The Canary Islands are well established as a great tourist destination, winning praise for their easy-going culture, great hotels and wonderful climate. Towns like Playa del Ingles have rightfully earned reputations as the perfect place for a memorable summer getaway.
What’s less well known, though, is the unique food and drink available on the islands. An enticing blend of Mediterranean seafood, Spanish spices and a little local twist, Canarian cuisine is one of Europe’s hidden culinary gems.
Read on for some truly mouth-watering recommendations in and around Playa …
Let’s be honest: you’re probably likely to make a beeline for the beach as soon as you get into town. And who could blame you? The beautiful blue Atlantic is surprisingly warm and calm off the island’s southern coast, and the golden sands are the perfect place to dry off.
While you’re here, though, you should make sure to try out some of the spectacular seafood on offer.
A Variety of Tastes
One of the great things about dining along the shoreline is the sheer range of choices available to you. It shouldn’t be surprising that the seafront is a – perhaps the – major commercial area in the town. But you might still be surprised at what’s available to eat.
Chinese restaurants sell seafood dim sum, while Italians put it in pasta and Spaniards stuff it with herbs or put it in paella. In fact, there’s almost too much choice here. I’d recommend going with the flow: pick whichever restaurant sounds the most unusual and exciting and try it out.
Who knew there were so many ways to cook fish?
Top Tip: If you like spice, make sure to try fish cooked in mojo sauce. This Spanish delicacy is well worth the punch it packs.
Avenida de Tirajana
Once you’ve had your fill of sun and sand, stroll inland to Avenida de Tirajana. This bustling street is lined with great shops, all the way up to local landmark the Yumbo Centre. Take your time to take in the sights, but keep an eye out for freshly caught grilled fish.
Yes, it’s seafood again, but less stylised than you might find on the beachfront. Instead, the eateries along the Avenida revel in no frills grilling. If you want to really experience local cooking, this is a great place to do it.
Top Tip: Keep an eye out for any restaurants with a crustacean tank outside – this usually indicates the freshest food within.
The first restaurant named in our list, Silos, also on Avenida de Tirajana, is a real doozy. Especially if you’ve had your fill of fish, the grilled meats and rich Mediterranean flavours will definitely leave you satisfied.
Dishes available include:
- Sole with pasta
- Succulent steaks
- Juicy, spicy chorizo
As well as a variety of desserts!
What’s more …
Priding itself on its family friendly atmosphere, Silos is run by an unforgettable double act. Marian is the gregarious host, while Angel works with mechanical precision in the kitchen. The interplay between the two of them does a lot to make the restaurant feel welcoming.
It’s a little more expensive than Silos, but the Rias Bajas offers an upmarket experience second to none in Playa del Ingles. The chefs here specialise once again in seafood, but for the best experience you should order several small plates rather than any big meals. The mini green peppersand deep-fried sardinesare especially scrumptious.
Of course, there’s always the risk that you’ll be too enamoured of the cooking to leave after a light lunch. In that case, I’d recommend grilled lobster for a main course. You won’t regret it.
It might be hard to tell from the name, but the Eiffel Bar isn’t actually a local Canarian joint. In fact, the whole thing has a Parisian theme. The owners, Fabien and Olivier, are French, bringing that authentic Gallic je ne sais quoi to the establishment.
With chill jazz playing in the background, the Eiffel just exudes class. And it has the food and drinks to match. Crucially, Fabien and Olivier don’t settle for a facsimile of their homeland. Instead, they make use of local ingredients and techniques to create interesting fusions.
Where would any classy bar be without a decent cocktail menu? Luckily, the Eiffel doesn’t leave that question open, with a menu mixing local liquors like anise with French classics like Cointreau and Cognac.
Listen to the bar staff and take some chances, and you might find the perfect mix of Parisian cool and island heat.
Where to Stay
Just 800 yards from Playa del Ingles’s beach, the Sentido’s best attraction is undoubtedly its restaurant, which offers themed meals and show cooking. On top of this, there’s afternoon and evening entertainment including live music and shows, while guests also get access to a sauna, hot tub, pool bar and more.
Only 350 yards from Las Burras Beach and 550 yards from the shopping centre, Beverly Park has a kids’ club to keep little ones occupied and a sauna and massage service on request for those who need to relax. The restaurant offers a variety of buffet meals, while a poolside bar is available during the day.
How to Get There
Ten UK airlines offer flights from London airports to Gran Canaria airport direct, and all can be very affordable – especially if you stay clear of peak times over summer and during school holidays. Transfers from the airport to Playa del Ingles, meanwhile, will get you there in comfort in under a half-hour.
- UK to LPA flight time: 4 hours 10 minutes.
- LPA to Playa del Ingles distance: 32 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct transfer time: 27 minutes.
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