The volcanic island of Gran Canaria makes up one of the seven Spanish Canary islands. It’s located in the Atlantic Ocean, around 210km off the coast of Africa. Due to the island’s location it experiences year round sunshine and has it’s very own microclimate. Tourism is the main industry of Gran Canaria with lots of resorts, hotels, restaurants and activities to do all around the island.
Question is, for a coeliac traveller, what are the gluten free food options like over there?
On first glance, when strolling through a resort and scanning the menus outside each restaurant, it doesn’t seem like there is a great deal of choice on offer. However, if you speak to the waiting staff, most of who speak very good English, they are usually more than obliging to help you pick something gluten-free off the menu or tell you how a meal can be adapted. In terms of gluten free meals actually being highlighted on restaurant menus, I found this was quite rare in Gran Canaria but there were a few restaurants that did this.
Having travelled around a lot of the island and after visiting many of the towns and resorts,
I have picked my top 3 gluten free friendly restaurants in Gran Canaria:
Mana 264, Avenida Estados Unidos 54 Local, 131-18, 35100 Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain. This was a funky, dimly lit restaurant that served spanish cuisine, including tapas style food. They, unlike a lot of restaurants in Gran Canaria, actually marked on their menu card what was gluten free and what food was not, which was great for a coeliac. A few of the tapas choices were gluten free and others were able to be adapted.
Basils, 108 Local, 35138 Puerto de Mogan, Mogan, Gran Canaria, Spain. A cosy, small restaurant on the edge of the harbour, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. This restaurant served mediterranean style meals, from pizza to paella. Once I had explained to the waiting staff about my gluten allergy they brought out a menu card which described the ingredients of each dish and if there were any allergens, they also explained how dishes could be amended to be gluten free. Fish dishes are really great here and even better when washed down with a nice glass of sangria and looking out to sea, heaven!
Ristorante Pizzeria Piccola Italia, C.C. San Agustin 2a Planta Loc. 156 | Calle Las Dalia, Gran Canaria, Spain. Quite a large restaurant located in San Augustin, Maspalomas. This place was really worth seeking out as they served both gluten free pizza and gluten free pasta, the only place I came across in Gran Canaria that did, so lots of choice for the coeliac visitor! The waiting staff appeared to be very knowledgeable regarding allergies. I recommend the gluten free pizza margherita, the base was really good and the creamy mozzarella and tomato topping was delicious, they did not skimp on the cheese here!
As Gran Canaria is a Spanish island, tapas is a very popular menu choice there and a lot of them are actually gluten free. Listed below are a few of the most popular dishes that are also naturally gluten free (always confirm with restaurant):
- Patatas Bravas: Potatoes cooked in a tomato sauce.
- Pimientos de Padron: Cooked small, green peppers seasoned with salt.
- Gambas al Ajillo: King prawns fried in a garlic and chilli oil.
- Serrano Ham: A cured spanish ham, cut into wafer thin slices.
- Tortilla da Patatas: A spanish omelette, usually made with egg, onions and potato.
- Manchego Cheese.