Here’s a list of ingredients for a sandwich vegetal taken from a Spanish recipe:
- 3 panes de sandwich
- 2 huevos cocidos
- Jamón York
You don’t need to be fluent in Spanish to spot there are two ingredients in there that you really wouldn’t expect to find on a vegetable toastie.
But, a love of ham aside, things have changed over the last decade for vegetarians on Tenerife.
Whilst we still laugh that occasionally a sandwich vegetal on Tenerife can come with jamon, dining options for vegetarians has improved in leaps and bounds. Ironically, you’re more likely to find good vegetarian food in some of the more traditional big towns and cities on Tenerife than you are in resorts that cater for mainly British visitors.
Even in seriously traditional restaurants there are usually vegetarian tapas dishes: pimientos de Padrón (fried peppers), wonderful local cheeses, grilled cheese covered in mojo and honey, fried Camembert, Spanish tortillas, spinach croquettes, papas arrugadas (the local speciality of wrinkled potatoes) and so on.
Over the years, more and more restaurants on Tenerife have increased their vegetarian options so that you get places like the Olive Garden in Los Cristianos and CK’s Bistro in Los Gigantes offering a good selection of tasty vegetarian dishes. Lebanese and Italian have always been great choices for mixed company. Lebanese especially have some wonderful non-meat options that are a treat for the tastebuds whether you’re vegetarian or not.
There’s also been a rise in ecological restaurants around the island and these tend to have decent non-meat options on the menu.
But what about full blown, dedicated vegetarian restaurants?
Surprisingly, vegetarians will find themselves better catered for in areas where there are bigger Canario populations. In Santa Cruz there are vegetarian cafés and restaurants including Burger Mel (C/ la Marina), which serves great veggie burgers, and Kimpira (C/ San Vincente Ferrer) whose chefs have been dishing out hearty meat-free meals to Santa Cruz’ vegetarians for nearly 20 years.
Best location on Tenerife for vegetarians is Puerto de la Cruz which boasts the greatest choice for non-meat eaters. El Limón (C/Esquivel) is a smart café/restaurant serving fresh juices and veggie burgers and hot dogs – ideal for veggies who fancy their version of a junk food hit. Hay Lo Que Hay, opposite the Hotel Botanico, is an ecological vegetarian restaurant that moved from the other side of town to a more prominent position and is gathering rave reviews.
Topping them all is El Maná on Calle Mesquinez – trendy with a creative vegetarian menu – in the heart of one of the best restaurant districts on Tenerife.
And if you fancy eating in, Al Campo supermarket just outside the town has a wide range of vegetarian foods as does Saroj Supermarket near the centre of Puerto.
The days of picking at an omelette whilst friends tucked into fancy meals has long gone… in some parts of Tenerife at least.
Category : food and drink
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