Wine & Run is a race taking place every year in June in the vineyards of La Geria in Lanzarote. The finish line is in Uga where a wine & traditional food festival is held.
This year, Lanzarote’s Wine & Run festival will take place on June 16th and 17th 2018.
So, why should you participate in Wine & Run?
1. If you’re going to run, better do it in an amazing landscape.
La Geria is a protected area. Men, with the help of camels, dug one by one the holes protecting each vine plant. As a result, we have a unique landscape where green vines contrast with the black lava covered land their grow in.
But remember: with great power comes great responsibility! It’s a protected area, so it’s important to watch your steps to avoid harming local eco-system 🙏
2. You’ll help protect La Geria
Part of your inscription fees will be used to finance “Save la Geria”, a project that help maintain parts of La Geria lands when their owners are not able to do it themselves. But it’s not all! Grevislan, the organisation Cook in Lanzarote works with for cleaning and garden maintenance, is the one in charge of doing it. It’s a company dedicated to train and give work to people with disabilities which is 100% owned by the association of disabled people of Lanzarote.
3. After the effort, you’ll be rewarded with the best food on the island.
After the arrival line in the centre of Uga, you’ll find a food festival with local restaurants, cheeseries etc. offering you 1€ and 2€ tapas of their best specialities.
And, of course, you’ll also find us and be able to try Canarian traditional dishes by Chef Antonio 😋
This year, we’ll be making garbanza (traditional chickpea stew), paella rice and Spanish croquettes.
4. After the effort, you’ll be rewarded with the best wine on the island.
Wine & Run, its title says it all! Every bodega on the island is in Uga on the day of the Wine & Run festival. It’s the perfect occasion to try all of Lanzarote wines in one place!
5. Great way to visit La Geria off tourist tracks.
Visitors usually discover la Geria by taking the main road and stopping in the bodegas to try their wine. Yet, during the Wine & Run, participants get a different point of view from the middle of the vineyards. Trust me, this is priceless!
6. Whatever your physical shape, there is an option for you.
You can run as fast as you can in the long trail (23 km) or the short one (12 km) but you can also participate walking the short trail.
7. Shoot a great picture and win a photography contest
Obviously, if you’re running you won’t be able to be taking pictures but if you go for the walk, you can also bring your camera and enter the photography contest with your best shot.
8. The perfect occasion to discover Uga
Uga is a charming little village at the end of La Geria. It’s definitely worth a visit, and not only to take a cooking class with us 😉
9. Have fun at a music concert
On both days, there will be musical actuation of local bands. A bit of music and dancing is always a plus, right?
Food lovers will find a lot more than 5 mouth-watering dishes in Lanzarote’s traditional gastronomy. Of course.
And we’ll talk to you about all the other ones right here, on this blog.
You’ll have to be patient, though, we’re just starting.
This article is for food amateurs coming for a few days to Lanzarote and want to have a sample of the local classics. Every food on this list is typically Canarian. It’s a totally subjective selection. Like all the contents of this blog by the way.
Here comes your check-list :
Canarian Potatoes with Red and Green Mojo
Papas Arrugadas con Mojo in the local menus
You can’t possibly miss these during your stay in Lanzarote. If the place you’re going to serves food, you can be sure they serve “Papas arrugadas con mojo“. Literally, wrinkled potatoes with mojo.
Mojo is the sauce. I won’t translate it because – 1. it doesn’t have a translation – 2. I love its Austin Powers’ touch.
These “wrinkled” potatoes are small local potatoes cooked in a very salty water and, once cooked, dried out until their skin wrinkles. Now, you get it.
Although you’ll most probably try the Mojo Picon (spicy red mojo) and the Mojo Verde (green mojo made with parsley, coriander or a mix of both), there are plenty more. From almonds mojo to cheese mojo, don’t be afraid to get adventurous.
Did you know limpets always come back to the same rock – on the exact same spot – during high tide ? Indeed, their shell is shaped to fit the rock on that spot so they can stick in there until low tide.
