Spain, the land of bullfighting and jamón, is more plant-based-diet-friendly than you would imagine. Vegans won’t have trouble finding sympathetic hotels, restaurants and shops wherever they visit, including the Canary Islands. Many traditional recipes are naturally plant-based or can be adapted, making a vegan Canary Islands an easy place to discover.
Where to Locate Vegan Canary Islands Accommodation
For the most plant-based-friendly lodging, book an apartment, rural house, or villa. There, your menu is defined by what you rustle up in the kitchen. Stay international by checking out Airbnb’s Canary Islands selection, booking a luxurious resort, or going local by renting a cave house offered by Gran Canaria’s Artenatur, in the Bedrock-like Artenara.
Regarding Canary Islands resorts, there are more vegan-friendly establishments on the bigger islands. This includes Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Tenerife. There are simply more hotels in these popular tourist destinations. But the smaller, sparser El Hierro, La Graciosa, La Gomera, and La Palma are no strangers to accommodating followers of a plant-based diet.
At El Hierro’s Hotel Puntagrande, you can dine on a variety of delicious vegan cuisine, like their popular dish, Delights of the Garden. At La Palma’s unique lighthouse hotel, Faro Punta Cumplida, a fresh breakfast basket is delivered daily. Hotel Añaterve in La Gomera’s Vallehermoso is the perfect location to get away from it all on this natural paradise of an island.
The roomier Canary Islands resorts on the larger islands specialize in buffet breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. However, there are boutique establishments too where there are always vegan options. Chefs go out of their way to cater to plant-based preferences.
In terms of culinary class Canaries-wide, whatever your dietary choices, we recommend Fuerteventura’s Hotel Rural Mahoh, one of the early pioneers of the vegan protein Heura. Then there is celebrity magnet Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia in Gran Canaria whose German head chef Wolfgang Grobaeur utilizes ingredients grown at his nearby finca.
Last, but by no means least is the uber-stylish The Ritz-Carlton, Tenerife Abama, which has in-house Michelin-starred restaurants. One in-house restaurant, Verde Mar, puts farm-to-table produce at the forefront of their dishes. While meat and seafood are served as sides, vegan protein substitutes are available upon request.
Where to Find Vegan Canary Islands Restaurants
There are plenty of plant-based Canary Islands restaurants. Something worth bearing in mind is that hotel á-la-carte eateries are also open to non-guests. Three of the best, although not exclusively vegan, on Gran Canaria are the flashy Gold by Marina’s La Palmera Sur, the top-floor 360° at Bohemia Suites & Spa with its panoramic views, and Poemas Restaurant by Hermanos Padrón, located at Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, and run by Tenerife’s Michelin-starred brothers.
La Gomera’s Hotel Jardín Tecina also deserves special mention. The hotel is home to several restaurants with vegan menus. There is a KM 0 approach to sourcing ingredients. Guests can make the weekly visit to their Eco Finca Tecina, where they grow their own organic produce.
Specialist Vegetarian and Plant-Based Eateries
For a guaranteed vegan meal, there are a growing number of specialist vegetarian and plant-based eateries in the Canary Islands. Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote’s main resort, is home to Bistro Árbol where tasty sharing platters accompany classic vinyl albums played on a trusty Technics record player. In capital Arrecife, you’ll find The V Factor, whose daily-changing menu offers a playful vegan take on traditional take-out.
This next green retreat is for those who are a fan of dessert. Arrecife is home to the Canary Island’s first entirely vegan cake shop. Indulge your sweet tooth at Pastelería Dulce Natural.
Over on La Gomera, the island’s original vegetarian restaurant, Casa Efigenia, has plenty of colorful creations for vegans. In the capital and major port San Sebastián de la Gomera, you can find a range of organic vegan wines to partner with plant-based food at La Salamandra Gastrobar. Yet another San Seb option for vegetarians and vegans is Asociación Ibaya.
