On a clear morning in Tías you can look out over the slopes of Mácher, covered in tumbledown stone walls and still an important zone for crops, and see the fishing boats chugging back into the harbour of Puerto del Carmen. Fresh produce is still found here, and although the town has made its fortune catering to others, there’s still plenty for the locals.
Food and drink is important to Canarians, and a town like Tías reflects that enthusiasm perfectly, with a surprisingly wide selection of cafes, restaurants, food shops and take aways, all working to the gentle rhythms of small town life.
Take the Gazette’s regular café, Tello Y Aya, on Avenida Central, for example. It’s your classic Canarian bar, with the girls serving a stream of regulars – old guys perching at the bar chatting, families and friends sitting at the tables or outside on the street – and there’s a real buzz most mornings. Meanwhile owner Antonio prepares tasty, fresh churros in the kitchen. You can team these with the traditional hot chocolate, or a coffee -it’s the ideal place to try Canarian classic coffee combinations such as a leche leche or a barraquito.
Directly opposite is Comer! Comer!, a great example of another classic Canarian establishment, the take-away hot food shop. Every morning, Elisa and her partners prepare several home-made dishes, which are displayed in glass cabinets. As well as the classic spit-roast chicken, there’s an ever-changing range of hot dishes and salads.
Further towards the centre you’ll find several more eateries, ranging from tapas bars to restaurants, and those fixtures that you find in every local town such as a Sociedad (roughly speaking, a village hall that serves food) and, of course, a Chinese restaurant.
It’s a real pleasure to discover these places, and many residents and holiday makers make a deliberate detour up to Tías in order to return to a favourite, or try out somewhere new.
One of the favourite places for British residents and visitors is the Hatton Garden Diner on the Avenida Central No 73, opposite the big church. It’s rare to find British restaurants outside the resorts, but Hatton Garden is the perfect addition to the town of Tías, serving brilliant breakfasts, a wide range of tempting main courses and the best fish and chips on the island
While eating out is a way of life in Tías, home cooking is also a passion, and there are supermarkets, grocers, health food shops and bakers that provide everything that’s needed for a family meal at home.
Down at the other end of the town, opposite the sports ground, is Tías Fruit. This shop has quickly become a legend on the island, with one of the widest ranges of fresh fruit, vegetables, pulses, grains and deli goods on the island. Owner Yeray is well aware of how popular his business is with foreign residents, and makes an effort to stock items such as Brussels sprouts and parsnips that aren’t so much in demand among the local shoppers. It’s also a beautifully laid-out shop – a real pleasure to visit.
In Tías it pays to take your time, stroll around, work up an appetite and then choose how you’re going to satisfy it. Doing so is pure pleasure.
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