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Restaurant Costs

My husband and I are budgeting 150 dollars per day for our 15 day trip to Spain this September. Will that cover our food needs?
We eat moderately with the occasional splurge and generally a glass of wine each day. Thank you for your help.

We will spend 4 days in Madrid, 2 days in Toledo, 4 days in Seville, 2 days in Granada, and 4 days in Granada.

We plan on using a translation app to help with our trip. Do restaurants speak a little English?

Thanks so much.

Posted by
3580 posts

Is that just for food for two people? It seems like a reasonable amount to me, depending on where you eat, etc.

Posted by
12172 posts

A lot will depend on where you go in Spain and in which restaurants you choose to eat.
In smaller towns food is really inexpensive. You can eat like a pig with multiple dishes at some little restaurants for under 10-15€ per person, including a carafe of house wine. But if you are in Madrid or Barcelona, you will pay more, especially in some heavily touristy locations. For example if you sit down at an outside table on Plaza Mayor in Madrid, you will pay dearly for that privilege. But even in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona I have always been able to find reasonable restaurants. Haven't been in Barcelona in a couple of years, but you can certainly find plenty of decent restaurants where you will pay under 25€ per person, all inclusive. For example I often ate at La Boqueria (a market in Barcelona), where I could find good little restaurants where I ate (a lot of food and wine) for under 20-25€ at most. I think that 50€ per person per day is more than enough for food (consider that breakfast is included in most hotels). You can probably pay for the occasional snack and drink during the day with that 50€.

Posted by
2555 posts

... which cities are you visiting?, not the same Seville than Barcelona or Madrid than San Sebastian. Which sort of restaurants do you like?

In any case, note that at lunch time in big cities a lot people tend to eat out in a restaurant and most of them offer what's called menu del dia, a complete 3 course meal including wine, for 10-15€ p.p. It's common practice to have the menu del dia announced by the door outside the restaurant. In Barcelona for example, menu del dia is quite good value for money because since competition (among restaurants) is rather fierce, for many years already one can eat quite elaborate menus for that amount. The same (or similar) dishes on the same restaurant for dinner would cost around 25€ p.p.

This is not to say that there are plenty of more expensive restaurants around, either because they're upscale, because their chefs have Michelin stars or simply those crappy ones overcharging just because they're in a very touristy street.

If you want to splurge yourself, in Barcelona we have some of the best chefs in the world -not my saying ;) but recognized by the Michelin guide and similar. You can easily find restaurants which will provide you out-of-this-world food experiences which will cost you from 250€ upwards.

Most restaurants, especially in the cities you mention, will offer the menu in several languages, among which English.

Posted by
1863 posts

You should be fine, especially if your hotels/inns include breakfast each day. A few more modest days will allow, as you say, the special splurges long the way.
Safe travels.

Posted by
7124 posts

150USD = 136EUR, or 68 euro each per day.
13 breakfast, 20 lunch, 35 dinner (or vice versa)
You should be able to do this if you stick to 'menu del dia' at lunch and keep evening meals light.

Posted by
1101 posts

Long ago we learned the best way to save money on meals is to leave the main tourist area and find local places to dine. Madrid is ez to do via hopping a subway for a few stops. Toledo is not so ez. Seville means crossing the river. Granada means locating the area around the university, a short walk and yet a world apart from the tourist zone.
Enjoy the exploration!

Posted by
169 posts

Just a suggestion: Don't just eat in restaurants. The fruits and vegetables in Spain are amazing - so is the bread and cheese. If you aren't vegetarian there is jamon everywhere. Go to a market, enjoy a picnick outdoors. You'll save some money too.

Posted by
2555 posts

... as a general rule it's advised NOT to have breakfast at the hotel as they're normally grossly overcharged. Cafes, pastry shops and 'granjas' are abundant in Spanish cities and stepping out of the hotel -regardless where's located- you'll find several a stone throw away.

Posted by
2 posts

We do not speak Spanish. We are hoping that people who deal with tourists have some English. We are planning on getting a translation app for our iPhone. Does anyone have any suggestions about helping us communicate?

Thank you everyone for your help with budgeting for our meals.

Posted by
2555 posts

janedilks... Spain is the third most visited country in the world, receiving annually almost as many tourists as the whole US, with people coming from all corners therefore in the most visited places English is used to communicate with visitors -as well as several other languages . This is not to say you'll be able to maintain fluid conversations but basic communication is guaranteed. Furthermore, as I said earlier, restaurant menus are normally provided in several languages -again, in the most visited places that is. Yet it wouldn't be a bad idea to practice a few basic sentences in Spanish, if anything out of respect toward local culture :)))) ...

