Gastronomy in the Canary Islands

Cheese in Tenerife

One of the best things about going on vacation is being able to experience the unique tastes and flavors of your destination’s native cuisine. For those of you who are not afraid to challenge your palate, a new location can lead to a new world of possibilities. Travelers come to Tenerife for a variety of reasons, but one thing that never fails to disappoint them is the quality of food during their stay. Whether it is the fresh fish, the locally grown produce or the island’s famous Mojo sauce, Tenerife has an endless supply of native cuisine that will make your taste buds call out for more.


The Canary Islands are an autonomous region that is under the control of nearby Spain. Spanish control has influenced the islands in a number of ways, including the impact Spanish dining has had on Canarian cuisine. A major staple of Spanish dining has ingrained itself in the community of Tenerife. Tapas has blossomed on Tenerife, as natives to the island have implanted their own twist into the traditional Spanish dish. Papas arrugadas served with mojo is one of the most common tapas plates that you will come across during your stay on Tenerife. Mojo is a traditional Canarian salsa that will bring some much needed spice to your choice of tapas. Local tapas plates are not only heavily influenced by mojo, but by a number of other locally produced products as well. Tenerife has become world renowned for a number of different cheeses that are produced locally on the island, including their famous goat cheese. The local restaurants have done an incredible job of mixing and matching these world class ingredients to provide you with a wide variety of dishes for you and your companions to enjoy.

Main Course

Now that we have covered some of the best starters for your Tenerife dining experience, it’s time to discuss the heart of the meal. While everybody loves a good appetizer, your main course is what is going to leave a lasting impression. There are a number of meals you can find on Tenerife that will offer you the incredible seasonings and flavors that are unique to the island. Ropa Vieja is a classic Canarian dish that combines a variety of island staples into one delectable stew. The combination of shredded beef, chicken, potatoes and garbanzo beans combine for a mouth-watering meal that you should be able to find at any restaurant on Tenerife. Sancocho Canario has become another mainstay in the Canarian dining experience. This dish often combines tapas favorite papas arrugadas with sweet potatoes and locally caught fish to produce a salty and savory meal. Roasted goat is another must try during your visit to Tenerife, as the indigenous animal has long been an important fixture in the island’s culinary experience. You can’t go wrong with any of these meals, as they will all help you come to understand the creativity and ingenuity of Canarian cuisine.


You should always save the best for last, and that is exactly what is being done with these traditional Canarian desserts. You may already be satisfied with your main meal, but in order to truly capture that wonders of dining in Tenerife, you are going to need to try a little Frangollo. This dessert combines ingredients such as milk, eggs, raisins, almonds and cinnamon to provide you with a light, sweet dessert that is perfect after a big meal. If that dish does not peak your interest, you could always go with the Canary Islands most popular desert, Bienmesabe. This dish, which translates to “it tastes good to me” combines the flavoring from almonds and lemons to provide you with one of the most unique tastes you will experience on Tenerife. The dining options on Tenerife can often times seem endless, but try your best to experience the best that the island has to offer on your next journey!   

Where to Eat & Drink

Finally, now that you have an idea of what meals are part of a must-have experience during your stay in Tenerife, here's where you should go to try it all. Tenerife has a wide variety of restaurants and bars that allow you to experience unique Canarian cuisine, both old and new. El Calderito de la Abuela is a staple of the Tenerife dining scene, as this classic restaurant can be found on the Northern part of the island. This local establishment has been run by native islanders for over four generations, who has made it their goal to provide visitors with a traditional Canarian experience. La Bodeguita de Enfrente is another local establishment that has really helped to develop the tapas scene on Tenerife. Right on the same street is Donde Mario, a restaurant that has done a great job of combining the unique culture of the Canary Islands with traditional Spanish food. These restaurants, along with the dozens of other great spots on Tenerife, will allow you to experience the wide range of tastes and flavors that the Canary Islands has to offer. Now it is up to you to make the most out of your vacation, and give your taste buds a trip that they will never forget!


As Atlantic Island Specialists, Quest Travel Adventures has the expertise, depth of experience, local knowledge and connections to ensure you have a spectacular, memorable, and worry-free trip of a lifetime. Some of our most popular trips to the Canary Islands include our 7 Day Taste of the Canary Islands and our 8 Day Lisbon-Tenerife Combo. Our 8 Day Canarian Cuisine and Wine Trip in particular does a great job of highlighting all of the great treats that the Canary Islands have to offer. You can view all of our other wonderful Canary Islands trips right here.

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