Tenerife Gastronomy: The Best Dishes of the Island

The gastronomy of Tenerife and the Canary Islands in general is a unique combination of the Spanish cuisine and the influences from Africa and South America. What makes Tenerife gastronomy so special is its variety of cultures and that’s why throughout the centuries the cuisine of Tenerife developed its own signature taste and style. Every typical dish has its own touch of originality.

The basis of Tenerife gastronomy consists of fresh vegetables, fruits, potatoes and fish, light ingredients in general, suitable for a warm climate. One thing is for sure, the food of Tenerife is healthy and delicious. Discover some of the best traditional dishes of Tenerife.

Papas Arrugadas


Definitely one of the most popular traditional dishes of Tenerife is the “papas arrugadas”. This dish is made from potatoes, cooked in water with plenty of salt and served with two delicious sauces: “el mojo picón” (red pepper and sweet pepper sauce) and “el mojo verde” (cilantro and green pepper sauce). Simple and light, goes perfectly with a glass of Canary wine.



This is an ingredient originally invented by the Guanche natives and it’s a part of their legacy. It is one of the oldest recipes in Tenerife. Gofio is made with different grains and comes in various shapes and types. It can be eaten with honey and almonds, with milk for breakfast or with a fish broth (Escaldón de Gofio). An incredibly healthy Canary delight.

Ropa Vieja


Preparation of “ropa vieja” requires a lot of time and dedication. It is one of the most popular dishes on the island. It is made from chicken meat, chickpeas, potatoes, a Little bit of white wine and plenty of spices. It is a traditional recipe, with a very typical Canary taste and a special dish, frequently served at celebrations.



“Potaje” comes in small portions like an aperitif. This vegetarian dish is a type of soup, made with vegetables, chickpeas and potatoes. There are many variations, every house and restaurant in Tenerife has its own version of “potaje”.

Conejo al Salmorejo


Rabbit meat is a very popular ingredient in Tenerife and the best method for preparing this dish is “al salmorejo” (prepared in a cream, similar to “gazpacho”). The meat is marinated for 5 hours, using plenty of spices and herbs. In restaurants, “conejo al salmorejo” is served with freshly baked bread or “papas arrugadas”.

Carne de Cabra


For the preparation of this gourmet delight, the meat needs to be cut in big chunks, and cook for hours, until it is soft and tender. The texture of the meat stays juicy and the tastes are simply marvelous. “Carne de cabra” and “papas arrugadas” are a perfect combination.

Garbanzas Compuestas


This spicy dish consists of chickpeas, potatoes, pork ribs and “chorizo” (a spicy sausage). “Garbanzas compuestas” is a simple dish, but with many variations, which makes tasting it a constant surprise every time. Usually is being served in a ceramic bowl and the best place to taste it is a traditional Canary restaurant, Guachinche.

Atún en Adobo


One of the most important culinary techniques in the Canaries is marinating, or “en Adobo”. “Atún en adobo” is a perfect example. The quality of this dish is based on excellent vinegar that the islands have and various types of tuna that can be found in the Canary waters. Combine it with “papas arrugadas” and white wine.



“Croquetas” is a delight with so many delicious variations. It can be prepared with fish, ham, spinach or cheese. They are deep fried and served with a sauce. This delicious aperitif goes perfectly with “garbanzas compuestas”.

Puchero Canario


“Puchero Canario” is rich with so many ingredients and its recipe lets you experiment with them, dependent on your taste. Its main characteristic is de use of many exotic vegetables. “Puchero Canario” and “escaldón de gofio” make an amazing combination.

Written by Marija Jovic, for RuralTenerife.

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