My Favourite Tenerife Family Restaurant

Mon, February 4th, 2013 - By Linda

“Where can I eat genuine local dishes in Tenerife?” I’m often asked. Truth is, it isn’t that easy. Many resort restaurants serve Spanish food, Serrano Ham, Paella, etc, – great dishes, but not Canarian. If you want authenticity you need to leave the beaches of Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas behind.


La Barca restaurant, Icod de los Vinos


When I crave Canarian cuisine, as in traditional, family recipes, I head for Amparo in Icod de los Vinos and restaurant La Barca, run by Rosa and Luis, who have been providing the community with great food for twenty-four years now. At weekends it’s busy, and not a tourist in sight, unless you count ex-Barcelona and Spanish footballer Lobo Carrasco, whom I spotted dining there once.

Rosa runs her kitchen with efficiency and fervor. She loves what she does, and it’s reflected in her recipes, most of which have been handed down by her mother or mother-in-law. Cooking is a family passion.

Luis greets you from behind his bar when you enter. The light, traditionally furnished dining room, is to the left, the walls lined with historic photos of the area. Menus are stacked at the entrance, but they’re rarely used, instead some cheerful banter with staff and personal recommendations are order of the day. Luis is studying English so no language worries.


La Barca restaurant, Icod de los Vinos


For starters I love Rosa’s escaldon, a kind of paté made with the toasted flour known as gofio. All Canarian restaurants have their own versions, but I can say, hand on heart, that Rosa’s, made with fish stock, is my favourite. To follow perhaps Atún en Adobo (marinaded tuna) or Bacalao encebollado (cod with onions) with, of course, papas arrugadas and Rosa’s exceptional mojo picante (guess what her secret ingredient is), washed down with local wine. Proximity to the sea means fish dishes are a speciality, but if you want the ultimate, typical, local dish savour the Conejo Salmorejo (Rabbit in a Red Pepper sauce) – your taste buds will thank you!


La Barca restaurant, Icod de los Vinos


Like all good Canarian chefs Rosa’s desserts include Bienmesabe and Flan, but recently I was intrigued to try the Huevos Moles, largely because the restaurant had been featured on local television a few weeks previously, and the interviewer had drooled over them! This is, I promise, delicious, sweet but light, great way to finish a meal.

Wait! Did I say ‘finish?’ I have one, final recommendation. Not to be outdone in the creative department Luis has some secrets too, unique liqueurs – coffee, poleo (pennyroyal) and my favourite Parchita (passion fruit) which are the perfect, authentic ending to a meal. You’ll need a designated driver, of course  – hope it isn’t you who loses the toss!


La Barca restaurant, Icod de los Vinos


If you come from Icod just follow the signs for Cueva del Viento, until you see the final one, drive past that turning and continue around the next bend and you’ll spot La Barca on the left, or coming from Santiago del Teide, take the right turn for La Montañeta where the road forks, and when you come to the church on Ctra Amparo keep your eye out for the restaurant on the right just a couple of minutes further. Opening hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays and also Sundays – lunchtimes (which is an ample timespan here). Fridays and Saturdays: lunchtime and evenings.

Posted : Monday, February 4th, 2013 at 11:54 am
Category : food and drink
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