What to Know About Almuerzo, Valencia's Most Treasured Snack

Almuerzo | © Skaja Lee / Flickr

Valencia is one Spanish region where a kind of brunch is eaten every single day, and we strongly recommend you get in on the action if you’re visiting the city. Here’s everything you need to know about eating the Valencian way.

Walk around Valencia at mid-morning any day of the week and you might be surprised to see people sitting down to eat huge filled baguettes, washed down with a small beer or maybe a brandy-spiked coffee. Is this a very early lunch, or a late and boozy breakfast? It’s neither. In Valencia, eating almuerzo, a hefty mid-morning snack, is a way of life.


It makes plenty of sense when you realise that most restaurants here are still closed at noon. If your stomach’s rumbling, the bad news is that you might have to wait until at least 1.30pm for lunch, and most Valencians don’t usually eat until 2.30pm or even 3pm. How do people survive until then? Eating a good almuerzo is the solution.

A typical almuerzo starts with a dish of olives or salted peanuts on the table, swiftly joined by a bocadillo, a half or whole baguette filled with anything from ham and cheese to fried calamari. Otherwise, you might go for a thick wedge of tortilla de patata (potato omelette) served with crusty white bread, or grated tomato and serrano ham atop a piece of toasted baguette. With this you’ll get a beer or soft drink, and the meal is finished off with a small coffee. This is typically an espresso or a cortado (an espresso with a dash of milk) or – why not – a carajillo, with a splash of brandy. All of this costs no more than about €5 in most bars and cafes.

This particularly Valencian custom is said to date from times when most people worked out in the fields, eating only a tiny breakfast when they rose at dawn, then filling up properly later in the morning once the most urgent tasks were out of the way. Many people, including city-dwelling office workers, still eat this way today. Lots of people have a small breakfast, or skip it altogether, in their rush to get to work. But no one skips almuerzo.

As you can see from the groups of friends and coworkers carving out 20 minutes for almuerzo at a local bar in even the busiest workday, there’s no sign of the tradition changing anytime soon. And why should it? Eating four times a day seems like a great idea to us, especially when there’s so much good Valencian food to be enjoyed.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article