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.
We like to eat them at: Hespérides Restaurant in Teguise. They use a local ancient variety called Papa Bonita de Lanzarote, a true delish. Papas con mojo are a great classic here so you’ll be able to find good ones with homemade mojo sauce in every restaurant mentioned in this post. Click here to see them all on a map.
Lapas in the local menus
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.
Don’t worry, you’ll get hooked like we did.
We like to eat octopus at: La Puntilla in el Charco de San Ginés. José Rodriguez, the Chef, is probably the most respected by his peers in Lanzarote. He works local fishes divinely, gourmets will enjoy every bit of his menu.
We also like to eat octopus at Casa Rafa, La Piscina, el Risco and Esencia restaurant.
Goatling and/or Goat meat (Yes. It is food.)
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 (Edit 2019 – Esencia is now at La Tegala in Macher). 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 (Edit 2019 – Hespérides changed owners. We haven’t tried the new one yet). 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!