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DISTRICT LOS HOTELES | PARQUE GARCÍA SANABRIA

The hotel district forms an irregular square-shaped area between the Rambla de Santa Cruz and Calle Méndez Núñez, and Calles Robayna and Numancia, with Plaza 25 de Julio at the centre. During the 19th century this district saw the city’s expansion and its design as a residential development.

Various quality hotels and important Santa Cruz sites can be found in this part of the capital, including: Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey, Hotel Contemporáneo, Hotel Taburiente, Hotel Príncipe Paz, Hotel Horizonte and the guesthouse Pensión Casablanca, among others.

PARQUE GARCÍA SANABRIA

The first square/street in Santa Cruz bore the name Castillo (Castle), now called Candelaria and, as recounted by 18th century travellers, for lack of a better place to go, there was also the esplanade along the small jetty of the pier, but these were places that lacked charm and offered no shade. And what is now the Ramblas, was called Paseo de los Coches (carriages) which, as indicated by its name, was more suitable for horse-drawn coaches. While other streets, such as Alameda de Branciforte and Marina appeared later, together with Concordia (though short-lived) and Plaza del Príncipe and Plaza Weyler, there was still no public park to speak of.

At the end of the 19th century, designs for a park started to take shape and a concerted effort by the local press and municipal council gradually gained momentum. The champions of this initiative were the journalist Patricio Estévanez Murphy and the doctor Diego Guigou y Costa, backed by local businesses such as Gabinete Instructivo and Ateneo Tinerfeño. And yet it was not until the 1920s, under the mayoralty of Santiago García Sanabria, when the first real steps towards making the old project a reality could begin.

The park has been substantially remodelled and is now considered as Santa Cruz’s “green apple”. In addition to the central monument, with its striking statue by Borges representing Fecundity, and the main promenade that cuts through the park from south-east to north-east, other features worth mentioning are the Bambúes, Casuarinas and Pérgolas walkways, with their Genoese statues of the Four Seasons, the great pond, the lily pond, the arbour in honour of the climate, the flower clock Reloj de Flores, and a host of other spots where visitors can peacefully stroll at their leisure and explore the park with its myriad of pathways.

The climate of Santa Cruz offers ideal conditions for an extraordinary variety of plant life throughout the park, with over 300 different species from all around the world, from places as diverse as South Africa, China, Mexico, North and South America, Equatorial Africa, Japan, Madagascar, India and the Pacific Islands, not forgetting the extensive selection of endemic species, unique to the Canary Islands.

The Parque Municipal García Sanabra has still more to offer. Dotted between its peaceful walkways are sculptural mementos in homage to illustrious names from our past, from the worlds of literature, the arts and society, including the relief dedicated to Dr. Matías Guigou y Costa, one of the most decisive forces behind the park itself and founder of the children’s hospital in 1901. Other historical references include busts of the poet Diego Crosa (known as “Crosita”), the poet and political figure Ramón Gil-Roldán y Ríos, and Santa Cruz’s popular mayor, Emilio Calzadilla Dugour, one of the city’s most cherished civic representatives. A bust of Leonor Pérez, the Tenerife-born mother of Cuba’s José Martí, was also added, together with that of General Leopoldo O’Donnell y Joris, the highest-ranking official in Spain to be born in Santa Cruz.

And yet the municipal park’s greatest artistic contribution is its magnificent selection of modern sculptures scattered between its walkways and paths. Works by renowned international artists and remnants from the “1st International Street Sculptures Exhibition” hosted by the city at the end of 1973 and from a later exhibition in 1994. These artworks are complemented by numerous other pieces displayed along the nearby Ramblas and at other locations, set against the urban backdrop. This extensive collection embellishes the Santa Cruz de Tenerife landscape with works by various artists, including Cubells, Subirachs, Paolozzi, Soto, Henry Moore, Miró, Óscar Domínguez, Claude Viseux, Macken and Torner, among others.