Mother Nature rocks. Lanzarote is a standing proof.
In local restaurants, lapas are usually served grilled with green mojo. Yes, the same than the one served with the papas. We can’t get enough of it.
The most common varieties are the black and white limpets. You’ll probably be served a mix of both. Drop us a comment to tell us which ones you like more.
We like to eat limpets at:La Piscina in Punta Mujeres. It’s a bar with a few tables on the sidewalk next to the natural pools of Punta Mujeres. Don’t go there expecting a high level restaurant, it’s not. It’s a cheap place working fresh local products in a simple way. Definitely worth a visit if you’re ready to eat on a bar table without tablecloth.
We also like to eat them at Casa Rafa (Restaurante del Mar) in El Golfo and at El Risco in Famara.
Canarian Gofio is a toasted flour. It’s been the basis of the Canarian diet for a long time. Traditionally, Canarian babies were fed with gofio flavoured milk. And men had it for breakfast, mixed with a raw egg and a bit – or more – of wine. Getting ready for the countryside work.
Canarian toast different types of flour. However, gofio de millo (toasted corn flour) is the most widely used kind. You’ll even get to choose if you want it slightly or more toasted. But you’ll find wheat and rye flour gofio as well.
It has a peculiar taste. If you like discovering new flavours, definitely go for gofio.
It is widely used to make desserts or drink with milk for breakfast. If you’re more into savoury food, don’t miss the mojo de gofio and gofio escaldado.
We like to eat gofio at: El Risco in Famara. This is one of the best restaurants in the island in our opinion. It’s located right on Famara beach and they have an amazing chef, Juan Perdomo, working only with local products. If you want to try all of the dishes in this list in one place, this is the one. This top level restaurant has a wall designed by Cesar Manrique himself, a must visit for foodies and art lovers in Lanzarote.
Pulpo a la Plancha in the local menus
This is my personal favourite. Here, you’ll find it everywhere. Tapas bars, cheap and not-so-cheap restaurants; they all serve it. Because fishermen from Lanzarote get octopus all year round.
Spanish Chefs “scare” the octopus. Asustar el pulpo – which means they throw the – poor – octopus in and out of boiling water twice, wait for it to boil again and finish the dirty job. This allows the skin to stick to the octopus meat.
Freshly cooked pulpo is grilled. As I’m writing this my taste buds are dancing in tribute to the last octopus that fell into my plate – the one you’re seeing on the right – it was something.
It’s a real experience: a tasty grilled taste and crispy tentacles ends. If you’re going to eat octopus only once in your life, this has to be it.
Pulpo a la plancha is served… guess what… with papas and mojo.
Cabrito and Cabra in the local menus
(I know, doesn’t sound THAT appealing… Keep reading.)
I was very reluctant to eat goat. Always heard we didn’t eat it because its meat was chewy with a very strong taste. Not appealing at all.
I mean, have you ever been mouth-watering thinking how good a piece of goat would be? No, this happens with bizarre exotic fruits, weird fresh fishes, new spices discovered while travelling abroad… Definitely not with the goat, right?
In the end, I was wrong. Turns out people in Lanzarote have been cooking goat for generations and they nail it. Most of the time. If you order it in a place that does it well, it can be tender and doesn’t taste strong at all. It was totally worth the try.
That said, if not prepared well, I have to admit it tastes pretty wild.
I guess you need to be a bit of an adventurous foodie to go for that one. Who’s up for the challenge ?
We like to eat goat at: Esencia in Nazaret. David Pérez is a talented Chef from the Basque Country who makes a creative cuisine with Lanzarote’s local products. We love his goat dumplings, a nice way to try goat meat for the first time. We also love Chef Dailos Perdomo goat tacos at Hespérides Restaurant in Teguise which got him the first prize at a Canarian tapas contest in 2016. I’m sure both these dishes will make you fall for goat meat! And if you want to try it the traditional way, head to our neighbouring restaurant Casa Gregorio in Uga.
