Going on holiday as a vegetarian isn’t always easy and especially enjoying a variety of healthy and nutritious meals in restaurants can be challenging.
Mainly it often boils down to the fact that if you’re somewhat health-conscious you’ll want to enjoy balanced meals that aren’t all carbs. Sure, you could probably order a plate of fries or a pizza margherita in almost any tourist town anywhere except a) that quickly becomes boring and b) existing on a diet of potatoes and bread is hardly optimal for your health and can be a surefire recipe for weight gain.
Tenerife is, of course, part of Spain and Spaniards have a reputation as a red meat loving people. After all, there are very few foods that define Spanish cuisine better than ham. The country even has a museum dedicated to it. A museum dedicated entirely to ham surely has to be the most Spanish thing ever!
Therefore you might imagine that vegetarians have a hard time in Spain and in many ways you would be correct. Eating out as a vegetarian in Spain can definitely present a challenge, and this has been known to hold true for Tenerife as well.
The good news is that more and more dedicated vegetarian and even some vegan restaurants have started popping up lately, so these days your options are much more varied. Below we explore some excellent options for vegetarians and vegans in Tenerife.
Vegetarian restaurants in Tenerife
A good lunchtime choice located in Puerto de la Cruz town centre. It’s a small cafeteria-like restaurant with a big menu boasting an excellent array of vegetarian options such as burgers, soups, salads and sandwiches as well as traditional Spanish dishes. Although known mainly as a vegetarian restaurant, they offer many lovely vegan options as well.
Must try: Veggie burgers, papas con mojo, fruit salad.
A vegan heaven located Candelaria, in the south part of the island. They make their own artisan vegan cheeses and the breakfast menu is out of this world. If you’re a vegan, this has to be on your bucket list.
Must try: Their baked goods and quiches.
Another good option in the Ranilla district that ticks all the boxes for us. This restaurant featuring a stylish decor has an extensive vegetarian menu topped with lovely desserts and artisan beer.
Must try: Goat’s cheese parcels, home-made ice cream.
Monje is a stunning winery located in Tacoronte, on the north side of the island. The restaurant isn’t strictly a vegetarian one, however they will serve lovely vegetarian and even vegan dishes on request. Accompanied with their local wines, this dining experience won’t disappoint.
Must try: Cheese board, pumpkin soup with grilled cheese and wine, obviously.
Spanish food for vegetarians
Of course you shouldn’t travel to Tenerife without exploring traditional Spanish cuisine. Here are a few typical Spanish dishes that are suitable for vegetarians:
The classic Spanish omelette – also known as tortilla española, tortilla de patatas or tortilla de papas – can be found everywhere. A real Spanish omelette is made with just potatoes, onions and eggs. It is a popular tapas dish (usually served cold in that case), but can be ordered on its own too, often served sandwiched between two slices of bread.
Gazpacho: A lovely cold soup made with raw blended vegetables that’s perfect for those hot summer days.
Salmorejo: I bet almost everybody has heard of gazpacho, but what about its creamier cousin, salmorejo? It’s similar to gazpacho, but one of it’s main ingredients is bread. This gives it a richer texture and a pinkish-orange color.
Pisto is made of tomatoes, onions, eggplants or courgettes, green and red peppers and a good amount of olive oil. Usually served warm, it’s a popular starter similar to ratatouille.
Espinachas con garbanzos: Spinach and chickpeas are a must try tapa from Seville. It’s a simple, comforting dish served piping hot, and one of the dishes you have to try if you’re a vegetarian travelling in Tenerife.
Croquettes de espinachas are small breaded and fried rolls with a spinach filling, and are a typical tapa in Spain.
Vegetarian friendly tours
By the way, if you are a vegetarian and thinking of joining one of our tours, don’t worry. We always try to offer vegetarian and even vegan meal options. Just let us know your dietary requirements when you make your booking, and we’ll take care of the rest!
What are your experiences as a vegetarian/vegan in Tenerife? Leave us a comment below!