When travelling and working on the road, you want to be as healthy as you can when ‘nomading’, right? After watching What The Health on Netflix last year, I’ve attempted to go vegan. I use the word ‘attempted’ because I’ve not been entirely, 100% successful.
However I’m ok with that, and I’m aiming for a 80-90% plant based diet instead of being too strict with myself.
So when I travelled to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria to check out their thriving coliving and coworking scene, I naturally wanted to eat as healthily as I could during my two month 'digital nomad' stay.
On the advice of my lovely friend Mary, I downloaded the free app Happy Cow, which showed me the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Las Palmas and the surrounding area. I tried out quite a few of them, and here's my thoughts:
Terra Incognita is a lovely little place at the end of Las Canteras, that specialises in healthy living and biofood. Their menu is in Spanish, but there’s a lovely waitress that is happy to translate if you like. Drinks are plentiful here, and include fresh juices, kombucha, matcha and chai lattes. The incredible food on offer included vegetarian burger, quinoa salad, zucchini noodles, and AMAZING vegan desserts. I highly recommend the chocolate muffins, which are also gluten-free and low sugar!
They’re open during the day, and not the evening, so a great spot for lunch. The average price for lunch is 7 EUR, and you can get their ‘Menu Del Dia’ for 12 EUR, which includes a starter and a main course. There’s no outside seating but they have wifi, so you can take your laptop and work in the beautiful surroundings.
During my two months in Las Palmas, I probably paid Bioloco a visit at least twice a week. It’s that good. Classed as a ‘cruelty free bar’, it sells an array of healthy salads, vegan burgers, tapas style foods, and lots of delicious drinks, including gluten free beer.
Bioloco is a few minutes walk from Las Canteras beach and has a pleasant but basic decor, as clearly the emphasis here is on the food. It’s also the place of many nomad socials and meetups, so expect to find yourself here at some point. The food is incredible value for money; a small protein power salad (pictured) set me back just 3.80 EUR.
Casa Ari is not specifically a vegetarian/vegan joint per say, but I had to include this place, because if you’re on a budget and love Indonesian food it’s worth giving this place a try. You can get a HUGE plate of Nasi Goreng for just 5.50 EUR, and you can also get takeout for just an extra 0.50 EUR.
It’s a small place that is popular with the locals, and ran by a husband and wife team. The lady is Indonesian and cooks up an array of mouthwatering dishes, from Bami Goreng to Coconut curries with tempeh or tofu. There’s also wifi available so you can stay connected. If you need this food but can't be bothered to leave your Airbnb/coliving space, try Canary Flash who will deliver to your door.
Coki is an unassuming but impressive eatery just off Mesa Y Lopez, which offers a large menu filled with burgers, burritos, noodles and salads. What’s great about this place is that it clearly marks allergies and vegan options on the menu, so you can see which meals are gluten, nut or lactose free.
I had the same thing every time I visited, which was three times! I had the pesto zoodles, which were zucchini ‘noodles’ covered in pesto and topped with walnuts, served cold. Expect to pay roughly 9 EUR for a main. Coki can get quite busy on the evenings and weekends so pre book if you are coming in a large group.
On one of my first few days in Las Palmas, it was pretty hot and I fancied an icecream. I made my way to this tiny gelato shop near Mesa Y Lopez, and wasn’t disappointed.
The italian owner was super-passionate about his ice-creams which he made with almond milk, and proceeded to feed me with all manner of samples from pistachio to chocolate orange. I wasn’t complaining!
You can get cones or tubs of gelato, starting from 2 EUR. Yummy!
I was told by several people that this place was a vegan delight, and I wasn’t disapointed. I went there on a Thursday night, which is tapas or ‘pinchos’ night in Vegueta. I went all out with a few pinchos to start - caramelised aubergine being one of them (2 EUR), and then I went for a ‘tempeh tower’ (around 12 EUR), which was delicious, although not large in comparison to other meals I’d had around Las Palmas.
I finished off with the equally impressive vegan tiramisu - which made for a lovely, guilt free evening. We sat outside with blankets and this really is the best way to soak up the social atmosphere in Vegueta on a Thursday night. Prices at La Hierba Luisa are more expensive than others; expect to pay 20-25 EUR for a three course meal, which is still excellent.
Smoothie Galaxy is not a restaurant, but a cafe. Although this place isn’t primarily vegetarian or vegan, I had to include it because it’s so healthy. Choose from an array of smoothies, from carrot, ginger and lemon to mango, papaya and strawberry - all created before your eyes and handed to you in a HUGE carton holder, available to drink indoors or take away. There’s also a selection of small sandwiches to eat in their cafe, or granola bowls topped with fruit if you fancy a healthy breakfast.
Prices here are very reasonable; expect to pay 3.50 EUR for a medium smoothie.
Another few that I heard were very good but did not try personally were La Dulce Boutique (raw vegan food in Las Palmas) and Zoe (Vegueta).
So what did I make of the vegan and healthy living options in Las Palmas?
All in all, Las Palmas has a thriving vegan and health food scene, which is continuing to grow. There are plenty of gluten and dairy free options available if you look for them, and there are many events which focus on ethical living or veganism for digital nomads. You'll be spoilt for choice!