Whether this is your first or your tenth time visiting Lanzarote, you’re sure to find no shortage of fantastic eateries on offer on this small volcanic isle. From freshly prepared seafood to sweet treats, there are culinary delights for everyone to enjoy around every corner.
In today’s article, we’ve teamed up with our friends from Optima Villas over in Playa Blanca to share a selection of our favourite local restaurants that offer quality food and beautiful surroundings to deliver a unique dining experience. From breathtaking waterfront settings to lunching in the depths of a volcano, you’ll discover there’s a lot more to this island than meets the eye.
LagOmar in Nazaret
LagOmar Restaurant in Nazaret is one of those eateries that’s blessed with a unique and jaw-dropping location that has to be seen to be believed. Set in the crater of an old volcanic quarry, this restaurant is part of the LagOmar Museum that was the original concept of local artist, César Manrique, but later developed by several architects to create one of the most visually impressive pieces of architecture on the island.
Pristine white buildings stand proudly against the rough, red volcanic rock facade to deliver a striking contrast of materials – coupled with the inviting blue pool and local flora that includes palm trees and giant cacti, it definitely creates an inviting atmosphere. Off the main restaurant terrace, you can build up an appetite by exploring the abundance of caves and labyrinths naturally carved out by lava flow long before the volcano became dormant.
The restaurant boasts one of the best reputations for fine dining on the island, specialising in Mediterranean cuisine. Serving an a la carte menu and tapas treats from 12pm through to 11:30pm Tuesday to Sunday, this scenic location is awe-inspiring any time of the day. But, for a truly magical experience, we’d recommend booking a table for sunset. As the sun goes down, the earthy-coloured rock walls become a fiery red that will leave you in no doubt that this is a must-see spot. Accompanied by quality food and local wine, this is guaranteed to be a dinner date you won’t forget in a hurry.
Los Aljibes in Tahiche
Another must-visit restaurant on the island has got to be Los Aljibes. Designed by César Manrique in 1976, this is yet another example of his desire to capture the natural wonder of volcanic rock to create a breathtaking building out of old rain water tanks. From the thick stone walled terrace to the arched dining rooms inside, every corner of this restaurant feels steeped in local history, while also serving as an art gallery too – so you can combine culture with some grilled specialities.
Oozing with rustic charm, this venue is now owned by two Argentinians who’s chefs prepare both local Canarian and Argentine delights, cooked on open grills or in traditional clay ovens that give a wonderfully rich flavour.
In addition to a breathtaking location and warm, welcoming atmosphere, this restaurant also features a craft brewery – perfect if you love hearty dishes with a side of cold, frothy beer! Open every day except Thursdays, this restaurant is just outside the village of Tahiche as you head south to Arrecife.
El Risco in Famara
Offering picture-perfect scenery and exquisite cuisine prepared using local ingredients, El Risco rightly assumes a place in our top four restaurants to visit on Lanzarote. Situated in the town of Famara on the north of the island, this restaurant’s beachside location delivers an awe-inspiring view that never gets boring.
Whether you’re dining with a loved one or a group of friends, on warm, clear days the Atlantic Ocean backdrop with views of the northernmost tip of Lanzarote and neighbouring island La Graciosa are always an impressive sight, while the soft lighting and sea breeze lend a pleasant ambiance for al fresco dining in the evenings.
El Risco sets itself apart on its ethos to serve up Canarian dishes that consist of all local ingredients. From the epic grilled octopus to the desserts made using distinctive gofio flour, each dish is lovingly prepared and designed to tantalise your tastebuds!
Like many buildings on the island, El Risco also features the touch of César Manrique within its simplistic interior. A hand-painted mural depicting the dedication of local fisherman (who would climb the Famara cliffs to sell their freshly caught fish) is a beloved piece of artwork that sits at the heart of this restaurant and the stunning landscapes that surround it.
La Puntilla in el Charco de San Ginés
In the heart of the island’s capital, Arrecife, lies el Charco de San Ginés – a natural seawater lagoon that’s lined with pretty white fisherman’s cottages that are an integral part of this areas history. Now an up-and-coming area that was remodelled by Manrique, the shoreline of the lagoon is home to a number of bars and restaurants, including another one of Lanzarote’s finest restaurants, La Puntilla.
Behind the unassuming cosy interior that’s a wonderful ensemble of fishing memorabilia and rustic trinkets, La Puntilla belies pure culinary genius and passion to deliver quality food that’s locally sourced, innovative and fresh. This is all part of the owner and chef José Rodríguez’s commitment to introduce zero-kilometre local products to support the surrounding community and guarantee only the best quality ingredients are served.
Offering an a la carte menu, diners can immerse themselves in the beauty of the surroundings both inside and out. On sunny days that may be watching the world go by while sampling flavourful fish or, on cooler evenings, heading inside to soak up the pleasant atmosphere and quirky decor.
For gourmet enthusiasts and avid foodies, you’ll also find La Puntilla offers tasting menus – serving up a selection of mouthwatering dishes that have been carefully created to deliver well-balanced flavours. With the option to sample Lanzarote wines that complement each dish too, this is sure to be a real gastronomic treat!
What about you? What are your favourite restaurants in Lanzarote for great food and amazing scenery? Let us know in the comment section!
Author bio: Nick Ball is Marketing Manager at Optima Villas and has lived on the island of Lanzarote since 2001.