A Guide to Eating Vegan in Tenerife

Before I go away, whether it’s for a short break or for a full-blown holiday, I get scared that I’ll go hungry from lack of vegan food options. Ever since I was young I was constantly told that I need to eat more. I’ve always been quite slim and I’m pretty sure I was born a picky eater, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Still though, the idea of “you need to eat more” has stuck with me, so when I travel I get very worried about food options. In the UK, the amount of vegan dishes on restaurant menus is increasing and it’s a huge step forward, but sadly this isn’t always the case in other countries which can make travelling quite stressful. It still amazes me that large restaurants can’t seem to whip up simple vegan dishes like tomato and basil pasta or pizza without cheese- you’d think these would be easier to make than any other dish!

I’ve just arrived back from a relaxing 10 night stay in Tenerife, and I’m happy to say that I had no issues finding vegan food and eating out while I was there! Happy Cow was my friend, and I did plenty of research before I arrived so I had a couple of restaurants and food options in mind. If you’re a new vegan or vegetarian I would definitely recommend that you google ‘Happy Cow’ – it’s a website that shows you the closest vegan/veggie options to your location, or any location that you search for.

I’m going to talk about the restaurants I went to and the gorgeous food that I ate while I was in Tenerife. This post will be your saviour if you’re travelling to Tenerife soon or if you’re wanting to plan a short break! Read on for more…

Fuori di Zucca, El Medano.
Fuori di Zucca is located in a small resort on the south of the island and was filled with tourists and Canarians. The restaurant had outdoor and indoor seating and was opposite a little health shop which sold vegan chocolate and beauty products. I had a good 10 minute browsing session while we were waiting for the restaurant to open! Fuori di Zucca was a vegetarian and vegan restaurant and it seemed to be a popular spot among the locals and they kept coming and going while we ate. The menu provided lots of vegan options suitable for lunch and dinner, so you could pop in for a quick meal if you wanted to or you could go for a full on dinner.

What I ate: I chose the Einstein Salad and it was delicious! I got so much for my money and I couldn’t actually finish my meal in the end, I was too full. I ordered some oven potatoes as a side which were cooked beautifully. For dessert we shared some chocolate truffles which were really rich. I wouldn’t recommend getting a whole portion of truffles to yourself!

Other options on the menu: soup of the day, veggie hamburger (vegan), grilled tempeh, vegan prawns, salads and desserts.

Pros: large menu, great service and setting, the food was prepared to perfection.

Cons: allergens and meat/dairy contents weren’t listed on the menu, turns out the ‘veggie truffles’ were actually vegan!

Ilili, Las Americas.
Ilili is a Lebanese restaurant that serves gorgeous crunchy falafel. Their dishes were presented beautifully and everything was fresh. Ilili’s menu has meat, dairy, vegetarian and vegan dishes on it, and thankfully the allergens are listed against every item which was so helpful! Located in the centre of Las Americas, Ilili had a really relaxed feel to it. There were booth seats and proper chairs so you could decide how you wanted to sit. Most of the staff were super attentive and they were really passionate about the food. The owner gave us tons of recommendations and encouraged us to try things we’ve never tried before.

What I ate: I tried two different types of salad, both dressed in delicious lemon. I also tried the falafel and the roasted potatoes and peppers. I would 100% order all of them again!

Other options on the menu: a range of salads, tasty cocktails and teas.

Pros: amazing Mojitos, allergens listed on the menu, fresh food, big portions, passionate staff, welcoming.

Cons: some staff didn’t speak English as well as others, the menu stand outside was different to the menu you are given to order from so some of the options we asked for weren’t available.

La Casseruola, Los Cristianos.
We visited La Casseruola four times while we were on the island and it was definitely my favourite restaurant! It was so close to our hotel and we enjoyed a lovely walk along the main strip on our way there. The staff and chef were welcoming every time we visited, and we were given free appetisers to try while we waited for our food. La Casseruola was small and had candles and outdoor seating which gave it such a cosy feel. Even though there’s a huge vegan sign at the front entrance, La Casseruola does sell a few meat dishes. Please don’t let that put you off – I didn’t see any meat dishes served while I was there!

