Where To Eat In Tenerife (And What To Order)!

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Its popularity with British holidaymakers might fool you into thinking Tenerife’s gastronomy extends only as far as The Great British Fry Up, but my recent press trip to the Canary island taught me that Tenerife’s local food is reason alone to book a trip there. The destination’s 3,000 or so restaurants are affordable, meaning you can sample some of the best food in Tenerife even if you’re on a budget. Travellers who want to splash out, though, can choose from four Michelin starred restaurants in Tenerife – one of which has two stars.

Read my huge guide to things to do in Tenerife

Best places to eat in Tenerife

I was quite surprised to find that Tenerife’s cuisine is very different from that of mainland Spain, with a little more spice and swagger in Canarian fare – but the Spanish influence is still present, combined with flavours from Venezuela and Cuba.

Where and what to eat and drink in Tenerife

I spent a few days exploring Tenerife with Jet2 and Visit Tenerife and during that time, I was lucky enough to get to eat and drink in some of the best spots in Tenerife. From cooking lessons to wine-themed activities and my recommendations for memorable meals in Tenerife’s best restaurants, this is my food guide to Tenerife. I hope it’s helpful for any hungry travellers looking for some inspiration for where to eat in Tenerife!

Where to eat in Puerto de la Cruz: Restaurante Régulo

This 200 year old Canarian house in the old town of Puerto de la Cruz has been transformed into a comfortable restaurant, and its commercialisation hasn’t compromised its traditional charm. The leafy courtyard is surrounded by various small rooms that allow for private dining experiences, or you can choose to eat in the courtyard itself. We were served delicious prawns and stuffed peppers to start, followed by fresh grouper drizzled with a typical Canarian green mojo sauce, which is packed with fragrant parsley. You’ll quickly learn that mojo sauce is akin to ketchup in the Canary islands!

Where to eat in Puerto de la Cruz
Best restaurant in Puerto de la Cruz for seafood

Where to eat in Santa Cruz de Tenerife: La Hierbeta

If you’re spending a day exploring Tenerife’s capital, you’ll need somewhere to eat lunch in Santa Cruz. La Hierbeta is a traditional restaurant that dates back to 1893 with various small rooms spread across its labyrinth-like floors. Our guide mentioned it was his favourite place to eat so we popped in for a beer, but the food that was coming out of the kitchen made my mouth water – especially the huevos estrellados.

Look out for the window seat set into the thick outer wall, where courting couples used to sit and talk with the young girl’s mother sitting between them. The mother would hold a candle to time their talks and either the girl or her mother could blow the candle out to signal she’d had enough! I love little tales from the past like this, don’t you?

Where to eat local food in Santa Cruz Tenerife
Best place for local food in Santa Cruz Tenerife

Where to eat in Taganana: Restaurante Playa Casa Africa

This casual eatery opposite the wild waves of Playa de Almáciga in Taganana is run by two brothers. It’s a good option if you want a cheap lunch during a day exploring the island.

The place is packed to the rafters with locals and the menu of local fish, gnarly fried octopus and salted Canarian potatoes will leave you licking your lips. Don’t bother enquiring about dessert: the grinning brothers will offer you either a banana or a tub of banana flavoured ice cream.

It’s no frills and slightly chaotic (the queue for the ladies almost killed me), but Casa Africa is one of the more authentic places to eat lunch in Tenerife.

Casa Africa restaurant in Tenerife
Lunch at Casa Africa Tenerife

Where to eat in Santa Ursula: La Bodeguita de Enfrente

There’s so much to say about this charming restaurant. Having been passed down through four generations (the current chefs’ father was born in one of the rooms!), this rustic tapas restaurant on the side of the road serves authentic Canarian food with real flavour. They also make their own wine, which is only available at the restaurant, and have an organic fruit and vegetable garden outside. The brothers own three restaurants, one of which is across the road from the one we ate in, which was their flagship venue.

