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Our Top 14 Refreshment Stops in North Gran Canaria

Keen travelers, Liz and her husband have been to the Canary Islands 5 times. Their last visit to North Gran Canaria created great memories.

La Marinera, Playa de las Canteras, Gran Canaria.

La Marinera, Playa de las Canteras, Gran Canaria.

Travel is about discovering and exploring new places. As well as taking in all the sights, key ingredients of any trip are the refreshment stops. Even if your meals are provided with your accommodation, you still need refreshment breaks, especially in a warm climate. Often these breaks, as well as an opportunity to recharge, can enhance and add to the sightseeing experience.

Read on to see how many of our refreshment stops in north Gran Canaria had stunning views and which ones offered additional experiences.

Starting in the capital, Las Palmas, travel with us on a refreshing tour of North Gran Canaria.

Glamour, Paseo de las Canteras.

Glamour, Paseo de las Canteras.

Our Top Refreshment Stops

  1. La Taberna de El Monje, Las Palmas.
  2. Vai Piano, Las Palmas.
  3. Terraza, Parque Doramas, Las Palmas.
  4. Bar Terraza, Castillo de la Luz, Las Palmas.
  5. 100 Montaditos, Playa de las Canteras.
  6. Restaurante Glamour, Playa de las Canteras.
  7. Restaurante La Marinera, Playa de las Canteras.
  8. Paddy's Anchor, Playa de las Canteras.
  9. Jardin Canario Restaurante, Jardin Botanico.
  10. Cafe el Parque, Arucas.
  11. Arehucas Rum Factory.
  12. Mc Cafeteria Restaurante, Teror.
  13. Restaurante Terraza Sidreria La Diosa del Mar, Puerto de las Nieves.
  14. Finca La Laja.

Las Palmas

Our trip starts in the capital of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, the Canary Islands' biggest city. It is located in the northeastern corner of the island, 15.5 miles north of the airport. The city's origins date back to 1478, when Juan Rejon, a Spanish captain, founded the hamlet Real de Las Palmas after landing in Gran Canaria.

Vegueta is the historic center of the city and contains a number of notable sites. Among them is Catedral de Santa Ana, which was begun in 1497 and has been adapted many times since then. The cathedral is a symbol of the city and a good point from which to start our refreshment tour.

Catedral de Santa Ana, Las Palmas.

Catedral de Santa Ana, Las Palmas.

1. La Taberna de El Monje

La Taberna de El Monje is located on Calle Espiritu Santo, south of the cathedral. The entrance to the cathedral via the Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro is nearby. The Taberna makes good use of its setting with tables outside on the pedestrianized street and opposite in the shaded square next to the cathedral. By day it is a bar offering refreshments and by night the doors open to a thriving restaurant. It is a great spot to recharge with a cooling drink. Reviews by other customers are good too.

2. Vai Piano

Our next stop is in the Triana area of Las Palmas. Gabinete Literario, home to the city's first theatre and now a cultural center, is an eyecatching sight. Plaza Cairasco offers a choice of refreshment stops with seating under shades on the pleasant square. We chose the Italian restaurant, Vai Piano, as it had a table free with a view. Cafe Madrid is nearer to Gabinete Literario but was busier when we were there. We did not sample the food, but Vai Piano is a good location for a cooling drink with a stunning backdrop.

3. Terraza, Parque Doramas

The intriguing Guanche statues and the nearby Santa Catalina Hotel piqued our curiosity in Parque Doramas when we passed by on the local bus. The park is located in the Ciudad Jardin area of Las Palmas, around 1.7 miles northwest of the cathedral and near the marina. Our interest was well-rewarded. Parque Doramas is the city's largest park It is a pleasantly landscaped oasis with multiple water features. The outdoor cafe takes full advantage of its location with tables laid out on a terrace overlooking a large water feature. It is an ideal spot for a cooling drink, with plenty of sun shades available.

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4. Bar Terraza, Castillo de la Luz

Another simple outdoor cafe that gets high marks for its location is Bar Terraza, Castillo de la Luz. Located in a small park area near the castle, tables have a great view with bubbling water features, plants, palm trees, and the castle to feast your eyes on. The prices of the drinks here start from just over one Euro.

The inside of the castle has been made into a display area for the work of Canarian sculptor, Martin Chirino. Arguably, for those who have little interest in modern sculpture, the view from this cafe is preferable to paying to go inside.

Refreshment Stops in Las Palmas

Playa de las Canteras

As city beaches go, Playa de las Canteras, to the northwest of the city center, is one of the best. Its 2 mile stretch of sand is protected from the Atlantic Sea by the barra, a natural reef. Palm trees are dotted along the top of the beach and the Paseo de las Canteras, the pedestrian walkway is lined with bars and restaurants. There is plenty of choice here for refreshment stops.

