The general rule of thumb for getting top value from a visit to Tenerife is to go native – eat and drink at local restaurants, enjoy the free entertainment of local fiestas and shop where the locals shop.
Fish is a large part of the local diet with restaurants that allow you to choose a fish from their selection (often hand caught) which they will cook for you. Black potatoes called Papas arrugadas are served unpeeled ready to be dipped into a local sauce.
As in the rest of Spain, tapas are eaten a lot with local specialities including garlic sauces, refried beans and squid. Typical Spanish meals such as tortilla (potato omlette) and paella (rice dishes) are common too. The island has loads of places to eat at and you don’t have to pay a small fortune to eat at the majority of them.
Whenever you get the chance, eat at a guachinche. Guachinches are makeshift stalls serving a small menu of traditional food. Portions are generous, produce is usually fresh and home grown and prices are exremely wallet-friendly. Most of the Guachinches are found along the roads in the regions of Geneto, la Esperanza, Tacoronte and Acentejo on the outskirts of La Laguna.
The south is full of plenty of junk food restaurants with hamburgers, pizza, chips, etc. There are 15 McDonalds including some on the beaches.
The young wines of the north of the island of Tacoronte-Acentejo origin are an excellent accompaniment to Tenerife cuisine. A good way of tasting the traditional dishes with a glass of the local wine is to follow the island custom and visit the “Guachinches”.
Tenerife also has a reputation for the ‘booze scene’, with Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos providing ample locations for those that enjoy 24 hour clubbing & drinking. The drinks available are the same as the rest of Europe (predominantly British) with prices being slightly less than those ‘back home’.
The local beer is the average tasting Dorada, available everywhere. More specialised drinks include banana liqueur.