I'll never forget the time I was in Southern Portugal roaming around at 4 pm looking for a late lunch. I went from closed restaurant to closed restaurant, getting hangrier and hangrier as the minutes wore on. I finally found out that lunch ends at 3:30 pm and restaurants takes a break serving food until dinner. I wish I knew sooner what time is customary for lunch. So I did some digging, and jotted down my own observations from my travels to let you know what time people eat lunch around the world. 


Lunch in England is served between the hours of 12-1:30 pm. It's usually a hot meal — bring on the fish and chips.


paella, chicken, rice
Marina Nazario

Spaniards are all about eating late (probably because they go out so late). People start pouring into restaurants for lunch between the hours of 2-3 pm. They usually take their time and enjoy it before taking a siesta (aka food coma). 


beer, soup, fondue
Marina Nazario

Restaurants usually open around 11:30 am for lunch in France. As with my dilemma in Portugal, try to grab lunch food before 1 pm, because anytime after you're shit out of luck. Most restaurants in France offer fixed menus called le menu du jour, but the best part is that it's customary to include a cheese course during lunch. We can get behind that.  


Aussies typically eat lunch between 12-2 pm, and you know they love their vegemite. Australian-style crumpet anyone?


pasta, spaghetti, pork
Kirby Barth

Lunch is between 12-2 pm in China. Lunch is a rushed meal consisting of noodles or rice with vegetables or meat, followed by a quick nap. 


rice, curry, chicken
Eunice Choi

India is a huge country, so there are different customary times to eat for different regions. Lunch is typically served four hours after breakfast and if you try to grab lunch after 4 pm, you might as well have dinner. 

South Africa

Marina Nazario

South Africans eat lunch around 12:00-2:00 pm. Just like the US. There isn't really a traditional cuisine that is indigenous to South Africa, but they do love meat. And wine, of course. 


meat, vegetable, bread, sauce, chicken, fish
Marina Nazario

It's customary for the main meal in Qatar to be midday, aka lunch. Midday meal is a big gathering on Friday after prayers. And food is usually served as large dishes to be shared among the table.


salad, meat, vegetable, chicken, pork, fish, barbecue, lettuce
Marina Nazario

In Portugal, it's customary to eat lunch between the hours of 12:00-3:00 pm. After that, most restaurants close until 7:30 pm. Trust me, I know from first hand experience. You don;t know hanger until you're roaming around Algarve, Portugal at 4:00 pm looking for a place to eat. All of the kitchens were closed and I wanted to cry. Note to self, always have snacks on hand when traveling.


sweet, pastry, bread, dough, candy, cookie, cake, dairy product, flour
Alina Polishuk

For Brazilians, lunch is between 12-2 pm. A popular Brazilian lunch snack is Pão de Queijo, a chewy, gooey, cheese ball. Perfect with an ice-cold cerveza.


sushi, tuna, sashimi, salmon, rice, seafood, wasabi, fish, nigiri
Dylan Stilin

In Japan, lunch is served from 11-2 pm and it's usually a light, quick meal. Sushi for the win.