Local fish a la plancha
(Ok, that makes 6. I’m making up for the ones who wouldn’t consider for a second going the goatling way.)
We’re on an island. Obviously, there are plenty of great fishes to try here. From sardines to tuna fish (a few months a year) not to mention local hake. Many places will grill the whole fish and serve it with Canarian potatoes. If you want to try new flavours, we recommend the wreckfish (cherne), the Red Sea Bream (sama), the Blue Butterfish (Pampano) or the Barracuda, depending of the season.
We like to eat local fish a la plancha at: Casa Rafa (Restaurante del Mar) in El Golfo. We mentioned it earlier in this article, it’s, in our opinion, the best place to eat grilled local fish in Lanzarote. Portions are quite big, so if you’re planning on trying limpets and octopus as starters, you should ask the waiter to advise you on the quantity of grilled fish you’re going to need as a main dish. Let’s say if you’re 4 people, after the starters, you might only need grilled fish for 2 or 3.
To find all these restaurants on Google Maps, click here.
And if you want to learn how to cook Lanzarote’s local products, join us on a cookery course!
¿Para comer ? (will you be eating ? ) is the first thing most Spanish waiters ask people entering their restaurant.
Sounds like a silly question right ?
Of course, you want to eat. What else would you do in a restaurant ?
See, Spanish culture involves a lot of going out to eat and drink with friends.
It’s not unusual to have before-meal beers and tapas in a place and then go to another restaurant to share a real meal.
In that case, the waiter who welcomes you is trying to figure out if you will stand at the bar for drinks and tapas or if you’re willing to seat at a table and order a whole meal.
In many ways, restaurants codes are a bit different in Spain. Let’s detail some of the local habits.
1. Sharing is the key in popular Spanish restaurants
[clickToTweet tweet=”Spanish people like to share dishes at restaurants like they do at home. #foodtravel via @cookinlz” quote=”Spanish people like to share dishes at restaurants like they do at home.”]
Unless they’re eating in a Chef’s restaurant, the Spanish tend to share plates, as they would do at home.
They can share everything or decide to share the appetisers and then order a main dish for each one.
Of course, you can order your own dish and have it all by yourself too.
When placing your order, just inform the waiter you’ll be sharing (para compartir = to share) and he’ll bring you individual clean plates with your dishes.
2. Adjust dish size
[clickToTweet tweet=”In many Spanish restaurants, dishes come in 3 sizes: Tapa, half portion and whole portion #foodtravel via @cookinlz” quote=”In many Spanish restaurants, dishes come in 3 sizes: Tapa, half portion and whole portion”]
In traditional Spanish restaurants, you can see one dish with 3 different prices on the menu. They come in different sizes.
Tapa is the smallest serving size. Appetiser size. Perfect if you want to try a lot of different dishes or if you’re just looking for a snack to have with a drink.
Then media ración (half portion) would be starter size and ración (portion) would be main dish size.
If you are afraid to be short or order too much, feel free to ask for advice. Waiters are usually honest about it and will tell you if they think you’re ordering too much.
Be aware that in that kind of restaurants dishes are meant to be shared so they don’t always come with a side.
This means if you order a whole ración of fried calamari for yourself, you’ll be eating A LOT of fried calamari. And nothing else.
It’s ok if you LOVE fried calamari.
Unless specified, consider food comes with no side.
In case you’re sharing, the waiter will bring you individual plates with the food. And if you’re eating a lot of different foods, he’ll likely bring you clean plates at one point in the middle of your meal. Don’t hesitate to ask (politely) for a plate change if needed.
3. Dealing with menus
[clickToTweet tweet=”Menú del día is a tradition in Spain – Cheap lunch, incl. in some Chef’s restaurants via @cookinlz” quote=”Menú del día is a tradition in Spain – Cheap lunch including in some Chef’s restaurants”]
It’s not as frequent in the Canary Islands but in peninsular Spain, there is a strong tradition of menú del día (=menu of the day). Many Spanish restaurants offer a menu for lunch including starter, main, dessert, bread and drink (including table wine) for between 8€ and 15€ per person.
