I have been visiting the Canaries for many years now in the knowledge that it is a great destination for families, but in recent years it has struck me how much the islands have grown as a thriving place for gourmands to visit – its food and drink scene marries top local produce and seafood with innovative, imaginative chefs to exquisite effect.
All across the Canaries, you can expect to encounter top Michelin-starred restaurants and places to satisfy the most discerning of palates. Here are my top choices in Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote of restaurants that offer outstanding dining and places to stay to truly cater to your finer tastes.
Beside the pretty little harbour at Los Abrigos is one of the finest restaurants in Tenerife, Les Roques. Owner Peter Borg serves up an easy-going atmosphere with food that seems effortless but has been carefully crafted for maximum taste. Dishes range from South East Asian (Thai fish cakes with a powerful gingery after-kick) to Mediterranean (sea bass with a rich, peppery Italian bean stew), completed with an indulgent ‘Palta’ dessert – a heavenly lime and avocado sorbet atop an almond biscuit and floating on a thyme-scented white chocolate sauce. A cosy restaurant in a beautiful, romantic setting, particularly in the evening when the lights of the harbour shimmer on the gently rolling seawater, this is one of my clients’ most highly reviewed places to dine in the Canaries.
Located to the north of the island – near the main resort of Puerto de la Cruz but easy enough to miss when approaching along the motorway – this restaurant is one I urge all my clients to visit regardless of where they are staying in Tenerife. It’s named after Chef Lucas who, despite originally coming from Belgium, creates a menu alive with powerful local flavours and a winning, contemporary culinary style. My favourite dish was the smoked salmon in a saffron, honey and caper dressing – it was simply sublime. Other recommended dishes include the champagne-cooked scallops.
Where to Stay: The Ritz-Carlton Abama
The luxurious Ritz-Carlton Abama is a Mecca for gourmands visiting Tenerife, being home to the island’s two Michelin-starred restaurants: the M.B, run by renowned chef Martin Berasategui, excels with innovative dishes such as monk fish roasted with cheesy marshmallows. For those looking for fusion cuisine, the Abama’s other Michelin-starred restaurant, Kabuki, offers an exciting explosion of Spanish and Asian flavours – I would never have thought Hamburger Sushi could work until head chef Daniel Franco surprised me with this delightful dish. The Ritz-Carlton Abama also offers spacious suites and boutique private villas to make your stay as comfortable as possible, and there is a superb golf course should you feel inclined to practice your swing in between lunch and dinner.
This is not just one but three restaurants in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: La Taberna del Puerto, Allende Triana, and Allende Muelle. All are part of the same family, and all offer sensational traditional food seamlessly blended with worldly influences, such as ceviche served with coriander and passion fruit, and octopus with sweet potato. If you have the time, I would recommend visiting all three for a truly indulgent experience!
Chef Pepe Gonzalez puts his own unique, innovative twists on traditional dishes at this superb establishment. My particular favourite was the papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), enflamed with a lovely hot almogrote (savoury cheese paté) – a wonderful combination of classic Canarian flavours and a perfect match for its volcanic setting beside the Bandama Crater.
Where to Stay: Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia
The sweeping and sophisticated Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia is the ideal romantic retreat for couples. Our clients enjoy its elegant atmosphere, indulgent Turkish steam baths and, of course, it’s exceptional restaurant. It is led by Michelin-starred chef Wolfgang Grobauer, who learned his craft in Munich and now brings his own interpretations on quintessential dishes to Gran Canaria. For those looking to dine in the finest possible style, I recommend trying his sublime five-course lobster menu.
A wonderfully stylish, sophisticated restaurant led by Chef Germán Blanco, La Tegla blends Canarian flavours with a dynamic, modern touch to produce clean, healthy dishes to truly satiate your palate. Highly recommended by my clients, its seasonal menu highlights include octopus crispy sheets with ratatouille and stingray, a Russian salad with tuna parpatana and crystal stick, and creamy rice of Spanish sirloin steak and Iberian acorn pork belly.
A short walk from La Santa harbour in the heart of an old fishing village, this rustic dining room provides exceptional seafood dishes and Spanish classics, such as thyme and lime glazed sea bass and sardines coated in mojo verde. With a warm, cosy atmosphere, this is my favourite place to eat in Lanzarote, perfect after a day soaking up the salty smells of the sea.
Where to Stay: Princesa Yaiza
A must-stay for food connoisseurs to Lanzarote, seaside hotel Princesa Yaiza is devoted to gastronomic perfection, providing avant-garde cuisine in a stunning position overlooking the ocean and out towards Fuerteventura. There are four outstanding restaurants to choose from here: for local Spanish, try + Tapas and Isla de Lobos; Italian dishes are available at Don Giovanni, and Japanese at Kampai. If you’re anything like me, you will find it hard to decide which one is your favourite. The Princess Yaiza is also home to an outstanding array of leisure facilities, particularly its Thalasso Centre, where you can relax with a range of beauty and healthy treatments in the spa.
For more outstanding gourmet destinations to explore, read my blog post here.