Because of its Canarian character in which eating out is such an important part of the culture, when it comes to dining, Puerto de la Cruz punches way above its weight and has somewhere in the region of 300 restaurants from which to choose. In our biased opinion, it’s the best resort on Tenerife for eating out.
New restaurants are constantly opening in Puerto de la Cruz and even if you live here it’s hard to keep track. Having said that, there’s one district that’s a must for lovers of good food and wine and that’s the Ranilla District.
Head east out of Puerto’s main Plaza del Charco, along Calle San Felipe, and you’ll find yourself in the old fishing quarter which is known as La Ranilla and is the heart of the restaurant district. For years, regular visitors and residents have known that the restaurants that line the area’s narrow cobbled streets offer the very best in fish, seafood, Canarian and Italian cuisine. Every few months it seems, another new restaurant is opening its doors in the Ranilla district, bringing new menus and contemporary décor to sit cheek by jowl with the old established businesses.
Vegetarian, organic whole foods, Mediterranean, classic Spanish and nouveau Canarian menus are appearing on the doors of elegant, sophisticated interiors while the pavement tables and chairs with their romantic candles and decorative crockery give the sleepy streets a romantic appeal and a steady trade.
And the really great news? The prices are not inflated to feign exclusivity, nor are any of the familiar fishing net and farm implements décor of the old established businesses being supplanted. You can still choose to eat simple, delicious conejo en salmorejo (rabbit stew), gambas a la plancha (grilled prawns) or cherne con papas arrugadas y mojo (grouper with salty, wrinkled little potatoes and spicy sauce) just as easily as you can choose panga fish with mango sauce or pork fillets in a herb baked crust.
This is just a selection of those that offer something different in terms of location, décor or menu and that we know from personal experience:
Restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz – La Ranilla
A cute little place in the heart of the Ranilla district that many people don’t know even exists, possibly because its opening hours can be a bit of a mystery. An unassuming cat-faced cottage façade hides cosy little rooms each with a different personality and full of fascinating bric-a-brac. The food is mainly traditional Canarian, tasty and good value.
Calle La Verdad, 6; (0034) 922 372 524
Stylish, organic, mainly vegetarian, restaurant with a master chef-owner who loves to present you with a selection of his outstanding dishes. Don’t expect the usual vegetable lasagne or omelette choices, this is gourmet cooking for veggies. Very popular with young, hip Canarians and booking is advisable.
Calle Mequinez, 21; (0034) 922 372 474
Generous portions of mainly meat and fish dishes with an international and slight Scandinavian influence. Menu offerings include the likes of pork steak with blueberry sauce, red cabbage and croquettes or sole fillets in a lobster sauce.
Calle Lomo, 17; (0034) 922 382 937
La Clave – Tapas Y Pintxos
A chic tapas bar which has the sort of style you’d normally find in a tapas bar in Barrio Gotico in Barcelona. Cool surroundings and a nice selection of Canarian and Iberian tapas including tasty pintxos. Wear black, or white if you want to blend in with the colour scheme.
Calle Puerto Viejo, 18; (0034) 922 389 164
A lovely garden courtyard is the romantic setting for this very popular restaurant which serves traditional Canarian and Spanish cuisine. Friendly service, relaxed atmosphere, quite good food and great value for money.
Calle Lomo, 14; (00 34) 922 382 811
La Rosa Di Bari
Sophisticated, elegant décor sets the tone for fine Italian dining. Excellent service, authentic freshly made pastas and sauces and fabulous surroundings. If you were in Britain, you’d have to add a nought to the bill.
Calle del Lomo, 23; (0034) 922 368 523
La Tasquita de Min
Located beside the harbour, La Tasquita is a popular choice with Canarians. The lapas in ajo y cilantro (limpets in garlic and coriander), when they’re available, are possibly the best in Puerto, as is the Viejo (parrot fish), a local speciality.
Mequinez esq. Parque Maritimo; (0034) 922 371 834
Bar Restaurant Oregón
Some of the fishermen’s’ bars at the harbour might be too authentic for some visitors, but Oregón maintains a nice balance between having the ambience of a local bar, but not one where you feel that you need to grow a grizzly beard to fit in. A good tapas menu and plenty of traditional Canarian dishes. Their country wine (vino del país) will put hairs on your chest, but is very drinkable.
