Eating out is a way of life on the Med, and with everything from Michelin-starred restaurants, beachside tavernas, designer bistros, cafes and bars, there's no shortage of choices. If you're on a budget, look out for self-service canteens or roadside kiosks serving local snacks (think takeaway pizza in Italy or souvlaki in Greece) and shop at local markets.

  • Lunch is the main meal of the day in most Mediterranean countries.
  • Meals are eaten later in southern Europe than in more northerly climes – dinner is typically served from about 8pm.
  • Children are usually welcome in all but the very smartest establishments. Kids menus are uncommon but you can often ask for half portions.
  • Vegetarianism is not widespread in the region and vegetarians might have a hard time in Portugal and some of the Eastern European countries.
  • Eat better and save money by choosing seasonal dishes and local wines/beers/spirits.