Discover where to eat well and cheap in Tenerife!
In the heart of the Canary Islands, Tenerife boasts not only stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, but also a unique culinary experience that captures the essence of the region — the guachinches.
A guachinche is a rustic establishment in which you’re offered a delightful blend of homemade cuisine and locally produced wines, creating an authentic and unforgettable dining experience for visitors to the island.
The Origin of Guachinches
The story of guachinches dates back to a time when local farmers wanted to share their surplus produce and homemade delights with the community. Originally serving as a means to sell their goods, these establishments gradually transformed into informal restaurants that showcase the best of Canarian cuisine.
One of the defining features of guachinches is their laid-back and unpretentious atmosphere. Nestled in charming rural settings, these hidden gems provide an escape from the bustling tourist areas, offering a genuine taste of local life. Visitors can expect simple decor, communal seating, and an overall warm and welcoming ambiance that adds to the authenticity of the experience. So don’t expect a fancy restaurant but the best local food at the best price.
What can you get at a local guachinche in Tenerife?
The menu typically features traditional Canarian dishes prepared with love and care. From hearty stews and grilled meats to fresh seafood and vegetarian options, guachinches showcase the diversity of local flavors. Popular choices include "ropa vieja" a savory shredded beef dish, and “papas arrugadas,” small potatoes boiled in saltwater and served with mojo sauce.
The most popular dishes
Ropa Vieja: A star on the guachinche menu. Ropa vieja is a beloved Canarian dish that translates to "old clothes." Far from its literal meaning, this savory shredded beef stew is a flavorful delight, slow-cooked to perfection. Seasoned with a medley of spices, including paprika and cumin, ropa vieja showcases the culinary expertise of guachinche chefs.
Papas Arrugadas with Mojo Sauce: No visit to a guachinche is complete without savoring the iconic "papas arrugadas." These small, wrinkled potatoes are boiled in saltwater until tender, creating a unique texture. Served alongside vibrant and zesty mojo sauce, which comes in both red and green varieties, the dish perfectly balances simplicity and bold flavors. Locals often boast that the secret to the perfect "papas arrugadas" lies in the volcanic salt harvested from the island.
Grilled Meats and Seafood: From tender grilled rabbit to locally caught fish, the options are diverse and always prepared with a focus on preserving the natural flavors. The smoky aroma wafting from the grills is an enticing invitation to indulge in the grilled delights that showcase the island's bounty.
Escaldón: It’s a thick, hearty porridge made from gofio (roasted maize flour) and meat broth. Traditionally consumed by farmers as a sustaining meal during their work in the fields, this dish has evolved into a cherished guachinche specialty.
Local Cheeses and Honey: Guachinches often feature a selection of local cheeses paired with Canarian honey, creating a delightful combination of savory and sweet. The cheeses, made from both cow and goat milk, range from mild and creamy to sharp and tangy.
Wines of Tenerife: No visit to a guachinche is complete without indulging in the local wines. Tenerife is renowned for its unique vineyards, and guachinches proudly serve their own homegrown varieties. The wine list often includes crisp whites, robust reds, and refreshing rosés, providing the perfect accompaniment to the savory dishes.
Where you can find the best guachinches in Tenerife
We can find them both in the north and in the south of Tenerife, but where they are most concentrated is in the north of Tenerife, in the municipality of La Orotava. In this list, we’ve included some of the best guachinches for you to discover where to eat well and cheaply in Tenerife.
1. Guachinche El Primero
- Location: North of Tenerife, Calle Malpais 10, in Santa Úrsula.
- Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 12:30-16:30; Friday and Saturday 12:30-16:30 and 19:30-22:15.
It offers traditional dishes and homemade food at a very reasonable price in a setting rooted in the winegrower's origins. We recommend the cheese, fish churros, croquettes (croquetas) and fried eggs (huevos rotos or huevos estrellados). Don't miss the wine, the octopus and garbanzada.
2. Guachinche Los Gómez
- Location: North of Tenerife. Camino Los Gómez 21, La Orotava
- Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday closed; Thursday 11:30-23:00; Friday 10:30-23:30; Saturday 11:00-23:30; Thursday 9:00-23:00
This establishment is becoming increasingly popular. It’s large, well decorated, with plenty of space and excellent service. Their food and wine is very good. Also, we recommend the huevos estrellados, among other dishes.
3. Guachinche Casa Argelio
- Location: North of Tenerife. Camino las Gavias 105, in San Cristobal de La Laguna
- Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday closed; Wednesday and Thursday 9:00-17:00; Friday and Saturday 9:00-23:00; Sunday 9:00-17:00.
It’s one of the favourite places of the "chicharreros", as the people from Tenerife call themselves. We recommend booking in advance, since it’s a very popular establishment. The quality and presentation of the dishes will convince you.
4. Guachinche Parralito
- Location: North of Tenerife. Calle San Cristóbal 66, in La Matanza de Acentejo
- Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday closed; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 12:00 - 16:00; Sunday 11:30 - 16:00
This is a very traditional guachinche in a very typical Canarian house, with whitewashed walls and ceilings. It has few tables, but the few dishes on offer are spectacular.
5. Guachinche Nunca es Lejos
- Location: North of Tenerife. Calle Las Turcas, Prolongación Castaños, 60, in Santa Úrsula
- Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 13:00-22:00; Tuesday closed; Sunday 13:00 - 17:00
We want to highlight this establishment in Tenerife for its familiar and cosy environment of Corujera and for its excellent wine. The grilled meat is also very tasty.
6. Guachinche Casa Yayi
- Location: North of Tenerife. Calle San José 10, La Matanza de Acentejo
The salted fish, fried eggs and "ropa vieja" are the highlights of their homemade food, although their wine and grilled meat are also very tasty.
7. Guachinche El Ramal
- Location: North of Tenerife. Carretera Enlace el Ramal, La Orotava
- Opening times: Monday and Tuesday closed; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 13:00-17:00, 19:00-23:00; Sunday 13:00-17:00
Typical Canarian dishes include grilled meat, croquettes, wine and desserts. With friendly staff, you shouldn’t miss this privileged place. It’s the perfect balance between quality, price, tradition and service.
Taste authentic Canarian food in Tenerifes guachinches
Thanks to the Guachinches de Tenerife, you can try local, homemade food accompanied by the best home-grown wine. Taste the best of Tenerife without spending a lot of money - the best value for money! We recommend taking cash with you, as many guachinches don't accept credit cards. Furthermore, they don't usually have printed menus and are modest establishments, so don't expect anything fancy.
And if, apart from the best food in Tenerife, you’re looking for the best accommodation in Tenerife, we recommend the HD Parque Cristóbal Tenerife. More than a hotel, it’s a beautiful garden with more than 150 recently refurbished bungalows. It’s located in the south of Tenerife, in Playa de las Américas, and it’s perfect for families with kids to relax.