If you love food, then you’ll love Lanzarote. This stunning Canary Island takes pride in its locally grown produce and borrows gastronomic influence from Spain, Africa and Latin America thanks to its historical position as a former trans-Atlantic port. Whether it’s freshly caught seafood, vegetables grown in volcanic sand or unique vineyards, Lanzarote boasts plenty of distinctive but delicious flavours for the discerning traveller.
Freshly Caught Seafood
Being an island, it probably doesn’t surprise anyone that Lanzarote restaurants offer several delicious seafood dishes. Two local delicacies that you’ll see popping up regularly on menus are the local fish Cherne, (wreckfish in English) mero (in English dusky grouper) and vieja (parrotfish). Make sure at one point you also try some Sancocho Canario, a stew made with salty fish, sweet potato, mojo and gofio bread. Fresh Tuna Steak, Calamari and Octopus are also common. If you want to taste the best seafood Lanzarote has to offer we recommend heading to the towns of El Golfo and Arrieta where much of the fish came out of the water earlier that day.
While locally caught fish tops the menu, meat is also very popular. Goat and rabbit are two meats that are very common and are primarily used in stews. Young goat especially is very popular – and is normally served fried or cooked in the oven.
If you read any food and drink guide concerning Lanzarote, this local potato dish will make an appearance. In order to get the skins ‘wrinkly’ texture, the potatoes are boiled in sea water and then to add flavour they are served with Mojo, a traditional Canarian sauce made with garlic and herbs or paprika.
Cheese fiends are definitely not left out on a holiday to Lanzarote. The cheese found in Lanzarote is award-winning and can be made from goats, cows or sheep milk. You can find fresh, semi-fresh, smoked or cured cheese in many shops and restaurants, however cured cheeses are also sold with a mixture of olive oil and paprika or gofio creating a unique flavour.
You might not be immediately familiar with this dessert, but it has been called “the most famous dessert in the Canaries”. Traditionally it is made using honey, egg yolk and ground almonds – but additional ingredients can include sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and sweet wine or sherry.
The vineyards that grow out of the dark volcanic sands have been attracting wine connoisseurs to Lanzarote for years, and have also been awarded Protected Designation of Origin status. All the wines are grown in the fascinating La Geria region, with single vines protected from the trade winds by a semi-circular wall. Malvasia is the wine mostly associated with Lanzarote, and is defined by its characteristic light fruity flavour and are very crisp and dry making it a great accompaniment to the fish dishes that are popular on the island. Other wine varieties found across the island include Muscatel, white and black lists, Diego, and Burra White Negramoll.
Dining in a volcano
Lanzarote locals sure put their volcanoes to good use. In the hills of Timanfaya National Park, lies the El Diablo restaurant that cooks its food by placing a grill rack across a volcanic vent. Then there’s also Jameos del Agua in the north of the island, a restaurant found in the volcanic tunnels created by the eruption of the La Corona Volcano. Every Tuesday and Saturday you can enjoy the Jameos Night and be treated to a la carta dinner with live music.