The ‘pastel de setas‘ (a creamy mushroom terrine with a delicate creamy mustard and parmesan sauce) was surprisingly delicious and their ‘huevos al estampido‘ was the best egg and chips I’ve ever eaten. We were also served croquetas with ensaladilla rusa (a bit like potato salad) and a typical local dish of fried goats cheese topped with palm honey (yes, sap from a palm tree!) and mojo sauce. The local name for this is queso asado.

La Bodeguita de Enfrente is the perfect place for a romantic meal for two in Tenerife, or for a wine-heavy night with friends.

Organic food restaurant in Tenerife
Food to try in Tenerife: goats cheese
Best local restaurants in Tenerife
Best restaurant in Puerto de la Cruz Tenerife

Where to eat in El Suazal: Bodgeas Monje

With views of El Teide and its surrounding vineyards, Bodgeas Monje is a great place to immerse yourself in Tenerife’s wine scene. We had a tour of the rather large winery and learned about how the family who owns the place has been making wine since 1750, then had a short mojo sauce cooking lesson from the chef. Afterwards, it was time for lunch. The menu was filled with traditional Canarian delicacies like roasted Cochino Negro pork with chayote compote. Other local dishes include pork scratchings coated in gofio, which is a bit like cornflour and once kept farm workers sustained, and Ox tail stew made with Tintilla wine accompanied by red cabbage and berries.

You can sit on the winery’s outdoor terrace drinking in the views while you drink their produce. I highly recommend a meal or cooking class here if you want to learn to make traditional Tenerife recipes!

Best winery for lunch in Tenerife
Best winery restaurant in Tenerife
Tenerife cooking class

Where to eat in Teide National Park: Parador de Cañadas del Teide

This upscale white tablecloth restaurant in the shadows of ‘Papa Teide’ lets diners enjoy unparalleled views of Tenerife’s namesake volcano while they eat. We had dinner here before a night of stargazing in the park and the food certainly warmed us up for our night outdoors. I was served the largest plate of food I’ve ever seen, piled high with puchero canario, which is a pork stew with chickpeas, cabbage, sausage and all sorts of other hearty ingredients that’s typical in Tenerife.

What to eat in Tenerife

Typical fruit and vegetables grown in abundance in Tenerife include bananas (they even have banana jam!), potatoes (there are over twenty varieties of potato grown in Tenerife including papas bonitas (pretty potatoes), papas negras (black potatoes), papas Quineguas or Chineguas (King Edward potatoes), and papaya. Peppers are important in Canary Islands cuisine – look out for pimientos de padrón, a special variety of peppers fried in olive oil and sprinkled with rock salt.

The island also produces lots of almonds, which are used in typical desserts in Tenerife.

You’ll also notice a lot of honey, cheese, mojo (red or green sauce made with peppers, garlic and olive oil), Gofio and plenty of local wine. Tenerife’s wine was one of the biggest pleasant surprises of my trip!

Fish is obviously delicious in Tenerife, particularly the octopus and grouper. One of the most common fish dishes in Tenerife is churros de pescado with alioli (battered fish with garlic mayo).

Pork is a another popular food there, and you’ll see Cochino negro (black pig) on lots of menus.

The most authentic dish you can order anywhere in Tenerife has to be huevos estrellados or as it’s sometimes known, huevos al estampido. This comforting meal is comprised of fried or scrambled egg and chips, with either chorizo or jamón Ibérico. This is closely followed by papas arrugadas which is boiled and salted potatoes with mojo sauce. Trust me, they taste better than they look!

If you’d like to try a local tipple, order a ‘barraquito‘. This sweet liquor coffee is made with condensed milk, espresso, lemon and cinnamon. It’s the taste of Tenerife!

What to eat and drink in Tenerife

If you’d really like to delve into Tenerife’s food and wine scene, why not book a gastronomy tour during your holiday?

Have you had a delicious meal in Tenerife? Share your findings in the comments!

I visited Tenerife on a press trip with Jet2 and Visit Tenerife but words are my own.

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