With its superb array of beaches, wildlife and wonderful climate, it is little surprise to hear that Gran Canaria attracts upwards of 2 millions visitors annually. Cheap holidays that will perfectly suit one’s needs and budget are easy to find in the Canary Islands, however – as with any destination that is popular with travellers – it can be difficult to find proper ‘local’ cuisine. To this end, we will offer some advice for the tourist wishing to sample a true taste of Canarian food, both cooking and eating out.
Traditional food in Gran Canaria (and, indeed, most of the surrounding islands) tends to be made up of a fusion of Spanish and African influences. Meat-based stews are a specialty, while goat’s cheeseand chorizo are popular appetiser items. The prevalence of superb outdoor markets means that fresh, local produce is readily available at low cost.
Gran Canaria has some essential dishes to try while on the island, in order to give your vacation an air of authenticity! The first of these are papas arrugadas (also known as Canarian potatoes) – which are new potatoes, boiled in salty water with skin on, and served with an array of sauces.
For the fish-lovers in your party, Sancocho Canario is a stew made from salted white fish (often cod) and sweet potatoes. Traditionally served on Sundays and festive days, it is now one of the island’s most popular local dishes.
As with any tourist hotspot, Gran Canaria boasts a roaring hospitality industry – bars and restaurants are in plentiful supply. To get a truly local dining experience, however, it can prove somewhat more difficult.
A prime example is the extremely popular Las Canteras promenade; home of dozens of restaurants along the seafront. While many of these are passable (and some offer a good standard of food), to get a taste of true Gran Canaria it is advisable to keep walking to the far end of the drag – where a smattering of excellent local seafood restaurants await.
Of course, the number of good quality restaurants are too numerous to list in a small article. Suffice to say, we recommend some online research of unbiased restaurant reviews, that will allow you to make an informed choice. With the cost of a taxi averaging in the low single figures, it makes sense both for your wallet and your taste buds!