Eating out on a budget in Tenerife

Whether you’re planning your trip to Tenerife or it’s already well underway, you’re no doubt wondering how to budget – especially when it comes to food and drink.

Although your Tenerife workers’ accommodation includes a kitchen stocked with utensils, you’ll probably find yourself eating out a fair amount. And although food and drink are generally cheaper in Tenerife than in the UK, meals out can quickly add up! 

Finding ways to eat out on a budget means you can still enjoy getting to know your fellow workers over good food without having to burn through all of your hard-earned wages. That way, you’ll have plenty left over to spend soaking up the vibrant Tenerife nightlife.

But saving money is easier said than done, right? So to make things a little more straightforward, we’ve put together some pointers on how to eat out on a budget in Tenerife.

What’s the food scene like in Tenerife?

Tenerife is popular with foodies and known for its diverse culinary scene. The island is steeped in history, with various cultures having influenced the array of dishes and restaurants that are there today, which include everything from African to Latin American. 

Just like in the rest of Spain, tapas are popular in Tenerife. It’s common to see dishes like patatas bravas and garlic prawns on restaurant menus, but if you fancy eating like a local, you must try “papas arrugadas”. 

Papas arrguadas is a traditional Canary Island dish, made using small potatoes that are indigenous to the island. They’re delicious and are served with “mojo” sauces, which are also really common in traditional Tenerife restaurants.

Seafood lovers will be in paradise when visiting Tenerife, as its vast coastline means fresh fish is in abundance. However, as it’s a popular tourist destination, you’ll also find lots of international favourites like burgers, pizza and pasta. 

How much does a meal cost?

Like most places, the price of a meal out in Tenerife varies depending on where you go. As a rough guide, though, mid-end restaurants charge around €15 for mains (but this could be more or less expensive depending on the ingredients used – for example, fish tends to cost more than meat). 

If you decide to head somewhere more high-end for a special meal, you could be looking at mains of up to €30. And at the other end of the scale, there are plenty of budget restaurants and fast-food spots where you’ll be able to eat for about €10.

A plate of delicious food served in Tenerife at a great price, steak chips and shrimp

Tips for eating out in Tenerife

Your Ace workers’ apartment will be situated in the Playa de las Americas area, which is where some of the best things to do in Tenerife for young people (including most of the nightlife!) are. 

Veronicas Strip is the main nightlife hub, and around here there are loads of restaurants serving all types of food. Just a short walk away is the Avenue las Americas and the Commercial Centre Safari, which also have lots of great restaurants to choose from.

It’s a good idea to bring both cash and card with you when you go out to eat. Although most restaurants now accept both, there are still a few that will only accept one payment method.

It’s not usually necessary to book ahead, but if you’re with a particularly large group, you might want to do this to ensure you won’t be disappointed. 

Last of all, dress codes aren’t generally something you’ll have to worry about. But if you’re going somewhere a bit more upmarket, you might be expected to wear something a little more formal than your everyday flip-flops or shorts. 

How can I save money when eating out?

With a little bit of creativity and know-how, it’s surprisingly easy to bring the cost of your restaurant bill down! So, here are our top tips for saving money when eating out in Tenerife.

  1. Look for discounts on social media

Check the social media pages of the restaurants you’re planning on eating at. They might offer discounts or special offers in exchange for follows, especially if they’re a new business that’s trying to build awareness.

  1. Get a restaurant job

Getting a restaurant job in Tenerife can be one of the most effective ways to save money. It’s not uncommon for staff to get free food when working, and you might even get special staff rates that you can use when you bring your friends in.

  1. Snack before you go

If you have the option of eating in but want to go out for the atmosphere, have a snack before you go and then share your meal with a friend. Lots of the tourist-friendly places serve pretty big portions and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can fill up. 

  1. Tip strategically

Tipping isn’t as widely expected in Tenerife as it is in the UK, so if you’ve received really bad service then don’t feel like you have to leave one! If you do tip, 5-10% is normally considered standard, rather than the 10-15% that you might pay in the UK.

  1. Eat lunch instead

Restaurants are often looking to fill tables at lunchtime, especially during the start and end of the season. Opting for lunch rather than dinner out can mean finding offers as good as buy-one-get-one-free on main meals! 

  1. Make the most of happy hour

What’s a meal without drinks? There’s no chance you won’t be knocking a few back alongside your tapas, so time your meal out to coincide with happy hour and you’ll drastically reduce the size of your bill. You can often eat alongside great drinks offers like 2-4-1 cocktails or beers for as little as €1! 

Ace discounts on eating out

Ace workers get a wristband which can get you discounts on a variety of events, food, drinks and excursions in and around Playa de las Americas. It’s no doubt one of the best ways to save money when eating out and living the party lifestyle in Tenerife. 

If you haven’t already, now’s the perfect time to sign up for one of our holiday summer jobs in Tenerife. Our packages include great central accommodation, ongoing support from our reps in both the UK and the resort, access to members-only groups where you can find job listings, and plenty more.

You can choose to work a month in either summer or winter, but hurry – places for 2024 are going fast!

About Fabio Delgado

Fabio is a resort rep and experienced head hunter. Fabio has a wealth of knowledge in working abroad. Fabio writes regular posts for to advise and share his first-hand knowledge of working in Summer Resorts. The process can be daunting if it your first time, so his articles will answer any questions about how it works and what you might need to prepare. Fabio also shares regular tips and guides on getting the most of your Summer Season.