PLAZA DE LOS PATOS

Not far from the Park is Plaza de los Patos, one of the most popular spots in the city, located at the intersection of Avenida Veinticinco de Julio and Calle Viera y Clavijo, in the heart of district Los Hoteles. Its official name, eponymous with the tree-lined avenue that cuts through it, was unable to compete with the popular name it is known by today. Many years ago the square had a dirt surface and a small duck pond, hence the name Plaza de los Patos (patos meaning ducks in Spanish).

The street or avenue called Veinticinco de Julio (twenty-fifth of July) marks the date on which British forces, attempting to invade Tenerife under the command of the Englishman Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, were repelled. It was given the name in 1897, when the then mayor, Pedro Schwartz Mattos, proposed extending the thoroughfare from Plaza Weyler northwards. By 1903, it only reached as far as Calle Robayna, a distance of just one hundred metres and it was not until two years later that a decision was taken to extend it and cross Calle Viera y Clavijo. When King Alfonso XIII visited the city in 1906, the square was still unpaved and it was on a dirt surface, full of solemnity, that his majesty the king laid the first stone of a monument honouring the city’s illustrious son, General Leopoldo O’Donnell y Joris, Duke of Tetuán.

While the monument was never actually erected, the site (called plaza circular in old city documents of the time) was referred to as “Piedra del Rey” (the King’s stone) by the locals and the name stuck for many years afterwards. It was also at this time that trees were first planted and cobblestones laid to pave the square.

In subsequent years, the square was somewhat forgotten by city officials until 1912, when a plan was drawn up to erect a monument to commemorate the Victory of 25 July 1797. Unfortunately, this too fell by the wayside. It seems that the square was at least suitable for driving carriages and cars because that same year (1912) it was the scene of a traffic accident that led to the very first claim against the city council. The accident was caused by an iron pipe that had not been properly laid in the paved surface and which damaged the claimant’s “carriage-motorcar”.

Based on a project by Antonio Pintor y Ocete, and never without limited means, the square gradually started to take shape between 1913 and 1917. Gardens were laid out, the cobblestones were replaced with a cement surface, and a small duck pond was added with a statue of a child holding the fountain’s cup, later to be replaced by a pyramid of volcanic rocks with the figure of a heron on top. Around 1917, the tourism development board was involved with all of these improvements, in conjunction with the development board of the district Los Hoteles, as it was called.

The square’s current design dates back to the 1920s, at the initiative of local residents who, through periodic contributions, raffles and various charitable events, managed to raise the funds needed to replicate the Plaza de las Ranas in Seville’s Parque de María Luisa, with the cooperation of businesses and their donation of the tile benches.

Before leaving the square, it is worth pausing to look at some of the buildings that surround it, each one sharing its own individual character with the area, offering us an insight into what this urban space originally looked like. Perhaps most striking is the Anglican church (now Catholic under the patronage of Saint George), whose architectural style is so different from its surroundings. Erected by the British community, the first stone was laid in commemoration of the sixty year reign of Queen Victoria, although the building would not be consecrated until 1905. Surrounded by a small garden, the church has been an integral part of the neighbourhood’s urban landscape. The Palacete Martí Dehesa is a clear example of a modernist-style mansion owned by local gentry. It later served as the seat for the presidency of the autonomous government, as the headquarters of the former Farmacia Castelo and as the Roma Building. Unfortunately, other unique edifices that once complemented and lent their original character to this urban area have been lost.

CITY HALL

Prior to 1813, Santa Cruz’s city council had no official headquarters and municipal meetings were held in the mayor’s dwellings which, as stated in the minutes, served as city hall offices. In 1813, a building was leased in Plaza de la Constitución (now Plaza de la Candelaria) on the corner of Calle San Francisco and Calle del Castillo. Later, in 1822, after the initial confiscation of church property, the city council moved temporarily into the former Franciscan monastery of San Pedro de Alcántara where it stayed until the monks reclaimed their monastery. Another property was then leased in the Plaza de la Iglesia, which still exists today. History was repeated in 1836, again temporarily, and arrangements for the former monastery to be permanently relinquished lasted a number of years before being finalised in 1900.

