Getting to Know Traditional Tenerife Restaurants

Wed, August 20th, 2014 - By Jack Montgomery

Where’s a good traditional restaurant in… ?

It’s a question that comes up often about eating out on Tenerife. More accurately, the question is usually ‘where can I find a good Spanish restaurant in…?’

However, the poser of the question invariably means a restaurant serving good local food. Spanish restaurants are different things altogether.

Understanding there’s a difference between Spanish and Canarian cuisine helps, but that isn’t the end of it. Canarian restaurants come in various shapes and guises. Knowing what the sign above the entrance to a restaurant means can help newcomers to the world of Tenerife dining negotiate their way around quite a diverse range of eating experiences.


Traditional Canarian Menu


Basically, a beach bar where you can get snacks and maybe light meals such as tapas. These aren’t necessarily Canarian but I’ve thrown it in because I recently saw an online discussion where people were getting a bit mixed up between chiringuitos and guachinches. Which brings me to…

The most basic of Canarian restaurants and more traditionally found in the hills of north Tenerife (La Orotava to Tacoronte is where most are located). Andy wrote a post with more information about guachinches recently; they’re makeshift restaurants that sell their own wine with a handful of very traditional Canarian dishes.


Salchichas and chorizo


Comida Típica Canaria
See this beside a restaurant’s name and you know you’ve got a bona fide Canarian restaurant. Leave the resort areas and the majority of restaurants you pass on Tenerife will be serving ‘comida típica’ (typical food). You’ll also find plenty in the more traditional resorts like Puerto de la Cruz and Los Cristianos.

Cocina Casera
Casera means homemade grub and the difference in menus between a restaurant serving typical Canarian cuisine and one that serves comida casera is negligible. What the ‘casera’ part tells you is that a) they take a lot of pride in producing good homemade food, there is probably an abuela (granny) involved somewhere, and b) everything is freshly made using local ingredients. There should be no danger of food that was once frozen turning up on your plate.


Parrillada, grill menu, Tenerife


You don’t need to see the word ‘asadero’ to know you’re near one, the aroma of barbecued meats will drive you insane with hunger (unless you’re vegetarian) long before you arrive at the front door. These are traditional steakhouses specialising in grilled meats.

Especialidades a la Brasa
Not a million miles from asaderos, but there is a difference. If you see this on a restaurant sign it tells you that they also specialise in grilled food, but this time it can include fish and seafood as well as meat.


Bodeguita de Enfrente, Tenerife


A bodegón can be a wine cellar/food store, or a word for a still life painting depicting the sort of things you’d find in a pantry. In Tenerife’s case it’s a type of tasca that not only sells traditional Canarian cuisine, it’s also a good choice for wine drinkers, often stocking its own. Sometimes these can be called bodeguitas, which are just smaller versions.

Whichever of these you venture into (apart from the chiringuito), you’ll be guaranteed a taste of authentic Canarian cooking.

Posted : Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 11:30 am
Category : about tenerife
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2 Responses to “Getting to Know Traditional Tenerife Restaurants”

  1. Sonjie says:

    The phrase is “comida típica”, with an “a” at the end, because it’s a feminine word. Sorry but I can’t resist the temptation to correct grammatical mistakes!!!

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