup of coffee.

"In Catalonia we'll have pan con tomate, which is bread with tomato on it - delicious.

"In the south you might have bread with almost like a pork spread pâté on it."

Lunch is considered to be the "big meal" of the day in Spain, and it is usually eaten between the hours of 2pm and 4pm. On weekends this meal will be enjoyed leisurely.

Dinner is eaten "very late" in the evenings, from around 9:30pm. The expat revealed that in the south this can get even later, with people often tucking into their final meal at around 10pm.

English breakfast

The Full English breakfast is world-renowned and many Britons love this morning meal


The expat provided a warning about the coffee in Spain. He claimed that the coffee can sometimes be a little "bad" in traditional places - "it's getting better but be ready for it".

Another thing non-residents should be aware of when visiting is that some aspects of Spanish life are "rapidly changing", including the way tapas is enjoyed.

Despite living in the beautiful country for more than a decade, James admitted that there is something he "hates" about life in Spain - and it's very popular.

He revealed which beloved vegetable dish served in Spain is his "arch nemesis".

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