Playa de las Canteras.

Playa de las Canteras.

5. 100 Montaditos

We first came across 100 Montaditos in Tenerife, a neighboring Canarian island. We have since found it on mainland Spain. 'Montaditos' were the first sandwiches in 15th-16th Century Spain. The word is thought to come from 'montar', to mount, which refers to the toppings that are mounted on a slice of bread. As its name suggests, 100 Montaditos lists 100 choices on its menu.

If you are looking for a very reasonably priced place for a drink and snack, I recommend calling in here. Since the first outlet opened in 2000, in Huelva, 100 Montaditos has expanded rapidly, stretching now into Italy, the USA, and South America. There could be one near you.

100 Montaditos is at Paseo de las Canteras 5, towards the northeastern end of the beach. There are tables inside and outside the location, but time it right or wait for a little to get a beachside table. It is worth it for the view.

Tinto de Verano

The literal translation is 'red wine of the summer'. Similar to sangria, but lower in alcohol, this summer cocktail is typically made of red wine and lemon soda. Served in a glass from the fridge or freezer, it is very refreshing.

6. Restaurante Glamour

As well as snacks and drinks, there are plenty of restaurants along Paseo de las Canteras, which offer full meals. We treated ourselves to a three-course lunch on our last day in Gran Canaria, as we had a flight to catch in the evening.

Restaurante Glamour is at 14 Paseo de las Canteras. We found plenty of choices on the menu for a reasonable price. Food quality and table service were good. It was worth waiting a few minutes on a Saturday lunchtime for a beachside table to become vacant.

7. Restaurante La Marinera

If you are keen to sample local seafood, as well as Canarian specialties, in a pleasant setting, Restaurante La Marinera is worth considering. It has a prime location on La Puntilla at the far northeastern end of Paseo de las Canteras. Its three dining rooms and terrace have great sea views and vistas back down the beach, with fishing boats and nets pulled up in front of the restaurant.

La Marinera prides itself on being the biggest restaurant in Gran Canaria, with over 400 seats. Reviews are a little mixed and it does not have the cheapest menu, but the views are great.

8. Paddy's Anchor

Sometimes, in a hot climate, it is a good idea to take a break from the sun, especially in the middle of the day. Some bars offer live sport on multiple screens. Football matches are especially popular as fans like to keep up with their local or national team's matches while they are away.

We stumbled upon Paddy's Anchor, an Irish bar, set back from the beach, on Calle Sagasta, when we were searching for a live showing of a football match. There is an outside terrace, but fans were clustered around tables inside watching the action on several screens. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly.

As well as showing live sport, the air-conditioned bar also offers darts, billiards, karaoke, live music, and pub grub (bar meals). Its basement location might not offer the views and sun of its terrace, but it has plenty to recommend it to sports enthusiasts.

Refreshment Stops near Playa de las Canteras

Jardin Botanico Canario

For a complete change of scenery, take a trip 4.5 miles southwest of Las Palmas and head inland to Spain's largest botanical garden. Discover Gran Canarian flora in this green oasis and escape from city life. Wander amongst the palms, cacti, and water features on the lower level. Explore the paths of the Guiniguada Barranco and take in the views over the gardens. Spread over 27 acres, it is easy to work up an appetite and a thirst here. Surprisingly there are no refreshment outlets on the lower level.

9. Jardin Canario Restaurante

Visitors who make it up the side of the ravine to the top are rewarded with views over the gardens below and also a refreshment stop. Those who enter at the top entrance, as we did, find the restaurant before they see the main gardens. It is tempting to stop for a drink and enjoy the view.

Jardin Canario Restaurante is much more than a pop-up snack bar overlooking a tourist destination. It is a well-regarded restaurant, serving full meals. As the entrance to Jardin Botanico is free, it would be easy to book a meal here, without feeling obliged to explore the Barranco on foot.

There are several areas within the restaurant. The shaded courtyard near the entrance is enclosed with no views. The restaurant has rooms for functions. But if you are keen on making the most of the view, try to get a window seat on the terrace.

Arucas

Arucas is 11 miles west of Las Palmas. The town is dominated by its neo-Gothic church, Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, which is often mistaken as a cathedral. The wide streets are pleasant to explore and there are subtropical gardens in the Municipal Park.

10. Cafe el Parque, Arucas

If you are looking for a cooling drink with a view, Cafe el Parque, Arucas, fits the bill. Located on Plaza de San Juan, the shaded tables in front of this interesting building have the stunning backdrop of Iglesia de San Juan Bautista. Reviews of the food here are not great, but I recommend it as a good location for a cooling drink.

