Almuerzo 101: The Traditional Breakfast In Valencia
Discover a local phenomenon – the traditional breakfast in Valencia called “almuerzo”, which is quite a thing! Almuerzo is not only filling and scrumptious, but is also very cheap!
What do people eat for breakfast in Valencia?
The morning in Valencia starts with a coffee – espresso or other types of the coffee. It’s not until 10.00 am when they consume something more substantial (and very much so, as you will see) as a first meal of the day: the traditional breakfast almuerzo.
Breakfast crowds at the almuerzo mecca – Bar Rausell. Image credit: Guida Valencia
What is a typical almuerzo in Valencia?
Almuerzo (or esmorçaret in the Valencian language) is a local thing. It’s when office workers fill the nearest bars starting at 10.00 am, where they order: a big bread roll with a stuffing, a coffee or a glass of red wine. Wait, what? A glass of red wine at 10.00 am sounds unbelievable, but you are in Spain. Live a little!
Typical foods and drinks consumed during the mid-morning breakfast. Image credit: ericmonasterio.
Although work contracts do not stipulate a permit to be absent at work for 20 minutes every morning for breakfast, it’s understood in Valencia that it´s employees´s birth right.
No wonder – with 7 bars and restaurants per each 1.000 inhabitants, Spain is the first country in the world, so there is no problem to find a great bar nearby that serves fresh and tasty food for breakfast.
Bar La Pascuala. A classic spot for breakfast. Image source: Gavin White
The importance of bread for the traditional breakfast in Valencia
What makes a good sandwich for the local social breakfast? The bread has to be fresh and crisp. And Valencians love their bread and eat a lot of it during the day in different forms.
Bread at Artespiga bakery. Image source: Millesime
On the side
The typical foods that accompany your sandwich are Spanish olives and salted peanuts. Valencians eat peanuts in large quantities in the bars. And instead of the long word cacahuetes they lovingly call them cacaus here.
Locally grown peanuts are valued for their quality, but are not widely available due to high production costs.
The bread roll stuffing
There are dozens of typical bread rolls stuffings. And the most popular sandwiches have names! Here are some of them.
The most popular breakfast sandwiches in Valencia & where to find them
Brascada sandwich. A very popular breadroll for breakfast in Valencia.
A thin piece of tender grilled beef, a slice of grilled Spanish ham and roasted onions – a delicious combination of sweet and salty. Try it at any traditional bar, for example at Bar Ricardo.
Catalana: In Valencia that’s what we call bread with freshly ground tomato spread and slices of jamon serrano. Image source: Egoitz Moreno
Freshly ground tomato is spread on the bread and slices of the salty Spanish Serrano ham are put on top. Can be found at any good bar.
Lleterola – fried lamb gizzard and garlic shots.
A very Valencian sandwich – the bread roll is stuffed with a mixture of roasted lamb gizzard with fried garlic shoots. Give it a try, you will be surprised how delicious it is. At Bar Sena behind the bullfighting arena.
Longaniza con habas
Longaniza con habas. Image source: Puerta del Mar Restaurant Instagram
The roasted local pork sausage longaniza with the local tender bean habitas. Try it at Restaurante Puerta del Mar near the City Hall Square (Plaza de Ayuntamiento).
Last, but not least, if you decide to try the traditional breakfast in Valencia, don’t forget to order your cremaet coffee! And if you crave more Valencian culture, why not my tapas & wine tour in the off the beaten track districts of Cánovas and Russafa? It’s a delicious semi private tour, filled with historic information, tips, scrumptious food and quality Spanish wines. Wine is served at each of the 5 stops and dessert is also included!!