Canarian Restaurants on Tenerife, Great Value and Surprisingly Familiar Food

Wed, January 19th, 2011 - By Jack Montgomery

Sometimes perceptions about the local cuisine in foreign climes can involve visions of odd looking critters that still have their eyeballs attached and whose tentacles sprawl across the plate unappealingly. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that extreme when the destination is somewhere like Tenerife, but a little wariness about the local food is not unknown.

New visitors occasionally ask where they can find British restaurants in the resorts they’re staying. Mostly because someone in their party is a ‘fussy eater’ and will only eat food they recognise.
The simple truth is that there’s no need to seek out ‘safe’ restaurants serving only British food because Canarian cooking isn’t that much different from what the average holidaymaker is used to.

Sure, if I took you to the local supermarket you’d see whole skinned rabbits, pigs’ ears, parts of goats and cow tongues and so on. But the food dished up in every traditional restaurant on Tenerife mainly consists of roasted chicken and generous and juicy fillets of meats (pork, steaks, veal) that are grilled and served with chips, or the island’s speciality, papas arrugadas (little potatoes boiled in their skins) and a smattering of vegetables if you’re lucky. Basically meat and two veg affairs.

It’s not adventurous cuisine, but it’s wholesome, tasty and excellent value with most main meals coming in at under €10. Chicken is especially good value with meals usually costing around 5 to 6 euros and if you’re in Costa Adeje, a trip up to Adeje town to try the area’s speciality garlic chicken at Otelo’s or Oasis is a must.

In towns in the hills like La Orotava and Santiago del Teide, traditional menus also include hearty stews like Puchero, a popular dish made from a mix of vegetables and meat that is good for filling and warming bellies when the winter temperatures away from the coast are that little bit cooler.

The real value for money deal in Canarian restaurants is the Menú del Día (menu of the day). Most traditional restaurants have these offers consisting of a starter, a main course, a dessert and sometimes a glass of wine or beer for a ridiculously low amount – at the moment on average around €8 but sometimes as low as €6.
You don’t get a wide choice, usually a couple of choices for starters and a fish or meat dish to follow, but they are unbeatable value, especially for anyone travelling on a budget.

The best locations for finding Canarian restaurants are the more traditional towns and places like Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos and Santa Cruz where most restaurants serve up the local fare. They’re less easy to track down in the newer southern resorts of Costa Adeje and Playa de las Américas where international menus are more the order of the day.

If, like me, you enjoy sampling local cuisine that is a little bit different then Canarian menus also regularly include rabbit and goat. However, if you really want to try something different, Tenerife’s fish restaurants are the places to go for those odd looking critters that still have their eyeballs attached and whose tentacles sprawl across the plate.

Posted : Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 at 3:06 pm
Category : food and drink
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One Response to “Canarian Restaurants on Tenerife, Great Value and Surprisingly Familiar Food”

  1. […] of bric a brac and fashion that wraps itself around the side streets once a month. At La Marea typical Canarian cooking is promised and there is an extensive menu to mix and match. Built on the junction of two tight […]

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