The Most Popular Lunch in Spain, Ranked

Choose the lunch you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 9, 2024 07:02
When lunchtime rolls around in Spain, the options are as diverse as the regions themselves, each offering a unique culinary experience. Understanding which meals capture the heart of local and visitor palates alike can be a delightful yet complex discovery. A ranked list of popular lunches provides clarity and insight, helping people make informed choices about where to dine or what to cook when they crave authentic Spanish fare. This dynamic listing not only reflects current culinary trends but also influences them by highlighting popular choices and lesser-known gems. By participating in voting, users contribute to a broader understanding of food preferences across Spain, shaping a community-driven guide to the nation's beloved lunches. It's a continuous celebration of cultural heritage and gastronomic innovation, inviting everyone to actively shape the gastronomic landscape.

What Is the Most Popular Lunch in Spain?

  1. 1


    A traditional Valencian rice dish that can have seafood, meat, and vegetables.
    • Origin: Valencia, Spain
    • Main Ingredients: Rice, saffron, olive oil, green beans, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck) or seafood
  2. 2


    Breadcrumbed fried food roll containing usually as main ingredients mashed potatoes and/or ground meat.
    • Variations: Ham, chicken, fish, mushrooms
    • Served: Hot
  3. 3


    A cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables. A classic summer dish.
    • Main Ingredients: Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar
    • Region: Andalusia
  4. 4

    Calamares a la Romana

    Squid rings battered and fried, often served with lemon and mayonnaise or alioli.
    • Common Name: Fried calamari
    • Serving: Appetizer, Main dish
  5. 5

    Ensaladilla Rusa

    Spanish version of the Olivier salad, made with boiled vegetables and mayonnaise.
    • Main Ingredients: Potatoes, peas, carrots, boiled eggs, mayonnaise
    • Often Includes: Tuna, olives, pimientos
  6. 6


    A Spanish sandwich made with Spanish bread cut lengthwise, filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables.
    • Variations: Numerous, including jamón, chorizo, tortilla española
    • Popular Condiments: Olive oil, tomato
  7. 7

    Churros con Chocolate

    Fried-dough pastry typically served with a thick hot chocolate.
    • Origin: Spain
    • Typically Served: Breakfast or snack, but can be enjoyed any time
  8. 8


    Spanish ratatouille, a vegetable stew with tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, garlic, and olive oil.
    • Often Served With: Eggs or chorizo
    • Region: La Mancha
  9. 9

    Jamón Ibérico

    A type of cured ham produced in Spain and Portugal, made from the Iberian pig.
    • Curing Time: At least 24 months
    • Distinctive Feature: Rich, savory taste and marbled appearance
  10. 10

    Tortilla Española

    Spanish omelette made with eggs, potatoes, and onions, often served as a cold tapa.
    • Also Known As: Tortilla de Patatas
    • Typical Serving Time: Lunch, Dinner, Tapas

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular lunch in Spain. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or lunch is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 57 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each lunch once every 24 hours. The rank of each lunch is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Lunch in Spain

Rank #1 for the most popular lunch in Spain: Paella (Source)
In Spain, lunch holds great importance. It is the main meal of the day. People often take a break from work to enjoy it. Lunch usually starts around 2:00 PM. It can last up to two hours. This meal is not just about food. It is also a time for socializing and relaxation.

Traditionally, lunch in Spain consists of three courses. The first course is light. It often includes vegetables or soup. This course prepares the stomach for the main dish. The main dish is more substantial. It usually features meat or fish. It is served with a side of potatoes, rice, or salad. The third course is dessert. It can be fruit, yogurt, or a sweet treat.

Many Spaniards enjoy a drink with their lunch. Wine and beer are common choices. Some prefer a soft drink or water. After lunch, people often have a coffee. It helps them feel awake for the rest of the day.

Lunch in Spain is a time to slow down. People take their time to eat and talk. It is common to see families and friends gathered around the table. They share stories and enjoy each other's company. This tradition reflects the Spanish way of life. It values community and connection.

In cities, many workers go home for lunch. This is possible because of the long lunch break. In smaller towns, it is even more common. However, in big cities, some people eat out. Restaurants offer set menus for lunch. These are affordable and filling. They include a first course, a main dish, dessert, and a drink.

The ingredients used in Spanish lunches are fresh and local. Spain has a rich agricultural tradition. Many dishes include olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes. These ingredients add flavor and nutrition. Seafood is also popular, especially along the coast. Spain's diverse regions influence its cuisine. Each area has its own specialties and flavors.

Over time, lunch customs in Spain have evolved. In the past, people ate heavier meals. Nowadays, some prefer lighter options. This change reflects modern lifestyles. Yet, the essence of lunch remains the same. It is a time to pause and enjoy life.

Lunch in Spain is more than just a meal. It is a cultural experience. It brings people together. It celebrates food, family, and tradition. This midday break is a cherished part of Spanish life. It shows the importance of balance and enjoyment.

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