Admit it: when you think of Tenerife, the last thing that springs to mind is haute cuisine. So, it will come as a surprise to most that the destination better known for cheap-and-cheerful package holidays has just received its sixth Michelin star – spread between five restaurants – and it remains the only Canary Island with the much-coveted accolade. Here are the restaurants that have reached these gastronomic heights.
Nub Restaurante, San Cristóbal de La Laguna | Courtesy of NUB Restaurant
NUB is the latest in Tenerife to be awarded a star, and as it occupies a beautifully restored colonial building, its looks are almost on par with its cuisine. But it’s the elegantly presented tasting menus that innovatively fuse Italian, Chilean and traditional Canarian flavours that have garnered so much praise – and an all-important nod from the Michelin Guide.
The celebrated Basque chef Martín Berasategui has left his mark on several restaurants across Spain (picking up seven Michelin stars on the way), and this is his Tenerife outpost. One of the island’s best-known restaurants, M.B. sits in the swanky Ritz-Carlton, Abama hotel and is the only two-Michelin-starred option on the island. It’s renowned for its stunning interpretation of Spanish cuisine with influences from the Basque Country and exquisite selection of local ingredients, though brace yourself for eye-wateringly high prices.
Also located in The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, Abama Kabuki is presided over by the renowned chef Ricardo Sanz and considered one of the best Japanese restaurants in Spain. The interiors of this Michelin-star holder is a study in tasteful minimalism, with a formal dress code requirement adding to the flawless aesthetic. But it owes its star to its outstanding fusion of traditional Japanese with modern Western culinary techniques, plus the use of seasonal Canary Island produce. Expect the likes of British favourite Fish and Chips interpreted usuzukuri style, with wafer-thin slices of fish.
Another Japanese restaurant and Michelin-star holder, Kazan translates to ‘volcano’ – a nod to the island’s Mount Teide. An unassuming façade and modest Japanese-style interiors belie the fabulous award-winning menu of Nikkei-inspired cuisine. Food is served on blocks of wood or lava trays, with lovely arranged delicacies that are a feast for the eyes as much as the belly. Prices are surprisingly reasonable for this type of gastronomic experience.
Restaurante El Rincón de Juan Carlos, Santiago del Teide | Courtesy of El Rincón de Juan Carlos
Run by the Padrón brothers, this outstanding restaurant lies in the popular tourist spot of Los Gigantes on the cliff-fringed south coast of Tenerife. The Michelin-starred eatery offers a choice of à la carte or tasting menus, with an emphasis on seafood and seasonal island-sourced market produce. While elegantly presented and with cues from a range of Western and Eastern influences, the food remains essentially Canarian. For the full experience, order the complete tasting menu with 12 wine pairings from around the Canary Islands, though don’t forget the trousers with elasticated waist.