Strand von Puerto de Tazacorte, La Palma Photo by Frerk Meyer via Flickr Creative Commons

Not dissimilar from mainland Spain, food and drink in the Canary Islands are major parts of everyday life, and the islands are equipped with a variety of pleasing dining options from high-end establishments to beach-side tapas bars. The islands are famous for their exquisite local seafood dishes and wholesome meals, such as ropa vieja (translated as ‘old clothes’), a dish comprising beef, chicken, potatoes, and chickpeas, also a celebrated Cuban dish. A popular Canarian export since the 17th century, the local wine, made from the malvasia, is a permanent fixture in most bars and restaurants.

Bars and Pubbing in the Canary Islands

The most popular city destination for bar hopping is undoubtedly Gran Canaria’s Las Palmas, the largest in the autonomous community and joint capital, while many of the major resorts, such as Tenerife’s Playa de las Americas and Playa del Ingles on Gran Canaria, also feature a good selection of bars and British style pubs. Las Palmas has the most varied nightlife, with an array of bars and cultural activities. The swanky La Veronica (Calle La Pelota 18S, Las Palmas) is a hip place to hit when starting off the evening, while Monopol Centre (La Plazuela, Las Palmas), with its funky, industrial beats, is usually a good place to end it.

The scene at Playa de las Americas may not be quite as sophisticated as the scene in Las Palmas; however, it can be a lot more fun. Las Veronicas (Paseo Maritimo, Playa de las Americas) has a young, trendy atmosphere and keeps the liquor flowing until the early hours. For a more mellow evening, head to Jazzissimo (Avenida Rafael Puig Lluvina, 12 Costa Adeje, Playa de las Americas) and soak up the soothing sounds of soul and jazz.

At Playa del Ingles, a popular venue is the American favorite Hard Rock Cafe (Avenida Alfereces, Provisionales 29, Playa del Ingles), where you can sink a few cocktails and if you’re feeling energetic, head over to the Kasbah Centre (Playa del Ingles) to finish off the night.

Dining and Cuisine in the Canary Islands

Playa del Ingles serves up some pretty delectable restaurants, especially when it comes to the local cuisine. One place in particular, Casa Vieja (Calle El Lomo 139, Carretera de Fataga San Fernando, Play del Ingles), is definitely worth visiting for its mouthwateringly authentic Canarian menu. One of the finest eateries around, however, is Mundo (Avenida Tirajana, Playa del Ingles), with sophistication oozing out of every dish served.

The restaurants in Playa de las Americas and Playa del Ingles have continued to improve in recent years, to the extent that three nights a week dinner at La Piramide (Avenida Americas, Playa de las Americas) is accompanied by an opera performance. However, if you’re after something a little more relaxed and views of the sea, check out Casa del Mar (Esplanada del Muelle, Los Cristianos), which serves a great selection of fresh seafood.

Las Palmas tends to cater more to the local palate and is home to some of the archipelago’s top Canarian restaurants. The grandiose Casa Pablo (Calle Tomas Miller 73, Santa Catalina, Las Palmas) is one of the best places in town to eat hearty, traditional cuisine. La Chascona (Calle Pelota 15S, Las Palmas) has taken hold of the authentic dishes and stylishly reinvented them, offering a new twist on age-old classics.

Click here to learn about Shopping and Leisure in the Canary Islands