Lanzarote restaurants

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El Charcón

Price guide: Mid-range
#2/30
expert-rated restaurants in Lanzarote
Best for Dining alone -
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Beautiful beachfront restaurant - fresh fish and seafood at a simple waterside spot.

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Top Tips

• For good value set meals go for the menu del dia in local restaurants, which usually includes three courses and a drink for under 10 euros.

• With wonderful farmers’ markets offering fresh local produce and impressive bodegas selling superb regional wines, some of my favourite meals in Lanzarote have been picnics I have packed myself and enjoyed on a day trip.

• In Spain it is not normal to tip in restaurants, as service charge is included, although you may want to give loose change for helpful service.

• Look out for sociedades (social clubs). These are great value little bars in towns and villages offering food (usually there is no menu) and drink and run by local people. They are often called 'teleclubs' in Lanzarote, dating back to the time when these establishments offered the only television in town.

• When eating in local restaurants, remember that Spanish people dine late (from 9pm onwards), so if you eat before this time you may well get better service but could be sitting on your own.

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Location, location, location

I don’t understand why but so many of Lanzarote’s best restaurants have no outdoor space or sea view. On a tiny, pretty, sunny island where you are never far from the sea and that enjoys a balmy climate, it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

But there it is. So some of my restaurants have been picked for their beach location. The food will be good, of course, although perhaps not the best island-wide.

Some of my favourite places to eat are in insalubrious locations, such as the lovely Thai restaurant, Casa Siam , tucked away at the top of a rather grotty commercial centre.

Time warps

I don’t really like a formal setting, with lots of linen napkins and fussy service – particularly on holiday. Some of Lanzarote’s top restaurants are, quite frankly, stuck in a bit of a 1970s time warp in this regard, but I have included them for their consistently fine food. Nothing is perfect, after all.

And talking of time warps, what is it with nouvelle cuisine not just in Lanzarote but in Spain generally? I was never really a fan, in fact I was too young to really experience it first time round, but does anyone still want their sauce studded with a piece of fruit or those frilly bits of chocolate on their desserts? Anyway, I am ranting. Suffice to say, that some of the more traditional restaurants on the island seem to think they are being very contemporary by continuing to present their food in this fanciful way.

The food’s the thing

Of course, it’s all about the food – oh, and the wine – which little Lanzarote produces by the barrel load. My favourite food is fish and seafood and some of the local restaurants I have picked serve up the best I have ever tasted.

Carnivores are well served, with some wonderful rustic dishes made of local produce being offered all over the island. Rabbit and goat stew and whole suckling pig are all well worth seeking out.

As well as traditional Spanish and island cuisine – including tapas of course –  I have included a number of places serving some excellent international cuisine: a Japanese, Asian and Mexican restaurant are all in my top 30.

All of those restaurants listed have been hand picked by me and I have eaten in all of them at least once – many of them feel like my second home, where the waiters greet me as if I am a member of their family. Please let me know what you think – I value your comments and the list will be constantly updated and reviewed.