Calle Mequinez, 7 (they don’t seem to have a phone!)
Often cited as one of Puerto’s best restaurants, Regulo is situated in a beautiful Canarian mansion with traditional wooden balconies and a wide wooden staircase. The food is of the very highest standard, as is the service and desserts are works of art to be admired, and then devoured. The prices are a little above the usual for Puerto but still ridiculously good value for money by UK standards. Booking essential.
Perez Zamora, 16; (00 34) 922 380 360
El Templo de Vino
A great example of a tapas bar where traditional favourites and nouvelle tapas meet and get on swimmingly. Serrano ham, pinchos with a mischievously spicy sauce represent the old whilst the Tunisian, and extremely more-ish, dates wrapped in bacon represent newer, international influences. Beautifully cooked and elegantly presented and as the name suggests, the wine won’t disappoint either.
Calle El Lomo,2; (0034) 922 374 164
Where to eat in Puerto de la Cruz – Old Town Centre
No frills, Lebanese restaurant just off Plaza Charco which does excellent mezes (hummus, baba ganoush, fattoush, pitta breads etc) and tasty kebabs, kaftas and shawarmas. Good value and a nice sharing experience, particularly for vegetarian friends where there’s plenty to choose from. Read the full review
Calle Puerto Viejo,2; (0034) 922 368 457
Andana Beach Club and Restaurant
Great place to have lunch without wiping the sand of Playa Jardín from your feet, or to enjoy a sundowner at the end of a hard day’s sunbathing. Set directly behind the Punta Brava end of the beach, this beach club restaurant serves delicious finger food in the form of such dishes as crispy, deep fried aubergine and savoury fish carpaccio. Chic surroundings, good quality and great value for money.
Avenida Francisco Afonso Carrillo; (0034) 629 393 571
Bar Luis, El Balcon
El Rincon is home to three restaurants. All serve good traditional Canarian cuisine, but Bar Louis has an extensive selection of tapas dishes. The churros de pescado (goujons of fried fish in herby batter) are particularly tasty. Although the food is good, the real star is the setting. A towering palm tree dominates a courtyard surrounded by exquisite polished wood balconies.
Plaza del Charco (c.c.Rincon del Puerto) (0034) 922 384 207
Previously specialising in Mediterranean cuisine as the name suggests, this lovely little pavement restaurant has changed hands and is now owned by Argentinians. The menu features tasty tapas like empananda Argentina (little pies), which look like the traditional ones but are spicier and meatier; tangy queso provolone and crispy pescados fritos.
C/ Benjamin J. Miranda, 5; (+34) 922 382 711
Cofradía de Pescadores
You’ll find cofradías wherever there’s a harbour on Tenerife as it’s the fisherman’s union, but the one in Puerto is quite possibly the best, and certainly the most upmarket. Set alongside Casa Aduana with a large terrace overlooking the harbour, they only serve fish, fresh, simple and delicious fish. Not cheap, not expensive, just excellent fish. Read the full review
Calle Las Lonjas, 5; (0034) 922 383 409
Even veggies fancy junk food every now and again. El Limon is a popular student haunt with a fresh marine style décor which is still very unusual in Spain in that its menu consists mainly of veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs. They also specialise in natural fruit juices so not your typical fast junk food joint.
C/Esquivel, 4, (0034) 922 381 619
Another restaurant set in the covered courtyard of a beautiful old colonial building off Plaza Charco. Service is friendly and efficient and the menu successfully combines traditional Canarian cuisine with imaginative international dishes. Main courses are generous and reasonably priced and the food is nicely cooked and prepared; the flambé skewer could almost count as live entertainment.
Plaza Charco, 13; (0034) 922 373 422
The name means ‘the twins’ and the portions in this traditional Canarian establishment are such that one main course could probably feed a pair of fully grown ‘gemelos’. The menu is no different from other traditional Canarian restaurants, but the food is perfectly cooked to order, the staff are friendly and efficient and the décor attractively rustic. Particularly good for steak and meat eaters.
