Anyone who knows Puerto de la Cruz will know that there are two bars in the town that seem to buzz with an attractive clientele no matter what time of night or day it is (within reason).

La Tasquita (like its possibly even more popular immediate neighbour, Hannen) inbetween the harbour and Plaza del Charco is popular with a young-ish and stylish section of Puerto’s residents who seem to spend their lives squeezed around a table with amigos, munching on tapas, burgers and pizzas. During carnival its tables are filled with people in fancy dress; during the Día de la Embarcación it doubles as party central and during the football season it’s one of the places to watch La Liga.

La Tasquita in Summer, Puerto de la Cruz

The rest of the time it’s just a fun place to hang out, have a beer, people watch (perfectly positioned for this sport) and indulge in some good down to earth nosh. And as an added bonus, La Tasquita dishes up damn good pizzas.

Our latest visit was during the sardinada on the night before the Día de la Embarcación. Normally we queue up with everyone else for our plate of sardines but as we were with a couple of friends who weren’t as big sardine fans as us, we decided on a crowd-pleasing alternative – La Tasquita.

Despite being jammed packed, we spotted one customer-less table and homed in before anyone else spotted it. All four of us were in pizza mode; when we gave the waitress our order (two quatro quesos, one napoletana, one marinera) she laughed and said, ‘the table isn’t big enough’.

I love it when I could eat a ‘scabby heided dug’ (as my mum says) and a waiter/waitress says something like that.

A fold-up table was quickly found and we were ready to receive four stonking-sized pizzas.

Marinera Pizza La Tasquita Puerto de la Cruz

When they arrived, they were much bigger than I’d remembered – potentially ‘eyes bigger than my belly’ sized. But La Tasquita’s pizzas are very thin crust so you aren’t as overwhelmed by breadiness as much as you might expect.

I prefer pizzas that are sprinkled with oregano and drizzled with olive oil – without either, pizzas just don’t cut the mustard for me. La Tasquita scores points in both these areas and their pizzas are flavoursome – you can taste the difference between different varieties rather than them all having a similar sauce but with slightly different toppings. Subsequently all pizzas were awarded the thumbs up… and duly demolished.

Napolitana Pizza La Tasquita Puerto de la Cruz

The thing about La Tasquita is that it’s very relaxed. It’s not a place to ‘dine’, it’s a place to hangout with friends and have a bite to eat at the same time. It has a sky-high feelgood factor thanks to the lively atmosphere provided by the happy, smiley, chatty clientele. It’s dependable; when you fancy a snack – even at midnight – you know it’ll be there to welcome you.

In short, La Tasquita one of those places that makes me smile every time I pass. It has an energy and infectious atmosphere about it that acts like a magnet… which is why I suppose it’s always busy.

La Tasquita, Plaza Charco, pizzas average €7 – €8; takeaway service also available

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