Did you know that 16th June 2016 marked World Tapas Day? In recognition of this, we’ve put together a guide to our fave Gran Canaria tapas bars. Whether you’re visiting the north, south, east, west, or, indeed, centre of the island, we’ll show you where to yummy down on tapas.
Gran Canaria has a celebrated history of tapas, with these bar snacks known locally as enyesques. They include the classic papas arrugadas con mojo, baby new potatoes boiled in their skin in the saltiest of waters before being paired with a piquant sauce. But where are our fave Gran Canaria tapas bars?
1. Gran Canaria tapas bars: north
Gran Canaria tapas bars in the north of the island are situated mainly in the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. And the greatest concentration is within olde-worlde Vegueta. Where there’s a Ruta del Pincho every Thursday night.
One of the places to hit on this tapas bar crawl is Tasca El Canalla de Vegueta. Next to the cathedral, its terrace is a popular spot on nights where the temperature doesn’t drop with the sun. Omnivores can feast on saucer-sized portions of the Iberian peninsula’s greatest export, jamón, whilst veggies are catered for by more international tapas dishes such as falafel and hummus.
The capital’s original barrio is also home to Callejón de Vegueta. Despite what their Facebook page claims, they’re not a butcher’s shop in Gáldar. Although you can order jámon ibérico de bellota to share and risk a fight over ham The Guardian‘s Simon Majumdar describes as “arguably the greatest item of food in the world.”
Elsewhere in the Canary Islands’ biggest, baddest city, look out for Las Marujas. Located in the Playa Chica area of Las Canteras, it’s a stylish space with an unpretentious face. Here, wash down tapas with local wines from the likes of the island’s Bodega Las Tirajanas and Lanzarote’s El Grifo.
2. Gran Canaria tapas bars: south
If you think the major resorts in the south of the island are all about a full English, you’re very much mistaken. Upmarket Meloneras boasts some of the best restaurants on Gran Canaria. Including Bandera Tapas y Copas. One of chef Rafaela’s specialities are snails in a fiery sauce.
Very much on the tourist map is Senses in the heart of Playa del Inglés. Accordingly, they offer their tapas menu in four languages: Dutch, English, German, and Spanish. This clearly marks ingredients, in order to prevent a meal out causing any allergic attack.
Less resort, more residential district San Fernando is where you come across Abrasa. The German owners welcome plenty of their compatriots along with lots of Brits and Canarians too. Grilled meat and more than two veg are available in bite-size amounts for those who love to share their food.
Even more tucked away is La Bahía del Pajar. Don’t let the El Pajar cement factory put you off discovering a little corner of Arguineguín which will remain forever native. The delightfully smoked cheese from El Hierro meets the perfect partner in a papaya jam.
3. Gran Canaria tapas bars: east
The Barranco de Guayadeque’s one of the island’s beauty spots. This ravine divides the neighbouring municipalites of Agüimes and Ingenio. The area is noted for its cave restaurants which are a stop-off point for the tourist coaches as much a weekend getaway for the island’s urban restaurants.
Bar Restaurante Tagoror is Guayadeque’s most famous tapas joint, although it also offers fuller meals and accommodation on top. Try the mixed salad to cool down in summer. Or the garlicky mushrooms and/or pan-fried peppers from Galicia’s Padrón to warm up in winter.
This protected zone finds space for Bar Restaurante Vega, in the epically-named Montaña de las Tierras. Here use sweet red onion to scoop up toasted cornmeal combined with steaming fish stock (gofio escaldado). Another tasty treat comes in the form of small platefuls of cochino a la sal (salted roasted suckling pig).
4. Gran Canaria tapas bars: west
You can’t miss Tasarte’s Restaurante Oliva. For it’s the only establishment on this stony beach in the wild west of Gran Canaria. Ropa vieja‘s a classic Canarian tapas dish of shredded chicken, chickpeas, red pepper, potato, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and clove, although Oliva invented their very own version incorporating octopus.
5. Gran Canaria tapas bars: central
Terraces don’t get much more spectacular on Gran Canaria than Artenara’s Restaurante Mirador La Cilla. Families like to visit for weekend tapas overlooking Roques Bentagya and Nublo. Watercress features prominently, in salads and stews.
Tasca El Canalla brochettesBrochettes Tasca El Canalla style
Tapas at SensesSenses tapas selection
Las Marujas tapasMake a clean slate of it at Las Marujas
Bandera tapasBandera’s Tapas are as pretty as a picture
Bar Restaurante Vega tapasWhat a carve up at Bar Restaurante Vega de Guayadeque
La Bahia del Pajar tapasCheesy does it at La Bahia del Pajar