As time went by, there was growing pressure to provide the courts of law with a building that was worthy of the task, meeting all of the necessary conditions, with offices, a courtroom and other facilities suitable for such activities. After learning that the Ministry was studying the possibility of establishing a criminal court in the capital, the city council hastened to provide buildings and furniture. In 1894, a plot of land on the corner of Calle Méndez Núñez and Calle Santa Rita (now Viera and Clavijo) was acquired and the municipal architect, Antonio Pintor y Ocete, was entrusted with the plans.

The plot, including subsequent extensions, cost 5,134 pesetas and the building work was put out to tender in 1899 for 158,040 pesetas. This initial budget would far be exceeded as structural and decorative improvements were made. However, today’s city hall offices (Casas Consistoriales) were originally built as a court house (Palacio de Justicia), the idea being to demolish the former San Francisco monastery and build the municipal headquarters on this site.

In 1904, before the project was finished, the city council moved into the new premises and started holding sessions in a room designed for this purpose on the ground floor while work was completed on the main hall, with the audience chamber instated on the upper floor. The artist Francisco Granados Calderón was commissioned for the decorative elements in the most important room, the plenary chamber. The paintings on the ceiling mouldings are the work of Martínez Abades and the main ceiling motif, “Truth defeating Error”, is by the Canary Islands’ most famous painter of the period, Manuel González Méndez. The primary stained glass windows and skylights, installed in 1908, are the work of Eudaldo R. Amigón y Cía., a company from Barcelona, which also supplied the glass for the upstairs doors and windows. The sixteen lamps and chandeliers were imported from Germany.

The building’s facade is noted for its pediment, made of artificial stone by Arturo López de Vergara and based on a sketch by Eduardo Tarquis and Teodomiro Robayna, and the doors of the main entrance to the building, the work of José Ruiz’s studio and based on sketches by the municipal architect himself, Antonio Pintor, who also designed the main staircase balustrade.

In addition to the municipal and judicial offices, the building housed the business and nautical academies during their early years, as well as a municipal meteorological observatory, previously located in a patio of the former San Francisco monastery. It was the only one of its kind until the island council built the Calle San Sebastián building where it founded the national institute of meteorology.

With construction of the building for the central Government, during times of oligarchy, the city council lost the use of an adjacent square. Today, it only houses the mayor’s office and space for the political groups represented on the city council, while the administrative and management offices are scattered around other parts of the city.

MASONIC LODGE

There can be no doubt about the influence of Freemasonry in the Canary Islands, and Tenerife in particular, during the 19th century, as demonstrated by the active presence of masonic lodges, publications and societies, especially in the latter quarter of the century. In Santa Cruz, many members of the local professional and commercial gentry adhered to or sympathised with the principles that inspired such associations and, with the liberalism and tolerance that was characteristic of this society, membership to a lodge was as natural as membership to a literary or recreational association of the time.

Contrary to what happened elsewhere in the world, where obscurantism and dissimulation reigned in masonic societies, in Santa Cruz this remarkable temple was built in calle San Lucas in complete transparency, the only example of its kind in Spain and, perhaps, Europe.

Built by the Añaza Lodge, established in 1895, the temple was based on the plans of architect Manuel de Cámara y Cruz and had virtually been completed by 1904, except for the cladding on the facade which was not finished until 1921 due to insufficient funds. The facade, historicist in style, is an authentic compendium of masonic symbology. Cámara’s project was modified at the last moment by the municipal architect Otilio Arroyo Herrera, commissioning the sculptural and ornamental features to the sculptor Guzmán Compañ Zamorano, both men natives of Tenerife and members of the Añaza Lodge.

