Avila Restaurants and Dining
(Avila, Castilla y León, Spain)
As for all major tourist attractions, Avila has various places to eat out. Restaurants throughout Spain are very welcoming towards children and restaurants in Avila are no exception.
Local Spanish recipes are a robust and hearty peasant fare, which is based around fresh vegetables. A celebrated Avila dessert is Yemes, a concoction of egg yolks and boiling syrup, which when cooled is moulded into a yolk shape, dusted with sugar and allowed to dry.
These are bite-sized snacks that accompany drinks and they are served throughout Toledo. Tapas is a real part of Spanish culture and very popular in the city. The tapas bars (tascas) can become very busy and they usually have plenty of atmosphere. Tapas started in the 18th century when Carlos III asked for his wine to be covered with a plate of food, to stop the dust from getting into it - 'tapa' literally means 'lid', which is where the name comes from. These days, the most common types of tapas include snails, deep-fried squid, mushrooms, baby eels, tripe, prawns, cold potato omelette, meatballs, potato salad, olives, cheeses, cold meats and tortillas. A meal in a tapas bar or café is a very social way to enjoy and share a large variety of food and different tastes.
Avila has a huge variety of regional and Spanish dishes, but when it comes to international food, there is not much choice. There are not many international restaurants and finding good quality alternatives can be difficult.
Restaurants in Toledo do not tend to cater very well for vegetarians and the choices are often fairly limited and basic, although choosing specific meat-free tapas can provide an easy way for a vegetarian to eat in this city.
This is probably the most insignificant meal in Spain and is usually eaten between 08:00 to 10:00. A typical breakfast consists of little more than a 'café con leche', which is half coffee and half hot milk, with many different types of coffee to choose from. This is normally served with toast or fresh pastries, such as 'churros', which are popular fritters that are often deep-fried in front of you. Churros are soft and crunchy and simply must be dunked in your coffee - or as the Spanish favour, in a cup of thick, hot chocolate. If you are looking for something more filling, other options include breakfast tortillas and sandwiches. Many hotels also serve more continental breakfasts.
Lunch in Toledo rarely begins before 13:30 or even 14:00 and can last as late as 16:30. This is the main meal of the day for most locals and virtually all restaurants offer a lunchtime menu, which tends to provide the best value food. This is usually a three-course meal, with fairly limited choices for each course, and wine is often included in the price, which may be mixed with a sweet carbonated drink. The first course will generally be a selection of light food, such as soup, salad, lentils or chorizo sausage. For the second course, fish, meat or poultry is usually served with vegetables. Dessert is often simply a choice of fresh fruit, delivered daily, such as oranges, peaches, pears, strawberries, grapes and melons, or pastries overflowing with whipped cream. Lunch is often followed by a welcome afternoon siesta.
Compared to other countries, the Spanish eat very late in the evening and although dinner may begin at 21:00, sometime after 22:00 is a more usual time to start the meal, particularly in the summer and also at the weekend. Avila's snack bars and cafés keep people going during the long time between lunch and the evening meal. During the afternoon children have a merienda (snack), often ham, cheese or chocolate in bread. Evening dinner may consist of a full meal or something lighter, such as tapas.