Ibiza is not a place usually associated with a dynamic culinary scene. Yet spots like Ibiza Town, Santa Eulàlia and other villages scattered around the island offer a wealth of gastronomic experience. We explore the top ten must-try restaurants here, from gourmet dining to home-style cooking.
Let yourself be transported to spiritual Ubud in Bali the moment you enter the open plan temple/restaurant/boutique that is Bambuddha. Customers can choose from a table in the main bamboo-covered dining area, a private function space under your own personal veranda for a more raucous affair with friends, or a romantic table for two under the stars. For 15 years, tourists and locals alike have continued to make the rather arduous journey through the Ibizan hills to Bambuddha to soak up the mystical atmosphere and sample the distinctive fusion menu which blends a mix of Asian including specialities from Thailand, Japan and Vietnam.
Venture into the main city in Ibiza for a candid glimpse of life on the White Island far removed from the super club streets of San Antonio. Here you will find Mar A Vila, a well-renowned name in the area for serving high-quality tapas and pintxos (or small skewered snacks). For breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, or even takeaway, Mar A Vila has an extensive menu to suit all meal times and taste buds. Its international fusion of flavors from around the world means you’re not bound to local cuisine. If sharing food isn’t for you, or you just have a larger appetite, don’t be perturbed by Mar Vila’s specialization in small snacks as you can order from the à la carte menu too.
As far as renovation projects go, Sa Capella restaurant, a former church, is a roaring success. Surrounded by history and legend in a tranquil environment, Sa Capella offers a great variety of classic dishes, some of which haven’t changed since their inception 15 years ago, and some of which have been peppered with a contemporary twist to keep things fresh. From winter to summer you’ll see the menu change a little with the addition of expertly picked seasonal options. Something you can try all year round though is Sa Capella’s signature suckling pig, or the ox on a bed of a salt for something a little out of the ordinary.
Translating as ‘the cottage’, La Casita is a cozy restaurant in a restored farmhouse. A real European affair, you can expect the cuisine to draw inspiration from France, Spain, and chef Johannes’ native Austria, with offerings including platters of Serrano ham, beef bourguignon and chateaubriand steak. The alfresco space features an events marquee and fountain terrace, all of which provide unparalleled views of the surrounding pine forest.
The restaurant's signature dish: solomillo | Image courtesy of The Giri Café
The Giri Café has built its entire foundation on a handful of simple guidelines, including the promise of eating seasonally, locally and sustainably. Boasting a high-spec interior with minimal clean lines, glass and streaming light, The Giri Café is not afraid to shake off its traditional Spanish roots, instead opting for a chic and contemporary finish. The Giri Café’s most notable quirk is its on-site garden where customers can unwind on the sunbeds, and where many of the ingredients come from. Organic vegetables are grown and harvested here, making the short journey from root to table an appealing prospect for the health-conscious foodie.
Tapas is synonymous with Spanish food and La Bodega insists on keeping things simple in its sharing plates for the sake of high quality. A careful selection of small tapas dishes celebrates the typical Spanish style of dining which is informal and sociable. La Bodega is situated on a bustling yet charming street meaning that sitting on the furnished sidewalk and watching the world go by is all part of the package.
Es Boldado enjoys views of the magnificent Es Vedrà rock, an island off the coast of Cala d’Hort which is shrouded in myth and legend. The enigmatic setting and isolation of Es Boldado, coupled with the fact there’s no phone signal, boosts its popularity with diners who want a peaceful retreat. Its position by the sea lends itself to serving freshly caught seafood including bullit de peix, a traditional Ibizan fish stew. Cropping up on the menu repeatedly is also arroz a banda, rice cooked in strong and flavorsome stock (not to be confused with paella!)
A glamorous marriage of sushi and cocktails can be found in the heart of Ibiza’s sunset strip in San Antonio. Catering to punters who like to party, Kama Sushi serves food until 1am with a resident DJ providing the soundtrack to the evening. In a similar way to traditional Spanish dining preferences, the Japanese fare at Kama Sushi is sociable with a focus on small portions ideal for sharing. Indulge in the Japanese classics such as yakitori chicken skewers, sushi and sashimi whilst testing out Kama Sushi’s signature exotic beverage, the lychee mojito.
Ca Na Ribes is a quaint restaurant with an enclosed courtyard situated in Santa Eulàlia. The menu is typically old-school Spanish specializing in fresh seafood. The most celebrated dishes are the sole and prawns in champagne sauce and the skate with almonds. The authenticity of Ca Na Ribes’ traditional feel is in part due to its 80-year-old history as a restaurant and as a central meeting point for the local community. Diners can choose from the homely ambience of the inner courtyard with a fountain and distinctively Mediterranean red-tiled floor, or sit out front on the street and watch the world go by.
Run by the same family for many years, Sa Soca prides itself on its inviting atmosphere and personal service. If you want a hearty home-cooked plate of succulent meat or fish, then Sa Soca ticks the box. The varied menu combines warming dishes such as rabbit stew and shoulder of lamb with lighter seafood options including fried squid and paella. Likewise, for the colder winter months there is cozy seating by the log fire or, for the balmy summer evenings, an alfresco dining terrace framed by flora and grape vines.