Striking features of the masonic temple are the gigantic columns with palm-leafed capitals, the pediment finishing, the convex mouldings of asps, and pairs of sphinxes that guard the entrance to the building. The interior is typical of a masonic temple. It has a spacious meeting chamber with a ceiling originally decorated with symbology relating to day and night, a banquet hall on the top floor and a chamber of reflection in the basement.

In 1936, Freemasonry was condemned and abolished by the political system in place. The building was confiscated and handed over to the Falange party, which opened it up to the public for a period of time with paid admission. It was later passed to the army and housed the military optician and pharmacy, and was recently acquired by the city council, although its future use is not yet clear.

While substantial restoration work is needed, it would be an ideal venue for social debate, a forum for all ideologies.

CíRCULO DE AMISTAD XII DE ENERO

In 1868, two associations, El Recreo (association for the teaching of arts and crafts) and La Aurora (friends of youth society) joined to form the Círculo de Amistad (circle of friendship), an important cultural forum for the city. Establishing its headquarters at No. 12, Plaza de la Iglesia, the building housed a theatre, reading room and ballroom. In 1903, the Círculo merged with the Sociedad XII de Enero (12th of January Society), adopting the name it is known by today, and began building its permanent headquarters in Calle Ruíz de Padrón, today a magnificent building in the French architectural style.

Featuring a spectacular facade, the building was inaugurated on 31 December 1919, in jubilant celebration of the coming decade, the Roaring 20s and the end of the First World War.

The facade’s sculptural work was started in 1908 by Teodomiro Robayna and assisted by Eduardo Tarquis who, by the summer of 1924, was still modelling the huge griffins that flank the primary allegory.

The main patio was covered with a glass roof in 1927 and, one year later, the great imperial staircase leading to the ballroom was overlaid with Carrara marble. By 1928, the new building would cater to all of the Society’s needs, and those of its 8,900 or more members.

In an effort to add uniformity to the building, various work has been carried out over the years. In 1934, the architect José E. Marrero Regalado completed his remodelling project, resulting in a single building with an entrance on Calle Ruiz de Padrón. In 1958, the architect Tomás Machado y Méndez Fernández de Lugo refurbished and extended the building. A summer terrace was inaugurated in 1963 and a theatre seating 500 people was added in 1967.

The building, declared a monument and site of cultural interest on 19 June 2008, has three floors and a large symmetrical facade. An additional upper floor supports the turrets that jut out at either side, with a loft area and mansard roofs surrounding a central terrace, forming an accessible recessed area. The turret roofs, shaped like big helmets covered in scales, are highly original.

The subtle rustication on the ground floor facade contrasts with the upper level’s decorative elements, from which protrude balustered balconies supporting fourteen wrought-iron lights that were made in Seville, and relief decoration with cherubs, caryatids and telamons, etc.

MUNICIPAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

The idea to establish a public library in Santa Cruz was first spawned in 1863 but it was not until 1881 that a decision was made to use a room in the former Franciscan monastery of San Pedro de Alcántara for this purpose, a room that had previously served as a morgue. After numerous attempts and setbacks, this initial project would eventually be realised many years later, after a series of fund-raising initiatives targeting both individuals and organisations, including the Institución de Segunda Enseñanza (institution for secondary education) and the former Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Santa Cruz (local charitable society promoting learning). It also relied on the acquisition of archives and donations made to the municipality from private collections. These initial funds led to the inauguration of the Biblioteca Pública Municipal (municipal public library) in April 1888.

The Museo de Bellas Artes (fine arts museum) dates back to 1899, when two local art enthusiasts, Pedro Tarquis and Teodomiro Robayna, with their own private collection, asked the city council for some form of assistance or subsidy to help them maintain and extend their collection. The fledgling paintings museum was thus annexed to the municipal academy for drawing and was officially inaugurated in 1901. Two years later in 1903, Tarquis was appointed honorary director and Robayna executive director and curator.

Both institutions were housed in the former monastery, sharing the building with the city council offices, schools, prison and, during different periods, the court of first instance, the provincial council, and even the barracks of the Canaries Battalion, in a property which, since its confiscation in 1821, was entirely owned by the State.

