Guachinche: three authentic places in Tenerife

Converted into a standard of Canarian gastronomic culture, the ‘guachinches’ of Tenerife are those country restaurants where you can enjoy with friends to taste a delicious vintage wine.

The simple, tasty and local menu is designed to accompany these informal tastings. In this new article we propose a route of three of the most authentic ‘guachinches’ in Santa Úrsula and Los Realejos, in the north of the island.

A place to enjoy the local gastronomy

Popular culture says that the word guachinche comes from the English expression I am watching you, which was what the English said to the Canarian farmers, who set up their little parties with food and drinks to sell the wine from the harvest.

The linguist Marcial Morera, however, says that it is an adaptation of bochinche Americanism, which is also used in other islands, which comes from “buche” and means “poor tavern”. Be one or the other the origin, what is clear is that the guachinche has become one of the gastronomic phenomena of Tenerife.

We give you three recommendations for these authentic places with the characteristics that define them: opening limited to a few months (while the homegrown wine is sold), and a menu with three or four homemade dishes.

El Zacatin Winery

There Eladio and his family have spent years attending to anyone who wants to drink red wine and a good portion to accompany it. Here you can enjoy a Valsequillo cheese, from the island of Gran Canaria, because here there are no valid island lawsuits. Then comes the fabada prepared by Nina, Eladio’s wife. As a main course, stewed beans with fried garlic, pepper, tomato, salt, palm pepper and hot pepper, oregano and bay leaf. The preparation also includes pig trotters and chorizo.

At the back of the premises there is a wall with the nine Guanche menceyes from the island of Tenerife and with a photo of the Canarian independence leader, Antonio Cubillo.

Guachinche Quintero

Quintero has been working as a guachinche for 14 years. It began as a garage in the town of Santa Úrsula with a few very rudimentary seats, but today it has a very loyal clientele, which strictly complies with the standards required of this type of establishment:

You can enjoy the escaldón de gofio (the typical toasted cereal flour of the Canary Islands). They also offer fresh fish –chopa, salema or sargo–, potato and a sauce. It is usually served with a little raw onion to accompany it.

Guachinche Las Galanas

This guachinche basically offers fish paired with a wonderful white wine. You can also eat some magnificent chickpeas. It is usually cooked with fried tomato, onion, garlic, oregano and bay leaf. Then, to cook them, wine and some chips are added.

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