The best foodie experiences in Gran Canaria

written by Joanne Owen

updated 31.01.2024

From traditional tapas and super-fresh seafood to locally-produced cheese and world-class wine, Gran Canaria isn’t short of experiences that’ll gratify even the most discerning gourmand. Add to that latter-day sorcerer-chefs serving fresh takes on Canarian classics, and extraordinarily-sited restaurants, and the island amounts to an all-round epicurean idyll. Hungry? You soon will be, as we reveal the best foodie experiences in Gran Canaria. Buen provecho!

See Michelin stars in your eyes

Gran Canaria isn’t just one of the world’s best star-gazing spots. It’s also a shining star of the fine dining arena. Bevir restaurant has recently been awarded a Michelin Star, meaning Gran Canaria now has six of the Canary Islands’ ten Michelin-starred restaurants.

Bevir restaurant has recently become the island's fifth Michelin-starred restaurant.

Kicking off in the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Tabaiba takes its name from a shrub that’s native to Macaronesia. Priding itself on taking lesser-travelled culinary paths — think tasty, transgressive twists on traditional dishes —  Tabaiba’s Canarian roots run through the restaurant’s menu and vibe.

Meanwhile, Poemas by Hermanos Padrón in the five-star Santa Catalina Hotel (a Royal HideAway Hotel) sets out to blend nature and art by fusing classic Canarian cuisine with contemporary international flavours. The fish game is strong here, as is a dedication to texture. And all this delivered in an inviting, sumptuously stylish space.

Mogán red prawn salad by chef Juan Ortega in Aquarela Restaurant © Gran Canaria

Also in the Santa Catalina hotel is Muxgo, where dishes start not in the kitchen, but on Muxgo’s organic and sustainable farm. Muxgo is the first restaurant to be awarded the Michelin Green Star, which recognises restaurants with outstanding eco credentials. 

Understated in appearance, Patalavaca’s La Aquarela serves sensational seasonal classics. The Experience Menu comes especially recommended as it guides diners through a culinary voyage from coast to land.

Finally on the Michelin-starred front, Puerto de Mogán’s Los Guayres sees local chef Alexis Alvarez showcase the freshest in-season ingredients. While the presentation is delicately elegant, the flavours are lip-and-soul-smackingly fulsome.

Finca de los Berrazales in Agaete © Gran Canaria

Relish roasted bean-to-cup tastings 

Gran Canaria’s verdant Valle de Agaete is home to a host of coffee producers and vineyards, with Finca de la Laja sitting top of the coffee bean tree. MasterChef aficionados take note — an episode of the TV show was filmed on the terrace here.

Owned and managed by the Lugo-Jorge family, this 30-acre plantation sits pretty at 1300ft above sea level. Surrounded by rugged mountains and vineyards, their beans are grown in the shade of orange groves, and trees bearing mangoes, guavas and avocados.

Devoted to cultivating Typica — an old and lesser-produced variety of Arabica — guided tours lay bare the island’s longstanding coffee-making heritage. 

You’ll also learn how tropical fruits are cultivated, and visit the chapel and winery, with the tour winding with a generous tasting experience on the terrace. 

During the tasting, you’ll sample three wines accompanied by cheese, bread and chorizo. If that wasn’t enough, cake and coffee are also served. Don’t pass up the chance to try the signature café de Agaete

If you’re still feeling peckish post-tour, you could feast on farm-to-fork tasting menus at the finca’s Casa Romántica — justifiably selected for inclusion in the prestigious 2023 Michelin guide.

Pinchos at Mercado del Puerto in Las Palmas © Gran Canaria

Go local in Mercado del Puerto

Located in a striking modernista building, Las Palma’s Mercado del Puerto has been serving Gran Canarians fresh fare since it first opened its iron gates in 1891.

If you find yourself thinking you’ve been transported to Paris, bear in mind that this iconic building was created by the team behind the Eiffel Tower. But, striking as its structure is, the real hero of Mercado del Puerto is the produce.

Oft-cited as being one of Spain’s best food markets, there’s no better place to see — and purchase — the island’s extraordinary range of produce. Bright and busy, the market presents a bona fide banquet of mouth-watering ingredients. 

We’re talking everything from juicy pineapples, bananas and fragrant spices, to ocean-fresh fish. Then there’s the local goats’ cheeses, fresh-ground coffee, and jars of almogrote (cheese and pepper paté). 

Add to that a cluster of cafés and tapas bars serving Canarian classics (hello, papas arrugadas!) and a remarkable range of global cuisine, and it’s clear why visiting Mercado del Puerto is one the best foodie experiences in Gran Canaria. 

A buzzing atmosphere at Mercado del Puerto in Las Palmas © Gran Canaria

Dine in cavernous style at Restaurante Vega

To dine in a location that’s every bit as unforgettable as the food, be sure to visit Restaurante Vega.

Cut into a rocky verge of Barranco de Guayadeque — a precipitous ravine dappled with ancient cave dwellings —  this area is known for the re-purposing of said caves as bars, restaurants and modern-day homes. 

The views from Restaurante Vega’s terrace are sensational. Red volcanic slopes sit shoulder to shoulder with swathes of greenery and meadows. Dining inside, in the ancient cave, is just as remarkable. So, too, is the food. 

The Vega family opened this joint in 1981, and they’ve made a name for themselves through creating moreishly memorable Gran Canaria specialities.

The signature dish is cochino a la sal (suckling pig roasted in the style of salted fish), a recipe created by the current owner’s father some 40 years ago. The secret to its succulent goodness comes courtesy of the volume of salt, the four-hour cooking time, and the quality of the local livestock.

Other highlights include queso frito (fried cheese) perfectly paired with blueberry jam, and conejo frito (fried rabbit).

There's a wide variety of cheeses on offer in Gran Canaria © Gran Canaria

Savour traditional sheep’s cheese at Quesería La Caldera

Located near Fagajesto, Quesería La Caldera is doing great things for Flor de Guía sheep’s cheese. This traditional rennet-made cheese has put Gran Canaria on the global queso map.

Honouring and refreshing a family tradition, ranchers and farmers Francisco Javier González Ramos and Tania Rivero Santana have been creating cheese here since 2020. Dedicated to artisanal production, every stage of the process is attended to with care, not least a commitment to sustainably managing the environment.

To see how the magic is made, sign up for a masterclass that reveals how the livestock are cared for, before getting hands-on with curd, and getting stuck into a heavenly tasting session. 

Papas arrugadas with mojo souce, Gran Canaria © Gran Canaria

Papas arrugadas with mojo souce, Gran Canaria © Gran Canaria

Three types of cheese are created here. First, queso semicurado — a soft, creamy semi-cured delight. Then there’s queso de media flor (half-flower cheese). With a distinctive floral crust, this is silky, sophisticated and alluringly aromatic. Finally, for lovers of mature cheese, the queso curado (cured cheese) is an intense and gratifyingly grainy joy.

Before you leave, alongside buying your new favourite cheese, you might want to pick up some super-creamy artisanal butter and fragrant almogrote.

 

Interested in exploring the Gran Canaria? The Mini Rough Guide to Gran Canaria contains expert recommendations about the island, from the best places to stay to where to find fascinating under-the-radar locations.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

This article was brought to you in partnership with Gran Canaria

Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 31.01.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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