In many restaurants all over Spain, and on the chalkboards outside them, you’ll see mention of something called Menú del día. They usually offer several courses and are often super value for money. But what exactly is it?
Contrary to the popular belief that they were originally aimed at office and factory workers, they were actually created for the benefit of tourists, by Franco’s government in the mid 1960’s. The idea was to provide a simple full menu for the newly arriving tourists to Spain, who might not understand enough Spanish to be able to work out what to order in restaurants. They were originally called Menús Turisticos for that reason.
But the aforementioned office and factory workers soon realised they were a great way to get a value for money meal and they started ordering them, prompting the name to be changed to Menú del día, or menu of the day.
The main meal of the day for many Spanish people is lunch, which is typically eaten between 1.30 and 4:00 PM, so most menús del día are served at lunchtimes, but some restaurants will carry them through to early evening.
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In some places, there’s no choice – you order the menu and that’s it! In most, though, there’s a choice of perhaps two or three dishes per course:
El Primero Plato
Usually salads, soups or a platter of cold meat.
El Segundo Plato
The main course and usually a choice of fish or meat, but occasionally with a rice dish like a paella as an option. The main courses are usually served with potatoes and vegetables.
The dessert, and it will be something like a flan, ice cream or a yoghurt.
You’ll nearly always have a beer a glass of wine or a soft drink included during the meal, and coffee afterwards.
Prices vary according to the restaurant, but typically they range from €9 to €19.
Where to get them in Lanzarote
You’’re much more likely to find restaurants offering Menú del día outside the tourist resort areas.
Look for the mention of the menu on a board outside the restaurant, and if you don’t see it, ask “¿Hay un menu del dia?”
These are a few we have tried, and let us know about any others:
- El Tomate in Puerto Calero – Surprisingly good value and includes a drink
- La Opera in Playa Honda – Good choice – 3 different menus at different prices
- Lilium in Arrecife – Quite pricey, but a huge choice of dishes
- Bacchus in Costa Teguise – Medium price, excellent food, drinks not included
- La Rustica in Arrecife – Great choice and super value for money
- Restaurante La Chalana in Puerto del Carmen – in Calle Teide
We’ll add more here as we find them!