Ever found yourself wandering a new city, stomach growling, wondering what on earth to eat? I’ve been in those shoes more times than I can count. But my trip to Tenerife was a game changer.

The island’s vibrant food scene, with its unique flavors and dishes like nowhere else, had me hooked from the get-go.

I learned that mojo sauce is the heartthrob of many local specialties, coming in two tantalizing varieties: mojo rojo and mojo verde. That bit of trivia was merely the appetizer for my culinary expedition across Tenerife.

In this post, I’ll take you through the ins and outs of Canarian cuisine—from those irresistible wrinkled potatoes drenched in mojo sauce to robust fish stews that warm your soul.

I’m also spilling the beans on where to snag these authentic eats—be it bustling street markets or quaint guachinches tucked away off the beaten path. If you’re ready for your taste buds to be transported, stick around!

Key Takeaways

  • Tenerife’s food mixes Spanish, African, and Latin American flavors. Dishes like papas arrugadas with mojo sauce show this blend.
  • Mojo sauces, in red and green varieties, add unique tastes to many meals. They use local ingredients like peppers and garlic.
  • Goats cheese is popular in Tenerife. It’s served grilled or fried, adding rich flavor to dishes.
  • Gofio is a key part of the diet. This toasted grain flour dates back to the island’s original people and is used in various dishes.
  • Local wines enhance Tenerife’s meals. The island produces distinctive white and red wines that pair well with its cuisine.

Traditional Tenerife Dishes

I love trying new foods, and Tenerife dishes are some of my favorites. They mix Spanish, African, and Latin American tastes. One dish you have to try is papas arrugadas. These are small potatoes cooked in salted water and served with mojo sauce.

The mojo comes in red (mojo rojo) made with paprika, and green (mojo verde) made with coriander or parsley. Both are delicious.

Another must-try is gofio. This is a flour made from roasted maize or wheat that locals use in many ways—from breakfast cereals to thicken stews or even as a dessert mixed with honey.

Eating gofio makes me feel like I’m sharing a part of Canary Islands history since it was a staple for the island’s original inhabitants, the Guanches.


3 Mojo sauce variations (mojo rojo and mojo verde)

A table setting with colorful dishes and bowls of mojo rojo and mojo verde.

So, let me tell you about these amazing sauces from Tenerife called mojo. There are two main types: mojo rojo and mojo verde. Mojo rojo is a spicy sauce that gets its kick from red peppers and lots of garlic.

I make it by blending these ingredients until they’re just right, creating a flavor that’s bold and exciting. It pairs perfectly with potatoes or grilled meat, adding an unforgettable punch to any meal.

Mojo verde, on the other hand, is green from coriander and parsley. This sauce is more than just its color; it’s fresh and herby with a garlic twist but not as spicy as mojo rojo. I love drizzling it over fish or using it as a dip for bread.

Honestly, mixing up these sauces at home brings a taste of Canary Islands right into my kitchen – each spoonful feels like discovering Tenerife all over again!

4 Goat cheese

After talking about the zesty mojo sauces, let’s shift to another treat from Tenerife that I adore – goat cheese. This cheese comes in many delicious ways. You can find it grilled, giving it a nice, crispy outside with a soft inside.

Or fried, where it gets this golden color and tastes amazing.

I also love it in salads or as part of a bigger meal. The flavors are so rich and deep; they make every bite exciting. This cheese is not just food; it’s an experience here in the Canary Islands.

French cheese and baguette

Every time I try it, whether on its own or with other dishes like those tasty papas arrugadas and mojos, I’m reminded why Canarian food is truly special.

5 Papas arrugadas with mojo sauces

I love trying new foods, and Tenerife offers something truly special with its papas arrugadas. These are small potatoes boiled in salt water until they’re tender. What makes them stand out is their skin—it turns wrinkly but tastes amazing.

They serve these potatoes with mojo sauces, which come in two types: mojo rojo and mojo verde. Mojo rojo is a spicy red sauce made from garlic-y mixes, cayenne pepper, and sweet or smoked paprika.