Finding Vegan Options at Other Dining Locations
While you won’t go hungry as a vegan on El Hierro, there are no specialist plant-based eateries on the island. The closest thing is the long-time friend to visiting vegetarians, Restaurante Casa Goyo, located in agricultural outpost San Andrés. However, the outlook for followers of a plant-based diet heading to La Palma is altogether brighter with the likes of Los Llanos de Aridane’s La Vitamina. The restaurant delivers vegans their RDA of dairy- and meat-free goodness. Around half an hour to the north by car, Tijarafe’s Veganoteca offers plant-based buffet brunches.
On the airport side of the island, order vegan pizza at Santa Cruz de La Palma’s Il Ghiottone Bar Pizzeria Ristorante.
Fuerteventura’s El Cotillo is home to Happy Cactus El Cotillo, a health food shop and restaurant open daily from Tuesday to Sunday. There is more yummy fare available at Corralejo’s H20 Juice Bar & Vegan Café. Nearby, you’ll go nuts for the nutty cheese at Baobab.
In capital Puerto de Rosario, there is a healthy food revolution going on at the delivery-only Delicias y Namàstè. Also in PDR is the raw-focused El Invernadero Restaurante with their knockdown tasting menus, and Bar y Cafetería Terra if you are craving poke bowls and sushi. In the historic capital of Betancuria, you can munch on vegan burgers at the funky La Sombra.
Close neighbors and fierce rivals Gran Canaria and Tenerife offer the (dande) lion’s share of vegan Canary Islands restaurants. Two of the finest are in shopping centers in Tenerife’s resort-heavy south. In BuenaVida 100% Vegan, on the first floor of the Centro Comercial Fañabe Plaza in Costa Adeje, gourmet burgers are as succulent as they are meat-free. Up north, the historic capital of San Cristóbal de La Laguna and its cobbled streets house the likes of Veggie Penguin (time your visit at the weekend to munch on their sweet potato fries), and the hearty dishes of Somos Lo Que Comemos.
Sustainable and Home Grown
Order takeout at Puerto Colón’s Tierra, which features food home grown on the family-run Finca La Caldera, served in packaging that is both compostable and recyclable. Playa de las América’s Govinda’s specializes in holistic Vedic cuisine that is light on the wallet, especially their set menus. You will need to reserve a table at Abades’ Samelo Veg, a pioneer on the vegan cheese front. Try the mozzaVella, their riff on the Italian classic.
Arona’s Eco Eco Brunch & Café take pride in their Buddha Bowls. At the opposite end of the spectrum and the island, Burger Mel, with two Santa Cruz de Tenerife outlets, are big champions of Meatless Monday.
Also in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, La Ecológica crafts artisan pasta and pizza. They give back to the local community by employing disadvantaged youths.
In San Cristóbal de La Laguna, you’ll find Plantae Gastrobar. Here, veganism is very much a culinary art, with dishes that are exquisitely plated. La Orotava, meanwhile, houses Eco Casa Verde, a health food/coffee shop that offers detox juices.
Gran Canaria’s Vegan Hotspots
Over on Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Las Canteras area is home to Amelie Green. They are committed to healthy, real food. Another near-beach option is Vegetopía Veg-Away, where they shred jackfruit to fill their South American sandwich-like arepas.
Seafood is one of the menu staples at Las Canteras’ restaurants. Nonetheless, vegan-friendly options continue to swell in numbers in places such as Avocadisimo Tapas Bar, which sits above surfer spot La Cicer. There, avocado is the most common ingredient. Heading east, El Tiburón Hamburguesería veganizes traditional Italian favorites such as lasagna.
Join the locals on a seaside stroll. Drop by Pliza 21 for Italian ice cream with a dairy-free twist. They come prepared with either rice or soya milk and don’t contain any extra additives such as sugar. One favorite that will keep you cool all year round is their cucumber flavor.
