Why is paella served on Thursday in Spain?

If you have ever been to a restaurant in Spain on Thursday, chances are Paella is on the menu. Here are three urban legends that point to why.


If you have spent some time in Spain, you may have wondered why restaurants serve paella on Thursdays. It's an old tradition with several variations of the story. Here are three versions that we were able to uncover.

STORY 1 -  The Fisherman 

On Mondays, the fishermen would bring in the fish so it could be sent all over the country and distributed. Because it was hard to move the day's catch, this process took almost two days. The restaurants would get the fish on Wednesdays, and on Thursdays, they made paella for their customers.

STORY 2 - Leftovers

Word on the street is that the restaurant owners used the leftovers from the week to make paella, which helped them to reduce their waste. The story has it, that the type of paella they made each week was based on what they had left over. Meat, vegetables, or a mix of both is how so many variations took off.

STORY 3 - Franco's favorite 

The most famous urban legend says that Dictator Francisco Franco would go out to dinner every Thursday. Everyone knew how much he loved his favorite dish, that restaurateurs who wanted the higher ranking officials to come to their restaurants often made paella in case Franco and crew chose theirs.

As word got around the city, all the restaurants started getting their paellas ready on Thursdays, just in case. Over time, the practice became commonplace, and diners also seemed to like going once a week to eat paella, so the owners of the restaurant decided to keep serving this tasty Valencian dish every week.

So there you have it; whichever version you choose, one thing is sure, this tradition doesn't seem to be disappearing anytime soon!