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Food tourism is growing in popularity. It gives international travellers the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in a new culture through the medium of food. If you’re eyeing memorable culinary experiences, Gibraltar should certainly feature on your destination shortlist. The food scene here is booming and a fusion of local flavours awaits you on the Rock. If you’re heading to the peninsula in search of the ultimate foodie experience, here’s what you need to know.

Try local specialities

Situated on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar’s food heritage showcases strong Spanish influences, but other Mediterranean, British and North African flavours have also permeated its culinary offering. For a truly authentic experience, turn your attention to some of the most popular dishes which champion the magnificent variety of local ingredients. Here are three to look out for: 

  • Calentita. One of Gibraltar’s national dishes, calentita is a real crowd-pleaser; it’s a simple flatbread with a perfect balance of chickpea flour and olive oil. Whether devoured as a quick snack or a mouthwatering appetiser, this versatile dish is the perfect introduction to Gibraltarian cuisine.  
  • Pescado frito. In a far from inconspicuous nod to Gibraltar’s British affiliation, one of the most popular dishes among visitors and locals alike is pescado frito. Translated in English to ‘fried fish’, this quintessential meal showcases flavours of the sea – which is a pillar of the local culinary scene here – and is often served with crispy crisps. 
  • Gambas al ajillo. Sticking to the seaside theme, gambas al ajillo elevates the humble shrimp to new culinary heights. With strong notes of garlic reverberating throughout the dish, the shrimps are coated in olive oil and delicate spices – what’s not to love? It’s the perfect way to kick off any meal by the coast. 

Ocean Village Restaurants

Research the restaurants before you go

Sure, it can be fun to leave room for a little spontaneity at meal times, and gamble on where to go. But, as any true foodie would attest, it’s always best to research the restaurants before getting there. Check the menu, reviews and location to find places that suit your tastes. There are several chain restaurants across the country like Burger King, Wagamama, Costa Coffee, Pizza Express, Domino’s Pizza and others that international tourists will be well accustomed to; these are perfect for quick bites or for particularly fussy eaters in your party. But, if you’re looking to expand your culinary horizons, head to some of the local eateries that capture the true spirit of Gibraltarian cuisine. 

Some of the most highly rated establishments in Gibraltar are: 

  • Monique’s. Located in the exclusive Queensway Quay marina, is renowned for serving up traditional Iberian dishes with a particular focus on fresh seafood and vegetarian dishes.
  • Little Bay Indian Restaurant & Tapas. Having been in business for less than a decade, Little Bay has wasted no time in becoming an iconic landmark in Gibraltar’s culinary landscape. Journey to India and beyond, with award-winning dishes that cater to vegetarian diners and meat-eaters alike. 
  • Hustle ‘N Flow. Situated in the Europort business district, this trendy restaurant is a heaven for vegans and vegetarians (although it caters for meat lovers too), offering a wide range of healthy dishes from salads and poke bowls to pancakes, wraps and great variety of smoothies.
  • Bistro Point. Often known as the southern-most restaurant in Europe, this elegant restaurant is situated at Europa Point, besides the Gibraltar University campus, offering great views over the Strait of Gibraltar from its wide balcony, along with gourmet fusion cuisine with a Spanish twist.  

Chatham Counterguard restaurants

Saving Tips

Fancy a free glass of wine? A free tasting of Gin? Free Tapas? The GibraltarPass offers plenty of freebies and exclusive discounts in over 30 restaurants, bars and cafes across Gibraltar (including the ones mentioned above), allowing you to savour the local dishes while saving you lots of money. 

Treat your tastebuds in the Calentita Food Festival

Gibraltar is a melting pot of different cultures, and this is evident in its culinary scene, which climaxes at the annual Calentita Food Festival which is celebrated in early July. This street food festival sees top local chefs doing live cooking demonstrations, and leading restaurants setting up food stalls, offering gourmet bites, alongside live music shows and fun activities for the whole family. Be sure to sample different dishes from the Rock and beyond to truly experience everything this beautiful destination has to offer its delighted diners.

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