The building’s multiple uses caused serious deterioration and the most essential work that could be done, albeit limited, was always shadowed by the fact that any investment was in a heritage site that did not belong to the municipality, until 1900, when the city council received full ownership of the property.

After such time, one project followed another, from demolishing the old monastery to erecting a new building on the site. The new structure was initially intended to house the city council offices, a museum and a library, since another new construction had begun on the corner of Calles Viera y Clavijo and Méndez Núñez to accommodate the various courts of law, which would ultimately become the city council’s headquarters.

The early part of the 20th century saw no progress until 1925, when the Cabildo Insular (Island Council of Tenerife) granted a loan to the city council to acquire headquarters worthy of administering justice, and a competition was held for proposed projects. There was just one entry, from the architect Eladio Laredo Carranzo in partnership with the engineer Rafael Villa.

There was great controversy over what should be done although, in reality, it was merely a case of designing a multipurpose building that could accommodate an audience chamber, law courts, living quarters, a museum, a library, a fire station and refuge for the needy. The competition was not concluded and Laredo, who had been appointed municipal architect in 1928, was appointed project manager and head of the technical office. The project was put out to tender in April the following year.

Relations between the project manager and contractor, Roque Montesdeoca Jiménez, were strained and contentious due to the many changes made along the way. The building, which incorporated the tower from the former monastery (the only feature to be kept along with the church), was not completed until 1933 and, in spite of all the effort, the end result was not ideal considering the various facilities that had to be accommodated.

While the provincial court now has a modern courthouse in the southern part of the capital, it still occupies precious space in the building which is urgently needed to extend the fine arts museum. A visit cannot, however, be missed, where outstanding works from the 19th century in particular can be admired alongside a sizable collection from the Museo del Prado, from paintings by Sorolla and Ferrant to sculptures by Benlliure and Querol. And yet the best and most comprehensive representation is obviously by painters and sculptors from the Canary Islands themselves, and visitors can admire and study in detail the work of local artists, some of significant merit.

The library, with a catalogue of 162,000 volumes (14,000 of which date back to before the 20th century), comprises a series of small and compartmental spaces that are not particularly user-friendly, and this has led to its gradual incorporation into another library, the Biblioteca Insular Alejandro Cioranescu located in the Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA) building, which has all the appropriate facilities.

HOTELS

Hotel Mencey

The Iberostar Gran Hotel Mencey at No. 38, Calle Doctor José Navieras, opposite the Parque Municipal García Sanabria, was inaugurated in 1950. It has been Santa Cruz’s most emblematic hotel over the years, the place to stay for celebrities visiting from around the world: kings, aristocrats, Nobel Prize winners, artists, scientists, sports personalities, bullfighters and singers, among others.

Hotel Contemporáneo

Hotel Barceló Santa Cruz Contemporáneo at No. 116, Rambla de Santa Cruz, on the corner with calle Doctor Guigou, opened its doors in 1990. It has a modern feel and trendy look for guests seeking elegant comfort.

Hotel Taburiente

Founded in 1966, hotel Taburiente is located in Calle Dr. Jose Naveiras. It has 173 bedrooms plus conference rooms. Its proximity to the Parque García Sanabria makes it the ideal destination for travellers.

Hotel Príncipe Paz

Located at No. 33, Calle de Valentín Sanz, this hotel is located in the historical quarter and commercial, political and financial centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It was inaugurated in 1991 and has 80 bedrooms.

Hotel Horizonte

Renovated in 2012, this hotel is located at No. 11, Calle de Sta. Rosa de Lima. It has 45 bedrooms.

Hotel Colón Rambla

Standing on the corner of Calle Viera y Clavijo and Rambla de Santa Cruz, this hotel was built in 1973 and refurbished in 2009.

Pensión Casablanca

A guesthouse with over forty years of experience in hospitality, Pensión Casablanca is located in Calle Viera y Clavijo.

