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Where to grab breakfast in Barcelona/Madrid/Sevilla/Granada?

Do people eat things like churros or tortilla patata as breakfast? Where can we grab traditional breakfast food in these cities?

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  1. Yes and yes. Breakfast is usually eaten at a cafe (cafetería) or a bar. You can't walk two minutes in any Spanish city or town without finding a place serving breakfast.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SnackHappy

      I was about to say the same thing. I love just wandering out and selecting somewhere that looks busy. Lots of different breakfast options to try with ham featuring quite a lot.

      That said every time I look for churros for breakfast I never find it - I always stumble over it when I am already stuffed!

    2. i cant vouch for it since i havent gone but ill be in barcelona next week and plan to visit caravelle for breakfast.


      3 Replies
      1. re: sam1

        If anglo-hipster tacos and tortas are your idea of eating in Barcelona I guess that's fine, but this place does not serve breakfast. They don't even open until 10am. Brunch is nice, but brunch isn't breakfast and not something Spaniards engage in unless they're trying to be anglo-trendy.

        1. re: SnackHappy

          i figured that was what to expect.

          what about satan's coffee corner? does that have any food?

          1. re: sam1

            I've never made it to Satan's Coffee Corner, but if their Facebbok is anything to go by, they serve breakfast and lunch stuff.


      2. Like the previous posts, breakfast is not a big deal in Spain and nobody goes out of a way to look for this or that; convenience is the number one criteria therefore, just look for an inviting place where you are staying.
        Barcelona has several cafes on c/de Petritxol serving churros and hot chocolate. I've never had much luck getting it fresh out the fryer; always fried ahead of time and kept warm. Couple of times, I got lucky and got it hot out of the fry at a small store on via Laietana off c/de Princesa; both times at around 3pm. As for tortilla patata, go to the Boqueria or any mercat around the city. If you like churros, might want to try a Catalan pastry call XUXO; great versions at Forn de Sant Jaume and Forn de Maure.
        Chocolatier San Gines just off the Puerta del Sol is the classic place for churros. From my limited experience, it is so so. La Mallorquina on the Puerta is much better for simple breakfast. Standup bar on the street level and tables upstair. No churros.
        Seville: I had good churros at several mobil trucks in the Arenal district, parked between the bullring and the cathedral. Sorry I can't remember the streets. They are there only in the mornings. Unlike the common version, it is thinner without ridges, fried fresh when ordered, served in paper cones and dusted with cinnamon sugar. They were the only times that I thought churros were worth eating.

        9 Replies
        1. re: PBSF

          "They were the only times that I thought churros were worth eating." .....other than at 4:00 am after a few sherries at the annual feria in a small town like Tarifa. Definitely a life saver.

          1. re: PBSF

            I recently read that the churros served at the granjas on Petritxol are made at Xurreria Manuel San Roman and delivered a few times a day. That explains the experiences I've had at Pallaresa and Dulcinea. So if your churros are hot, you either have very good timing or they have been reheated. I don't recommend going to granjas for churros. There are better things to be had there. And anyway, granjas aren't open for breakfast. They mostly only open outside of meal times. It's a better idea to go directly to San Roman and eat their churros fresh. They are very good.


            That being said, I recommend breakfast at Churreria Layetana. Their churros are good, but their porras are great! Personally, I prefer porrras for dipping into my morning cafe con leche.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              If you notice they do not have any equipment necessary for making churros and neither there is the typical greasy smell. And sometimes you can even see the guy bringing the churros.

              In any case I do not think churros are typically breakfast food at least in Barcelona.

              People eat tortilla but it is more of a mid morning snack? Breakfast is usually coffee and something sweet.

            2. re: PBSF

              On my above post, sorry to left out that Chocolateria San Gines and La Mallorquina are in Madrid.

              1. re: PBSF

                Thanks PBSF for introducing me to xuxo. It looks like a deep fried donut filled with custard or chocolate and dipped in cinnamon sugar.. is that what it is? Custard and chocolate fillings are my favorite! I can't find Forn de Maure online, where is it located?

