Canarian food: where to eat in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
January 1, 1970
by Aleksandra 'Hola' Malecka
Where to eat local and seafood in Las Palmas?
Food is any substance, mainly plant and animal based, consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. We have to eat to survive but also we sample and taste for pleasure. The quality of produce as well as service makes it worth eating out.
Canarian cuisine has not only Spanish roots but also is based on old traditions. Volcanic soil brings out wheat, grains, corn and fruits. The Ocean is rich in fish, squids, octopuses and mussels. Local productions of cheese enriches the flavour of local wines. The variety of produce creates balanced diet for inhabitants and for visitors.
When traveling, it is crucial to try some of the local cuisine. I’ve been living in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for over two and a half year. Restaurants are being opened and closed within one season but the ones I would like to introduce you to, either have been here for a long time or the quality of food talks for itself.
The places has been chosen based on the multiple visits, subjective opinion and personal friendships I have gained by being a guest. Most of the reviews are being written based on one tasting dinner made and served for the critic, my opinion has been verified and confirmed several times and over time has changed.
If you want to eat well in Las Palmas, enjoy the reading below.
Bienmesabe Ciudad del Mar
Aside from the crowded touristy area, Bienmesabe has opened its new restaurant in San Cristobal this year in mid-May. A family business run by two brothers started in the Old Town of Las Palmas – Vegueta. Evolved and from the tapas bar the chef spread his wings. Juan Manuel together with Airam Medina Falcon do not have gastronomy based education, however, they know more about catering business then most of so-called-chefs.
Over the years they gained regular clients and fans of their original tapas. No wonder, their food is made with fantasy and flair. The combination of flavours, textures and colours is an example that only the sky’s the limit and if you do something with passion, joy and love, you can create a masterpiece like Bienmesabe del Mar. This is a very special place for special guests but with no special occasion you will be served like in the Michelin-star restaurant.
Calle Caleta, 1, 35009 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
On the furthest north end of Las Palmas you will find simple family business – Amigo Camilo. Its interior design reminds us that the most important thing about food is food itself. In this restaurant the location and simplicity are the keys to success. Location on La Isleta, after the Las Canteras Paseo finishes, makes it perfect venue for sunset watching. Also it is out of sight for tourists, so you need to know it exists to find it. Simple rule about ordering is that there is no menu. What has been caught in the morning will be served to the clients. The restaurant is open 12:00-16:00 and 20:00-24:00 which means you need to que for the table because it is always full. No better place for fresh fish and seafood with a glass of local wine or beer.
Mercado del Puerto
Calle Albareda, 76, 35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Mercado, as the name suggest is not only one restaurant. Old market place over the years combined service points such as shoes repair, flower shops or kiosks, with fresh local produce stalls and small bars. The variety of snacks and tapas makes you stop in every bar and try at least one tapas. Despite Spanish cuisine being meat based, vegetarians and vegans will find something delicious too. Since this summer live music accompanies on every weekend and special occasions. It is my personal favourite place for tapas.
Calle Galileo, 4, 35010 Las Palmas de GranCanaria
Hito Sushi is a Japanese restaurant and a breath of fresh air in the city of either Italians or old fashioned Canarian bars. The best quality food made with passion and served with pleasure makes this restaurant a ‘must go’ when in Las Palmas. Run by Olga and Oliver makes it even more exotic combination of Czech and South African influences in cooking. Food sampling, wine tasting and sushi lessons opens this place for experiments with joy. The service always remembers your usual, speaks Spanish, English, German, Czech, Italian and, from what I’ve heard, some African dialect also. To me it’s a place I always feel like home and the food served by the Chef makes my day. I’m sure that on your first visit you will feel special too. All you need to do is let them cook for you.
Calle de los Martínez de Escobar, 51, 35007 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
El Pachichi celebrated 70th anniversary this summer and it is most probably one of the oldest bars in town. Hidden in the old garage would never catch a tourist’s eye. But the moment you step in, the interior will transfer you back in time. Old photographs will discover the secrets of the past and show Las Palmas as it was years ago. Wooden tables and logs for sitting creates a homey atmosphere. Short menu will perfectly introduce you to the Caarian cuisine. Papas con mojo (boiled potatos with red pepper-garlic sauce), queso tierno (local chese), sachichiones (sausage), jamon iberico (Spanish ham cut from the leg) and acceitunas (olives) represents all you need to know about local snacks. Local beer Tropical or rum with coke will perfectly complement the food. This is so far the most local and cheap bar I have found in Las Palmas with a good quality food and family staff.
Paseo las Canteras, 68, 35010 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The Sunflowers on Las Canteras Paseo is one of those places I have changed my mind about. Local cuisine together with local clientele makes it the most Canarian place on the whole 4-kilometer-long Passage. With an ocean view you can have fresh fish of the day for 10 euros. Canarian potatoes, fried squid, octopus and tortillas are definitely worth trying. However, the star dish is the seafood soup. Full of flavour and ‘marine life’ is a local delight nobody eating seafood should skip.
Calle Diderot, 8, 35007 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Came across La Despensa on a rainy night. Yes, it rains sometimes on Gran Canaria. Seemingly small corner bar but the moment I stepped in was transferred 40 years back in time to old Spain. An old shop has been adapted for a bar keeping all the furniture, scales and cupboards. Biggest surprise is another room in the bar because the passage is kind of behind the counter. Recently La Despensa expanded by one more restaurant and in both Canarian food is made in a traditional way, staff is super friendly and Canarian wine complete the general impression of time travel.
Eating out in Las Palmas is a pure pleasure. Give those places a shot and you will explore Canarian food in its best version. Always ask about the meal of the day or suggestions because even if you don’t remember names of the food, the waiter will help you and recommend what’s fresh. After all, it’s not only about nutritional support of the body but also about new experiences.