Do I need a Suit Jacket in Spain?
August 21, 2014 5:46 AM   Subscribe

I will be traveling in Spain and Portugal next month. We will be staying in Paradors and other nice hotels. I would like to travel light, and not bring a suit jacket. Can I get away with slacks and collared shirts, or will I barred from some restaurants for dress code without a jacket?

I will be visiting Barcelona, Burgos, Santiago de Compostela, and Lisbon. One place we are staying is at the Hospital de los Reyes Catolicos Parador in Santiago de C., and supposedly there is a famous restaurant there in the former morgue of the Hospital. My google skills (and my Spanish) are failing me, and I can't seem to find a dress code for that restaurant. I would like to eat in that restaurant.

Can I do "fine" dining in Spain and Portugal without a suit jacket? Of course, there are always places that require formal wear for dinner - but generally, are there enough nice restaurants in those cities that I can get away without bringing a jacket for dinner.

posted by Flood to Travel & Transportation around Cartaya, Spain (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My experience is that a button down shirt or polo is sufficient with slacks and leather shoes (or fashion sneakers).

This is based on visiting about 8 different Pousadas in Portugal about 9 years ago and and one visit to a Parador around Tolado about 14 years ago.

Have a great time!!!
posted by jazh at 5:54 AM on August 21, 2014

Totally don't need a jacket. Even in the super old school seafood places in Madrid (go - its like a great american steakhouse, but with fish and shellfish. Even has grumpy old waiters) I've felt comfortable in shirt sleeves. I'm actually thinking if other than for work occasions I've ever even brought a jacket - and I don't think so.

I've also stayed in that Parador. Its beautiful and a wonderful location, however I would suggest you not eat there, or really in any Parador.
posted by JPD at 5:56 AM on August 21, 2014

If you decide not to pack a jacket, please bear in mind that, while the 'dress code' may well allow for slacks and sleeves, the Spanish and Portuguese have a bit 'dressier' sense of style* than many Americans, thus tend look a bit more put-together even when they are casually attired. Think well-pressed, well-fitted, with cool shoes :)

*This is based on yearly trips to Portugal and Spain (my wife is Portuguese).
posted by PlantGoddess at 7:20 AM on August 21, 2014

if the restaurant is "Meson Enxebre", then there seems to be no formal dress code as far as I can read: TripAdvisor link, El Tenedor link (in Spanish)

So I (lived in Barcelona) would be, as PlantGoddess, recommends casually stylish in a european fashion :)
posted by alchemist at 8:20 AM on August 21, 2014

I agree the base level of stylishness is much higher, but the overall distribution is tighter. No place is as dressy as the dressiest places in the US, and the casual places you'd feel out of place in jeans and a t-shirt.
posted by JPD at 10:21 AM on August 21, 2014

This is interesting: the Meson Enxebre has two listings on TripAdvisor: the one Alchemist linked to, and another one, which has more reviews. The Wikipedia page refers to a restaurant called "Libr├ędon" but that's apparently outdated.
posted by Ms. Next at 10:26 AM on August 21, 2014

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