                Thanks SnackHappy for suggesting porras. How are they different than churros? Google doesn't have much info on it..

                I found out that Flash Flash is quite close to where I'm staying in Barcelona. Is it open for breakfast and is their tortilla any good?

                1. re: GourmetPiggy

                  "I can't find Forn de Maure online"

                  That would be because it's actually called Pasteleria Mauri. They are at Rambla de Catalunya 103.

                  A xuxo is a fritter filled with crema catalana which is basically pastry cream. I love the ones from Forn de Sant Jaume. They are normally covered with regular sugar. I've never seen one stuffed with chocolate or covered in cinnamon sugar, but nothing is impossible.

                  As for porras, they are much larger than churros and have a different more poreous texture. They resemble Chinese fried dough.

                  Here's a picture that shows the difference well. The porras are on the top and churros on the bottom.


                  1. re: GourmetPiggy

                    Sorry, I got my forns confused. Forno de Maure is in Venice. Should be Forns del Pi in the Gotic, on Carrer de Ferran, between La Ramblas and Carrer d'Avinyo.

                    1. re: PBSF

                      Oops, sorry. I don't remember a Forn de Maure on Ferran. I apologize for second guessing you.

                      1. re: SnackHappy

                        I am the one that got confused. No Forn de Maure on Ferran. It is Forns del Pi on c/Ferran. I edit the post.

              2. Like other commenters said, breakfast is not a big meal in Spain.
                Most cafes serve coffee and bread/pastries or ham bocadillos.
                Churros seemed to be mostly available after lunch.

                In Barcelona check out Mercat de Libertat, which is a mini version of Boqueria and much less crowded.

                1. Breakfast in Barcelona? Well… we were laughing and joking about this topic on Tuesday morning at 5am. We wanted to buy 3 doughnuts from a bakery. "No, you can't have them yet," the server said. "They're still frozen." We settled for another can of Estrella instead and continued our way home along Diagonal.
                  You could try a sol i sombra — a traditional breakfast for manual workers —otherwise known as a kick from the mule or a jumpstart — anisette and brandy. You could have either sweet anisette or not so sweet anisette with a sharp brandy or a softer brandy. Sets you up for the day ahead, especially if you accompany it with a valenciano (sponge cake very like a magdalena but different shape) or a melindro (a sponge finger cake). Or, maybe, just a carijillo or cigaló.
                  A good shout for breakfast is probably Velódromo, just below Diagonal on Carrer Muntaner. Here's a link: http://moritz.com/en/section/el-veldr..., where you can download their breakfast offerings, which include: scrambled eggs with sausage, blood sausage, chorizo etc etc or their morning cocktails of vodka, coffee and vanilla liqueur or gin, lemon juice, violet liqueuer and orange marmalade — similar effect to a sol y sombra — which you can get in most local café-bars, but a little pricier and fruitier.
                  Enjoy your visit to Barcelona.

                  1. In Seville, buy some fruit in a market even if you have to eat it in your hotel room and cut it with your nailfile. In my whole life I have never had better fruit: melon, strawberries, cherries, nisperos,oranges, pears...seemed tree-ripened, not picked and shipped green as in the US. Do not miss.

                    1. My favorite breakfast in Barcelona was a wedge of tortilla, some gambas al plancha and a carajillo or two sitting at a counter at La Boqueria. Actually, I think that is my favorite breakfast ever.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Sloth

                        Agree 100% with Sloth.
                        The first 2 photos are from Pinotxo Bar, baby squid and beans gambas al plancha. The second 2 are from El Quim vegetable tortilla and sausage on a bun...so good,

                        1. re: petek

                          My favorite breakfast in Barcelona was fresh grilled Razor Clams at a counter at La Boqueria, although I did gross out my wife and daughter.

