The tradition of baking on the Balearic isle of Menorca can be traced back as far as its 10th-century Moorish inhabitants. And the population’s sweet tooth seems to have diminished little since, with dozens of typical baked goods offered in the numerous bakeries scattered through the island. Here are the best places to find some freshly baked delights to satisfy your pastry craving.
Bakery, European, $$$
Sage Cake | Pastissería Moll
Run by the same family for four generations, Pastissería Moll in Ciutadella is a temple to all things sweet. The handmade cakes, sweets and chocolates are all aesthetically beautiful, as is the wrapping they are presented in. As well as the standard, traditional Menorcan bakery treats such as ensaimadas, crespells, and carquinyols, they are also known for their more elaborate cakes, like the Sàlvia – a fanciful creation (which also happens to be gluten free) made with almonds, walnuts and mousse, filled with vanilla cream and topped with caramelised apple and apricot. A fabulous place to buy gifts, as well as indulge your own sweet tooth.
Herbera Bakery is a cake lover’s heaven. The glass counter contains a huge array of pastries, iced goods, biscuits, cream cakes and traditional fare, and they also happen to serve great coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. It’s a lovely local bakery in the heart of Ciutadella’s old town, so a perfect place for a quick caffeine fix and a traditional ensaimada (swirl-shaped local pastry) before a wander around the city.
Forn de Sa Placa has been providing those in Es Mercadal with delicious baked goods since 1956 and is a firm favourite in the town. Small and unassuming, but with a wide range of traditional breads, cakes, and pastries, everything is handmade and baked fresh on the day. In a convenient location in the centre of town, this is a great place to pick up a loaf of bread or try out some traditional Menorcan cakes and sweet treats.
Can Pons, is an artesan bakery in Es Mercadal serving all manner of cakes, biscuits, sweet and savoury pastries, as well as other local products such as Mahon cheese and sobrassada (spicy sausage). Try out traditional pastries and cakes like the classic swirl shaped ensaimada, crespells (sweet biscuits, often star or flower shaped and sometimes filled with jam or almond paste), or carquinols, which are similar to Italian biscotti and usually made with almonds. This old-school but excellent bakery is only open on weekday mornings, but surprisingly also sells their wares online.
Sucreria Vallès, in Menorca’s capital city, has a mouthwatering display in their window. From traditional Menorcan pastries, through to exquisite looking handmade chocolates, this small shop caters almost exclusively to those with a sweet tooth (with a few savoury pastries thrown in for good measure). Their ensaimadas are fresh, light and delicious, and the chocolates are divine, but the must-try, are the imperials, a layered sponge cake with custard and a meringue crown on top.
Located in the small town of Ferreries in the centre of the island, Pastisseria Artesana Lluis Febrer, is a family business, specialising in traditional Menorcan baked goods such as ensaimadas, carquinols, and amargos (almond pastries), as well as some delicious looking sweet treats coated in pine nuts, and elaborately decorated whole cakes for celebrations. This bakery also has a surprising range of gluten free goods, including savoury pastries (rubiols), pizza bases, and bunyoles (local donuts).
With rows and rows of sticky cakes, pastries and biscuits behind the counter, Forn Can Bep, is a tantalising pit stop for those in Ciutadella with a sweet tooth. They serve everything from ensaimadas and other traditional Menorca goodies, to classic iced buns, cream cakes, croissants and more, so there is certainly something for everyone. Coffees and other drinks are available, and there are a number of tables outside.