The emblematic Market of Nuestra Señora de África in Tenerife

The Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África, affectionately known as "La Recova", is an emblematic jewel of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. With its rich history, distinctive architecture and vibrant mix of local products, this market has for decades been the beating heart of the commercial and social life of the capital of Tenerife. Inaugurated in 1943, the market is not only a place where products are bought and sold, but also a space that preserves the traditions and spirit of the island.

Market of Our Lady of Africa

History and creation of the Market of Our Lady of Africa

The history of the Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África dates back to the first half of the 20th century. It was conceived as a necessity to relocate and organize the various street stalls that until then occupied the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The idea of creating a centralized and modern market was born out of the desire to improve hygienic conditions and offer a suitable space for both traders and shoppers.

Market of Our Lady of Africa

Construction of the market began in 1941 and was completed in 1943. The design was by architect José Enrique Marrero Regalado, who was inspired by a combination of architectural styles including Spanish Colonial and Mudejar, reflecting the cultural heritage of the Canary Islands. The building is characterized by its arches, interior courtyards and a central tower with a clock, which has become an iconic symbol of the market.

The name "Nuestra Señora de África" was chosen in honor of the Virgin of Africa, a Marian devotion with great devotion in the Canary Islands and especially in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Since its inauguration, the market has been a meeting point for the city's inhabitants, where they can enjoy an authentic and unique shopping experience.

A stroll through the stalls of "La Recova".

Today, Our Lady of Africa Market is home to more than 200 stalls offering a wide variety of products, from fresh food to local handicrafts. Here is a tour of some of the most prominent stalls and what each one offers:

Fruits and vegetables at the Market of Our Lady of Africa

Fresh and seasonal products

One of the main attractions of the market is the fresh produce section. Here, visitors can find the finest quality fruits and vegetables, many of which are grown on the island. The vibrant colors and fresh aromas of tomatoes, papayas, bananas, and peppers invite shoppers to explore and enjoy the best of local produce. Lifetime fruit and vegetable stalls that will delight your kitchen.

Butcheries and delicatessens

The market's butcher shops are renowned for offering fresh meats and high quality meat products. From cuts of beef, pork and lamb to traditional sausages such as chorizo de "perro" and Teror sausage, these stalls ensure that customers have access to trusted, locally sourced products. In addition, some charcuteries offer imported products from the peninsula and other parts of Europe, thus expanding the variety available.

Fishmongers

Tenerife's proximity to the sea makes the market's fishmongers especially popular. The fish and seafood stalls offer an impressive selection of fresh produce, including tuna, scallops, octopus, squid and shrimp. Local fishermen supply freshly caught fish daily, ensuring the freshness and quality of the products. In addition, you can enjoy stalls such as Nicomedes where you can eat the freshest fish and seafood on the spot.

Bakeries and bakeries

Lovers of bread and sweets will find their paradise in the market's bakeries and pastry shops. From artisanal breads and pastries to traditional Canarian cakes such as "tortas de vilana" and "bienmesabe", these stalls delight visitors with their daily baked goods. In addition, some bakeries offer gluten-free and vegan options, catering to a diverse clientele. There are stalls such as Arte Sano and its bakery or the famous Madre Mía Rolls cinnamon rolls.

Dairies

Cheese is a star product in the Canary Islands and the market's cheese dairies do not disappoint. Visitors can find a variety of local cheeses, including Tenerife's famous goat cheese, which is offered in different degrees of ripeness and flavors. Imported cheeses can also be found, providing a complete gourmet experience. For example, La Maison du Fromage, located inside La Recova, is an establishment specializing in local, national and regional cheeses, a luxury for all cheese lovers.

Spices and herbalists

For those interested in adding a special touch to their dishes, the market's spices and herbalist shops are a must. From traditional Canarian spices such as saffron and cumin to medicinal and aromatic herbs, these stalls offer a wide range of products to enhance any recipe or home remedy. Here we find the Herboristería Mil Variedades.

Florists

The market also houses several flower shops that fill the atmosphere with the colors and aromas of fresh flowers. From bouquets of roses and lilies to ornamental and exotic plants. These stalls are ideal for those looking to beautify their homes or find the perfect gift.

Handicrafts and local products

Beyond food, Our Lady of Africa Market is also a place where local artisans can display and sell their creations. From ceramics and hand-woven baskets to jewelry and textiles, visitors can find authentic souvenirs and unique gifts. These products reflect the rich cultural heritage and creativity of Tenerife's artisans.

The Market of Our Lady of Africa: center of social and cultural life

The Market of Our Lady of Africa is not only a place of commerce, but also a center of social and cultural life. Throughout the year, the market organizes events and activities that attract both locals and tourists. From tastings of local products and cooking demonstrations, to musical performances and festivals, there is always something to do and see at La Recova.

In addition, the market has adapted to modern times by incorporating technologies and services that enhance the shopping experience. Many stores now offer home delivery services and electronic payment options, making it more convenient for customers to purchase their favorite products.

Our Lady of Africa Market Square

The Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África is more than just a place to buy local food and produce, it is a symbol of the identity and spirit of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. With its rich history, charming architecture and wide variety of fresh produce and artisanal products, the market remains a vital and vibrant place in the life of the city. Whether to do your daily shopping, enjoy a morning stroll or discover the flavors and traditions of Tenerife, a visit to La Recova is an unforgettable experience.

If you are interested in the world of Canarian products and products made in the Canary Islands, its gastronomy and you want to know more, we leave you below the link to our Gastronomy section.

Photos: Sumfinity, El Faro de Ceuta, Sociedad de Desarrollo de Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

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