C/Peñón, 4; (+34) 922 370 133
Tucked away at the corner of the atmospheric Calle Iriarte, Maga dishes up good Canarian cooking at great prices. Their menu del dia is particularly good value. How about salad, a jug of wine and paella (their paella is pretty damn good) for around €20 for two people, or papas arrugadas with mojo, Canarian kebabs, a mixed fish and seafood grill followed by banana split for under €35 for two people.
Calle San Juan,24; (0034) 922 383 853
Unpretentious Italian restaurant whose uniqueness is its position below the main promenade. Wide stone arches which overlook the dramatic and beautiful coastline and the occasional muchacho trying to impress the girls by suicidal dives from the rocks are a distraction from the generally good food. Pizzas are cheap, large and tasty. This is a good choice for families.
Santo Domingo, s/n. (mirador punta del viento pza.); (0034) 922 381 328
Rancho Grande is from the same stable as El Monestario and Café de Paris, so quality and professionalism is guaranteed. The food is good rather than great, but the menu is a culinary version of a trawler fishing boat. With dishes representing Spanish, Scandinavian, German, British and Mexican cuisine, there’s something for everyone…and there’s a fantastic bread and pastry shop attached.
San Telmo, 10; (0034) 922 383 752
Tasca El Olivo
Contemporary style, fabulous food and a great people-watching setting are just some of the reasons El Olivo should be on your ‘must try’ list. The other is the pulpo al Olivo which is octopus with mashed potato. I don’t care if you think it sounds awful, try it, I guarantee you’ll be back for more. El Olivo is one of our favourites.
Calle De Iriarte, 1; (0034) 922 380 117
Tasca La Muralla
Intimately cosy tapas bar on Calle La Hoya. Good range of reasonably priced tapas and relaxed surroundings with a few tables outside; perfectly placed for watching the world go by. They don’t have many tables though so you have to hope you get lucky.
Calle La Hoya, 40; (0034) 922 368 004
Set outside of the town, in the Durazno area which borders La Orotava and is a 10/15min taxi ride from the town centre, we can’t have a restaurant guide that doesn’t include this lovely place. A great lunch venue for meeting friends, Tito’s Bodeguita is set in the courtyard of the lovely 17th century former Ermita de San Nicolás. Tables set around a trickling fountain in beautiful gardens provide the venue for creative and delicious dishes such as capricho de pollo (crispy chicken goujons in an almond sauce).
Camino Del Durazno, 1; (0034) 922 089 436
Where to eat in Puerto de la Cruz – La Paz
One of our favourites, Algorrobo serves excellent, creative tapas and main dishes full of flavour and beautifully presented. What you get here is different from any other restaurant and it’s consistently good and good value. They’re really friendly and happy to let you chat into the night too. Try their papas Algorrobo potatoes – deeeelish.
Ctra Botánico (opp Botánico Hotel), (0034) 671 754 685
Billed as a pizzeria but also does good pasta dishes. Choose from fresh or dried pastas, in every shape and form and either filled or not, then select a sauce to go with it. Tasty food, good value, efficient service. When we say the portions here are LARGE, you’re unlikely to manage two courses and their pizzas are the size of a small coffee table.
Ctra Botánico (opp Botánico Hotel), (0034) 922 381 979
Another popular lunch spot with a wide terrace opposite the entrance to the delightful Botánico gardens. The menu consists of traditional Canarian dishes, pastas and pizzas. Pretty much something to suit everyone.
Retama, 3; (0034) 922 371 524
One for the wine lovers. Stocked with just about every wine produced on the island as well as with the best of the Spanish mainland offerings, this is where to try some excellent Tenerife wines with the help of the vino supremo chap who works there. They also do excellent tapas, try whatever they’re doing as a special that day.
CC Canary Center (in the centre behind El Aderno), Local 18; (0034) 922 380 176
Part tasca, part wine shop. Chunky wine barrels act as tables in this friendly establishment opposite the Botánico Hotel. A relaxing spot to spend a long, leisurely lunch with ‘tablas’ of Serrano hams and local cheeses. Nice house wine too, not sophisticated, just quaffable.
Ctra Botanico, 9; (0034) 922 386 560