Where do Locals Eat in El Médano?

Mon, May 7th, 2012 - By Linda

El Médano, on Tenerife’s south east coast, in the municipality of Granadilla de Abona, is my home. It’s a town often described as “quirky” or “alternative,” and it’s arguably the Canary Islands’ windsurf capital. It’s that surfer dude element, plus a certain “hippie” quality, which sets it apart from the other southern resorts like Costa Adeje or Los Cristianos.

Eating out in El Médano, therefore, is mostly very casual. Around the town’s main square, by the beach and the iconic Hotel El Médano, and along the seafront boardwalk there are a variety of restaurants from upmarket Italian to traditional eateries from mainland Spain, and, literally, along the seafront, in the opposite direction are dotted several bars serving fish or tapas, which are memorable places to enjoy a cold beer, watching waves almost lap over their walls….. but where do locals eat?

There’s no doubt about where the surfers hang – it’s a beach bar by the name of Flashpoint, tucked away close to the Hotel Playa Sur on the edge of the beach. It’s a famous meeting place for locals, renown for salads with a different twist and delicious breakfast menus (try the smoked salmon with a glass of cava included for a real treat), and it has to be the best people-watching spot around.

El Médano is not an early morning place. When I talk breakfast, it’s what those of us from northern climes would probably call brunch, beginning around 10am, and another favourite nook is Café M on the boardwalk. Throughout the day they serve yummy salads and pasta, and loops (which are akin to bagels) stuffed with meats or cheeses, not only delicious, but easy on the pocket too. They also do a mean iced coffee, which goes down well on a hot day.

Being a small and quirky place, it’s refreshing to find none of the big chains in town, but on Paseo Picacho, just off the main square, there is a crepería (pancake house) by the name of La Bohême, which belongs to a small, local chain (you can find them in Santa Cruz, Candelaria and La Laguna too) but which has none of the worse qualities of chain restaurants. Their salads are imaginative and fresh, their crêpes, both savoury and sweet, melt in the mouth, and the staff cheerful and attentive.

Sushi is fairly new to Tenerife, and whilst there are some excellent places to eat it in both Playa de las Americas and La Caleta, we are blessed with sushi restaurant Jin Shi Jie in El Médano, which boasts not only great quality and a huge choice, but good value and friendly service. On the theme of Asian restaurants it’s impossible to talk about where locals eat without mentioning Chinese Restaurant Hao Ying Ying in Plaza Roja. Quite simply everyone eats there. It’s famous locally for good quality and service and generous portions.

None of these places falls into the fine dining category, they’re affordable, and where you will find the town’s residents eating every day. Eating out in this town is a very relaxed affair, with none of the social overtones you might find in more formal resorts. It’s a matter of personal choice, but shorts and T-shirt will take you just about anywhere. The emphasis is on the food and enjoyment.

Posted : Monday, May 7th, 2012 at 9:18 am
Category : food and drink
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