What is a typical Spanish breakfast?

Have you ever heard about a typical Spanish breakfast? What is a typical Spanish breakfast and what food do they eat in Spain for breakfast? Discover what is this and how it works and what Spanish people put in their coffee when enjoying breakfast. The rest of the world can permit themselves a lazy breakfast on the weekend. In Spain the daily breakfast is sacred. All of us who travel a lot perfectly know what means the concept of “English breakfast” or “Continental breakfast”. When you travel to Spain, you should know that breakfast is almost the most important meal of the day and it is quite elaborate. So do not be surprised when passing by a typical Spanish bar in the morning you will see people drinking their morning coffee with a tostada, pan con tomato (tomato bread), tortilla (omelette) or “bocadillo” (sandwich).

Actually, it’s difficult to define what a typical Spanish breakfast is, because of multiple regions with very different habits.

In every corner of this amazing country, you won’t be missing a cup of coffee. But, you should know, if you come from one of those countries where people drink 0,4l of coffee, you’ll be surprised. Spanish people used to drink only the third part of yours. After tasting it for the first time, you should admit Spanish coffee has much more caffeine.

The essentials of a Spanish Breakfast in Barcelona

When seeing a Spanish breakfast, mostly enjoyed in the early mornings in bars, and small stalls around the cities and villages, it doesn’t look that spectacular on first but it can contain the following ingredients:

  • coffee in different variations
  • orange juice
  • small sandwiches in baguettes with iberic ham
  • toasts with jam/marmalade (sweet)
  • toasts with tomato (salty)
  • toasts with ham and cheese
  • potato omlett

How to ask for a cup of coffee the Spanish way?


  • “Café con leche” = coffee with milk
  • “Café solo” = black coffee (short)
  • “Café Espresso”= Espresso
  • “Cortado”= Espresso with milk
  • “Café Doble Espresso” = double espresso
  • “Café Descafeinado” = Without coffein
  • Or if you want:

  • Café con leche y tortilla = coffee with milk and a piece of tortilla

How to order a coffee with milk, an orange juice and a Iberic ham sandwich

English: “Hi, can I please have a coffee with milk, an orange juice and a ham sandwich. Thanks.”
Spanish: “Hola, un café con leche, un zumo de naranja y un bocadillo de jamon iberico, por favor. Gracias.”

Together with sandwiches and omelet, different kind of sweet bun can accompany your morning “café con leche”. The most famous are churros! No doubt, you have already heard about this delicious Spanish tradition. Yes, the famous Churros con chocolate!

How would you order churros con chocolate?
Spanish: “Hola, una ración de churros con chocolate, por favor. Gracias.”

Barcelona has some typical places where to try churros is a “must do”, for example, Granja Dulcinea or Granja Viader, both situated close Las Ramblas.

Actually passing by any of the huge amounts of bars in Barcelona don’t be afraid to enter and ask for one of the typical Spanish breakfast we’ve talked about. Also, don’t be shy, ask in Spanish, surely an old owner of this bar will be thankful for that 😉


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