Last week I share a recap of my favorite things I did in Mallorca when I visited a few weeks ago with my aunt. Today is the post that's dedicated to food porn - all the yummy places we ate on the island!
Since Mallorca is a Spanish island, tapas is really popular and that's what we ate for most meals. No complaints here. Mallorca also has it's own distinct cuisine, but it's a bit harder to find since tapas and fusion is so popular.
Also, breakfast was one of my favorite meals of the day. All the hotels we stayed at (listed in my first post) had the most incredible breakfast spreads - crusty breads, local cheeses, ham, soft boiled eggs, local citrus jams, fresh fruit. I could eat like that for every meal.
If you ever find yourself in Mallorca, or just feel like drooling over some tasty food, here's where to eat in Mallorca:
Ca'n Joan De S'aigo
Mallorca is famous for it's pastries and desserts - almond cake, ensaimadas, sponge cake, almond ice cream, and thick hot chocolate. Ca'n Joan De S'aigo is a must-go to try out all of Mallorca's famous baked goods. It's a bakery that's been open since the 1700s, hidden in a back alley near St Eulalia church. On our first day in Mallorca, we stopped here for a "lunch" of ensaimada, local almond ice cream dusted with nutmeg, and much needed coffee to keep us going until dinner. You can get your ensaimada a few different ways - plain dusted with powdered sugar, topped with custard cream (which is what we got) or apricots. The almond ice cream wasn't too sweet so it was really refreshing. Plus, check out how adorable this place is!
After spending our first afternoon wandering old town, we were pretty hungry before our dinner plans at Ruta Martiana started 8 pm (probably because we ate pastry and ice cream for lunch!). So we stopped for tapas at L'Ambigu for patatas bravas and padron peppers (our two favorite tapas). I love that they took classic tapas dishes and fancied them up a bit, like the perfectly blistered padron peppers with crispy carrot strips and sesame and tons of crunchy salt. We sat outside on the patio with a view of Santa Eulàlia church.
On Tuesday nights, there's an area in the old town between Plaça d'En Coll, Plaça del Mercadal, and Plaça de la Quartera, where most of the restaurants and bars offer a small tapas or pinxto (Basque word for something tasty on a piece of bread) plus a glass of wine for 2-3 euros. I mean, you can't find a better deal than that. It was started as a way to get people out in the non-touristy areas on a slow day of the week, and took off to the point where some of the bars offer it on Wednesday too. Somehow on our first night in Palma, we managed to fight the jetlag to stay up till 8 PM when it starts.
Now, don't expect a full gourmet experience. Don't get me wrong, the tapas and pinxtos are really tasty, but it's basically little bites of yummy stuff on the baguette bread you get at Publix. It's more about the experience. If you want more, you can always order off the regular menu.
Our first stop was Tagomagos, where I had a fried crab claw pinxto and vino tinto, then we moved on to Quina Creu for a jamon pinxto...and more vinto tinto of course. Major red wine mouth going on at this point. From there we went to my favorite stop at Ca La Seu. It's a 500-year old basket store turned bar. I just loved the scene inside. It was decorated with gorgeous old woven baskets hanging from the ceiling and walls - you could almost imagine what it looked like 500 years ago. I had a slice of this really tasty potato and ham tart there. We probably should have headed back to the hotel at this point, but we were hungry for one more tapas, so we wandered into another place that wasn't on our list of recommendations. Should have turned around as soon as we realized it looked like a bar I would have snuck into on spring break in Fort Lauderdale when I was twenty, but we decided to stay. My Spanish tortilla pinxto was tasty, but their wine tasted like sour grape juice - I'd rather have a glass of Franzia. So if you happen to wander into a place with black lights behind the bar (as if this needs to even be said) - turn around!
After spending the morning touring the major sites in old town, we headed to La Boveda for a tapas lunch. It's right near Sa Llojta, so it's the perfect place to stop if you spend the morning at the cathedral and palace. We started with a mixed plate of pa amb oli, a traditional Mallorcan dish of dense whole grain bread rubbed with tomato, drizzled with olive oil, then topped with cheeses or hams. And because there's no such thing as too much jamon in Spain, we also got a separate plate of jamon iberico, as well as bacon wrapped dates and galacian octopus. The octopus was my favorite -the olive oil and the juices from the octopus melded together to make the most delicious sauce for dipping our bread. Just add a glass of cava and it was the perfect little lunch.
As a thank you to my aunt for bringing me on such an incredible trip, I took her out for a splurge meal at Marc Fosh, one of the Michelin star meals on the island. They offer both a regular and vegetarian tasting menu, which also looked incredible. If you'd like to try their food on more of a budget, they also offer a 3-course lunch tasting menu that's pretty reasonable. Everything we ate was perfectly prepared and beautifully presented - some of the dishes looked too pretty to eat, but that didn't stop us from eating every last bite! We also added on the wine tasting course and the cheese course, because when I've had multiple tastings of wine and you say optional cheese course obviously I'm gonna get that. I think they have their marketing plan down. What's funny is that my favorite dish of the night was a little gift from the chef to start our meal - a shooter of creamy pea soup with bits of lightly smoked salmon and these yummy little crunchy bits, that I didn't get a picture of. I also love that there were lots of unfamiliar ingredients, like chlorophyll, oxalis, and rosehip, but it was presented in a way that felt approachable.
