Tapas. Perfect for those who, like me, are indecisive. Great for adventurous eaters who want to try something new but aren’t sure if they’ll like it. It suits those in search of either a snack or a feast, and it’s the ultimate social meal, giving you the opportunity to bond with old and new friends over shared plates. Around Christmas time each year, my diet becomes rather tapas heavy when I make an annual trip to Playa Blanca in Lanzarote to visit my boyfriend’s family. Every year, and often a tradition on New Year’s Day, my boyfriend and I make sure that we spend a day sat in the sunshine with a several glasses of cold, crisp white wine whilst sampling some of the best tapas in Playa Blanca, at some of the best restaurants in Playa Blanca.
We like to do this by embarking on what we call a tapas trail, which involves walking down to Playa Blanca’s Marina Rubicon, stopping at as many places as possible in the marina for a tapas or two and, of course, a glass of wine. This will include several dishes of prawns in garlic (followed by garlic breath for the foreseeable future), plus other favourites such as croquettes, fried cheese, Canarian potatoes, Spanish omelette and beef/chickpea stew.
This blog post will show you my favourite spots on the Playa Blanca tapas trail, giving you a few ideas when it comes to visiting the best restaurants in Playa Blanca and eating best tapas in Playa Blanca yourself. I’ve recently updated this post with a couple of new finds, and unfortunately one of my favourite spots has now closed so I’ve had to remove it.
One final thing before we get stuck in: if you’re visiting Lanzarote and looking for things to do, click here to read my blog post about the ultimate one day Lanzarote road trip. This is packed full of things to do in Lanzarote, in a nice logical order to help you plan your own road trip around the island.
I only discovered La Taberna for the first time a couple of years ago, and was gutted that I’d been missing out on this place during all my previous visits to Lanzarote – it’s definitely one of the best tapas restaurants in Playa Blanca! Here you’ll find simple, authentic tapas dishes at a reasonable price, with dishes written on a blackboard on a wall and food served as and when ready. The view over the marina is beautiful from La Taberna and the service is friendly and efficient. My only advice would be not to order the house white wine – I didn’t enjoy it at all and wished I’d ordered one of the Lanzarote wines I know and love.
Recommended dishes: garlic prawns, garlic chicken, grilled cheese, beef stew.
Berrugo Tapas Bar
When you order your drink at Berrugo, it’s brought out with a bowl of crunchy nibbles. Have a taste of these and you’ll already know you’ve made a great choice in sitting here. Berrugo has a similar feel to La Taberna in that the food is simple and traditional, but there’s a bit more of a buzz here. If you time it right, you’ll also get treated to some live music whilst you enjoy some of the best tapas in Playa Blanca.
Recommended dishes: dates with bacon, fried cheese in filo pastry, fried baby squid, grilled boar.
Liken isn’t really a tapas bar, it’s a proper restaurant probably more suited to a nice dinner out. But I’m going to include it here because I had the most incredible starter when I went for dinner, and you could definitely stop here just for this before moving on to the next tapas stop. And extra bonus points for beautiful outdoor seating on a balcony jutting out over the marina, and my favourite Lanzarote wine, Bermejo, is cheap here! You’ll notice that I’m only including one recommended dish below, and that’s because it’s utterly fabulous.
Recommended dish: tacos with goat meat and pickled onion.
Lani’s Snack Bar
My first ever experience of tapas was at Lani’s, when I came on holiday to Playa Blanca with a friend as a teenager. It’s been my go-to for the best tapas in Playa Blanca ever since. The food is straight-talking and delicious, and the generous portion sizes make it excellent value for money and one of the best restaurants in Playa Blanca, in my opinion. There’s also loads of choice on the menu with burgers, kebabs and spit-roasted chicken alongside the extensive tapas selection, so it’s perfect for fussy eaters. Note that there is a separate tapas bar and restaurant next to each other, both called Lani’s. Make sure to head to Lani’s Snack Bar rather than the restaurant!
It’s not just the food that makes Lani’s Snack Bar one of the best tapas restaurants in Playa Blanca. There’s comfortable seating, fantastic service and a great view. You can admire thousands of fish swimming beneath you through sections of glass flooring, and the waiters will usually bring out bread especially for you to feed the fish over the side of the decking. They sometimes even have a DJ on – nothing too intense but perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine in the sunshine.
Recommended dishes: ribs, fried aubergine with palm honey, garlic prawns, croquettes.
Whilst the tapas are good at El Mirador, they’re a bit on the expensive side compared to the rest of the marina so we usually just stop for a drink. It’s my favourite spot in the marina because the sangria is fantastic and its the perfect spot for watching the sun set over the sea. Coupled with comfy sofas and chilled out background music, you couldn’t feel any more ‘holiday’ if you tried. Oh, and as well as the sangria I would highly recommend the Gin Fizz cocktail!
Recommended dish: gin fizz, sangria (neither are strictly a dish but hey, this is my recommendation).
One Bar is at the end of our tapas trail, meaning that we usually get distracted by the sunset and sangria at El Mirador before we make it that far. One Bar sits at the end of the marina overlooking the harbour entrance and the sea – not only is it great for yacht watching, it’s also a proper little sun trap! As we haven’t been for a while I can’t remember the specifics but I do remember that the croquettes here were the best on the tapas trail – we tried a couple of different ones and I polished off a load of mushroom croquettes despite not liking mushrooms, so they must be good!
Recommended dishes: mushroom croquettes, black pudding with fried eggs.
Before I finish up this blog post, I must mention two other restaurants which aren’t on the marina tapas trail but are 100% worth a visit if you’re in Playa Blanca.
Casa El Barba
Casa El Barba a little out of the way but can be reached by car or, even better, by walking along the Papagayo beaches for about an hour. I absolutely love the romance of walking along the beach with my feet in the sea, stopping for lunch and a bottle of wine with an incredible view, and then strolling back at sunset. There’s a variety of dishes on the menu that are perfect for a light lunch including a few tapas dishes and sandwiches.
But the thing that sets Casa el Barba apart (other than the fantastic location) is the fresh fish… my boyfriend and I usually share the fish of the day with some chips and house wine (another reason to visit this restaurant). The wine is grown and made locally and comes in an unlabelled bottle. It’s so good that one bottle turned in to three on our last visit.
Recommended dishes: garlic prawns, Spanish omelette, Canarian potatoes, fish of the day
Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen
The second bonus recommendation is Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen in Las Coloradas. I’m a little biased here because it’s owned by my boyfriend’s family, but honestly it’s really, really good! You’re guaranteed a warm welcome, an expertly made cocktail (Alfie makes the best Sangria I’ve ever tried) and homemade, comforting food always made with fresh ingredients.
Recommended dishes: steak & ale pie, scampi and chips, caesar salad, rolo pie
So there you have it, a guide to taking a tapas trail through Playa Blanca, stopping at some of the best tapas restaurants in Playa Blanca. If you have any favourites that I’ve missed out please let me know and I’ll make sure to give them a go next time! And if you’re deciding between Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, have a read of my Gran Canaria posts: