Sun, sea and spectacular scenery, Tenerife is an incredible holiday destination. There’s nothing better than strolling along the sun-kissed seafront after a long day on the beach, with the promise of food on the horizon. What’s more is that the island of Tenerife is home to a plethora of incredible eateries, from luxurious fine-dining to local tavernas, where the best accompaniment is a cold, refreshing beverage. However, if you’re looking for something smaller, tapas is always going to be your best option.
We spoke to travel bloggers Cory and G from You Could Travel, who shared their views on Tenerife: "Our favourite thing about Tenerife was the food. Like most people, we enjoy long walks on the beach, but the highlight for us was definitely the amazing seafood we could find in Tenerife. We stayed in Puerto de la Cruz and took various day trips in search of local delicacies. We tried octopus, shrimp and all sort of delicious oysters. The best thing would be to order a platter of seafood and devour it with amazing views of the ocean. This way you can try a little bit of everything and get to pick your favourite for next time."
“My favourite thing about Tenerife is that it is so diverse”, shares Paulina from the travel blog Paulina on the Road. “Whether you are a hiker or prefer to lay on the beach all day, Tenerife has it! The island boasts many hiking trails in the lush green north, and the south holds the prettiest beaches. If you are looking for something more adventurous, you may consider climbing the Teide volcano. It is the highest mountain in Spain and it was my favourite place for stargazing in Tenerife.
“When in Tenerife you should definitely have the "Papas con Mojo", potatoes cooked in sea salt with a red spicy sauce. I also like the "Barraquito" which is the typical coffee from the island. It is coffee with milk, condensed milk and optionally a lemon zest and cinnamon. Some even add liqueur to it. It is definitely one of the most typical things to eat in Tenerife.”
Makika & Co also share their top ten tapas picks when in Tenerife, and a little bit of insight as to where you should go to sample them: “Generally, the best tapas bars are found in the bigger traditional towns around the island where bite-sized offerings can range from perennial favourites to avant-garde creations. These are the top 10 tapas you can pick at with amigos in most places on Tenerife: Papas con Mojo, Pimientos de padrón (Padrón pepeprs), churros de pescado (fish churros), croquetas caseras (croquettes), chopitos (fried baby squid), escaldón de gofio (fish stock soup), queso asado con mojos (roasted cheese) y carne de fiesta (a meat feast).”
So, before you head out on your next cruise from Newcastle to the gorgeous Tenerife, take a look at our guide to find some of the best tapas spots on the island.
“Grilled cheese, or queso a la plancha, is a must in Tenerife”, shares Ashley from Devour Tours. “You can find it in restaurants all over the island, and it usually comes served with the Canary Islands' famous mojo sauce, or with palm honey (made from palm trees!). Both are great, but my favourite is with the honey—you can't beat the sweet and salty combination. Even better if it's topped with gofio, a mixture of toasted grains (think wheat and barley) that's hard to find outside of the Canaries.”
La Clave in Puerto de la Cruz is just one of the places on the island where you can enjoy traditional Tenerife tapas, including queso fresco a la plancha. Other dishes on their menu include empanadillas, which is pastry filled with goats cheese, apple and cinnamon, aros de calamares a la andaluza, otherwise known as squid rings, and indulgent gazpacho.
Ashley from Devour Tours loves the Tenerife landscape: “It's completely different from mainland Spain, and even from the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. Tenerife is a side of Spain that you've never imagined, with a volcanic landscape that lends itself to some really incredible wines.”
“The gastronomy is very varied depending on the place. I recommend getting away from touristy areas to find the real and authentic gastronomy from the island, such as "papas arrugadas" (potatoes cooked in the typical way of the Canaries) mojos (sauces), fresh fish, octopus and morenas, ribs and potatoes, pork and chicken meat roasted, salmorejo, puchero, vegetable soup!” shares Felipe from Bodegas Monje.
Although not a tapas hotspot, Bodegas Monje does have myriad wines for you to sample. So, if you’re looking for something slightly different, this could be just the spot for you. We spoke to Felipe who offered some insight to the restaurant:
“The restaurant was opened 25 years ago, we decided then that a wide range of people should enjoy our wines and also our gastronomy. The winery has a capacity of 120 people and we also offer an amazing terrace with stunning views to the north of Tenerife. Our kitchen is inspired by family recipes and using only local products. We have a variety of specialities, including the black pork cooked in a leña, the rabbit with salmorejo sauce, the chickpeas and the artisan goats cheese from the different Canary Islands. The clients can also join a Mojo Workshop, led by our chef Moisés Rodríguez.”
Tierras del Sur
We asked Molly from the travel blog Piccavey why she loves Tenerife: “I love all the lush green plants and colourful flowers around the island, although my personal favourite is San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a UNESCO recognised town with colonial mansions and a stunning church in the north of Tenerife.
“It a great place for cheese lovers. Try melted cheese with local mojo sauce. Look out for two typical desserts called Principe Alberto or Bienmesabe”. If you’re on the lookout for tapas dishes such as these, then look no further than Tierras del Sur. Their tapas menu boasts octopus., goats cheese and Spanish ham, all of which is perfectly complemented by their large selection of wine. Using only the freshest of local ingredients, many of their dishes are seasonal, meaning that the menu is ever-changing.
Mezcala & Co
Monica is from one of the UK’s leading travel blogs, The Travel Hack. We asked her why she thought Tenerife was a great holiday destination: “My favourite thing about Tenerife is the weather! With year-round sunshine, it's a great place to visit for some winter sunshine without having to take a long-haul flight! This makes it a really affordable holiday destination. The beaches are beautiful, and I love the little towns around the coast.”
When asked what tapas visitors to the island should try, Monica recommends: “Seafood platters! Find a beachside restaurant and enjoy a feast of all the fresh seafood available.” Fortunately, nestled on the shores of Playa de las Vistas, Mezcala & Co is the perfect option. Thai-inspired calamari dishes can be found on the menu alongside Tuna Tartare. Fancy something lighter? Why not opt for goats cheese served with sundried tomatoes or their freshly-made hummus instead.