Pensión Cejas

Located at No. 47, Calle San Francisco, this guesthouse is in an emblematic colonial-style building in the heart of the capital, with interior gardens. It has been run by the same family since 1950.

 

SHOPPING:
With an average temperature of 21 degrees all year round, Santa Cruz is the perfect place to shop in the most extensive open shopping area of the island. Small shops and big brands mingle in an outdoor setting where locals and visitors turn shopping into a unique experience. There is a great variety of shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants to spend a pleasant day browsing and relaxing. The city has the best boutiques and international brands with the latest fashion trends on display in their shop windows. Throughout the city’s shopping streets, large department stores and shopping malls coexist with traditional, small shops where a personal shopping experience and product quality are in the forefront. All of this is wrapped up in a pleasant, friendly atmosphere that makes you want to stroll along the city’s streets, parks, squares and gardens and to sit down to have a drink at any of its many bar terraces.

The shops’ and restaurants’ closeness to each other turns visiting Santa Cruz into a unique experience. The city is easy to access and equipped with enough parking and public transport services: trams, buses, and taxis.

We suggest you see the city by taking some of the following shopping routes:

Route 1 City Centre: Calle Pérez Galdós, calle Viera y Clavijo, calle Méndez Núñez, calle Pi y Margall, calle Suárez Guerra, calle El Pilar, shopping centre “Centro Comercial Parque Bulevar”, calle La Rosa and nearby streets. Enjoy this shopping experience in an area where you can find all kinds of stores offering clothing, accessories, footwear, jewellery, watches, perfumes… This route contains a great number of boutiques showcasing leading brands, with exquisite service and a wide range of unique designs.

Route 2 City Centre: Plaza de La Candelaria, calle Castillo, calle Imeldo Serís, calle Valentin Sanz, calle Bethencourt Alfonso and nearby streets. In the heart of the city you will find the street calle Castillo, a traditional shopping street with all kinds of international franchises and fashion retail chains. The route follows this street, which begins in Plaza de Candelaria and ends at Plaza Weyler.

Route Ramblas: Plaza Weyler, Rambla Pulido, Rambla de Santa Cruz and nearby streets. This route is characterized by a concentration of the commercial activity around both Ramblas: Rambla de Santa Cruz and Rambla de Pulido. There you will find a wide range of shops characterized by the kind service and the quality of products. Along the Rambla de Santa Cruz you can enjoy an exhibition of Sculptures in the Street, which makes the shopping experience much more enjoyable.

Route Shopping Centres: This route is characterized by the presence of large department stores and shopping malls around which one can find a wide array of smaller shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. The main streets are Avenidas Tres de Mayo and Manuel Hermoso Rojas, calle Álvaro Rodríguez López, calle Aurea Díaz Flores and Avenida La Salle. Along this route you can enjoy a wide variety of leisure opportunities inside the shopping centres (cinema, restaurants and personal services) as outdoors (Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín, Recinto Ferial de Tenerife, Parque Marítimo César Manrique and Palmetum).

Route Market “Nuestra Señora de Africa”: La Recova, Rambla Azul, shopping centre Recova and Rastro de Santa Cruz (only Sundays). The Market’s shopping area is one of the busiest commercial districts on Santa Cruz. Its central nucleus is the Market of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, or La Recova. It has been open since 1944 and is the successor of the Old La Recova, which goes back to the 19th century. Here you can find the freshest foods from the Canary Islands and from all over the whole world. It specializes in fruit and vegetables, meats and fish, although you can purchase all sorts of foods there, as well as typical products.

The Neo-Colonial building that houses La Recova, is arranged over two large floors, with open patios where you can take a pleasant stroll and enjoy admiring the great variety of fresh foods for sale. Inside you will find a Café with terrace, a place to rest and enjoy food and all types of drinks. Opening hours of the Market Nuestra Señora de Africa are Monday to Saturday from 06 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Next to the market you will find La Rambla Azul, its opening hours are from Monday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is also the Shopping Center with more than 40 shops and cafeterias, it opens from Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sundays morning are the days that the ‘Rastro,’ the large street market of Santa Cruz, is held at Avenida José Manuel Guimerá, surroundings of the open market Recova and Calle Bravo Murillo. Here you can find a great variety of first and second hand articles, antiques, clothes and fashion accessories in a festive and friendly environment.

