Valencia meal-times and some vocab

You’ve got to love a place that has so many defined mealtimes. Here’s some info to help explain the words you’ll see when you’re eating out in Valencia.

Desayuno [‘deh-say-ooh-no’]
06:00 – 12:00
Breakfast. On menu boards, look for desayuno popular – this will be a very good value option, usually a coffee and pastry or tostada. Add a fresh orange juice for a few extra cents.

Almuerzo [‘al-moo-air-zoh’]
11:00 – 13:00
A sort of early lunch but more than elevenses. Could be a bocadillo (sandwich) or tortilla (potato omelette). Some people even have a slice of tortilla in a sandwich!

Comida [‘ko-mee-dah’]
13:00 – 15:00
Proper lunch. On menu boards, look for menu del dia, always a good value option for eating out.

Merienda [‘meh-ree-en-dah’]
16:00 – 19:00
Afternoon tea. A hot or cold drink and something sweet.

Cena [‘say-nah’]
21:00 – 00:00
Proper dinner. Often not eaten until 10pm by locals. And often you won’t need cena if you’ve had a big almuerzo or comida.

Para picar [‘para pi-kar’]
Nibbles – this means ‘to pick’.

Para llevar [‘para yay-var”]
Take away – literally ‘to carry’

A compartir [‘a kom-par-teer’]
To share. This appears on a menu where you order one dish to share, for example paella or a starter.