Where to find Spanish restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz might seem like an odd title for a blog. Whereas in Playa de las Américas, Golf del Sur, Costa Adeje and Costa del Silencio, many restaurants have more of an ‘international’ flavour to their menus, in traditional towns that are also resorts like Puerto de la Cruz you’re positively tripping over Spanish restaurants.
Except that you’re not.
Like the other big Tenerife towns including La Orotava, Los Realejos, Tacoronte, La Laguna and Santa Cruz, many restaurants aren’t actually Spanish, they’re Canarian and that can mean quite a difference regarding what ends up on the plate in front of you.
I’d never really thought about it much until I was walking up a street in Puerto and a waiter sidled up to me in a manner that made me think he was going to try to sell me illicit goods.
“Psst,” he whispered. “Want to eat some good Spanish food?”
When he saw my look of bemusement he carried on.
“I don’t mean that basic Canarian cooking, I’m talking about proper Spanish cuisine.”
At that point I knew why he was whispering. We were surrounded by Canarios who might take exception to his comment. But he had a point. Traditional Canarian cuisine mainly consists of simply grilled or fried, meat and fish dishes with the occasional stew thrown in.
Anyone who’s been to the great Spanish cities of Barcelona or Madrid, the chef’s shrines in Costa Brava or to the Basque country, where everyone seems to be a cook, will know that Spanish cuisine is lip-smackingly diverse and imaginative. Generally speaking, Canarian cooking good though it is, simply isn’t.
As the penny dropped I looked at the names on the restaurants around me – Mesón Andalucia, La Gallega, La Clave (the name didn’t give away a lot but the sign above the door advertising ‘Tapas y Pintxos’ revealed a distinct Basque flavour) and Rias Gallega. You don’t need to be an expert on Iberia to figure out what part of Spain these restaurants’ menus represented.
For the first time I realised that the restaurants on Calle Puerto Viejo leading away from Plaza del Charco were an eclectic mix with the dominant influence coming from the Spanish mainland. If you want a meal that was Spanish rather than Canarian, this is the street in Puerto in which to wander to browse menus with intriguing dishes such as lacon con grelos, butelo con cachelos or torta de camarones (delicious shrimp fritters).
As well as the Spanish flavours there is a Chinese, Lebanese, Italian and a Thai restaurant. Halfway along the street there’s a small bar favoured by Brits opposite another small bar with live music where, after 9m, it’s almost impossible to get a seat as it’s packed out with a mainly Germanic clientèle.
And there are Canarian restaurants as well… serving up simply grilled meat and fish dishes.
Whatever your preference, the chances are that there will be a restaurant dishing up delights to suit your taste-buds somewhere along Calle Puerto Viejo.
Category : about tenerife
Subscribe : RSS 2.0