Top Ten Tapas Dishes on Tenerife

Fri, May 27th, 2011 - By Jack Montgomery

Although not really a typically Canarian style of eating, the widespread popularity of tapas means that this social way of dining is widely available across Tenerife. The rule of thumb is that the more traditional the resort, the bigger the choice of tapas bars you’re likely to have.


So anyone staying in Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz, Los Cristianos, El Médano and Garachico will find lots of inviting places to sample tapas on Tenerife. However, anyone in Playa de las Américas, Golf del Sur and even the Costa Adeje area might find tapas bars more difficult to track down.

One thing that most tapas bars on Tenerife have in common is the range of dishes on offer. Menus are usually available in English, but sometimes the translation leaves a lot to be desired and that yummy-sounding fish pie can turn out to be a cold, wobbly fish mousse.

To help prepare you for what is actually going to appear in front of you, here are ten Tenerife tapas that are favourites on menus across Tenerife.

Papas arrugadas
These salty, wrinkled potatoes are served with two sauces, mojo rojo (red and a bit spicy) and mojo verde (green and often also a bit spicy…but with more flavour).

Croquetas caseras
Basically fried croquettes filled with a variation of ham, chicken, fish and potatoes. Look for caseras as that means home-made.

Ensaladilla Rusa
Russian salad. What this mixture of potato, mayonnaise, hard boiled egg, peas, sweetcorn and tuna has to do with Russia no-one seems to know. But you get it everywhere and it’s great when spread on bread.

Gambas al ajillo
This sizzling dish is served in a small clay pot and consists of prawns in hot oil flavoured by garlic (and sometimes chopped chillies). It’s scrumptious but be careful not to burn your mouth.



Chopitos fritos
Tiny fried squid that are perfect for picking at whilst waiting for the next dish to arrive. Chopitos is also the name for shots of alcohol. I’ve always wanted to find a bar that serves both so I could ask for chopitos con chopitos to see what they’d come up with.

Camembert frito
This one is simply fried Camembert served with a dollop of jam; an addition that really unlocks the flavours and sends them soaring.

Tortilla española
Simply Spanish omelette as opposed to tortilla francesa (french omelette). Thick chunky wedges of potato, egg and onion pie. Superb with a bit of alioli (garlic mayonnaise).

These are bite-sized crescent-shaped pies with a tuna and tomato filling.


Tasty, bone-free anchovies in a vinegary and garlic marinade. Delicious and not at all salty like the ones on pizzas.

And finally, pimientos de Padrón
The most fun tapas of all. Green peppers fried in olive oil and sprinkled with rock salt. Not only do they taste divine, one in ten, if they are proper Padrón peppers, packs a punch like a mule’s kick – that’s where the fun part comes in.

Posted : Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 12:05 pm
Category : food and drink
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2 Responses to “Top Ten Tapas Dishes on Tenerife”

  1. […] country pub look while the menu is pure Canarian. You’ll find all the usual suspects of Tenerife tapas such as calamari, pimientos de Padrón and gambas al ajillo but you’ll also find some […]

  2. […] 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 […]

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