Canary Islands Restaurants

Canarian cuisine is based on the delicious rockfish that abound near the coast, and its specialties are worth searching out. A typical meal begins with a hearty stew, such as potaje canario (a stew of vegetables, potatoes, and garbanzo beans), rancho canario (vegetables and meat), and potaje de berros (watercress soup). Canarians eat the porridge-like gofio (made with corn or another grain and milk or broth), though it's hard to find in restaurants. The next course is fresh native fish, the best of which are vieja, cherne, and sama, all firm-flesh white rockfish. Accompanying the fish are papas arrugadas (literally, "wrinkled potatoes"), tiny potatoes native to the Canaries boiled in salty water so that salt crystals form on them as they dry.

Other specialties include cabrito (roast baby goat) and conejo (rabbit), both served in salmorejo, a slightly spicy paprika sauce. Finally, no Canarian meal is complete without a dab of mojo picón, a spicy sauce made with pimientos (red chili peppers), garlic, and tomatoes. Most restaurants serve mojo with each main course, and Canarians heap it liberally on dishes as varied as fish and papas arrugadas. The tamer version is mojo verde,made with cilantro and parsley. Another island specialty is goat cheese, made best in La Palma.

Canarian wines are surprisingly good and varied. Try the young reds and whites on Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote, where wine production is centuries old—the Malmsey wines from Lanzarote were a favorite with Shakespeare's Falstaff. On the stronger side, the Canaries are famous for their dark rum, and several new liqueurs (flavored with coffee, cocoa, or hazelnut) have grown in popularity over the last few years.

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  • 1. Bar Baku

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    Try wrapping your head around the fact that there's an Azerbaijani restaurant in Tenerife where you can find Georgian specialties served by Russian waiters. Improbably,...Read More

  • 2. Bikina

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    Skip the middling tourist-packed cafés and sandwich shops on the Las Canteras boardwalk and grab a bite at this sunny, casual storefront instead that serves...Read More

  • 3. Casa Pache

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    Down a plant-lined alley off the Plaza del Charco, this family-run restaurant is in a typical local house, with a labyrinth of small rooms leading...Read More

  • 4. El Lateral 27

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    Situated on the main shopping street, this restaurant is a convenient place to stop for a meal after sightseeing, especially since the kitchen is open...Read More

  • 5. Everest Indian Restaurant

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    When you can't look at another plate of fish and taters without moaning—mira, it happens to the best of us in the Canaries—spring for a...Read More

  • 6. La Garriga

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    Some of the best sandwiches in town are made here, and the tortilla (potato omelet) may be the tastiest on the island. You can also...Read More

  • 7. La Tapita Los Joses

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    Cheap and cheerful sums up this small bar-restaurant at the north end of Maspalomas. It's usually packed with locals, who flock here for good and...Read More

  • 8. Los Pinchitos

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    Los Pinchitos is one of those dying-breed restaurants where you can eat your fill of pristine seafood without maxing out your credit card. Settle in...Read More

  • 9. Tasca Tagoror

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    Opposite the Iberostar Grand Mencey, this tiny no-frills bar serves simple Canarian cuisine—think grilled sardines and tomato-avocado salads—in abundant portions at reasonable prices. The dining...Read More

  • 10. Te Lo Dije Pérez

    $ | Vegueta

    Just below the cathedral square is one of the island's best bars for having a beer—there's a huge selection—along with some tapas. The bar feels...Read More

  • 11. Tropical

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    Those in the know come here for typical Canarian food, especially the local dayboat fish. The best tables are outside on the pedestrian street, a...Read More

  • 12. Zoe Food

    $ | Triana

    A magnet for vegetarians and vegans, this restaurant has retro decor and a pleasant, shady terrace. Specialties include vegetable woks with tofu, vegan meatballs, and...Read More

  • 13. Zumería Tamarindo

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    Students and penny-pinching travelers flock to this no-frills juice bar, as famous for its colorful smoothies (made with local fruit) as it is for its...Read More

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