When it comes to restaurants in Tenerife I tend to split them into categories; ideal for a long, lazy lunch; great to pick at tapas; perfect for a special occasion, good for a junk hit… and so on. It’s the same with bars – best for nosy-ing at other people, listening to thumping live music, relaxing atmosphere for chatting with friends, watching footie matches or simply sitting in the afternoon sun being hypnotised by views.
Alberto’s falls into the last category and yet it’s so hidden away in Puerto de la Cruz that most visitors won’t be aware of its existence.
We discovered Alberto’s Bar just after we moved to Tenerife. Whilst exploring, we followed a passage near the house we were renting that led upwards toward Parque Taoro. At one point the narrow path passed in front of a row of houses… and Alberto’s Bar.
The bar has no direct access to a road; it is completely hidden away. You literally have to stumble across it, or be told where it is. And yet grabbing a seat at on of the tables on the narrow terrace is a difficult task as they are always filled.
It seems amazing that bars on main tourist drags can struggle to pull in the punters when a ‘secret’ bar like Alberto’s is packed to the gun-whales. But there are a couple of very good reasons.
It is an incredibly friendly watering hole. The sort of place where one cerveza acts as an appetiser for another and another. It’s one of those bars that feels dangerously comfortable to spend time in. And it’s crowning glory is that it has uninterrupted views right down the north west coast all the way to the lighthouse at Los Silos. When La Palma puts in an appearance this is the place to be.
Its position also means that in the late afternoon, the sun is coming right down your throat. This is the spot to be sitting with a cool beer at 5pm and a mojito at sunset… which is exactly where we ensconced ourselves this week after rediscovering Alberto’s again after a gap of a few years.
After a sunny afternoon showing a visiting friend around the Risco Bello and Parque Taoro gardens we developed a thirst. With the bar at the Taoro gardens closed there was a serious shortage of options which is what prompted my memory to drag out a file marked ‘forgotten bars hidden in obscure walkways’. Stairs to ‘nowhere’ from the car park below the Hotel Tigaiga lead to an old path that skirts the hillside and emerges at Alberto’s and the reward of a cool beer in a hot spot.
After that a couple of hours were lost in idyllic fashion watching the drowsy sun turn the water various shades of silvery blue whilst we discussed nonsense from why Germans call a shandy a bicicleta to why Tenerife hasn’t really changed since the days of Olivia Stone to why Jose Mourinho should or shouldn’t Manchester United’s next manager.
It was a perfect way to end the day – losing the last of the daylight hours in a lost bar.