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Picture showing the signature dish of our region Paella Valenciana which might be offered as part of a menu del día

Menu Del Día

Great value eating out in Spain with menu del día

In Spain, the menu del día or menu of the day is offered at restaurants during the midday meal, though in our local area many restaurants and bars will offer it as a choice all day long, or sometimes as a menu del noche (evening menu).

The menu del día became a required option for many restaurants in Spain by a law enacted in 1965. The law set standards and pricing for the midday meal to benefit tourism. While initially targeting tourist areas, it became popular throughout Spain by the early 1970s. It also provided a good meal at a reasonable price for workers who couldn’t go home for the midday meal.

Enjoying the menu del día is perhaps one of the most economical ways to eat out. This generously-sized  2 or more course meal is offered all for one inclusice price, normally includes soup or salad, bread as a starter, a main course with a side dish, followed by dessert and coffee. A choice of wine, beer or water is also often included.

In Spain, people typically eat five meals a day. They have an early morning breakfast, another one at around 10 a.m., with lunch between 2 p.m-2:30 p.m., later a dinner at 6:30 p.m. and finally a late-night dinner which is typically served from 9 p.m.

The menu del día is offered for the afternoon meal and as such you will see it posted on restaurant boards during those hours. The traditional work break (siesta) is from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and shops will close during that time.

One of my favourite dishes is a dessert not unlike creme brulee, referred to here in Spain as Crema Catalana or often just as flan – here’s a link to a recipe for crema Catalana, try it for yourself!

Here are a selection of photos of some of the courses you might find


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