Eating at Service Stations on Tenerife

Fri, October 10th, 2014 - By Linda

It’s August 1992. I’ve just spent an evening eating, drinking, holding my breath and crying with locals as Spain storms to gold in the Olympic soccer final. In 5 years living in Tenerife I’ve never felt so much part of the community, and I’m in, of all places, a service station in Adeje, where we’d stopped post beach to slake our thirsts. I am struck, not for the first time, by how these petrol station bars are more a part of local life here than they are in the UK.


Motorway Service Station at Los Roques


By then I’d long been in the habit of meeting up with other mums before the school run at BP station on the TF1 between Las Chafiras and Gauza. The venue was chosen not only because it was handy, parents coming from anywhere between Vilaflor and Los Gigantes, and cheap, but also because the tapas and the coffee were amazingly good. I suppose the shorter distances make service stations here more a part of everyday life, and less of a place to rush through, like the ones in the UK.



After investigating the newly opened link on the island ring road, between El Tanque and Icod de los Vinos the other week, it struck me that there will be more service stations and bars springing up soon, meaning more folk driving right around the island and wondering whether to eat in them or wait to get back to their hotel. The answer is a definite “yes.” Most offer good value for money, and the bonus of a glimpse of normal, local life, as delivery drivers, salesmen, and just neighbours go about daily life. Another advantage is that service station dining doesn’t require cleaning up or changing clothes. It’s come as you are!



Food varies from ok to excellent, excepting the soggy donuts and pastries. Driving from La Laguna to the Teide National Park, I had a tasty menu del día for just €6, at the P-Can Station in La Esperanza.

Despite shorter distances here, driving can still be a chore, and a coffee stop a welcome break. Driving along TF1 to Santa Cruz from Playa de las Americas I stop at the Repsol Station at Los Roques, probably the service area with the best view in the Canary Islands. Looking very oriental with its domes and turret, you can’t miss it. Although the bar under those domes is now closed, the adjoining cafe is still open, and offers terrific value food. On the other hand, leaving Santa Cruz after a morning shopping, I stop at the first service station on the southbound carriageway, though very basic-looking, their food is well above average, and I avoid the lunchtime crowds in the city.



Others worth a mention: the Disa Station in Las Chafiras, well-used by locals from Golf del Sur and which now boasts a great coffee shop; both T-Gas and Texaco on the road which links TF1 to El Médano, and BP in Guaza on the road to Las Galletas.

There are, I am sure, many more. One word of caution, however, although alcohol is freely sold in all service area bars, drink-driving laws are as strict here as they are back home, so make sure one of you is designated driver if you linger longer than expected.

Posted : Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 10:46 am
Category : food and drink
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