As one of the less-traveled Balearic Islands, Menorca has a reputation for being unspoiled. It has much to celebrate, including the fact that it’s the first part of Spain to see the sunrise and has more beaches than Ibiza and Mallorca put together. What’s more, it is the birthplace of mayonnaise, and its impressive food history doesn’t stop there. This is a guide to the 10 best cultural restaurants on the beautiful, sunny isle.
Café Balear has gained such a reputable name on the island that it now has three premises, all serving the same high-quality seafood fresh from the Med. Café Balear’s unique feature is its own fishing boat, which catches the fish and shellfish daily to ensure maximum freshness and quality when it reaches the plate by dusk. This personal touch has led to Café Balear’s loyal customer base. The team’s signature catches are monkish and lobster for use in their celebrated casseroles.
Cafe Balear, Placa Sant Joan, Ciutadella de Menorca, Menorca, Spain, +34971 38 00 05
Perched atop a cliff claiming some of the best vistas of the Mediterranean is Cap Roig. Any restaurant that has remained popular with the locals during its 30 year stint in the business, can be trusted to deliver classic dishes time and time again. Fundamentally a dedicated seafood restaurant, only make the journey here from Mahon if its fish you’re after as they serve little else. Punters continue to return to Cap Roig for the hospitable community vibe combined with the lively atmosphere and fresh fish. Cap Roig focuses on consistently high quality ingredients, sourced straight from the neighboring sea.
Mesón El Gallo
Literally translated as the ‘Cock Inn’, Mesón El Gallo’s charm lies in its endearing farmhouse setting and intimate vine-covered patios. The sprawling venue features terraces enclosed by white-washed walls as well as multiple indoor dining rooms. The 200-year-old house is full of character and in colder weather guests are invited to appreciate the charming interior architecture too and dine under the original vaulted ceiling. As the poultry-themed name suggests, Mesón El Gallo’s menu specializes in meat, which is usually charcoal grilled. Die-hard carnivores are spoilt for choice with, quail, pork, rabbit and veal to name just a few of the options on an exhaustive menu.
Restaurante Mesón El Gallo, Travessia Cala Galdana 5, Ferreries, + 34 971 37 30 39
Housed in the renovated former French consulate, Cas Cònsol boasts grand proportions, huge floor length windows and streaming light. The restoration has been executed to a high standard whilst remaining sensitive to the traditional architectural style, resulting in a high-spec venue with a characterful but contemporary ambience. A balcony has also been squeezed in to make the most of the views of the port. The innovative menu reflects the feel of Cas Cònsol, serving modern twists on tapas classics. The roasted pig, the bream and the mussels are some of the dishes which come most highly recommended.
Ses Voltes Espai Gastronòmic
A self-proclaimed gastronomy space, Ses Voltes sits in the heart of the old town behind the iconic arches of a narrow back street of the same name. Despite the archaic frontage, Ses Voltes is a modern venue accommodating customers for a casual coffee, meeting, family function or special occasion. Three floors of dining space include a terrace with an exceptional vantage point over the historical rooftops of the historical town. The minimalist interior at Ses Voltes is chic and pleasantly contradicts that of the authentic Menorcan façade.
Ses Voltes, Carrer Ses Voltes 16-22, Ciutadella de Menorca, +34 971 38 14 98
This gastro pub counts its diverse tapas menu as its signature fare. Original creations are what make Ses Forquilles stand out amongst the hordes of tapas joints in Mahon and it’s all down to the young team behind this stylish bistro. Order the quirky ‘lollipops’ of meat that come highly recommended as part of a meal to share, or choose a few montaditos (small sandwiches) for yourself. For a heartier meal then head upstairs to the homely dining room which serves all the classic Menorcan mains. Either way you can guarantee high-quality ingredients and an expert finish.
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