Food and drink is an integral part of any holiday, and for many people, it's what makes it. You don't have to skimp on the gastronomic delights in Lanzarote, an island renowned for great variety and affordability. In general, Canarian cuisine is a blend of Spanish, African and Latin American influences - fitting for its geographical position. You'll also find plenty of British, Italian and American dishes as typical for a tourist hot spot. So, what are the dishes to look out for?
The locals enjoy a meaty palate made up of beef, rabbit and goat, often made into soups and stews. Fish and seafood can be found in restaurants all over the island, the most common being dorada - sea bream, vieja - parrot fish and cherne - sea bass. These tasty white fish are usually grilled and served with another famous Canarian dish - Papas Arrugadas. Effectively wrinkled potatoes, these well-seasoned spuds are more than a simple side dish. With a nutty flavour, they are grown in the black gravel on the island and common on the menu here.
Most wine lists offer a selection of both locally produced and mainland Spanish wines. You won't find many from elsewhere in Europe or further afield, and if you do they won't be cheap. The Canary Islands used to be world leaders in the production of sweet Malvaisa wine and you'll still find this award-winning tipple available as an accompaniment to dessert. So if all of this whets your appetite, here are our top picks of restaurants in Lanzarote.
One of the most renowned restaurants on the island, this glass-fronted eatery in the capital has glorious views over the port where the ferries come in. Set in the shadows of the 18th-century castle to which the restaurant shares its name, locals and tourist alike flock here for excellent seafood and fish dishes supplied by the local fisherman. A speciality of the house is shellfish soup with Azafranillo - locally grown saffron.
It's essential to book this hugely popular restaurant as soon as you arrive in Lanzarote, if not before, because it gets full very quickly in tourist season. With a sophisticated atmosphere and great food at very reasonable prices, many name it the best restaurant in Costa Teguise. The staff are friendly and obliging as you make your way through dishes like lamb croquettes, duck breast, baked goat's cheese and sweet almond tart.
My Kitchen Julius specialises in Spanish and Italian with succulent pasta dishes, perfectly cooked meats and imaginative veggie dishes. The waiting staff greet you like family and treat you like royalty but it's the smells that draws people in from the street. Sizzling chorizo and lemon sole are best-sellers but if you go home having tried one thing, it must be the homemade boozy tiramisu.
It's hard to find a good vegetarian restaurant in the Canaries but Kristian's has a wide range of meat, fish and veggie dishes so it's a great option for mixed groups with varying tastes. Vegetarian-friendly dishes include blue cheese, broccoli and walnut quiche, and wild mushroom stuffed pasta. Many of the ingredients are organically grown on local farms and the whole place has a warm atmosphere helped along with live but gentle Irish music.
If you don't want a fancy restaurant setting, try Chacho's for no frills dining and the best burgers on Lanzarote. The imaginative burger toppings range from fig and goat's cheese to nachos. Cooked fresh to order and to your liking, they come with homemade chips and dips. To eat on the go, order a take-away burger meal for around under 10 euros.