Menus you don’t have to share. They’re designed for one.
In higher level restaurants, you’ll find menú degustación (=gastronomic menu) with or without maridaje (=pairing wines).
When you’re eating at a Chef’s restaurant, international codes apply.
4. You may be charged for the bread
[clickToTweet tweet=”Some Spanish restaurants charge for bread #foodtravel via @cookinlz” quote=”Some Spanish restaurants charge for bread”]
It’s not a majority, but you might encounter one or two during your trip in Spain and its islands. In this case, bread price should appear on the menu.
If the server asks you if you want bread – good chance they’re going to charge you for it.
But sometimes, the server puts it on the table and, unless you clearly specify you don’t want the bread, you get charged for it.
The law allows it. Basically, you just need to check out if bread price appears on the menu. If it doesn’t, it means it’s free.
Remember if you have a bad experience, you have the right to ask for an hoja de reclamación (= complaint form).
5. Be aware of the eating schedule
[clickToTweet tweet=”Did you know Spaniards tend to eat much later than most Europeans? via @cookinlz #foodtravel” quote=”Spaniards tend to eat later than most Europeans.”]
Restaurants are filled with locals between 2pm and 4pm for lunch and between 9pm and 11pm for dinner.
In big cities and very touristic places of Spain, you don’t need to adapt your eating schedule because restaurants will serve all day to have everyone covered.
But in smaller towns, you can have trouble getting a place to serve you lunch before 1pm and dinner before 8pm.
6. Tipping or not tipping
[clickToTweet tweet=”Service is included in Spanish restaurants. Tip only if you were happy with it. via @cookinlz #foodtravel” quote=”Service is included in Spanish restaurants. Tip only if you were happy with it”]
Service is included in Spanish restaurants. This means you leave a tip as a thank you to the server for attending you nicely.
We’re talking about a few euros. My feeling is that if you are leaving something, it can’t be less than one euro.
Tip what you feel is right, and you’ll be fine.
7. What’s with the end-of-meal chupito?
[clickToTweet tweet=”The end-of-meal chupito is always on-the-house at Spanish restaurants #foodtravel via @cookinlz” quote=”The end-of-meal chupito is always on-the-house at Spanish restaurants”]
It’s a classic in Lanzarote and the rest of the Canary Islands.
The famous Spanish chupito. While the rule with the bread may be a little unclear, end-of-meal chupitos are always on-the-house.
You’re even allowed to repeat. That’s why the bottle stayed on the table.
Are there other things that surprised you while eating at Spanish restaurants ? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
We had a lot of expectations for the Chinese fishing nets and Fort Cochin as a foodie destination and were totally disappointed.
The place is a very touristic spot where we rapidly felt like walking wallets.
And the fish we were so eager to eat is swimming in a filthy water between what looks like an open air litter and a refinery.
Too much for the food and nature lovers we are.
1. Chinese fishing nets : Ingenious shore operated lift nets system probably brought by Chinese explorers centuries ago
The visit to these shore operated lift nets was very promising, though.
Reading about them on Wikipedia, we thought it would be one of the highlights of our trip to Kerala (India).
It’s an ingenious fishing technique that allows one single fisherman to operate a 20-metres-wide fishing net by himself. The different net structures are at least 10 metres high and each one gets its net to a different level of deep to allow fishing different kinds of fishes.
The system is a balance. On one side a wide open fishing net and on the other, big stones are hanging as counterweights. In order for the Chinese fishing net to sink into the water, the fisherman only needs to walk through the structure. His weight is enough to get the net submerged
In order for the Chinese fishing net to sink into the water, the fisherman only needs to walk through the structure. His weight is enough to get the net submerged
2. You can buy fresh fish and have someone cook it for you
Imagine a place where you can witness how fishes get caught, then choose one and have it cooked by one of the restaurants nearby.
Sounds amazing, right?
