There are 1000´s of restaurants in Lanzarote. But if you´re only on the island for seven days how are you going to find the best places to eat in? Help is at hand with our inside guide to island cuisine and the top eateries.
Flesh Versus Fish
Many visitors to Lanzarote could be excused for thinking that seafood is the staple diet of the locals. This is an island after all. Yet whilst fish dishes crop up on virtually every menu most Lanzaroteños would rather be tucking in to goat or rabbit, as these have been standard fare here for centuries. Thanks in part to the fact that the original pre-Spanish inhabitants of the Canaries, the Guanche, were lousy fishermen.
That has of course changed down the centuries, not least as Lanzarote was once home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the Canaries. But whenever there´s a fiesta or a festival you can be sure that the locals will be tucking into one of their traditional carnivore options rather than a plate of fresh fish.
Other local favourites include high quality goats cheeses and small potatoes which are boiled with salt in their skins, creating the classic dish of papas arrugadas, or wrinkled potatoes. These are served on Lanzarote as both a starter with various mojos or sauces, or as an accompaniment to the main course.
Typical Island Cuisine
Comida tipico – typical local food – is a sign that you´ll see outside many restaurants. But this is by no means any guarantee of quality and certainly not of variety. As many local eateries tend to serve up a very predictable menu, based on both local and mainland dishes, which varies little from place to place.
Starters will always include the ubiquitous Gambas al Ajillo – prawns in garlic- along with other staples such as goats cheese and various salads. Mains focus on good quality fresh fish and meat cuts – usually cooked in a simple fashion a la plancha, which is a griddle plate. And served with a small salad and papas arrugadas.
Now that´s fine if you are just on holiday for a short break – less so if you are spending a few weeks here. But fortunately there are now a number of restaurants which are prepared to break this mould.
Finding the Best Restaurants
There can be a lot of turnover in terms of restaurant staff and chefs. Pay rates on Lanzarote are low and a large portion of the workforce is itinerant. All of which means that many restauarants struggle to turn out good food on a consistent basis.
Those that do however really stand out – and these are often family owned and run operations where one member is a constant presence in the kitchen.
Examples of these sorts of establishments can be found in each of the main resorts, as well as around the island. So for really memorable meals with a difference we suggest you try one of our top five favourites.
El Navarro, Costa Teguise
Family operated and serving high quality international food.
Oscars, Costa Teguise
Belgian husband and wife team serving excellent modern food and lots of vegetarian options.
El Marinero, Arrieta
The young head chef here isn’t scared of experimenting with flavours and presentation techniques which are totally absent from other local eateries.
La Cantina, Teguise
Eclectic menu served in the atmospheric surroundings of an old merchant’s house in the former island capital.
La Cabaña, Macher
High quality modern cuisine created by British couple Debbie and Darren Spurr.