For jaw-dropping views, the Top of the Rock Café is unbeatable. Situated, as its name suggests, on the peak of the 426-metre high Rock that gives Gibraltar its full name, this small refreshment area provides a perspective on three countries, two continents and two oceans. The café is reachable by cable car (which leaves from the base station in the old town) and is where you’ll also meet Gibraltar’s famous Barbery macaques, most of whom live up here.
The lounge and wisteria terrace of The Rock Hotel is a wonderful place to come for a leisurely afternoon coffee. From the terrace you can enjoy views out over the bay to the Andalusian town of Algeciras as well as the coast of Morocco over the Straits, whilst inside is a smart, elegant lounge. Located as it is just out of the old town at the bottom of Europa Road, The Rock makes a great stop-off point if you’re visiting Europa Point, as the number two bus leaves from right outside.
Enjoying a prime spot on the old town’s central thoroughfare, Jury’s café, wine bar and restaurant offers everything from a simple morning coffee to extensive lunch and dinner menus. It is a popular meeting spot for locals and stop-off for tourists so there’s always a good atmosphere inside as well as on its outside terrace – a great spot from which to people-watch on Main Street.
A characterful little café at the southern end of Main Street, Verdi Verdi prides itself on sourcing only the freshest local ingredients for its menu and in using coffee from Naples – a city that some say does the best coffee in Italy. In addition to its excellent coffees, the café’s imaginative menus offer breakfast, a variety of homemade sweet treats and middle east-inspired lunches revolving around hummus and falafel.
Enjoying a prime waterfront spot in Ocean Village, Cafe Fresco is one of the first cafes to open its doors of a morning in this trendy neighbourhood. Overlooking the mini gin-palaces of Marina Bay Square, Fresco offers coffee, snacks, friendly service and free WIFI to those rising early for a day of sightseeing on the Rock. There’s also a spacious outside terrace from which to better enjoy views of the floating community that surrounds you.
Staffed by charming servers and said by some locals to do the best chips in Gibraltar, Timeout sits on the busy Europort Road a little out of the old town centre. At less than six pounds (including tea or coffee), its full English breakfast is one of the best-priced around. The café’s popular “Paella Fridays” – always well attended by both Gibraltarians and tourists – receives high praise, whilst customers also give the burgers and wraps top marks.
Situated on the stylish shopping-street of Irish town, Cork & Fork serves some of the best poached eggs, chicken sandwiches and chocolate brownies you’re likely to come across in Gibraltar. Customers also love the quality wholemeal bread and that the friendly staff are knowledgeable about vegan and vegetarian diets. The inside seating area is light-filled and spacious and there are a couple of tables outside on the pavement for people-watching on Irish Town.
Though a relative newcomer to Gibraltar’s café scene, the Pancake Factory has established itself as one of the best since its opening last August – especially for inventive sweet and savoury versions of its signature dish. The pancakes are served all day and complemented by English breakfasts in the morning and a lunch menu that features pastas and salads as well as beef goulash, the in-house speciality. Waiters provide an excellent table service and customers also rate the price-quality relationship.
Another of Main Street’s busiest cafés, Bistro 292 offers a pleasant terrace on which to stop for refreshments throughout the day, from morning coffee to an early supper (it closes at 8 pm). Try the nutella latte for a sweet and filling breakfast beverage and the freshly made fish and chips or tasty Caesar salad for lunch. Staff are friendly and the café offers good value for money.