                          1. re: saeyedoc

                            Wait.. so in Spain people eat squid, gambas and razor clams as breakfast?? Wow.. can't wait to go there!

                            1. re: GourmetPiggy

                              No… not really. Breakfast is very sparse for most people in Spain. Lunch is the big meal. Barcelona does some odd things to accomodate tourists that you wouldn't find in other cities.

                              1. re: GourmetPiggy

                                Kiosks such as El Quim in the Boqueria were set up to feed the other market workers who start their day in the wee hours of the morning. By 9am, they are ready for their midday meal. No locals who work regular hours would go to the Boqueria to eat razor clams at 8am in the morning before heading off to work. We usually stay with friends in Sarria and the only places open in the morning are couple of corner cafes pumping coffee and a few pastries on the bar.

                                1. re: PBSF

                                  Not typical, but I couldn't resist. Always wanted to try razors and figures that was my chance. Did have an egg dish another day at El Quim with fresh asparagus that was amazing.

                                  1. re: PBSF

                                    Those kiosks clearly no longer bear any relation to their working-class origins (not that there's anything wrong with that, per se). Back in the early nineties, when I lived in BCN, the Boquería was very different--and still a relatively normal market despite its location. My roommate's boyfriend worked at a pescadería in the center of the market and I used to walk through it every morning to go to the library behind it, where I was working. I remember those little "puestos" and bars serving different food back then. Lots of tortillas, stews, butifarra, and typical stick-to-your-ribs bar snacking options.

                                    1. re: butterfly

                                      I agree; the whole Boqueria, not just the eating kiosks, has changed since I started visiting Barcelona more than 20 years ago.

                                      1. re: PBSF

                                        All of my experiences there were in the 90's. If I never get back, at least I have those memories. Making the same thing at home is just never quite right.

                          2. Barcelona breakfast: at El Quim de Boqueria or Bar Pinotxo both in Boqueria market. Just make your way to the bar counter. It was mushroom season and I had grilled forest mushrooms topped with a fried egg and caramelized foie gras drizzled with balsamic reduction..downed with a glass of freshly squeezed oj with cava at El Quim. I also recommend Churreria Laietana instead of La Granja as mentioned previously since we get our churros fresh most of the time at Laietana. This is a must. Do not accept churros that are on a heatlamp. They will usually cook you a fresh batch as they know you mean business and it's an embarrassment to the business anyway to be called for it.

                            This happened to my friend in Madrid at San Gines as she looked Asian and they thought she was with this big Asian tour group. We had to get upset and tell the server to be ashamed of what they're serving. Just because the patrons don't look Spanish or European doesn't mean they won't know the difference between a god authentic churro and a bad one.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: trvlcrzy

                              I wouldn't assume it was a discriminatory thing, per se--more likely, you were eating churros outside of the normal churro time (in Madrid: morning until 11; afternoon around merienda, 6-7pm) and they had a pile up of uneaten churros. Most places don't even make churros outside of those two time periods, so you are stuck with sloppy seconds. San Ginés is one of the few that go around the clock, so you could tell them you want to wait for a fresh batch.

                              1. re: butterfly

                                I have been many times before (as in over the years from the 90s) to San Gines and these past few visits it was really sloppy. We did request a fresh batch and advised them to remember that every customer should be treated like a new customer. My in laws lived in Madrid from the Franco years and beyond...

                                1. re: trvlcrzy

                                  I can't say I've noticed much of a difference over the years. But I do think it's less festive and fun during the off hours. San Ginés has never had the best churros or porras--it's known more for its chocolate, oddball schedule, Christmas tradition of taking over the nearby disco, and the fact that it appears (as the "buñolería") in a notorious scene of a brilliant play that everyone in Spain reads, Luces de Bohemia by Valle-Inclán.

                                  1. re: butterfly

                                    Remember it to be better during the 'club' hours next door. Anyway, recently found the best churros in Marbella. Some food writer from El Pais mentioned the place and I couldn't believe it until we tried it. He was right.