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Eating and drinking well in Spain is easy, providing you can sync your schedule to Spanish mealtimes.
Breakfast, typically a coffee and a pastry first thing, is easy enough to get on board with. That’s usually followed by la comida (lunch). This is the main meal, with most restaurants serving a three-course menú del día (menu of the day). Post siesta, many Spaniards indulge in la merienda (an afternoon snack) before eating tapas (snacks), pintxos (snacks in Northern Spain), raciones (shared platters) or montaditos (open sandwiches) with drinks during a late dinner.
Seaside resorts serve up ample fresh fish. Cities such as Barcelona and Madrid, meanwhile, are famed for their staggering number of restaurants, which range from rustic tapas bars to molecular fine-dining establishments.
Valencia is the birthplace of the revered paella, a dish that comes in many guises. Traditionalists stick with the original recipe, which features rabbit, chicken, beans and snails, while other less purist chefs pander to tourist preferences, piling seafood and shrimp on top of the saffron-flavoured rice.
Spain is also at the forefront of fine dining with more of the world’s current best restaurants based here than any other country on the globe.
To sample the fantastic foams and artful edible creations of Spain’s most imaginative chefs, head for San Sebastián and the Basque Country. Here, lots of regional establishments have been bestowed with a generous smattering of Michelin stars as well as other impressive culinary accolades.
The World’s Best Restaurant for 2015, El Celler Can Roca (Calle Can Sunyer, 48) is also in Spain, in Catalonia’s Girona region.
Fancy a nightcap or a calorie-busting boogie after your evening meal? Learn more about the after-hours action on our Spain nightlife page.