Lanzarote is home to numerous restaurants that serve all types of food ranging from traditional home-cooking to international cuisine. However, when visiting places, I make a point of spending time in the coffee houses, restaurants and bars owned, managed and recommended by locals because I believe that understanding the culture and traditions of a place begins with sampling local cuisine and beverages and chatting to residents.
You would expect on an island located in an area of the Atlantic that is abundant with fish to find only seafood on the menu - not so on Lanzarote
an unusual and surprising island in many ways.
Apparently, the natives of Lanzarote catch and eat less fish than you would expect because the original inhabitants, the Guanches, were more inclined towards farming and raising livestock than they were towards fishing. So, many of the local dishes are based on goat's meat, rabbit and sheep and the visitor will find that soups and casseroles are a common part of the daily fare. Nevertheless, a wide variety of local seafood is available and if fish is your personal gastronomic choice, Lanzarote has a wide selection of restaurants to choose from.
El Golfo, set within a backdrop of lava fields, is one of the fishing villages offering an outstanding selection of restaurants serving fine, fresh fish.
This small village is located on the south-west coast of Lanzarote in the area of Yaiza and here you can find Casa Torano
a friendly, popular restaurant serving traditionally prepared food.
Casa Torano sits perched above the rocky, volcanic shoreline; So, while selecting from the menu you can breathe-in the unpolluted sea-air of Lanzarote and marvel at the startling, black volcanic coastline that typifies this area of the island. At the same time you can watch the local fishermen preparing their freshly caught fish or find them busy amongst the rocks collecting the limpets that will soon arrive freshly prepared at your dining table.
Having difficulty picking-out a dish from the many mouth-watering choices on the menu? Helpful locals are always friendly and only too willing to select the best food of the day and suggest their personal favourites.
You may decide to start your meal with prawns or limpets cooked in oil and garlic.
After sampling a tasty starter, typical choices of fresh fish for your main course may be Sama, Vieja, Cherne, Corvina, Sea Bream, Grouper or Parrotfish. FIsh is usually served grilled accompanied by papas arrugadas - ‘wrinkled potatoes’ – baby potatoes cooked in salt-water. Dishes are best eaten drizzled with local sauces - "mojos". The green variety is made from a blend of green peppers, garlic, coriander, parsley, olive oil and a dash of vinegar. There is also the spicier red mojo based on chillies and red peppers. It’s customary to pour mojo over your freshly grilled fish and potatoes.
What should you choose to drink with your meal? Lanzarote boasts a growing and thriving viniculture. Numerous wineries
dotted around the island are becoming known for their good quality wines
Also, besides the great selection of restaurants, El Golfo is a convenient starting point for a great hike along lava trails or for walking down to Lago de los Clicos or visiting Salinas de Janubio
. However, wineries and hikes on Lanzarote are both extensive topics and, as such, provide sustenance and adventure not only for the visitor to this unique island but also for interesting subjects for different articles.
So, in the meantime, enjoy and buen apetito.