Posted by
5032 posts

I find you can plan on about the same as what you would spend in the US. Comparing directly, the entree you choose may appear to be more expensive than in the US, but realize that the price is what you pay....sales tax is included (VAT there), and the tip is mostly included for all practical purposes. As a plus, wine is considerably cheaper, but beer, soft drinks, and mixed drinks are about the same. $100 to $150 is a very comfortable budget for two in moderate to nicer restaurants.

Posted by
1178 posts

Here are some of my thoughts.

I have traveled frequently to Spain in the past few years. Never experienced any difficulty in a restaurant with the language as there is at least one staff person who can speak the language fairly well. Sign language with the hands will work also!

Madrid...the side walk cafes are usually good, especially when not in the main tourist area..Plaza de Sol, Plaza Mayor, etc. where they run higher in the price. The cafes between Park Retrio and the Plaza Cibeles are shaded by trees and offer a good buy. Have eaten in several of these and been satisfied each time. The Prado has a good café on the main floor near the book store. It is good, but not as inexpensive or good as the ones outside. Also, if you are at the Royal Place, do eat in one of the outside cafes in Plaza Oriente, directly across from the Palace. The prices are reasonable and the service and view outstanding at lunch. One of my favorite places.
Tapas bars can be touristy. I recommend Canadid, in Salamanca, near La Princessa Hospital. Upscale, white table cloths, etc., but according to a friend who lives there "The best tapas bar in Madrid!" I ate there and agree. Remember, a tapas was originally a covering for a glass of wine. They are not huge, but two or three and a glass of wine will be filling.
For a special lunch time treat, Hotel Valesquez in Salamana is impressive. The Menu de dia is reasonable, the white tablecloths, waiters, etc will be impressive. Not as cheap as a sidewalk café, but definitely great for one special lunch.
Restrooms in Restaurants and Bars: They are usually either in the basement or on the second floor...stairs will be involved. Ask for directions...the stairs are often behind the bar even.
Menu del dia will be the best buy...general in the rage of 10 - 15 euros depending on the location. Do not vary from the menu offering, but there will be a good selection.
Restaurantes Casa Aurelio, Sinagoga, 1, Sinagoga, 6, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 8, 45001 Toledo.
Tel: 925.22.13.92 / 925.22.20.97 / 925.22.77.16 There are three of these establishments. I have only eaten in this one...In the downstairs of the building, very authentic in décor and excellent food. Servings are large as in most Spanish restaurants.
Another restaurant is just of Plaza Zodocover. I do nor remember the name, but the location is easy to find. As you stand in the Plaza, took for the keystone arch...the only one. Descend the stairs past Don Quiote/Cervantes statue and turn to your right on that street. It will dead end directly ahead of you. The restaurant is located there, with tables on the street/sidewalk. Adjacent to the restaurant around the corner is the museum. Very worth while to see. Up the hill from the restaurant is the Military Museum in the Alcazar. Entrance is from the basement level. Again, well worth seeing.

Posted by
3493 posts

If you haven't already, please take the time to learn the "polite" and "necessary" words, including numbers, in Spanish before you go. You should be able to use them without thinking too much.

If your translation app doesn't make this super obvious, an easy way to begin is to go to Google Translate, type in the term in English in the first box, and choose Spanish from the language list accessible from the second box. Click on the speaker to hear the Spanish and repeat...repeat...repeat.

My personal favorite questions include: ¿Dónde es...? and ¿Cómo se dice...? and ¿Cuánto es...? Try looking those up on your app or Google Translate.

Have a great time and eat some jamón for me, por favor.

Posted by
1178 posts

Error in the Don Quixote / Cervantes statute, turn to your error...

Posted by
4522 posts

Actually, Spain is one European country where English is not as prevalent as in other places. Still very common and much more so with younger people and adults, but older adults and in more rural or off-the-tourist-track places will not speak English much or at all. Having said that, communication is not really an issue and Spaniards tend to be very kind people and those that don't speak English will work with you if you are polite and patient. Know a few key phrases of Spanish to show respect and you'll be fine.

Posted by
2555 posts

< therefore in the most visited places English is used to communicate with visitors -as well as several other languages >
... where "the most visited places" obviously refers to the touristy ones, which encompasses all of the cities mentioned above :)))