I will be traveling to Spain in Mid September and know that Spain has a different timetable regarding eating meals compared to the US. Are there any cafes or other food places where you can just pick up a sandwhich and eat on the go and if so, are these cafes open all day or only certain hours. For lunch, I would prefer not to have a sit down meal, but mostly likely a grab and run type of thing.
Spain is no different than the rest of the world. You won't starve.
Yes, several chains of sandwich shop are now widely available in Spain, along with traditional markets and delis, and kebab shops. Tapas bars also serve during different hours than restaurants. Your guidebook will cover some of each of these options.
No problem...I travel there frequently and have never experienced any difficulty in finding food. In the larger cities, El Cortes Ingles, a large department store chain will usually have a café. Also the VIPS restaurants in Madrid are great sources, all the times that I have been hungry. Many restaurants, cafes, have a walk up cold food counter...cheese, jamon (ham), polo (chicken) ensalada (salad), drinks and the like. And many sidewalk cafes in most places as well...and the foods are good!!!
Why would you want to eat while on the go in spain?
Think about that. Part of the visit should be about absorbing the experience.
Some El cort ingles have a market in the basement. Also, their toilers are usually on the third floor in the corner of the building.
Finally, challenge yourself to stay up late and eat after 10 so you can experience another part of the spanish culture.
In the cities you should have no problem finding food any time of the day. In the smaller towns many places still observe the practice of closing during the afternoon - early evening then re-opening between 6 & 8 pm.
I agree with Marbleskies - take an afternoon nap and join in on the Paseo - it is a beautiful custom - groups of people & families dressed up and strolling the city, enjoying tapas & drinks before settling in for a late dinner (10pm or so). We have watched entire families - from grandma down the the babies all decked out and strolling together - more places should do this!
You have the standard fast food choices, McDonald's, Starbucks, KFC, etc. There are also cafeterias, like diners, where you can sit at the bar and get something pretty quickly. Some time after 7 pm the tapas start popping up in bars, sometimes 7:30 or even 8, tapas are ready to go so you can get something quickly rather than waiting for dinner (at least 9 pm).
One of my favorite options is to stop in a grocery store and get things for a picnic, keep them in my day pack, then head to a park at lunchtime. I can eat at my own pace, enjoy a park, people watch, and save money - all at the same time.
If you like the jamon (cured ham), you can find little shops or stands that sell jamon bocadillos (baguette sandwich) throughout the day. Perfect for a quick or early lunch - you can sit on a bench and eat it. And don't worry about doing so; on any given trip you can't be expected to sit down for an hour and half lunch every day. Or you may want to eat lunch before 2:00. In the mornings, there are tons of pastry shops. I personally prefer them to any hotel breakfast; they are cheap and very tasty. Those are more typically eaten in house, but it only takes a few minutes as you order at the counter.