Plato del Dia: How to Order Spain’s 3 Course Budget Lunch

Spain's Plato del Dia Nothing Familiar

Ready for a typical Spanish lunch that will make your head spin? Well take all your big plans and break them… Seeing all the sights will be tough after taking down this three course meal! If you’ve never heard of the plato del dia, menu del dia, or simply plate of the day, then I hope you’re hungry. We’re going to break down some of the best food in Spain in this article!

Spain Inspiration

Where to Find the Best Food in Spain

When searching for a plato del dia you may be surprised by all the places you’ll find them! Some of the best food in Spain we’ve had has been off the beaten path and out of the main tourist areas. If you have a car don’t hesitate to get out into the mountains on your hunt for the best menu.

Let’s put it this way… You’re just as likely to find an amazing meal on the outskirts of Barcelona than you are on the famous Las Ramblas street. This also can be a great way to save money if you’re on a budget.

Believe it or not, some of the best plate of the day deals we’ve found only cost 7 Euros! Yet, just because you find a low price is no guarantee for a local delight. A 12-15 Euro plate could bring you something more exquisite, and still be totally worth the price!

→ 40 Popular Spanish Foods & Drinks: Best Tapas, Seafood, and Much More

Typical Plate of the Day

  • Drink: Beer, wine, soda, juice or water.
  • Primer Plato: Soup, salad, or light small plate.
  • Segundo Plato: Heavier dish of meat or seafood.
  • Dessert or Coffee: Flan, pudding, ice cream, or a coffee with milk.
  • Cost: 7-12 Euros
  • Time: 12-3pm

Plato Del Dia Drinks

Not every menu del dia comes with a drink, but the majority will include a beverage of your choice. Usually it’s a local beer, wine, or soda that will go perfectly with your meal.

Just the fact that you’re getting a drink for free with lunch is amazing, right?? In the summer we prefer beer or tinto de verano (wine of the summer), and in the winter we gravitate towards a nice glass of Spanish red. Cheers!

Our Favorite: Tinto de Verano

Tinto de Verano Spain

Plato Del Dia Primer Plato

Let’s start out with the first course. It’s important to know that the appetizer to your entree will make or break your plato del dia! Depending on where you are in Spain you should have at least two options to pick from.

One will most likely be a salad with toppings, while the others will be some sort of soup or small seafood dish. Even though it may be tempting to go with something heavy to start your typical Spanish lunch, you might want to avoid that. The 2nd course will be heavier, and you’ll need to save room for dessert as well!

Our Favorite: Octopus Salad

Seafood Typical Spanish Lunch

Plato Del Dia Segundo Plato

Okay it’s time for your main dish! This is where you get your moneys worth, and some of the best food in Spain. Here you’ll have anywhere from two to five different options for the 2nd course which makes it a little more difficult to choose than your app.

Our general rule of thumb is to go with what’s local to each area. For example, on the islands or near the sea we go with fish. While on the mainland we might have pork or beef for our typical Spanish lunch. Only you can truly know what you’re in the mood for, but do some research to see what’s popular in the area for the best results.

Our Favorite: Pescado a la Plancha

Plate of the Day Spain

Plato Del Dia Desert and Coffee

Still hungry? We hope so because it’s time for something sweet to finish off your plate of the day! If you’ve never had a Spanish dessert then you’re in for a real treat. Common finishers of the menu del dia are flan, cake, or chocolate mousse.

Rarely does a menu include coffee and dessert though so you may need to pick between the two. Dessert was the easy choice for us, but just know that you can easily pay one euro for a coffee to go with it.

Our Favorite: Flan and Cafe con Leche

Guide to the Best Food in Spain

Some of Our Favorite Plates of the Day

7 Family Style 

€11.95 Catalonia Plate of the Day

€12 Mountain Meal 

€8 Local Specialties

At this point you’re likely ready for a siesta… And trust us, we know how you feel! Have any questions on the best food in Spain or want to share your own plato del dia experience? Comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

Pin For Later 

What to Eat in Spain Guide to the Best Spanish Food

Explore Spain

Best of Spain:  Visiting in WinterCosta Del Sol – 22 Fun Facts –  11 Cities in Southern Spain  – Vueling Airlines Tips

Granada: 15 Fun Things to Do – Alhambra de Granada 

Nerja: 15 Things to do –  7 Beautiful BeachesPlaya BurrianaNerja Caves 

Small Towns: MijasFrigilianaRupitCadiz – Ronda

Gran Canaria: Agaete Natural PoolsRoute of the TapasVolcano Hike

Fuerteventura: Travel Guide12 Best BeachesRenting a CarAguas Verdes Natural PoolKrabbenfelsen Natural PoolPopcorn Beach

Tenerife: 7 Best BeachesPlaya AmarillaMount Teide Volcano DriveBoat Tour

Spain Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find the best flights using Skyscanner. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly between cities in Spain than driving or taking the train! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic Spain road trip! 

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around Spain. You can book a tour of the Madrid Royal Palace, skip the line and explore the Alhambra de Granada, or even jump on a Tenerife Dolphin cruise! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Spain Travel

*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


  1. July 8, 2020 / 1:51 am

    Hi there. Down here in Almería we generally get a salad along with the entrada, main course and postre. A worthy alternative to the menú del día is a plato combinado, with – for example, salad, pork slices, egg and fries all on the same plate. A beer (and large Almería tapa) to start with.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      July 8, 2020 / 4:08 am

      Wow that’s awesome! We’ve been all of Spain and the Canary Islands and everywhere seems to have their own take on it. This one sounds delicious ( :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *