Foodie Experiences in Gran Canaria
By Jessica Pook
Born out of the island’s origins as a significant Atlantic port, Gran Canaria is home to a diverse gastronomy scene and a melting pot of flavours. Here are six of the best foodie experiences to consider
For the very freshest and best morsels, follow the locals to the farmers markets. Gustave Eiffel created the modernist Mercado del Puerto in 1891, which was the first fresh food market in the Canary Islands to sell ready-to-eat options. Cheap yet delicious homemade dishes are crafted with natural local ingredients. In the evenings, the young and trendy flock to Mercado del Puerto in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with its popular terrace.
Tavernas are dotted around the island, usually found on the garden terrace of a family farmhouse. As you move inland, seafood dishes emblematic of the coast make way to the island’s famous meat recipes, including papas arrugadas with mojo sauce, gofio escaldado, and potaje stew. Sample them in the unique subterranean atmosphere of La Vega Cave restaurant, at the head of the Guayadeque ravine.
Gran Canaria is part of the Tasting Spain network, inspiring young talented chefs to create dishes using local ingredients and traditional recipes. Gran Canaria has three Michelin-starred restaurants: La Aquarela in Patalavaca, Los Guayres at the Cordial Mogan Playa hotel and Poemas by Padron Brothers in the five-star GL Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel by Barceló in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The fertile fincas (or plantations) of Gran Canaria have been tended by local families for many generations. The island’s unique climate and rich volcanic soil offer up mouth-watering produce and rich coffee beans which are exported around the globe. Bananas, tropical fruits and potatoes are harvested at Finca La Laja in Agaete, produced alongside its distinctive wine. Or sample signature Gran Canarian honey from the farmsteads.
Gran Canaria has been awarded the first and only wine route certification in the Canary Islands and outside of mainland Spain. The Gran Canaria Wine Route takes travellers on a tour across 52 wineries, restaurants, wine cellars, estates, cheese factories and traditional family-owned ‘bochinches’. The island is home to nearly 40 different grape varieties, bringing to life a huge diversity of different flavours and blends.
Gran Canaria has won acclaim for its rum. At Arehucas distillery guests take a 45-minute guided tour to discover the production process and one of the oldest rum cellars in Europe. A behind-the-scenes look at the mill, fermentation and distillation rooms is followed by a tasting of the distillery’s wide selection of rums and liqueurs. Leave space in your luggage to take home some local spirit as a range of rums are available to purchase.