5 Recommended Restaurants on Gran Canaria (rest of the island!)
Last week, I published my foodie’s guide to restaurants in Las Palmas. But of course, there’s much, much more to Gran Canaria than its capital city. In fact, our weekends spent renting a car and exploring the rest of the island were some of the best times we had. In the wilder, more rugged interior of the island, the scenery is breath-taking – and if you’re a hiker, you’ll be in heaven. Meanwhile, the coastline offers dramatic cliffs, secluded beaches and refreshing natural pools. Needless to say, all that nature is going to make a person hungry…
Miramar San Cristobal, San Cristobal
Head south from Las Palmas and you’ll reach the old fishing village of San Cristobal – an Instagrammable arrangement of brightly coloured and slightly dilapidated buildings, just ripe for gentrification. But for now, it’s all about the seafood.
Book a table on the roof terrace at Miramar San Cristobal – a fish restaurant with a sea view. The gofio escaldado here is the business: a grain-based, cumin-spiced dip, it tastes almost like dal. And the grilled octopus is superb, lightly charred and served with Canarian potatoes, veggies and garlic sauce. Wash it all down with a bottle of the house white: a Malvasia from Lanzarote.
Punto Marina, San Cristobal
On our last day in Gran Canaria, we went back to San Cristobal for a second bite – this time sitting right by the ocean at Punto Marina. Smaller, more relaxed and with very friendly service, we were glad we’d branched out (but regretted not bringing the sunscreen!). My favourite dish was the cazuela de arroz negro: black rice with shrimps, a meaty white fish and aioli. But the papas Punto Marina were also a win: those fabulously tasty Canarian potatoes again, this time mixed with a blend of seafood and a shellfish broth. Extremely good value.
Tasca la Caldera, Bandama
Perhaps my favourite restaurant on the entire island (I went back twice), Tasca la Caldera is the end point of a hike around the Bandama volcano. Luckily, it’s a circular hike, so if you’re not in the mood for walking you can head straight to the restaurant. The interior is no-frills but the food is the bomb. Do not miss the papas caldera – yes, it’s more potatoes, but until you’ve tasted Canarian potatoes you haven’t lived. These ones come with giant prawns, fried leeks and a creamy spicy sauce that is dangerously addictive. The garbanzada – chickpea and pork soup – is also beyond delicious, especially if it’s a little chilly outside. While the saquitos (little fried packages) of sweet morcilla (blood sausage) with wakame and sesame mayo are a creative take on a classic dish. Cannot. Get. Enough.
Casa Romántica, Agaete
If you’re hiking in the Agaete/San Pedro area, be sure to save your appetite for lunch at Casa Romántica. It’s a huge building with a range of rooms and leafy terraces, but it’s also extremely popular so reservations are advisable (especially at weekends). I’m not sure if I chose it or if we were recommended it by our server, but we drank the most amazing Canarian white wine at Casa Romántica. A blend of Malvasia and Moscatel, it was unexpectedly dry (despite the Moscatel), lightly oaked (due to seven months in barrica) and ever so slightly salty (presumably from all those ocean breezes). It came from the Berrazales winery and I didn’t see it anywhere else – if you find it, please bring me a bottle!
Moreover, the wine was even better in combination with the lupina blini with yuzu and the rabbit croquettes with almond mojo that we had to start. From there, we moved onto another chickpea stew, this time with octopus, followed by braised goat with (yet more) incredible potatoes. A memorable meal in a leafy oasis.
Restaurante Tagoror, Guayadeque
We parked our car opposite Bar Restaurante Guayadeque (which also looked good) and made the hike up the Guayadeque ravine to Restaurante Tagoror, but you can also drive straight there if you’d prefer to avoid walking up the steep hill at the end. Once at the top, you can eat on the terrace outside or inside one of the caves of which the restaurant is made up. I tried the sancocho canario – a traditional dish of bacalhau (salt cod), gofio, sweet and regular potatoes and mojo sauce. It might not be to everyone’s taste but it’s certainly a Canarian must-try dish. Unfortunately our visit was cut short because our dog met a cat and had a meltdown – but hey, at least I was already two glasses of Sangria deep!