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5 Places to Get a Traditional Spanish Breakfast in Zaragoza

Updated: Apr 4

The interesting thing about Spaniards is that they don't really do breakfast, at least not like the Americans. You won't typically see eggs and bacon, pancakes or other sugary treats on the breakfast table, and it's not a very important meal for going out.


Breakfast and brunch restaurants are more commonly replaced by long lingering lunch restaurants, or strolls through the tapas alleys in the evenings. Going out for breakfast is just not really a thing.


You may have guessed, however, that the cafe or coffee shop is a huge part of Spanish culture, where in fact several times a day businesses may shut down to go out for their mid morning almuerzo, or an afternoon coffee and a snack. It's all a lot of relaxing jaunts to get a pastry or a cortado (short coffee shot), but then it's back to work.


So where do the locals go in Zaragoza for breakfast? Having owned a piso (small Spanish apartment) in Zaragoza's historic old town since 2021, I can tell you where we like to go - and they won't disappoint!


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Must Haves for a Typical Breakfast in Spain

In order to have a traditional Spanish breakfast, there's some key items you'll need on your plate.


Pan Tomaca or Pan Con Tomate

Simply, this is toasted bread with a tomato spread. The tomato is made by using a grater or cheese shredder to grate down the tomato into a juice similar in consistency to a gazpacho.


Oil, salt and pepper and garlic are added, and that's about it! It's served at room temperature or cold and pairs really well with the crunchy bread. It's an excellent way to get tomatoes into your breakfast routine.


toasted bread with tomato spread

The tomato paste is so popular that you will see options on menus for either pan (bread) with mantequilla (butter) or tomate. They are even being served in little to go containers like pats of butter. In addition to the pan tomaca, I personally prefer my bread in the morning with garlic aioli versus butter, but that can be quite overwhelming for morning breath!



Zumo de Naranja

Zumo is juice served fresh-squeezed from a large machine that processes whole fruits at a time. The machine looks like a fast-pitch machine at a batting range, and can fill entire gallon jugs at the grocery store for take home consumption in just seconds.


zumo machine makes orange juice

In Cafes, ask for a zumo to accompany your breakfast. They may ask what size. A zumo is almost always orange juice, but often times places have several choices, so be sure to ask.



Tortilla de Patata (Tortilla Española)

Made all over Spain, this potato and egg omelette can be served cold or warm, depending on the consistency and texture you want to achieve. A softer potato omelette will be gooey and warm, versus the hard packed stiffer style. Either way is delicious, and it is always made in round pans served as triangular wedges.


Top it with some garlic aioli for a sinful start to your day.



Pastries

From simple breads to croissants and sugar treats, this is the most popular morning snack to go along with your coffee.





Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Zaragoza

The traditional Spanish Breakfast is quite simple, and often taken in at home. But that doesn't mean you can't go out for a bite at a cafe, or grab something for later! Here's our favorites, catering to our American tastes while still remaining autentico!


Didola

My family really loves this place. They have three areas for seating indoors or out, including a sidewalk seating area in warmer months along Don Jaime (great for people watching), or along the backside for a quiet morning in their "secret terrace".


The tortilla de patata is quite literally the best I've ever had (and I'm married to a Spaniard), gooey and warmed to perfection.


tortilla de patata

They also offer cool bagel selections, which I can only personally recommend (for lack of trying the others) the amazing jamon y tomate bagel. This is a plain bagel with the tomato spread mentioned above, topped with jamon Serrano. It's a salty and delicious way to fill stomachs any morning.


ham covered bagel


La Clandestina

La Clandestina gets a visit from us every time we go to our holiday home in Zaragoza. Their brunch, which starts at 11am daily, is worth making reservations for online in advance.


