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Fine dining and Calentita – a feast of food in Gibraltar

2 May 2017

Gibraltarians love their food, and they especially love getting together with family and eating out.  Whether they gather on a Friday evening for tapas at a favourite bar, or congregate for breakfast in a local square for a helping of strong coffee and churros, or sit in a large group for a traditional, British Sunday roast on a Sunday afternoon, there is always a good reason for a meal with friends and family.

This means that for the tourist and the many visitors Gibraltar welcomes throughout the year, there is a vast choice of places to eat, whether for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner, or even a kebab on the way home from a nightclub.

Of course, being surrounded by the sea and bordering Andalucía with its numerous fishing ports, Gibraltar’s fish restaurants offer some of the best dishes locally.  There is something very special about dining right down by the sea front, either on the quiet, scenic Eastern side of the Rock, or on one of the luxurious Marinas on the Western edge of the sea.  After a day exploring the Rock’s many attractions, tourists can reward themselves with a relaxed meal in lovely surroundings.

The bustling city centre is home to a plethora of cafes, bars and restaurants catering for all sorts of tastes, from pizzerias to traditional Spanish-style tapas bars, from Argentinian steak houses to health food restaurants, and much, much more.

A meal complements a tour of the Rock – adding local flavour to a trip around the historical sites and taking in the magnificent views in the Upper Rock and around the Nature Reserve, or offering a way to rest and relax after a hectic morning of duty-free shopping in the city’s Main Street.

Gibraltarian cuisine is still carving an identity of its own internationally, supported by some of our own local chefs and food writers.  It has evolved from a blend of the many cultures that have come together to create this wonderful mixed community: British, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Moroccan, Indian, Jewish to name just some.  Among the many restaurants, serving perennially popular dishes such as pizzas and steaks, local delicacies can be found that deserve tasting and enjoying.

Take our wonderful Calentita, for example.  It’s a simple dish, made with chickpea flour and olive oil and is a traditional breakfast in Gibraltar.  In fact, so popular is Calentita locally, that our annual international food festival is named “Calentita.”  Taking place in June each year, the Calentita festival is the way that Gibraltar celebrates its place in the world of food, with stalls providing all sorts of favourite local delicacies such as Moroccan “pinchitos” (spicy lamb kebabs cooked over hot coals), Torta de Acelgas (a spinach pie) and Pan Dulce (a sweet loaf traditionally eaten at Christmas), as well as food from all over the world, including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Sicily – places with links to the Rock of Gibraltar.

Whether enjoying a day trip to Gibraltar, or have stopped over on a cruise of the Mediterranean for a few hours, need some refreshment after a local tour or are making a longer stay, Gibraltar’s restaurants provide a wonderful and satisfying pit stop for tourists.

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