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With a gorgeous garden and a sister boutique hotel, Giri Café provides a most calming and enjoyable experience, no matter how brief your stay. We caught up with owner Lars Holm Hansen to find out more about the dynamics of the island’s party culture and this spot, tucked away in the peaceful northern side of the island.
How would you describe the Giri Café in only three words?
We built Giri Café on three passions: food, design and all beautiful things in life.
What type of atmosphere do you try to cultivate in the café?
One of the reasons we didn’t call the Giri Café a restaurant or a bistro came of out wanting to create a quality destination throughout the day for everyone. Whether you’re into breakfast, just coffee or a full-blown gourmet experience at night it must be a happy, friendly and peaceful place to visit. We tried hard to create a beautiful setting that urges our guests to relax and enjoy their precious time together.
You guys are situated in the northern, bohemian area of the island. Does this mean you manage to avoid the partying and debauched holidaymakers you might find elsewhere?
The fact we’re based in San Juan in the beautiful northern Ibiza – a bit away from the masses – means we are a destination restaurant that require guests to spend 20 to 40 minutes on the road to visit. We’re humbled every time someone crosses the island for us. Having said that though, a growing proportion of our guests come to Ibiza specifically to enjoy the rural and bohemian side of the island and Giri Café tends to fit in really well with this group.
What’s your opinion on Ibiza’s role as the party island over the years? Is there a sense of animosity between the locals and the tourists?
There is no animosity between locals and tourists. Ibiza generally lives from and loves its visitors, and the locals have seen it all, they are stoic. The challenge is not the party scene but the general success of the island attracting more and more people. The island is now reaching a point where its infrastructure is having a hard time. Roads are really under pressure due to the huge rise of rental cars, the water supply is challenged, rental prices for local housing are going up dramatically and so on. It’s not critical yet, and the common tourist will probably not notice, but the sum of all this is of real concern among the locals. Still, they look forward to and love the summer season!
What differentiates your café from the others in Ibiza?
What makes us stand out is mainly the fact that we’re based in the heart of a small village that hasn’t changed much over the last 100 years. On one side is the small whitewashed village that Giri Café is right on the edge of. Across from that we have the beautiful countryside, where the garden of the Giri Café is located. You enter from the village square through a small, unassuming set of doors and enter a space many first time visitors don’t expect. At the end of this space, the restaurant opens up into a big garden that blends with the countryside. The outdoor area is the preferred place for our guests to eat under the sun or the stars. That’s the framework, but what’s most important is what’s on the plates. Every dish must have distinct flavors and be presented really well.
You own a farm located just minutes outside of San Juan and get all your produce from it. How important do you consider organic produce to be in the hospitality industry?
Yes we try to grow or find as much produce as possible locally. We have based the restaurant on this philosophy from the beginning and obviously consider it important. We are also aware that it’s both costly and sometimes not compatible with large scale hospitality, but the planet is calling for an improved approach to how we farm and eat.
Are there any hidden gems you’d recommend for visitors to Ibiza?
Have dinner at Giri Café and go to sleep at The Giri Residence next door, our sister boutique hotel. Incredible surroundings and staff. Worth every euro.
What does the future hold for Giri?
Our ambition is to give our guests a special personal experience. The combination of The Giri Residence and The Giri Café gives us a special set of opportunities that we’re very keen on fine-tuning. We just starting the 6th season and it has taken years to put together a team that can provide consistent quality in both hotel and restaurant. We’re getting good enough to start considering future steps but it’s still a secret!
The Giri Café is one of the winners of The Culture Trip’s Ibiza Local Favorite 2016 Award. The Local Favorite badge is awarded to our favorite local towns, restaurants, artists, galleries, and everything in between. We are passionate about showcasing popular local talents on a global scale, so we have cultivated a carefully selected, but growing community.