This type of dish is a small plate of food that comes for free if you order an alcoholic beverage such as wine or beer, or a mosto (grape juice).
Depending on the area, you’ll spend between 2-3 Euros for a drink and tapa combination. With two or three of these, you have a full meal!
Normally, you’ll be able to decide what kind of food you’d like to get, although in some provinces they will simply bring you what is being cooked in the kitchen that day. The options are normally local dishes that could range from seafood to meat dishes, vegetable dishes, and more!
This is a great option for a light dinner. Some tapas bars will open for lunch as well.
Menú del Día
The Spanish have their big meal at lunch time (around 2:00pm), and this is what they will get when eating out. If you’re hungry for a heavier meal at lunch, this will definitely fill you up!
Restaurants that offer menú del día will have a set menu that normally includes bread (or a starter) two main courses, a drink of your choice, and dessert. The typical price for a menú del día is between 10-18 Euro. Again, it will depend on the city you’re in.
A good rule of thumb for eating out is to choose a place that is not close to tourist attractions. These restaurants flaunt flashy signs in English to attract passing foreigners, but will almost always be more expensive for less quality. Instead, see if you can find where the Spanish are going, and stop there! You’ll normally find the best places tucked into little corners and tiny streets.
Another great option for eating in Spain on a budget is going to a supermarket and making your own meal. If you stay in a place with a kitchen, you’ll be able to save on food by cooking for yourself. Or, buy something in the store that doesn’t need cooking, and go have a picnic lunch somewhere!
Picking up a couple of small things for a light lunch will easily be under 5 Euro. A thrifty shopper could find ingredients to make a couple of full meals for two for around 10-15 Euro (including wine!).
Mercadona and Lidl are typically cheaper supermarkets.
So what exactly does a trip to Spain cost you in terms of accommodations? Let’s see some of the cheapest options.