The fishermen get fishes in their nets and directly send them to the vendors on the sea walk. We saw fishes that looked like baby soles still moving on the fish stand.
But that’s where the magic ended.
All the acceptable-sized fishes were lacking both ice and freshness.
We understood why when we came closer to the Chinese fishing nets and saw what they were actually catching there.
3. Travel guides don’t tell you it’s a gigantic litter with a refinery on the background
Water is full of litter.
The beach is full of litter. Crows are flying around trying to get whatever “food” they can.
On the other side, a huge refinery. Yes. That’s why all the pictures look the same. You only have one angle.
The only thing these nets catch these days are tiny fishes and litter. No wonder.
You can imagine our deception. All that delicious fresh fish we were going to eat: forgotten.
We’ve been eating a lot of weird things. Not always on remarkably hygienic conditions. But this was way too much for us.
We ended up pretexting we were vegetarian to the insistent fish vendors.
4. A highly touristic spot where you’re confronted with all kinds of tourist traps
If you’re following us on Instagram, you know we’ve spent the first two weeks of our trip to India in Pune living and working with locals.
The experience in Fort Cochin right after was a bit of a disappointment in our seek of authenticity. We have to admit we don’t like touristic places. We feel that encounters with local people are much more interesting in less crowded places.
Rickshaw drivers in the Fort Cochin area refuse to use their counter and try to charge you ridiculous amounts of money for a ride (5 to 10 times more than in other cities).
Like in many touristic places in Asia, rickshaw drivers get gas refill tickets from souvenir stores when bringing in people. Even if you don’t buy anything. It’s a classic in Bangkok (Thailand).
If you’re lucky to be riding with an honest driver, he’ll be clear about it and won’t charge you anything else. Just so you have an idea, every gas ticket of these was worth one week of gas supply for our tuk-tuk driver a few years ago in Bangkok. In a few days, we were able to help him get 2 months of free gas.
In Fort Cochin, we didn’t find out how much gas these tickets were worth but our driver clearly preferred to bring us to a couple of shops than charging for driving us all day.
It can be fun when you know what you’re into. But when you don’t and your rickshaw keeps bringing you to all kind of tourists stores instead of getting you to where you wanted to go in the first place; it’s a real nightmare. Now you know, if it happens to you, just refuse to get in the store.
Let’s get back to the Chinese fishing nets.
Right before getting to the fish stands, we were already being offered all kinds of things to buy. From the classic bags and accessories to plastic spaghetti makers… Don’t look for local crafts there, you won’t find any.
I don’t know if you have ever been in a souk in Marrocco. If you have, you’ll remember the feeling of not being able to look at any of the offered products without being harassed by the vendor. The area surrounding the Chinese fishing nets seemed to us to be like a light version of it.
5. Even the fishermen are doing the show for tourists
When we came closer to the Chinese fishing nets, as I was taking pictures, a fisherman nicely offered us to come closer and see how they lifted the net up.
He explained they submerge the net for 5 minutes, raise it and repeat.
As we were witnessing how bad the catch was, he explained that they weren’t catching much these days and this wasn’t enough to feed the families of the 5 fishermen who were there at the time.
We gave the fisherman 40 rupees but he told us it wasn’t enough for all of them. So we gave him 10 more.
When we shared experiences with other travellers we realised whatever you give them, they’ll tell you it’s not enough.
Some had given 200 rupees and got the exact same reaction.
Cleary, these fishermen are not fishing much anymore and are making a living from the show “offered” to the tourists.
Looks like pollution ended up with this fishing zone. And fishermen need to keep faking it so the tourists keep coming. It’s very sad for everyone involved.
And it feels like a tourist trap.
In conclusion, our advice for you is : if you’re a food and nature lover, don’t bother. Prefer the close-by Munnar heights where you can find spice farms and tea plantations. And if you want to see the Chines fishing nets anyways, prefer sunset time. You’ll get nicer pictures and won’t be as distracted by the litter everywhere.
