How to enjoy a traditional Spanish breakfast
Spain is a mix of different cultures, which becomes evident first thing in the morning at breakfast time. You’ll find different types of breakfasts depending on what part of the country you’re in.
The differences usually involve the food, as drink selections are pretty much always the same: coffee, herbal tea, chocolate, milk, juice… Any of these items will be available at any bar or café.
It’s what accompanies these beverages that makes regional varieties of breakfasts different. At home, Spaniards commonly have crackers or toast topped with a desired spread. In bars however there’s a wide assortment of breakfast solutions.
In Madrid morning diners typically order a sweet pastry or toast with butter and jam. The most traditional breakfast here though is churros or porras. Even though they’re made all over the country, Madrid’s are the most iconic. In Barcelona on the other hand, the traditional breakfast is pan tomaquet, or bread with tomato, which consists of toast with a spread made from ripe tomato. It also has olive oil, salt and you can even add a little garlic to taste.
In the southern region of Andalusia, breakfast consists of toast with whatever each eater orders. Bars in this area generally have a wide range of toast toppings, where you can order toast by itself or with olive oil and salt, tomato, jamón Serrano, butter and jam, cheese…
The north is very different. In the Basque country they eat pintxos –single servings of Spanish omelet, also known as Spanish tortilla. It’s a heartier meal then in the south. In bars you find different types of tortilla: with or without onion, with cheese, mushrooms… There’s some pretty tough competition among bars in terms of tortillas: the best ones attract the most clients.
As you can see, there are many traditional breakfast options in Spain.