La Orotava is a sleepy little town on the island of Tenerife, a place full of history and stunningly located in the foothills of the Teide national park. The historical centre is full of colonial-style buildings that will seem oddly familiar to any traveller who has passed through Mexico’s San Cristobal de las Casas or Antigua, Guatemala. But after a wander through the (hilly – Tenerife is basically one big hill)) streets of the old town, your thoughts – like ours – will turn to tapas. And boy, have we got a treat for you.
Especially in the low season, options for eating in La Orotava can be scarce and tend to polarize – there are a few excellent, high-quality restaurants, a few local bars where the barman will obligingly flip you a frozen burger, but not a great deal in between. After a wander, we asked some friendly locals (two ladies working in the ice-cream parlor) where they would recommend for a low-key tapas dinner. Obligingly, they didn’t offer us ice cream for dinner, but instead pointed us towards Tasca Tapias. They were right.
The bar is located just outside the historical centre, and strikes a nice balance between the traditional (legs of ham everywhere) and modern (traditional decor, open kitchen area). We thought the selection of local wines was particularly good – especially the little-known fruity whites produced on the volcanic slopes of Tenerife itself.
- 2 portions tomato bread – €3
- Patatas bravas – €3.50
- Pata asada (traditional Canarian ‘roast leg’) – €7.50
- 1 glass red wine (Arautava) – €2.20
- 1 glass white wine (Despunte) – €2.50
- Bread – €0.90
We really liked the pata asada – a local specialty consisting of thin slices of tender-roasted meat and served with Canarian-style roast potatoes. The wines – although cheap as chips, especially by Northern European standards, were well-chosen and spoke volumes about the taste of the proprietors. And the patatas bravas made with traditional Canarian mojo instead of the Ali-Oli normally used on the mainland put a nice local spin on one of our favourite dishes.
Not so sure
There were no croquetas! We had to have extra wine to get over it.
- Bodega Tapias
- Avenida Canarias, 6
- 38300 La Orotava
- Tel: +34 922 33 53 95