The fishermen told us the area was filthy because we visited it right after the monsoon.Have you seen the Chinese fishing nets in Kochi at another time (we were there in September)? Was it clean?
Please share your experience in the comment section so we can enrich this post.
Are you visiting Lanzarote with your loved one? This article is for you. Whether you’re here for Valentine’s day or not, check out these romantic things to do in Lanzarote.
Let me be honest: I’m not a Valentine’s Day enthusiast. I’d rather be classified in the group that prefers to find romantic things to do including a good dinner – of course – on any other day of the year. You know, these days you’re not seeing little cupids and red hearts everywhere.
Lanzarote can be a very romantic destination: deserted beaches where you feel you’re the last humans on earth, breathtaking sunsets and great food. Yes, good food IS romantic. Try to have a romantic dinner in an “all-you-can-eat buffet” if you don’t agree with that.
That’s why I took amazing food and romantic scenery as main criteria when choosing these romantic things to do in Lanzarote.
You’ll need a car. But unless you’re planning to only be moving between a pool and a beach (which is fine too), you’ll need one to move around Lanzarote anyway. Good news is car rental offer is pretty abundant and cheap here.
Bear in mind that these are not only valid for Valentine’s day. They are as romantic the rest of the year. Only, they might get a little more crowded during seasonal peaks.
Romantic Lanzarote: White Sanded Beaches and Dinner in a Cave
Grab beach towels, a swimsuit and warm clothes (if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day). You’re heading North.
Right before getting to Orzola from Punta Mujeres, you’ll find a series of stunning beaches and sandy coves. Thin white sand. Turquoise water. Black lava stones. Truly amazing place.
You can spend a while exploring Los Caletones. Make sure you check the last beach before getting to Orzola: La Charca de La Larca. It’s a lava-formed lagoon where water is always warm compared to the chilly Atlantic Ocean we’re used to.
Then you can have a look at the charming village of Orzola. It’s the departure point to the island of La Graciosa – That’s another amazing Valentine’s Day destination by the way. And head back to have dinner at Los Jameos del Agua. If you’re going on a Sunday, you’ll have to make it lunch.
Los Jameos are huge air bubbles that formed caves into the lava. Local artist Cesar Manrique made a beautiful art piece of this one.
The restaurant is on one side of the cave and serves good food. They usually serve a special Valentine’s menu featuring local products. After dinner, you can have a drink next to the Jameos legendary pool.
Romantic things to do in Lanzarote for Modern Art Lovers
Start your afternoon by visiting Cesar Manrique’s foundation in Tahiche. You’ll discover his work as well as some Picasso, Miró and Tapiés art pieces.
After your visit, head to El Charco de San Ginés in Arrecife to have a drink outside in the most postal type landscape of Lanzarote’s capital.
Then, go to the neighbouring Castillo de San Jose. The Modern Art museum. You’ll be able to see the regular collection and a temporary exhibition. As an illustration, Brit artist Jason DeCaires Taylor exposed the clay moulds he used to prepare the underwater museum‘s sculptures for a while.
Before going, be sure to make a reservation for the museum’s restaurant. The place was also designed by Manrique and serves gastronomic food.
Romantic things to do in Lanzarote for Sport Lovers
If your perfect romantic date features a little more action, head to Famara beach for a surf lesson. Most surf schools in Famara let you keep the surfboard for the rest of the day after a morning class. You can keep surfing waves if you didn’t get enough.
Some offer kite surfing classes as well if you prefer.
Once you’re done, and hungry, head to El Risco. It’s best to make a reservation if you want to be outside, right on the beach.
This restaurant serves amazing rice and seafood dishes. In my opinion, one of the best restaurants of Lanzarote. Choose whatever on the menu, you simply can’t go wrong there.
One of the walls has been decorated by Manrique himself in honour to the fishermen of Famara. A must-see if you like the artist’s work.
There are many more romantic things to do in Lanzarote. Your favourite romantic spot is missing here? Please tell us about it in the comment section.
What’s your ideal date like ? Is food important to you as part of a romantic evening ?