11. Arehucas Rum Factory

A visit to the rum factory while you are in Arucas is not to be missed. The interesting tour takes you through all the stages of the rum production process from sugar beet to bottling in 45 minutes. Visitors hear about the origins of the brand, visit the rum-aging cellar and see casks signed by famous people.

Tours are conducted in several languages for a very reasonable cost of 4.20 Euros. This includes a tasting experience at the end. It might not be the most scenic of locations in a building by the visitors' shop opposite the factory, but, as tastings go, it is the most generous. Visitors can sample as many of the flavored rums plus vodka and gin as many times as they like in small plastic shot glasses. We counted a choice of 19. There was just a 5 Euro supplement if you wanted to try the older Captain Kidd 30 year plus rum.

Teror

Located 13 miles southwest of Las Palmas, Teror is a beautiful showcase of typical Canarian architecture. White houses with exposed grey stone and dark wooden balconies are much in evidence here.

The town is also home to the patron saint of Gran Canaria, Our Lady of the Pine, following a sighting of the Virgin in a pine tree in 1492. The Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pino, in the center of the town, is a place of pilgrimage. The festival of the Virgin del Pino takes place annually on the 8th of September.

12. Mc Cafeteria Restaurante, Teror

Located in Plaza de Sintes, behind the Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pino, Mc Cafeteria Restaurante was a popular refreshment stop when we visited on a Saturday near the end of June. The single-storey modern building, designed to fit in with its surroundings, offers plenty of tables with shades on the terrace outside. It is a pleasant stop for a cooling drink after strolling around the town and visiting the church.

Puerto de las Nieves

Located 24 miles west of Las Palmas, Puerto de las Nieves was once a major port in Gran Canaria. Now its harbor hosts a regular car ferry across to Tenerife and a small fishing fleet. The town has a scenic 'end of the earth' feel to it with its stunning backdrop of cliffs to the south. The beach is pebbly, but the water is clear. It is a pleasant place for a stroll and the fishing industry supplies a line of fish restaurants along the promenade.

13. Restaurante Terraza Sidreria La Diosa del Mar

The beach at Puerto de las Nieves is overlooked by a promenade with benches. Just behind this walkway, there is a string of sheltered refreshment outlets, with their main buildings across the street. Many have clear plastic drop-down sides to give protection from the weather whilst still allowing diners to admire the view.

Weather conditions were excellent on the day we visited in early July. We selected Restaurante Terraza Sidreria La Diosa del Mar because, on a quiet Monday lunchtime, it looked more open for business than the others. I recommend it as a great place to stop for a drink. Some speak well of the food, others comment on the prices being a little high, but with a location like this, the view is probably worth it.

14. Finca La Laja

Some guides suggest that visitors to Puerto de las Nieves try the local strong coffee. We recommend going one better by visiting the only coffee plantation in Europe, where it is produced. Finca La Laja has been a working farm for over 200 years. Located 11 miles southeast of Puerto de las Nieves, in the scenic Agaete valley, the Finca is a taxi or car ride away from the coast. I recommend booking a tour here.

As well as the coffee plantation, a selection of fruit, including oranges, bananas, mangoes, papaya, guava, avocadoes, and grapes are grown on the farm. The latter gives rise to the more recent Bodega Los Berrazales, a winery producing good quality wine.

We paid 8 Euros for a tour, which included an explanation of the coffee-making and wine production processes as well as a generous tasting experience at the end. Our tour finished on a shaded terrace by a pool, looking out onto the farm and valley beyond. As settings go, it was pretty special. As for the tasting, that too was very good. We were served a selection of savory snacks; cheese, special chorizo on bread, aniseed toasted bread, and cake with 4 wine samples and coffee. It was very relaxing. There was no pressure to buy, but the products sold themselves and the small shop did a good trade.

Refreshment Stops in North Gran Canaria

Most Refreshing Drink

Final Thoughts

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in north Gran Canaria. We booked a half-board package, including flights from the UK, in Hotel Concorde, yards from Playa de las Canteras. It was a great base for exploring Las Palmas and the north of the island, mainly using the local transport network.

Well set up for the day with a good breakfast buffet and an evening meal to look forward to, our food requirements were well-catered for. Water bottles were a necessity on our trips, but refreshment stops provided an opportunity to pause, relax and, in many cases, take in the views.

I think you will agree with us, that this list provides some great locations for refreshment stops.

Sunset at Playa de las Canteras.

Sunset at Playa de las Canteras.

Explore North Gran Canaria

  • Top 10 Places to Visit in North Gran Canaria
    North Gran Canaria has much to offer travelers. From its capital, Las Palmas, to its award-winning city beach. Pleasant parks and gardens, interesting towns and villages. A rugged coastline, inland hills and valleys.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Liz Westwood

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