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REAL MEALS Lanzarote’s Social Network

Monday September 3, 2018

REAL MEALS Lanzarote’s Social Network

You´re never far from great value food and drink on Lanzarote – as the island is home to a network of 50 plus socio-cutural centres, or Sociedades.

The best of these subsidised social clubs serve high quality, home-made authentic local dishes at rock bottom prices – as well as the cheapest drinks on the island. Making them a popular eating and meeting place for locals - and tourists are most welcome too.

Spain´s network of Sociedades started life as Teleclubs back in 1960 – providing a cathode based focal point for local communities, keen to collectively experience this amazing new invention called TV. Over time the Teleclubs mutated into socio-cultural centres – food and drink came onto the menu - and today the best of Lanzarote´s Sociedades offer restaurant quality meals without the frills, usually at a fraction of the cost too.

They can undercut their commercial rivals as local councils (ayuntamientos) cover their water and electricity bills - two major cost centres for any catering business. Whilst in some cases the council also owns the building outright too, resulting in peppercorn rents and zero outlay on maintenance.

The Ayuntamiento of Teguise are especially supportive of their network of 16 Sociedades – dishing out €300,000 in 2016 to further dynamise their development and as a result some of the busiest and best are to be found within this borough´s boundaries.

Tao Teleclub (a.k.a Sociedad El Fomento) 

This spot has racked up more positive online reviews than many of the island´s most reputable restaurants. And here comida tipica – authentic island food – is very much the order of the day, served in substantial portions too.

Starters such as goats cheese, puntillas and gambas are keenly priced at €6-€7 but the main dishes are the real main event, offering exceptional value for money. Fish of the day – usually a full fresh fish grilled a la plancha and served with Canarian potatoes and traditional mojos – comes in at just €9, about half the price of some local restaurants. And depending on your appetite could easily feed two. Whilst traditional meat based mains, such as goat, baby kid and rabbit all weigh in the same price (check that).

A sweet selection of postres (deserts), including traditional favourites such as gofio mousse and bienmesabe at €6 rounds off the meal, washed down with beers priced at €1.50 (per half) and a half carafe of house wine for just €6. All served in often bustling surroundings (Sunday lunchtime is peak local family time).

El Mojon Teleclub 

The charming village of El Mojon is one of Lanzarote´s better kept secrets – boasting large white fincas, discreet rural retreats and a pretty church dotted around a winding barranco, close to Teseguite and the former island capital of Teguise.

Much like the Teleclub in Tao the local Sociedad serves up super cheap main courses from as little as €5. And it´s also a great place to sample truly authentic Canarian recipes – such as Caldo de Millo – a corn and potato based soup packed with garlic, saffron and coriander that´s long been a staple on the island – yet rarely appears on mainstream restaurant menus. A large bowl here costs just €5.50.

Fresh tuna is often available at just €8 along with a fish of the day such as Morena. Whilst veal, pork and costillos (pork ribs served with corn on the cob, which the locals jokingly refer to as piña, pineapple) all make regular appearances too – all priced at €8 or less.

Other noteworthy Sociedades within Teguise include Famara (where they also have a full-size billiards table for hire) Mozaga, Guatiza, Nazaret and Tiagua.

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