Tenerife is one of a set of islands that form the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago that sits off the northwest coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. The Canaries are a volcanic created group of islands and are a perennial favourite holiday spot for European holidaymakers, and especially an ever present top choice for UK travellers. The climate and beaches of all the islands are the big draw for holidaymakers, with summers being gloriously sunny and the winters offering a mild winter sun break. Whilst all of the islands in the Canaries offer the chance to have a fantastic beach break, Tenerife offers slightly more. It’s home to the Teide National Park which offers incredible scenery and exploration. Added to this there is lots of Canarian tradition to be discovered in many of the towns on the island.
For most, going on holiday is not only about leaving your stresses at the check-in desk at the airport, but also about sampling a new culture, exploring foreign traditions and of course, indulging in the very best of local cuisine. Authentic restaurants in holiday hot spots can sometimes be hard to find, and with so much choice on offer with holidays to Tenerife, it’s worth taking the time to distinguish the hidden gems from the tourist traps.
Santa Ursula, situated between the two popular resorts of Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz, is one of the more genuinely Canarian towns in Tenerife and therefore is a great destination for some traditional restaurants. Bodeguita de Enfrente is one of these great kept secrets, serving Canarian tapas with a modern twist. Brothers Mario and Fabian have created a menu that not only appeals to those looking for a taste of the traditional, but also to modern diners, in search of something contemporary. The brothers love their wine so you will always have a great bottle to compliment your dish here. Try the morcilla, a fried sweet sausage, and the huevos al estampido, mixed eggs with potatoes and ham, for a flavour delight. It’s a good idea to book first.
The town of Santa Ursula is also home to another treasure, Calderito de la Abuela. Placed atop the Orotava valley on the edge of the town, it has the most spectacular views to match its impressive food. This very homely restaurant, with family photographs displayed on the wall, serves a range of fresh seafood platters, grilled cheese and peppers and colourful salads, all within a warm, eclectically designed setting.
No culinary trip across Tenerife would be complete without a seafood restaurant, and La Marea los Abrigos is the perfect example. Sat overlooking the sea, just along from the resort of Golf de Sur, when you enter this eatery you will walk past a display case of fish, giving you the ultimate choice in which to sample. The menu is simple, keeping the best ingredients fuss free and letting them speak for themselves. Not only can you enjoy the real taste of Tenerife here, but also sit back and listen to the sounds of the waves and indulge in the memorable surrounds.
Playa de las Americas is one of the most popular tourist areas where many come to holiday in Tenerife. Of course with high amounts of tourism comes a lot of hurried food, so try find somewhere off the beaten track, and just along the coast is Adeje. While holidays to Costa Adeje are increasingly popular in Tenerife, the area still retains an authentic feel. In the old town of Adeje you will find, Otelo, a family run restaurant whose popularity is shown through the amount of dining locals every evening, which is testament to the restaurants excellence. With stunning views of the Barranco del Infierno, one of Tenerife’s most famous walking areas, the famous dish here is the pollo al Ajillo, a simple garlic chicken, which is the perfect dish to enjoy in this sociable, relaxed setting.
In Puerto de la Cruz, you can find a chic, elegant restaurant run by the award winning chef, Jesus Gonzalez. El Duende plays host to some of the most creative interpretations of seasonal Canarian dishes, such as rabbit served with a perfectly balanced mojo canario (a Canary sauce), goat stew served with pumpkin and sweet black pudding, and an apple and pear carpaccio with foie gras. Be warned however, you must leave room for dessert at El Duende, where pastry chef Pedro Rodriguez can delight your taste buds with such delights as banana parfait with a hazelnut cake and rum ice cream.
There are many places showcasing the best in Canary Island cuisine across the island of Tenerife. The ingredients speak for themselves here, and if treated with care, can contribute to some of the most memorable dishes you will ever find. Make sure you discover beyond the tourist cafes and diners, and really seek out an authentic meal whilst on holiday in Tenerife.
About the Author: This article was written by Laura Feasey, a member of the easyJet holidays travel writers team.