On the other hand, mojo verde is a green sauce crafted with cilantro (or sometimes parsley), green chili peppers, and garlic.

The combo of salty potatoes with those vibrant sauces creates a taste that’s hard to forget. It’s a simple dish but packed full of flavors that scream ‘Tenerife’. Whether eaten as a side or by themselves, papas arrugadas are something I always look forward to eating here.

In every bite of papas arrugadas drenched in mojo sauce lies the heart and soul of Tenerife cuisine.

6 Sancocho Canario

So, I got to try Sancocho Canario for the first time on my visit to Tenerife. This dish uses salted fish that’s been preserved, mixed with potatoes and this amazing mojo sauce. They usually serve it on Good Friday, but you can find it at other times too if you know where to look.

The taste is unique – a little salty from the fish but balanced out by the spicy and garlicky flavor of the mojo sauce.

Cooking it felt like an adventure in itself. The locals showed me how they soak the fish overnight to get rid of some of the saltiness before cooking it with the potatoes. Then, they whip up this bold mojo sauce with garlic, oil, vinegar, and spices like oregano from Fuerteventura – their spice game is top-notch! Eating Sancocho Canario made me feel like a part of their tradition; it’s not just food, it’s a story on a plate.

Plus, pairing it with local wines was a game-changer. It makes for an unforgettable meal that you have to try when visiting Tenerife.

7 Ropa Vieja

I’ve tried many dishes in Tenerife, but Ropa Vieja stands out. This dish is a mix of chickpeas, various meats like chicken and beef, plus herbs and spices. It’s rich and flavorful.

Each place on the island makes it a bit differently, adding their own twist.

Eating Ropa Vieja for the first time was an adventure. I found it in a small eatery in Santa Cruz. The blend of spices and tender meat with chickpeas made every bite memorable. It felt like tasting Tenerife’s history and culture in one dish.

If you love exploring food, this is something you must try!

8 Conejo al salmorejo

Conejo al salmorejo caught my eye on a Tenerife menu. This dish is all about rabbit, soaked and cooked with herbs, spices, and a good amount of paprika. The first time I tried it, the flavors surprised me—in a good way.

The meat was tender, falling off the bone. And the sauce? It was rich and packed with flavor.

Cooking this at home seemed like a challenge at first. But after finding the right mix of adobo spices and getting fresh rabbit meat from the market, everything fell into place. The key is in letting it marinate overnight to soak up all those tasty herbs and spices.

Then slow-cooking it brings out every bit of taste from that marinade into a savory sauce that’s hard to beat. Eating this dish made me feel closer to Tenerife’s amazing cuisine culture—like being part of something truly special.

Tasty and homemade hunter’s stew with meat and carrots

9 Gofio-based dishes

I love exploring new foods, and Tenerife’s gofio-based dishes are something special. Gofio is this amazing flour made from toasted grains, a gift from the island’s first people. You find it in everything here, from main meals to desserts.

Let me tell you about some must-try dishes. There’s “gofio escaldado,” a kind of thick soup that warms your soul, mixed with fish stock or meat broth. Then there’s “gofio amasado,” where they mix gofio with honey, almonds, and raisins – it’s like eating history because this recipe goes way back.

Eating gofio is not just about taste; it’s diving into centuries of Canarian culture.

For breakfast or anytime snacks, locals love their “pan de gofio.” It’s bread but made out of gofio. Imagine spreading some local goat cheese on top! And for dessert? You can’t leave without trying “mousse de gofio” – a fluffy dream that sweetly wraps up any meal.

Trying these dishes made me see why Tenerife food is more than flavors; it tells stories of the land and its people through every bite.

Now let’s talk about another gem – Arroz a la cubana.

10 Arroz a la cubana

Arroz a la cubana turned out to be a dish I stumbled upon during my travels in Tenerife. It’s a simple yet delightful meal consisting of rice, sausage, fried egg, and fried bananas.

The island is famous for its bananas, which are everywhere – they’re the main crop here. So it makes sense that this dish would include them. Eating arroz a la cubana gave me a taste of local flavors in an unexpected way.