 

GASTRONOMY:
Santa Cruz is the heart of Tenerife and as such it is the home of a range of food and drinks. All parts of the world are represented in the municipality. It’s a place where the food sector has experienced a remarkable growth in the last few years and the zone is known for being a metropolitan area that is home to two stars from the prestigious Michelin Guide.

The gastronomy is undoubtedly part of the local character of a culture. In this sense, the Canary Islands can proudly say that their cuisine is both simple and original in nature and that this is true in terms of the choice of ingredients and how dishes are prepared, with the Islands’ cuisine being based on the Guanche heritage, but also having a clear Spanish influence.

However, despite its simplicity, traditional Canarian cuisine is authentic and rich in flavours that give it a personality of its own – a personality that has been influenced by the Island Chain’s climate and the use of the products readily available in its sea and on its land.

Among the ingredients of traditional Canarian cuisine, some of the most important are products from the sea, such as fish and shellfish like the “vieja” (Mediterranean parrotfish), a white fish with a mild flavour, the “choco” (cuttlefish), a type of squid with a larger size, and the “cherne” (wreckfish), a fish that is consumed salted or as a stew.

In terms of foods from the land, the sweet potato and the potato are the indisputable companions to meat and fish, with the potato being famous in its “papas arrugadas” form (“Canarian wrinkly potatoes” – boiled potatoes with their skins left on). Vegetables such as the tomato, onion, garlic, varieties of peppers, squash, zucchini (or “bubango”), watercress, coriander, and parsley can be used in soups, stews, and in the preparation of the famous Canarian “mojo” sauce in its two versions: green (containing coriander) and red (“mojo picón,” containing pepper).

In terms of meats, noteworthy are dishes based on pork, rabbit, and kid goat, all of which can be prepared with a sauce as a stew, fried, or roasted.

Goat’s milk is the basic ingredient of the cheeses from the Canary Islands, which are consumed fresh, semi-cured, cured, and even smoked.

But there is a Canarian food product that is derived from grains like corn, wheat, and barley and which has become established as a “symbol” of the gastronomic culture of the islands. It is known as “Gofio” (a fine mixture of the aforementioned grains previously toasted and ground) and it has multiple culinary applications, as it has acted as the “bread of the canaries” (kneaded with water and not cooked), it can be consumed “scrambled” with broth (escaldón) or a stew, and it can even be mixed with honey and almonds to act as a desert. Its consumption is so widespread that, in many homes, it is customary to mix gofio with milk and sugar and use it for breakfast. Other products that complement the cuisine of the Canary Islands are the local wines from the region, with Tenerife being the perfect example. The island is divided into five wine-producing districts, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located in the Tacoronte-Acentejo district. Tenerife’s gastronomy brings together the products and dishes that are most representative of Canarian cuisine with a wide range of dining establishments.

One of the increasingly popular trends over the past few years is the diversification of traditional cuisine, giving rise to a new, more creative and contemporary branch of cooking known as “signature cooking.” While this type of cuisine keeps its base through the use of traditional products, it innovates by introducing new and exotic ingredients (many of them foreign) and a mix of flavours that bring originality to the recipe. Likewise, emphasis is placed on the dishes’ presentation, turning them into artistic creations done by expert chefs.

The dining sector of the municipality of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has it all. Visitors can find the best of the traditional cuisine mostly in restaurants or “guachinches” around the Anaga area. In the rest of the city, there are establishments that offer everything from traditional Canarian cuisine to exquisite “signature cooking” and more creative dishes, without forgetting the wide range of regional Spanish specialties, bars serving “tapas,” and a great variety of restaurants that offer international cuisine.