Benn and Zoe Atkinson – proprietors of the much-loved Lanzarote restaurant Cantina Teguise – might be expat Brits, but their ties to the island (and eatery) go way back to the early '80s, when Benn would make annual visits with his parents.
Cantina, he explains, was their favourite restaurant – ”run by Manolo, a local character from Teguise village”. After moving to the island a decade later, Benn and his partner Zoe took over Cantina, refashioning it into a trad Canarian spot that’s also inspired by their own extensive travels. “We have an insider's and outsider's view of Lanzarote, being some of the few foreigners in traditional Teguise,” they say.
A platter of fresh titbits at Cantina Teguise
Cantina’s philosophy is “local produce, championing our farmers and fishermen”, the couple says. “We generally have an authentic Moroccan tagine on the menu, a local fresh line-caught fish, an 'iberico de bellota’ acorn-fed pork steak plus a few dishes using only island-grown vegetables.”
They also put their carpentry and restoration skills to work, creating a “reclaimed and homemade” aesthetic of handcrafted furniture and antiques salvaged from houses they’d conserved over the years. Factor in a soundtrack of modern soul and Ethiopian jazz, and you’ve got one of the finest rustic-chic spots on this alluringly barren rock.
Here, Benn and Zoe dish up the goods on their favourite places to eat and drink in the area.
Mirador de las Salinas, Calle los Molinos, 5, 35570: “There’s excellent rice and fish – we suggest ordering the carabinero creamed rice – impeccable service and great views of the Janubio salt flats. This place is often busy with other local chefs and restaurant owners.”