Guanarteme is one of the traditionally blue-collar barrios above Las Canteras beach. It has been gentrified somewhat, as you can see from stylish new addition KIM Korean Food on Calle Galileo. Vegan menu entries include the classic starter kimchi and main japchae (sweet potato noodles and vegetables seasoned with sesame).
Closer to another beach altogether, Alcaravaneras, is Muelle Deportivo’s Restaurante Embarcadero. This restaurant looks to the more distant Mediterranean rather than the nearer Atlantic for inspiration. An impeccable daily-changing menu with vegan options and professional service has earned a place in the Michelin Guide, although the wait for a star continues.
The two main shopping areas of the Gran Canaria capital are Zona Mesa y López and Zona Triana. In the former, take a world tour at Calle de Juan Manuel Gonzalez’s A Raices by traveling to Austria (Hallo, wiener schnitzel), Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Peru without leaving your table.
Also in Zona MyL, one of LP’s major foodie streets is the car-free Ruiz de Alda. Here, Llévame al Huerto places an emphasis on mostly meat- and dairy-free healthy fare. It’s a similar story just-around-the-corner at Mr. Kale 2.0.
The original Mr. Kale is in Calle Cano, one of the avenues and alleyways above Calle Mayor de Triana, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s miniaturized and pedestrianized version of London’s Oxford Street.
Siete Palmas is a purpose-built barrio. Here you can watch basketball’s Herbalife Gran Canaria and football’s UD Las Palmas in action. Given the number of world-class athletes switching to a plant-based diet to improve performance levels, it comes as little surprise to find La Cuchara Sana here. They opened as the island’s first 100% vegan carry-out establishment, although there are more central LP plant-based options at the likes of Cucharas del Mundo, La Cocotte, and La Yeyita. La Cocotte raids nearby northwest Africa, across the Atlantic, for inspiration. One of its bestsellers is Moroccan Cous Cous Salad. This combines North African semolina with onion, red peppers, spices, fried almonds, raisins, and roasted cherry tomatoes.
Closer to the airport, Telde was established by papal bull in the mid-14th century. Then the canarii, the pre-Spanish inhabitants who descended from Berbers, developed a reputation of trying to drown missionaries. These days, the locals are more welcoming. This is especially so at Café LaLola, where there is a vegan menu.
Dining in the South
Down south, Playa del Inglés’ Fusion Restaurant & LoungeBar sees head chef/owner David Gibson recreating what he eats on his Asian travels in this Gran Canaria kitchen.
Head back in time to the heart of the island. In Artenara, people still live in cave houses just like the canarii. At BioCrepería RiscoCaido, they show that you don’t need to break eggs to make delicious crepes.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, owners Neus Santiago y Sergio Houghton are organic farmers. Come the rest of the week, minus their Sunday rest day, they open to cook vegetables. They then return to tending their beloved land and the circle of life continues.
Where to Source Vegan Canary Islands Ingredients
Traditional Canarian dishes include papas arrugadas con mojo, fluffy baby potatoes cooked in the saltiest of boiling water and accompanied by a piquant sauce. These are easily recreatable in your holiday home (especially if your kitchen is stocked with a pestle and mortar). The best spuds to use are Tenerife’s papas negras (black potatoes). You can snag these in the island’s markets, including Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s emblematic La Recova.
A signature dish of Gran Canaria’s Firgas is potaje de berros (watercress stew). The municipality even has its very own festival dedicated to the green. Although meat sometimes floats on restaurant versions, you can prepare this stew without it.
The archipelago grows plenty of homegrown produce, including everything from avocados to zucchini, which you can buy in greengrocers, markets (including the capital’s Mercado de Vegueta situated where it all began for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria way back in 1478 when it was founded), and supermarkets such as Hipercor Siete Palmas and HiperDino.
There are a wide-ranging selection of organic stores. You’ll find Spar Natural, good for beet juice, and La Zanahoria in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. All of the islands have regularly recurring farmers’ markets, including a lovely one in La Palma: the aforementioned Mercadillo del Agricultor de Puntagorda.
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