If you go find yourself in Palma, you MUST make it to Bar Espana! They serve traditional tapas that are all perfectly prepared, and the food is so inexpensive. I think we made it out for $40 total for 6 tapas and a bottle of wine. Just be sure to get there early, as close to opening time as you can. By the time we left, there was a huge line of people waiting to get in. The crouquettes were the best we had all trip, but the toumbet, a traditional Mallorcan dish that's similar to ratatouille, was actually my favorite dish we had. Olive oil-y vegetables are the best.
Vermuteria de la Rosa
My aunt turned me on to vermut when we were in Mallorca and now it's my new favorite drink...although I'm still not sure I understand the difference between vermut and vermouth (or if there is one). A follower on instagram recommended it to me as raisin wine and that's the best description I can think of for it! It's sweet, but not cloying, and has a bit of spiciness and depth of flavor that cuts the sweetness. I first tried it at Vermuteria de la Rosa, where they have a few different vermut's on tap. The bartender was really sweet when he found out I had never tried it and helped walk me through finding one I'd like, even though the bar was packed.
Our first afternoon back in Palma after spending four days in Soller, it started pouring - our only rain of the trip. So we hid out in Mercat 1930, a really cool food hall off the main avenue that runs along the water, and drank and ate the afternoon away. I wish we had ordered more strategically so I could try different things, but I was ravenous so we went straight for a cheese and ham board and heuvos rotos with chorizo that were pretty filling. Choose from a variety of stands selling things like raw oysters, fried seafood, a cheese bar, pinxtos, croquettes and more fusion-y dishes. There's also a bar with wine, local beers, and vermut. Having a few glasses was probably not a smart choice before our 2 mile uphill hike to visit the castle!
Oysters and Champagne in Mercat Olivar
Mercat Olivar is a must-do if you're someone who enjoys touring local markets (hi). I think going to markets is one of the best ways to understand a new country - afterall, eating is the way we most commonly express our culture. We spent hours touring the market, and the seafood market was definitely the highlight. While you're there, stop for raw oysters and champagne (and caviar if you're feeling fancy!). There's something fun about sipping on champagne and eating raw oysters while in the midst of a busy seafood market.
While Bar Espana had the best traditional tapas we had all trip, La Bodeguilla had the best "foodie" tapas. Plus, their wine wall is decoration goals. We order salt cured fois gras with chutney and walnut bread, croquettes with chili, chargrilled asparagus with romesco, and pork loin over a creamy puree with pistachios and roasted leeks. The asparagus was my favorite - I think I was really craving vegetables but also it was super fresh and sweet and still crisp tender with a nice char.
Okay, so admittedly Anima Beach is be overpriced and the service isn't the greatest, but it's worth it for the view. We came here for lunch after lounging on the beach all morning and it was really nice to relax with a crisp glass of rose, sea breeze, and lots of beautiful rich people to watch. And the food really wasn't bad. I had a tuna salad wrap with grilled vegetables that was actually pretty tasty.
For our last night in Palma we went out in search of one last tapas meal, but couldn't find the restaurant we were looking for. L'Artista was right by our hotel, and the pictures of their pizza looked like they were nice and bubbly with the perfect amount of char, so we decided to make it easy and split a pie for dinner. The number of pizza toppings offered was insane - I think there was over 100 different choices of pizzas - but we settled on one with ham, artichokes, olives, and mushrooms.
Casa de Sa Miranda
Holy view. We came here for lunch after touring La Cartuja on our day trip to Valldemossa. Definitely ask for one of the tables on the patio so you can enjoy views of the valley and a nice sea breeze with your meal - the restaurant is located right next to the famous lookout in town. My aunt ordered suckling pig and toumbet that was delicious, while I had a stuffed eggplant and patatas bravas. We also ordered tinto de verano, a really popular drink in Mallorca. It's made by mixing red wine with lemon soda - sounds odd but it tastes like a super refreshing sangria.
This cute little gelateria is right across from La Cartuja, so you can grab a cup or cone after touring the monastery. There were so many flavors I wanted to try at Gelatimossa, but I had to go with a scoop of local lemon and local almond. The lemon reminded me of Italian ice, which was one of my favorite desserts as a kid. My aunt's orange gelato was incredible swirled with the almond! The citrus on Mallorca is just insanely delicious, and it feels really special to eat it after spending the day surrounded by orange trees filled with plump oranges.
