Here in Fuerteventura, eating is as much a social activity as a necessity, but what is the correct time to actually sit down for an evening meal?
The simple answer is whenever you like. Unlike back home where your day is strictly geared around getting up at 6am, breakfast at 7am on the dot, then out the door and off to work at exactly the same time, every day, Fuerteventura has a far more laid back approach when it comes to food, or timekeeping in general.
Just sit and watch the beaches empty at around 5pm, as the body clocks of the Irish and British tourists kick into action and let their owners know it’s time to eat. While their Italian and Spanish counterparts will remain in their sedentary position, soaking up the lays few rays, till the sun almost dips below the horizon.
Eating Fuerte style is far more relaxed, and all the bars and restaurants across the island have adapted their hours to suit everyone. A typical Spanish routine would be a light breakfast (desayuno) before dropping the kids off to school or going to work, then a hearty lunch (comida) between 2pm and 4pm, taking advantage of the siesta that still very much exists here on the Island. Occasionally some Spaniards will also grab a quick snack (merienda) in the late afternoon, similar to our afternoon tea and then on to dinner (cena) around 8pm. Often dinner in the canaries is not actually a main meal at all. Many Spaniards will spread out their meal by visiting various different bars, sampling smaller plates of food (tapas), and socializing with friends along the way. This may seem a little strange at first to people who have only just arrived on the island, but within no time at all they will find themselves falling into this more relaxed way of life, whether it be to fit around unusual working hours or just because your internal body clock is embracing the relaxed pace of life that luckily we all take advantage of here in Fuerteventura.
For many tourists this new routine takes a little getting used to. If you visit one of the hotels on the island you will see a huge queue forming outside the restaurant from as early as 5 o’clock! Within a few days this normally starts to subside as wild nights on the town lead to nice long lie-ins, disrupting routines and leaving tourists hankering for a hearty full English breakfast as late as 4pm in the afternoon or a juicy burger or kebab at 2am in the morning. But no matter what time you feel like eating, or whatever you fancy to eat, the resorts of Fuerteventura are full of choice. Opening hours are flexible, the menus are crammed with lighter or heavier choices and there is an abundance of cuisines on offer. So do it the local way, relax into a calmer way of life and use mealtimes as an excuse to socialise and have some fun.
Break the rules and relax into the local way of eating, you will be glad you did as there are some amazing restaurants, bistros and specialist restaurants for you to try!