“I know where to go,” my friend said. She was visiting Tenerife, staying in Los Cristianos. “They’ve told me it’s where the swallows go.”
‘Swallows’ is the name given to folk, usually retirees, who winter in warmer climates, in this case Brits in the Canary Islands. Swallows know the cheap places to eat, and they pass the word around.
Perhaps you’re planning a break but dreading the cost of eating out, yet not looking forward to the cooking/washing dishes cycle either. This is, after all, your holiday. I’m talking about a decent meal, not burger and soggy chips in a dubious bar. Is it possible to eat for €10 per head within or close to the resort areas (because transport inland, where you can certainly eat more cheaply, adds to the cost)?
First, some tips:
1. Be adventurous. Some of the cheapest meals are to be had in Spanish bars, especially in smaller resorts like Costa del Silencio. Tapas portions are often generous, and if you order three or four dishes between two people, it’s fun too.
2. Be prepared to eat your main meal at lunchtime and something lighter at night. Lunch menus are always cheaper than dinner ones.
3. The old adage “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper” is good economic advice. A filling breakfast can set you back only €4/5 a head, and leave you craving less later. Depending on your day, have a lazy brunch and eat two meals for the price of one! A good brunch shouldn’t cost more than €7 to €10.
4. Remember that when you eat on the seafront you pay for the view. Often you can find the exact same thing at a lower price by strolling away from the coast.
So where did I dine with my friend that night? The restaurant’s name is Meson Iberica, on the dual carriage way half way between the Hotel Princess Dacíl and the bus station. They have special menus for €8.50 or €11.50, and the soup and grilled salmon I chose was as good as in more expensive places. People were queuing to be seated – surely a recommendation. The atmosphere was cheerful and pleasant, not at all greasy spoon.
When I’m broke, which is often, and want to eat out I usually go for cheap and cheerful Chinese. OK that’s not local, but there are some terrific all-you-can-eat buffets around. I haven’t had one to complain about, but best is in Parque Cattleya in Playa de las Americas, opposite the Apart-Hotel Columbus.
Another good standby is pizza, of course. We’ve already recommended some great pizza joints. Pizza should set you back about €7/8.
My current favourite eatery is in El Médano, Bar Veinte 04, on the main square. They have taken the burger to new heights for this island, and also do a delicious menu of the day. Everything on the menu has a unique touch, and the service is terrific. Typically eating there I have a huge burger with fries and a beer, and share a dish of nachos with guacamole for starters, and still have change from €10.
So, answering my own question: yes you can eat decently for around €10. You may need to shop around a bit, but it is quite possible.
Category : food and drink
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