Cooking it back home brought memories flooding back from my trip. The blend of savory sausage with sweet bananas on top of fluffy rice creates a perfect balance. Plus, topping it off with a fried egg adds another layer of deliciousness.

This meal embodies the spirit of Tenerife cuisine: straightforward ingredients coming together to make something extraordinary.

pilaf- spicy delicious traditional asian dish made of rice, vegetables and meat in a plate. Top view. eastern cuisine

11 Wines

Tenerife loves its wines, and so do I. The island’s mountains and special soil make amazing white wines that are dry and a bit sharp. They also make red wines that are smooth and easy to drink.

My favorite spots for sipping these delights are Bodegas Monje and Bodega Reveron. Here, they invite visitors like you and me to taste their best bottles. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon.

The white wines often come from grapes like albillo or malvasía rosada, giving them unique tastes you don’t find just anywhere. Red wines might use listán negro grapes, adding to the variety Tenerife offers.

Each glass tells a story of the island’s rich land – it’s something every tourist should experience firsthand!

Happy friends toasting red wine glasses at rooftop house party – Men and women having bbq dinner party outside

Culinary Experiences in Tenerife

Eating in Tenerife is an adventure for your taste buds. You’ll find small eateries, big food parties in the streets, and fancy places to try dishes from all over the world.

Guachinches for traditional Canarian cuisine

I love exploring new foods, and Tenerife has been an amazing adventure for my taste buds. One of my favorite finds here are the guachinches—cozy, family-run spots that serve up incredible Canarian cuisine.

Let me share some cool things about these unique eateries:

  1. They started as simple places where local wine makers sold their wine directly. Over time, they began offering homemade meals to go with the drinks.
  2. You’ll find guachinches mostly in the north of Tenerife. This region is known for its lush landscapes and rich soil, perfect for growing the ingredients used in their dishes.
  3. The vibe is super casual and friendly. Walking into a guachinche feels like joining a big family meal. People chat across tables, sharing stories and laughs.
  4. The menu changes often because they only use seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. It’s all about what’s fresh and available.
  5. Expect to enjoy dishes like rabbit stewed in a spicy sauce, hearty meat stews with local vegetables, and papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo sauces.
  6. Don’t skip the wine! It’s made right there or nearby and pairs beautifully with the food. The local vineyards produce some unique varieties you won’t find anywhere else.
  7. Prices are usually very reasonable. Since these places aren’t targeting tourists but rather locals, you get to enjoy fantastic food without breaking the bank.
  8. Finding a guachinche can be part of the fun—they’re often tucked away in rural areas or hidden among residential streets, so getting there feels like a mini adventure.
  9. They’re wildly popular among locals, which is always a good sign. If you see a place packed with families enjoying their meals together, you’ve hit the jackpot.
  10. Visiting one gives you more than just a meal; it’s a dive into Canarian culture and hospitality. It’s not just eating; it’s experiencing tradition alive and thriving today.

These charming places have given me some of my most memorable meals in Tenerife, each visit leaving me fuller not just in stomach but also in spirit!

Street markets and food festivals for authentic Tenerife dishes

After exploring traditional Canarian cuisine in guachinches, the next step takes us to the vibrant street markets and food festivals of Tenerife. These places buzz with life and offer a peek into the local way of eating.

