El Diablo Restaurant – Cooking Food over an Active Volcano

What could be more natural than having a barbecue party on a volcano? Apart from the obvious health and safety hazards, that is. But such things are not a concern at the El Diablo restaurant, where chefs actually cook food over the heat produced by an active volcano.

Located on a Spanish island called Lanzarote, northwest of Morocco, El Diablo is a unique restaurant where the chefs have access to a volcano of their own. Of course, it isn’t like a lava-spewing mountain, because if that were the case there would be no question of leisurely eating. No, this volcano is more like a hole in the ground, through which volcanic heat erupts from the deeps of the Earth.

Photo by goforchris

And it is precisely this heat that the creators of El Diablo have taken advantage of. Prior to its existence, visitors to the volcanic area were served with a plate of sardines and wine. However, in 1970, Cesar Manrique decided to create a formal restaurant in the area. Thus, with the help of architects Eduardo Caceres and Jesus Soto, a giant grill was built on the ground that makes use of the immense heat below the Earth’s surface. And that’s how El Diablo was born. The grill is used to prepare several dishes of meat and fish that are served at the restaurant.

Photo by Kevglobal

The construction, of course, wasn’t easy. All that heat just beneath the surface meant that digging foundation trenches was impossible. So instead they set down nine layers of basalt rock, in order to provide a foundation for the structure. Traditional Canarian food is now served at the restaurant, but food is only one of the attractions the place provides. Many people make it a point to visit the volcano-restaurant for the stunning surroundings and view that it provides. The landscape of the island, although barren, is breathtaking to look at. The best time to visit is during sunset, when the fading light creates spectacular effects over the sands of the volcanoes.

Photo by Sylviane Moss

The Volcan Grill Tour is operated in the area every Tuesday from 6.00 to 9.30pm. For 50 Euros, you can enjoy the surroundings, a three course meal and transportation to and from your hotel.