One of the great advantages of living in Las Palmas city is that you are never a couple of minute’s walk away from a shop. Between local shops, supermarkets and the markets, you can buy almost anything in the city and there’s a great range of fresh and local produce.
Little shops in Las Palmas
The city’s little groceries, known as estancos, are still going strong by offering everything from roast pork sandwiches to lottery tickets & last-minute piñatas to local fruit and veg. They are more expensive than the supermarkets, but who wants to wade into a big supermarket when all you need is a loaf of bread or a bunch of ripe bananas?
Recently there’s been a boom in fruterias selling nothing but fresh fruit and veg. Most have a good range of local and imported stuff and can be very cheap if you buy local, seasonal produce. Their fruit, especially local ones like bananas, papayas and mangos, tends to be better than the ones on sale in the supermarkets.
These little shops get their local produce direct from the farm so their bananas have never been refrigerated; they are always sweeter than supermarket bananas.
Most, but not all, small Las Palmas shops close on Sundays.
The big Las Palmas supermarkets
Las Palmas has half a dozen large supermarket chains with supermarkets dotted throughout the city. Since Canarians tend to cook from scratch they all have a decent range of fruit & veg. Many offer home delivery in the local area. Some Mercadonas will even scan and bag and deliver your shop; all you do is leave the trolley, swipe your card, give them the address, and go home.
The main local company is Hiperdino and it does a good job or competing with larger international rivals. Hiperdino shops (also Superdino) offer a good range of food and home products are reasonable prices. They all have fresh fruit and veg along with a fish, meat and cold-cuts counter.
Locate your nearest Hiperdino supermarket.
Spar has an excellent presence in Las Palmas and also offers a wide range of produce at good prices. Most Spar shops are smaller and are a bit light on choice.
Mercadona is a Spanish brand and is probably the best-value option in Las Palmas. It has a good range of fresh fruit & veg, plus a big selection of meat and cheese from all over Europe. Mercadona also sells things like big pots of fresh yoghurt, kefir, wholegrain bread, Cheddar cheese and Kalamata olives.
Hipercor and Supercor supermarkets are the upmarket chain in Las Palmas and are run by the El Corte Inglés department store. They tend to be significantly more expensive than rival supermarkets, but do have an excellent range of local wines as well as quality meat and seafood. The supermarket in the basement of El Corte Inglés department store on Mesa y Lopez is huge; it’s not cheap but it does stock a wide range of foreign treats.
There’s an Hipercor in the Siete Palmas shopping centre, and a Supercor on Calle Fernando Guanarteme.
Carrefour has three supermarkets in Las Palmas, including the big one at Las Arenas shopping centre at the south end of Las Canteras beach. Carrefour sells everything from clothes and electronics to food. It has a good selection of local and international produce, including French wines and cheese, plus a small international food section with good bacon and lots of treats from all around the world.
Lidl is moving into Las Palmas and is competitively priced. Its bread and croissants are good, it has plenty of fresh veg, good yoghurt and excellent vale-for-money wine. However, so far I’ve found that there isn’t really any reason to go out of your way to shop at Lidl.
Eroski has one huge hypermarket in the El Mirador shopping centre just south of the city at Jinamar. It’s huge and sells everything but there really isn’t any need to drive there to do a shop when you have so many other options within the city.
Alcampo is the biggest and best value supermarket in Gran Canaria. It’s located at the out-of-town La Estrella shopping area in Telde (between Leroy Merlín and Ikea) and has a huge range of almost everything. Its fruit & veg, meat and fish selections are unmatched.
Not that you still need photo ID to pay using a debit card at Alcampo (even with chip & pin).
Some SPAR and Hiperdino shops open on Sundays.
Las Palmas local markets
The main Las Palmas fresh food market, called the Mercado Central, is on Calle Galicia just south of Mesa y Lopez between the Puerto district and Alcaravaneras. The ground floor stalls sell everything from freshly-ground coffee to local and imported fruit & veg, local cheese, meat and fish. It’s an excellent place to shop for fresh local produce and some stalls deliver what you buy to your door.
The Mercado del Puerto is at the north end of Las Canteras beach on Calle Albareda is a good mix of tapas and food stalls and local produce vendors. You can’t miss the lovely, wrought iron building.
At the other end of town, the Mercado de Vegueta is also set in an old building but is more about the produce than the tapas. Look out for the beautifully-decorated fruit stalls that sell the widest range of tropical fruit on the island.
For people living up the hill, the Mercado Municipal de Altavista sells an excellent range of fresh produce.
The Sunday market at San Lorenzo, a small village just 15 minutes away from Las Palmas by bus, has an excellent range of local fruit and veg, cheese and bread. It’s best to be there before 11 am when the hordes arrive from Las Palmas.
Further inland, Santa Brigida has a weekend market with a good wine stall, and the vast San Mateo market (Saturdays and Sundays) sells an incredible range of fresh fruit and veg. Both are east to get to by bus from Las Palmas and get crowded after midday.
Organic food in Las Palmas
La Zanahoria on Calle Galicia, right opposite the front door of the Mercado Central) sells a wide range of organic fruit & veg, cheese and other food (and wine).
SPAR Natural on Calle Juan Manuel Durán sells a wide range of organic and health food products.
There’s a really good list of organic shops on the Gran Canaria Ecologica website. Several can arrange box deliveries of fresh, local produce.
Specialist food shops in Las Palmas
The Chinese supermarkets on Calle Barcelona right by the Mercado Central sell a huge range of Asian food and some locally grown Chinese veg such as bok choi and yams. There are several on the street and it’s worth visiting them all as each one has a different range. Don’t miss the freezer cabinets for even more Asian veggies like bamboo shoots, nd some exotic options like whole crabs and salted jellyfish.
For fresh Kimchi and Korean-style tofu, visit the Korean supermarket just around the corner on Calle Valencia.
Godhwani’s on Calle Los Gofiones 59 (at the north tip of Las Canteras beach) is an old-school emporium that seems to sell everything. It stocks a huge range of teas, spices, Asian treats, etc.
This super-useful article was written by Laura Leyshon: Las Palmas’ resident British estate agent. If you want somewhere to live as well as to shop, you know who to contact.