What I ate: I had the tomato soup, green beans, quinoa and potatoes all four times I ate there! I also tried the bittersweet onions.

Other options on the menu: different pasta dishes, bruschetta, grilled potatoes, quinoa salad, chickpea salad.

Pros: really good service, the chef is very passionate, the food is healthy and wholesome, there’s a ‘V’ next to all vegan dishes on the menu.

Cons: did sell meat and dairy products, meals take a long time to arrive, no proper drinks menu or cocktails.

Buenavida, Fañabé Plaza.
Buenavida was 100% vegan and I could tell that it was a local hotspot because the restaurant was full of groups and empty reserved tables. That’s always good to see when you first get to a restaurant that you’ve never been to before. It was located in the corner of an empty shopping centre and we didn’t think we were in the right place until we heard lots of people chatting. That’s when we knew we’d found it! The food was presented rustically, and the water bottles even had the Buenavida logo on. I wanted to take one home! Buenavida’s menu changes from month-to-month and had a number of different starters, veggie burgers and salads on it when we visited.

What I ate: I ordered the quinoa and black bean burger with fries, and tried the toasted bread with north sea flavours starter. I wasn’t too keen on the bread, it had some sort of paste, carrots and onions on it which isn’t what comes to mind when I think of ‘north sea flavours’!

Other options on the menu: salad, pasta, lots of veggie burgers.

Pros: popular, great service, loved the food (barring the starter).

Cons: menu wasn’t descriptive enough, location was hidden away, teas weren’t listed on the menu but they did sell them, so ask!

Malaika, Puerto de la Cruz.
Malaika was an organic and cruelty-free vegan Spanish café that offered take-out and a huge range of teas. The prices were so reasonable too which proves that organic restaurants really don’t need to be overpriced! Puerto de la Cruz is a large resort and has that ‘bustling’ city feel to it. Malaika was located on a street with shops and people walking around. This was totally different to what I was used to in the south of Tenerife where things were much quieter. There were vegan and cruelty-free logos all over the place which got the attention of passers by who looked in and gazed at our meals. I would recommend Malaika if you’re looking for a quick meal or a to-go lunch as its more of a café than a restaurant. It has sandwiches, cakes and pizzas ready for you to take out with you, I noticed a lot of people were doing so while we were eating!

What I ate: I had a filling lentil and carrot soup with fresh bread, peppermint tea in a cute teapot, fruit cake for dessert.

Other options on the menu: pizzas, quiches, sandwiches, cakes and pastries.

Pros: Lots of food choices, huge tea menu, beautiful teapots and crockery, great service.

Cons: might not suitable for a proper evening meal, located on a street which can get busy.

Tenerife South Airport.
It’s unlikely that you’ll find nutritional vegan options in an airport, and crisps really aren’t going to be enough when you’ve got to travel for hours. The plane food options will probably be grim too, with stale overpriced chips being the highlight of the menu. This is another thing that I get worried about when travelling, because I know that I’m going to be uncomfortable the whole way home. To my surprise Tenerife South Airport had the Camden Food Co. which I honestly couldn’t believe! They sold a bright mixed vegetable quinoa salad and different fruit pots which were perfect for what I needed to get me through. Thank you, Camden Food Co!

I hope that I have provided you with some useful information and inspiration for eating out in Tenerife and for travelling in general! If you’re visiting the island at any point then I hope that this blog post will be of great help to you. It turns out that there are quite a few options and restaurants to try, who would have known? I plan to post reviews on Happy Cow when I find the time, and I’ve linked each restaurant to their Happy Cow pages so you can have a browse.

Have you ate in any of these restaurants before? Or perhaps you’ve ate somewhere else that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know on Twitter!

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