The lady who runs this place is such a boss! We came to Ca'n Llimona for homemade pasta, and as it turns out, one woman runs the entire restaurant. She makes fresh pasta in the morning, then single-handedly serves the entire restaurant. It's a really simple menu - a choice of fresh pasta of the day in sauce or whatever ravioli is on display in the front. Go with the mixed plate of ravioli so you can taste a few different ones - I had spinach and ricotta, walnut and ricotta, and ham and cheese, which were all plump with filling. The spinach was my personal favorite because you could really taste the freshness of the spinach in the pasta. It was served with a bright and fresh tomato salad made with chunks of fresh local lemon and peppery arugula.
Dessert may have actually been the star of the meal, as delicious as the pasta was. We didn't really know what we were ordering (the dish is called bavaroise) and it looked like just a simple cup of cottage cheese topped with strawberries, but it was SO rich and creamy. She was nice enough to share the recipe so if anyone wants to translate some Spanish for me, you get the world's creamiest, dreamiest dessert recipe as a thank you!
If you enjoy people watching, relaxing under an umbrella with gin and tonics followed by an outdoor dinner, Port Soller is your kinda afternoon. We wanted to go to Kingfisher, but they didn't have any outdoor seating and we wanted to people watch some more and enjoy sunset views at the port, so we went next door to Xelini for another tapas dinner. We split (more) croquettes, bacon wrapped dates, fried goat cheese with jam, a potato salad with tuna, and the highlight - grilled octopus with ahi amarillo sauce. Even though we were stuffed, they also had local almond cake served with almond ice cream that we couldn't resist. Sometimes it's fun to overeat!
The BEST gin and tonics with a gorgeous view of the port. Their gin and tonic menu was absolutely insane - there were probably 30 different kinds. We lingered here and listened to live music for happy hour and it was kinda perfect.
It's hard to find traditional Mallorcan food in Mallorca - most of the restaurants are Spanish or fusion - so we were really excited to find a restaurant that serves mostly traditional foods that was recommended by our hotel. Ca N'antuna is in Fornaluxt, a town we hiked to that's about 2 miles from Soller. For more details on our hike, go to the first post. The views from this restaurant were incredible! If you can book in advance ask for the patio. We were lucky and even though it was packed, we got an indoor spot by a window so we could still enjoy views of the valley. We both ordered their house salad, which comes topped with creamy avocado and the freshest, juiciest orange I've ever had, followed by frito Mallorquin, a dish of offal pan-fried with potatoes and peppers.
Restaurant Sa Cova
Normally I have a rule about not eating off the main square (one block off the main drag is where all the best restaurants are). But we were craving paella and our restaurant recommended Sa Cova. We went with paella negra, squid ink paella. That plus the bottle of red wine we shared and our mouths were looking pretty terrifying! We also split an order of Mallorcan stewed artichokes. It came in this sweet and slightly sour sauce of tomatoes, dried fruit and tons of olive oil.
Ca'n Pinxto was such a fun place to eat! Most of the menu was pinxto's, which are similar to tapas but just a little bit smaller. Your order hot dishes off the menu, then go inside to choose from different cold pinxto's, which are laid out at the bar with different colored toothpicks inside to mark the price. The restaurant is located in a little ally off the main square with Casa Alvaro, another popular restaurant, and a vermuteria. I ordered the vegetable cappucino, which sounds weird, but was a layer of vegetables topped with a super creamy sweet potato puree and an aioli foam. I also got a couple different cold pinxtos, one that was basically vegetables with cheese and egg baked in a ramekin, and another slice of cheese with jam over bread. My aunt and I also spit the most delicious salad topped with creamy burrata!
Hotel La Vila
Not only do I have a general rule about not eating on the main drag, but I also have a rule about not eating at hotels when on vacation, except when a hotel is well known for their food. Well, Hotel La Vila is a hotel right in the main square, but the food was actually pretty tasty. We came here on a Monday when most restaurants are closed and we were ravenous and exhausted after a long day touring the island. Was craving cheesy carbs, and that's exactly what I got with this bowl of paperdelle with gorgonzola cream, roasted eggplant and walnuts. There's nothing better than fresh pasta!
Ca's Patro March
Y'all, Tom Hiddleston was here! Am I too old to fan girl?? I mean, watch The Night Manager and you'll understand. Ca's Patro March was the gorgeous seaside restaurant where the kidnapping scene was filmed. It's this little beach shack built into the side of the rocky cove that forms Cala Deia beach. Try to make reservations if you can because it was packed. We actually waited for a table alongside the uncle of the guy who owns the restaurant - his dad used to run the entire cove back in the early 1900s. We enjoyed an incredible seafood meal with views of the Mediterranean and a lovely British family to chat with. We split a bottle of rose (in hindsight probably a poor choice as we had to hike a mile and a half uphill to get back to town), fried sardines (my favorite!), more croquettes (perhaps you're sensing a theme), and shrimp in garlic olive oil. The service wasn't the speediest, probably because they were packed, but that just meant more time to linger with the views.
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