A multi-course extravaganza, the brunch starts with juices, coffee of choice, toasted bread with homemade marmalade and butter, granola, yogurt, fruit and so on. Then, comes the hot meal.


breakfast spread with juices and bread

With your choice of several equally outstanding items, I always go for the "Huevos Clandestina", a truffled version of the traditional Huevos Rotos dish. Comprised of eggs, potato, jamon Serrano and crunchy potato chips, the truffle addition sends this commonplace tapas dish to next levels.


skillet with eggs ham and chips

The hot meal comes with a glass of cava, so by the time you're finished you've started at breakfast, ended at lunch, and you're full until dinner time.



We love to take family here and often go on days we need to get out of town on the train. It's open earlier than most places, which open at 1pm for lunch hour, so it's an excellent way to end a vacation in Zaragoza. I can't recommend it enough!



IKEA Puerto Venecia

Ya'll think I'm joking, but there's lines at breakfast time at IKEA in Zaragoza, and it's no wonder why. The breakfast is amazing, and cheap. And even better - you get to roam the store when you're done.


Options include their ham croquettes (which are not a common breakfast item but are hands down top 3 croquettes I've had in my existence), tortilla de Patata, bread (of course), tomate for spreading, and other meat offerings.


IKEA breakfast spread of bread and meats

I like to go simple and get jamon and bread...and croquettes. Mmm.


Let your kids play at their play area in the cafeteria for a stress-free breakfast, and then embark on a great shopping day in the Puerto Venecia plaza and mall.



Panishop

A chain bakery shop in Zaragoza, these are easy to find and worth a stop in when you do. Everything is good, but their simple American style donut with crunchy delicious chocolate is a crowd-pleaser with my family and visiting friends alike.


donut coffee and juice

Sit down with a zumo and a cafe and enjoy a quick breakfast, or grab and go and head down to the Plaza del Pilar for a bite with a historic view, or along the River Ebro for a water view.


Pastelería Lalmolda

Strictly a bakery to grab and go, you will not get coffee or drinks here. Instead, browse their incredible offerings for treats but don't leave without getting their brevas. These are my husbands' favorites and we just have to get them every time we are in Zaragoza. You can probably see why.


sugary custard pastry

Wrapped with love and care, these are beautiful as gifts on holidays, too. We often like to spend holidays at our apartment, so if a special occasion is coming up, I'll send my husband over first thing in the morning to get in line for the brevas. So good!


paper wrapped pastry and coffee


Other Cafes in Zaragoza Worth a Visit


La Bendita

On the main artery of Calle Coso, this is a cute coffee shop for young folk and wifi.


Pannitelli Bakery

With the same vibes as the Panishop, this bakery near Calle Coso and Don Jaime offers ample seating and bundled coffee + pastry deals.



La Terrazza del Teatro

Confusing service, but beautiful enough to repeat, this cafe next to the Teatro Principal is super for coffee breaks or snacks throughout the day. Service will come to you, so just sit down (unless you want to grab and go, then head inside). Pastries, coffee, and water fountain views await you at this serene spot.


Churrismo

Of the several churros places we have tried in Zaragoza, this is my favorite. It's very modern, but offers tons of options for churros with chocolate, or even breakfast toast options. Bonus - they sell alcohol, so you can always save your churros visit for later in the day...


street sign for churrismo breakfast options


If You Really Need an American Breakfast in Zaragoza

Some places are starting to advertise American breakfasts down by the Plaza del Pilar. They'll serve up pancakes and eggs and American-ish bacon, but be prepared for the breakfast hours to be more like brunch hours. These spots change their tune a lot, so your best bet for an American breakfast is to start down by the Roman Forum building and look around for signs at the restaurants lining the Plaza.


At time of writing, Churrismo (above) was advertising American breakfast just off of Don Jaime.


sign for American breakfast



Want to Know More About Zaragoza?

I've been writing detailed descriptions about what to do in Zaragoza for International Magazine (worth checking out for their retirement abroad info), and for things like where to stay and how to do tapas properly in Zaragoza. I've got all the content you could need (and more is coming all the time) so if you have any more questions about the city, just reach out and let me know!