Jack wrote recently about vegetarian eating in the north of the island:
“The days of picking at an omelette whilst friends tucked into fancy meals has long gone… in some parts of Tenerife at least.”
I’m guessing he added that rider because he suspected it was different down south.
It’s a big area to generalize about the tourist zone, from Golf del Sur to Los Gigantes, and it attracts would-be restaurateurs from many different backgrounds. I began to look, on foot and online, for vegetarian restaurants. I was excited to find one in my home town of El Médano but reports from friends were so dire I didn’t even try it! Enquiries and research turned up none in Los Cristianos or along Costa Adeje.
In the end it occurred to me that the key is in the south’s multi-cultural diversity. Certain cuisines use vegetables as creatively as they do meats or fish.
Just think Italian, and you can you smell pesto, tomatoes, oregano and cheese? Italian classics, pastas and pizzas, both come with plentiful choices of vegetable sauces or toppings. We already told you about some of our favourite pizzerias.
Indian cuisine specializes in vegetable dishes. Roy’s Pizza and Indian Tandoori in Playa de las Americas will base your curry on tofu, and classic onion bahjis and samosas are on the menu, as well as other yummy stuff.
Thai cooking is another with a long vegetarian tradition. Thai Botanico in the Safari Center, at the Arona end of Playa de las Americas, has a large selection of non-meat dishes. Biggest surprise? Chinese restaurants. I expected lots of choice here too, but it seems that most have tweaked their cooking to suit western tastes.
If you want to eat local, by which I mean Spanish as well as Canarian, the easiest option is tapas, several of which are vegetable/cheese based, and if you can find a restaurant which does a vegetable paella well, then you have found foodie heaven!
It’s the higher end restaurants that, inexplicably, seem to cater less for specific dietary requirements. Most include at least one vegetarian dish, but mostly just one. The delectable Los Roques in Los Abrigos offers a falafel starter and crispy coconut coated deep fried vegetables as a main; 88 in La Caleta has tofu in tomato reduced chilli sauce, and offers a vegetarian variation on one of its maki recipes. The food in both places is superb, but if you want to keep going back, it might get boring.
Best choice from an upmarket establishment: Empire in the Safari Center, which offers several starters like goat’s cheese quiche, and vegetable side dishes, like bubble and squeak and roasted veggies, you could combine; plus a to-die-for wild mushroom Wellington.
Best vegetarian breakfast: Alejandra in Costa del Silencio whose mouthwatering and generous bubble and squeak comes with beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and egg.
For that rarity, an original salad: La Bohême in El Médano, who have the biggest salad menu in the south, including some without meat, not to forget their yummy crepes.
Best area to just stroll, study menus, and where you will find something to suit from Italian to Lebanese, is San Telmo in Los Cristianos.
Whilst eating vegetarian certainly doesn’t mean you have a big choice here, there are at least some options among the wilted lettuce brigade!
Category : food and drink
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