  1. Let’s start with the street markets – they’re like treasure chests filled with local flavors. You’ll find fresh produce, including tomatoes that burst with sweetness, perfect for making that fiery mojo picón sauce. The colors here are amazing.
  2. Food festivals are a whole other level of fun. Imagine an entire day dedicated to celebrating Tenerife’s culinary delights! These events usually happen in large squares or along beachfront promenades, making them easy to stumble upon.
  3. At both street markets and food festivals, look out for papas arrugadas stands. These “wrinkly potatoes” served with mojo sauces are a must-try. Every bite tells you why this dish is a beloved staple.
  4. Cheese lovers, rejoice! Local goat cheese preparations are a treat you can’t miss. The cheese here is soft yet flavorful, often found in small, artisan stalls at these markets.
  5. Sancocho Canario brings everyone together – this hearty fish stew combines flavors from the sea and earth in one pot, showcasing Tenerife’s rich culinary heritage at many festival booths.
  6. Ropa Vieja stall might just be my favorite stop – this dish of pulled meats mixed with beans and veggies tastes like home-cooked comfort food but on the streets of Tenerife.
  7. Conejo al salmorejo finds its way onto menus during special food celebrations – rabbit marinated in a garlic and chili pepper paste then cooked till tender; it’s gamey and delicious.
  8. Gofio – based dishes introduce visitors to ancient Canarian cuisine – from simple gofio balls served as sides to intricate desserts blending local nuts and honey; it’s both nutritious and satisfying.
  9. Arroz a la Cubana might sound simple – rice with tomato sauce topped with a fried egg – but eat it once at an outdoor festival booth, and you’ll see why locals love it so much.
  10. Last but not least, no visit to these markets or festivals is complete without tasting Canarian wines – from light rosés to full-bodied reds like Listan Negro, every sip pairs perfectly with island dishes.

Exploring street markets and attending food festivals give tourists like me an authentic taste of Tenerife’s diverse culinary landscape – from traditional dishes that have been passed down through generations to innovative eats that blend old-world techniques with new-world flavors, there’s always something new to discover around every corner.

International and gourmet dining options for diverse experiences

I love exploring new places to eat, especially in Tenerife. This island offers not just traditional foods but also international and gourmet dining that takes your taste buds on a journey around the world. Here’s a list I put together of places you must try for diverse dining experiences:

  1. Michelin – starred restaurants – Tenerife is home to several prestigious eateries recognized for their exceptional cuisine and service. Dining here feels like an adventure in elegance and creativity.
  2. Italian trattorias – Imagine the taste of authentic pizza and pasta right by the sea. These cozy spots serve up comfort food with fresh, local ingredients.
  3. Asian fusion spots – Mixing Canarian ingredients with Asian flavors creates something truly unique. These restaurants offer dishes that are both familiar and surprising.
  4. Seafood paradises – Given its location, Tenerife has access to some of the freshest seafood around. High-end seafood restaurants take pride in serving innovative dishes alongside traditional favorites.
  5. Vegan and vegetarian eateries – More chefs are embracing plant-based cooking, offering menus full of flavor and variety that cater to every diet.
  6. Tapas bars with a twist – While tapas are Spanish at heart, some bars mix local ingredients with international recipes for small plates that pack a punch.
  7. Wine bars featuring local and international wines – With vineyards in its backyard, Tenerife produces amazing wines that are perfectly paired in these sophisticated spots.

Exploring these dining options adds spice to any trip to Tenerife, making it not just a feast for the eyes but also for the palate!


1. What kind of food do they eat in Tenerife?

In Tenerife, they enjoy Spanish cuisine with a local twist… Think puchero, a hearty stew, and morcilla – that’s blood sausage. They also love their arepas and sweet treats like quesillo, similar to flan.

2. Are there any unique fruits or vegetables from Tenerife?

Yes! Platano Canario is big here – it’s a type of banana that’s sweeter than the ones you might know. And then there are the plantains… fried up, they’re delicious.

3. What’s a must-try dish for lunch in Tenerife?

For lunch, you’ve got to try paps with some chorizo on the side. It’s simple but so good. And don’t forget about those fried eggs – perfect with just about anything.

4. I’ve heard about cookies from Tenerife; what’s special about them?

Cookies here aren’t your average snack… They come in all sorts of flavors – even spicy ones like Sichuan! Plus, cafes often serve them with coffee or as dessert after meals.

5. Can I find international foods in Tenerife too?

Absolutely! While traditional dishes shine, there’s room for global flavors too… You can find everything from pancakes for breakfast to croquettes that remind you of home.

6. Where should I go to experience authentic dining in Tenerife?

Regulo Restaurante is a top pick – it’s cozy and offers up classic dishes with flair… But really, exploring local markets and small eateries will give you the true taste of Tenerife.