Finding a pleasant restaurant in Gran Canaria for a romantic dinner isn’t that easy.
You will realize during your first walk to the beach while passing the shopping centers that there is nothing special on the menu cards.
Also, the cards mostly all look the same. While strolling through the beaches’ shopping centers, you’ll see boring-looking sandwiches, meat and fish dishes, fast food, or Chinese all-you-can-eat restaurants every five meters. And sometimes while looking at people’s plates, you’ll realize that it was a pretty good idea to book dinner in your hotel.
It’s even worse on your first day in Gran Canaria.
After a stressful day with check-in and customs at the airports, the flight itself, and finally reaching your hotel room, the only thing you’ll want is the first welcome-meal in a fantastic environment. You’ll long to sit down with your husband or wife, maybe your children, and order a cold beer and yummy food at the beach.
Though there are exceptions, the real gourmet might be disappointed and your first day will end with a bad mood.
To avoid that bad mood (because we want you to smile on your holidays in Gran Canaria), here’s a list of the top 10 restaurants in the south of the island.
These are top-notch restaurants you would almost never find on your walk from the hotel to the beach.
According to thousands of real user reviews, these are the restaurants in Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés with super delicious food, a lovely ambience, and friendly and supportive staff.
Most importantly, these are the restaurants the locals visit for a fancy night out with friends and family. That said, you’re safe to try them out.
So instead of just walking to the beach trying to find some good food (mainly to fill your stomach), jump into your car and visit the following restaurants for their mouth-watering dishes.
You deserve it.
The Top 10 Restaurants in Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés
1. Restaurante Abrasa
Famous for its perfect meat dishes, the restaurant Abrasa in San Fernando offers a wide range of seafood, typical Spanish tapas, and international and local wines.
The highlight of experiencing a top-class restaurant is the dessert. If you’re a sweets lover, you may feel like you’re in heaven while tasting most delicious cakes, including the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte from the Black Forest in Germany.
Enjoy your dinner on the rooftop terrace combined with a stunning sunset view over Gran Canaria’s mountains.
2. Restaurante A Gaudi by Patrick Hartl
A Gaudi is a place for a memorable culinary experience. It’s still kind of a hidden gem, as not many visitors of these islands find their way to the village El Tablero, above the touristic resorts.
Although there’s nothing interesting to see in El Tablero, A Gaudi provides a great dining experience in pleasant surroundings.
It’s great for meat and seafood, tapas, and totally yummy deserts. You will see and taste the chef’s love in the food, and you may feel bad destroying the nicely decorated plates and arranged foods.
3. Restaurante Time
After a nice sunset walk at the Maspalomas beach, the Restaurante Time might be your best choice for having a typical Italian dinner.
Freshly made pasta and pizza, meat and seafood will make you feel like being in the Toscana. Baked Italian cheese is surrounded by bacon and accompanied with honey-bathed apple.
Try the millefoglie with a Parmesan cheese biscuit, steamed prawns, and roasted pine nuts with a lemon dressing, or gratinated paccheri pasta filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, on a cherry tomato sauce with a slice of lardo di Colonnata.
Those are only three of many homemade and authentic Italian dishes to taste at Restaurante Time.
4. Restaurante Samsara
The decor of this restaurant (by the way, it’s at the same location as the Restaurante Time) is out of a Balinese fantasy, and your eyes will never rest.
The restaurant is decorated nicely all over with Buddhas, pictures, palm trees (and other plants), and books inside a typical Asian environment. If you like, you can even enjoy your dinner on beds.
After you have a splendid dinner with typical Asian food and some Spanish touches, go out to the rooftop terrace for a digestif with a view over the Charco de Maspalomas and the dunes.
5. Restaurante La Palmera Sur
This small restaurant might not catch your eye when you’re passing on the street in San Fernando, but the traditional high-quality ingredients with a very modern way of cooking and presenting is worth entering (though they could dim the lights a bit).
While waiting for dishes such as ceviche of white prawn, avocado, mango, Spanish onion, parsley and lemon juice,; seared rare beef fillet with teriyaki marinade and crispy fried gnocchi in mango chutney; and fried gnocchi with mussels and saffron, you can taste homemade bread with Canarian cheese, dried tomatoes and a local wine.
6. Restaurantes En La Playa Meloneras
Eating out at the Playa Meloneras is an extraordinary experience and exactly what you’re searching for during your holidays.
Besides taking a relaxing sunbath, you have plenty of possibilities for a delicious dinner in front of the ocean. In all the wide-open restaurants at the beachfront you get a dreamlike sunset while enjoying international and Canarian dishes.
With the location in mind, it isn’t that surprising that you won’t find grumpy staff in these restaurants. All the waiters and waitresses are very friendly, and service-oriented.
That’s why I won’t mention any specific restaurant here because all of them give you the chance to have a great time eating delicious food in front of Florida-like scenery.
7. Restaurante Marco Polo
In the heart of Playa del Ingles, you’ll find the Marco Polo Restaurant, for lovers of the Italo-Mediterranean cuisine.
Probably one of the best locations for Italian and Spanish food in the touristic area, they don’t only serve pizza and pasta. You have the chance to eat delicious fish and meat dishes and, of course, typical Spanish tapas, all on lovely decorated plates surrounded by a cozy atmosphere.
Choose the tostas de salmon ahumado con aguacate y caviar or aguacate con gambas as your entrance meal.
8. Restaurante El Salsete
The essence of the plates in the restaurant El Salsete in San Fernando is the creative process to combine typical Canarian recipes with a touch of modern cuisine, while always respecting the original flowers.
If you’re normally not keen to try authentic Canarian dishes, this is the perfect place to sample them with some modifications.
Besides daily special menus, you can order local tapas, soups, and, of course, fresh fish and meat plates, all accompanied by local wines, or beer.
Want to try something totally Canarian as your dessert? Order Mousse de Gofio. You will love it.
9. Restaurante La Tapita
This is the restaurant taxi drivers and your hotel’s receptionist recommend you for original Canarian food and tapas.
Also located in the middle of Playa del Ingles, close to the Yumbo Center, Restaurante La Tapita does not offer you tourist food, like many other restaurants in the same zone – which is why mostly locals come to eat here.
And the best way to eat authentic local food is to go where the locals eat.
Order a mixed tapas plate and you’ll get (besides the well-known papas arrugadas) chipirones, pimientos de padron, tortilla de gambas or mushrooms, Canarian cheese, and jamon Serrano.
10. Restaurant Bali
Located in one of the most beautiful spots in the south of Gran Canaria, the Restaurant Bali serves original Indonesian food on the rooftop of Meloneras’ shopping center “Boulevard Oasis.”
In front of the Hotel Costa Meloneras, you get a fantastic panoramic view over the area, while enjoying tasty dishes, a wide selection of Indonesian food, great service and…a Balinese gong.
It’s the “must-go” restaurant for everybody who loves spicy food. Plus, they are well known for their cocktails.
Buen provecho and a great night out with your friends and family
The above-mentioned restaurants promise a wonderful evening while tasting a world of delicious flavors. Since these restaurants are very popular, bear in mind to make a reservation a few days before going. If you’ve visited one restaurant on this list, we’d like to see your review or comment below.
Featured Image Flickr CC via Ben Brown