Menu del Dia

Spanish menu: Tortilla española, champiñones...
Noelia Ramon - TellingLife / Getty Images

During the midday meal or "la Comida" as it is known in Spanish culture, the menu del Dia or Menu of the Day is offered at restaurants.

The menu del Dia normally includes a soup or salad, main course with a side dish and dessert -- and it is offered all for one price. The menu del Dia is the most economical way to eat in Spain.

In Spain, people typically eat five meals a day. They have an early morning breakfast, another one at around 10 a.m., lunch at around 2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m., then they have a dinner at 6:30 p.m. A late-night dinner is typically served at 9a.m.

That's a lot of meals, right? 

The Menu Del Dia

Since economic issues arose in the country, restaurants started to offer the menu del Dia. It aims to give people food at a reasonable price. Workers have the chance to leave the office during the middle of the day, so the menu del Dia fits right in. It also offers a low-cost option for them to eat well when they have the chance.

In Spanish, the word menu means la carte. So if you ask the waiter at a restaurant about the menu, they'll probably talk about the menu of the day. You can choose between three different plates that are on the first menu of the day, three others on the second menu of the day, and then a dessert that's on the dessert menu. A glass of water, beer or wine is often included with bread. The first menu is noted as El Primer Plato, while the second is El Segundo Plato. El Postre is the dessert. 

If you order a menu del Dia, you will need to add a tip on to the fee, which should be between 8 euros and 14 euros.

 

If a restaurant does not have their menu del Dia listed, that does not mean it’s not available. You can ask the server if they have the menu of the day available by asking, “Hay un menu del Dia?” If it is available, the waiter can probably tell you then. 

Pay attention to where you eat in Span. Some offer low-quality food, so you may want to eat at a place that offers the menu del Dia.

A good tip is to consult locals for the best meals or see where the crowds go -- they typically know where the best spots are located.

And remember that you don't have to eat from the menu of the day; you can order from the full menu as well. Perhaps you don't want a larger meal and only want something small, so think about what you want to eat -- and where you want to eat -- before you go out.