Menorca’s 10 Local Restaurants And Tapas Bars To Try

Menorca | ©Morfheos/Flickr
Hannah Rose Symons

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.

1. Pan y Vino

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Fusion, French, Spanish

A French-Spanish fusion restaurant, Pan y Vino serves food which takes inspiration from the local cuisine as well as that of the owners’ native France. Patrick and Noelia pride themselves on their artistically presented dishes with great attention to detail. The venue is set in a secluded location just outside the town of Sant Lluís. The interior and exterior of the restaurant both offer distinctly different but equally impressive dining areas for a smooth transition from season to season. In the winter keep warm and comfortable in the cosy old house, and in the summer dine alfresco on the terrace under the shade of a rustic pavilion. Patrick is constantly adding refreshing new twists to his menu, so you can visit time and time again.

Café Balear

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

3. Cap Roig

Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, Spanish, Gluten-free

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.

4. Mesón El Gallo

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

Quail | ©stu_spivack/Flickr

5. Cas Cònsol

Restaurant, Tapas, Spanish, Mediterranean

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.

6. Smoix

Restaurant, Mediterranean, European, Spanish

Smoix is recognised by the Michelin Guide as one of the most outstanding restaurants on the island. Its pretty garden and courtyard make Smoix a popular romantic destination, in addition to the impeccably-presented gourmet fare. Neatly tucked away this place can take some finding although it is worth the effort. Smoix has a creative menu which conjures intrigue amongst customers who keep coming back for more. All produce is fresh and sourced from the local area on a daily basis and is therefore certain to please. One of Smoix’s signature dishes is a homemade hamburger wrapped in filo pastry.

7. Can Bep

Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean

Seafood Paella
For typical Menorcan fare and exquisite paella visit the traditional residence of Can Bep. Its ornate decoration and furnishings are a little out-dated but alluring all the same, and in fact totally unexpected considering the unassuming façade of the restaurant from the street. The traditional menu is rooted in home-cooked recipes which you can even access yourself online to imitate at home. The menu at Can Bep adheres to the life-prolonging Mediterranean diet of fish and vegetables, so do not book expecting a large selection of meat-based dishes.

8. Ses Voltes Espai Gastronòmic

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

Coffee | ©Pixabay

9. Ses Forquilles

Bar, Restaurant, Bistro, Pub, Tapas, Spanish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Restaurant Ses Forquilles, Maó
Courtesy of Ses Forquilles

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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