Table Manners: SPAIN

Are you planning a trip to Spain?

Be sure that a culinary adventure is waiting for you!

Spain, like every country, has its history, culture, and proper etiquette.

If you are planning to travel to a new country, it is better to know that country’s way of life. 

The first time I went to Spain I had to deal with some of the unspoken rules of etiquette.

For example, do you know meals are served super late?

So, here are a few tips about eating in Spain that we hope will help you during your next trip!

It’s all about time

Lunch is the main meal and usually, it is served between 1:30-3:30.

Dinner is lighter and is served between 9:30-midnight.

If you want to enjoy a meal with other Spanish, be sure you adjust your eating times, or you will be found alone in an empty restaurant!

While waiting for dinner, you can go to one of the many tapas bars and enjoy a bite (tapa) with good wine.

don’t slurp, don’t burp, and don’t rest your elbows on the table

– While in other countries such as Japan, this is considered polite, it’s rude to slurp in Spain.

– The same thing for burping: it is considered rude. 

– It’s allowed for your arms to be on the table, as long as your elbows aren’t touching it, but your hands should always be visible.

no dipping!

Dipping bread or anything in soup and sauces is very uncommon in Spain, as in many other countries.

We Italians love “scarpetta”: cleaning the plate with a piece of bread, but although it is one of the most satisfying thins ever, we will deny it to our dying! 🙂

Always keep talking.

The Spanish love to talk and especially at the table and they do it loud!

This means that you have to raise your voice as well to be heard!

You should say ‘Buen provecho (Bon Appétitl) before the meal starts.

Throw your trash on the floor.

Yes, that’s right!

If you’ve never eaten tapas at an authentic tapas bar in Spain, you might be shocked by the shrimp tails, toothpicks, olive pits, and napkins littering the floors.

This is how the locals eat their tapas…just enjoy them and then toss your trash onto the floor. 

(I’m sorry, don’t ask me to show you pictures of some rubbish on the floor, I would rather prefer to show you a beautiful paella or succulent gazpacho!)


Spain isn’t like other countries such as the USA, where tipping is compulsory.

Tipping in Spain is seen as a nice gesture, but people usually only do it when they feel like they need to reward their server for a good job.