The tiny island of Formentera
has come into its own in recent years – once only known for its proximity to Ibiza and tranquil beaches, the island now has a thriving restaurant scene. Menus tend to have a heavy Italian influence with an emphasis on excellent seafood, and dining options range from beachside lunches to romantic dinners in candlelit courtyards. Here are our favourite places on the island to enjoy a bite.
Juan Y Andrea
Restaurant, Seafood, Spanish, Italian, Mediterranean, $$$
Juan Y Andrea
sits in the dunes on Illetes beach
, one of the best in Formentera, and often named as the best in Europe. The restaurant is instantly recognisable by the four huge palm trees surrounding it, which are the only trees on the beach. It was established in 1971 by a local fisherman and his wife, and was originally a small seafood shack but is now a large restaurant with a huge shaded ‘terrace’ with tables directly on the sand. The premise of the restaurant hasn’t changed, and it is still a family-run restaurant, whose local seafood specialities are outstanding. The lobster paella is particularly good, as are the local prawns. This place is a must-visit when on the island.
Restaurant, Japanese, Spanish, European, Italian, $$$
Located right on the marina at La Savina, and with a large outdoor terrace, Aigua
is a great choice for a romantic dinner date. The menu is primarily seafood, with an emphasis on Italian cuisine, but also some excellent sushi and sashimi. It’s not cheap but it’s easy to see why this place is popular – the setting is stunning, and the food is great, and presented beautifully on the plate. The restaurant is only open in the evenings, and tables on the terrace are the place to be, so it’s best to book ahead.
Restaurant, Italian, Mediterranean, Seafood, $$$
With the outdoor terrace set in a beautiful garden with fairy lights twinkling in the trees, Can Carlos
certainly makes for a picture-worthy romantic setting. It’s not all about the garden though, as the food and service are both fantastic, as is the wine list. The menu is Mediterranean with a heavy leaning towards Italian, and the seafood is particularly good, with the local squid and tuna carpaccio being firm favourites. This restaurant is extremely popular, and only opens for dinner, so booking ahead is essential, particularly if you want to sit outside.
Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
serves traditional cuisine with a contemporary twist, and uses locally sourced produce wherever possible. Once the proud owners of a Michelin star (the first restaurant in Ibiza and Formentera to be awarded one), the restaurant sadly no longer bears this award, but don’t let this put you off visiting. Set in a rustic finca with contemporary styling, and a pretty courtyard, the food really is innovative, and the incredible tasting menu with wine pairing allows you to sample the chef’s full range.
Restaurant, Spanish, Seafood, Mediterranean, $$$
At Es Caló
, tables are set on an open-sided wooden structure on a beach of the same name, with clear views over the pretty cove and out to sea. For a delicious seafood lunch, in a relaxed and tranquil beach setting, this is the place to come. Their paellas and other rice dishes are excellent, and the spiny lobster casserole, (which doesn’t come cheap, and has to be ordered in advance) is a real treat. Local dishes like the octopus or salads with dried salty fish, are also worth trying.
Ca Na Joana
Restaurant, Mediterranean, Spanish, none
Ca Na Joana
is found in the centre of the town of Sant Francesc
, in a beautifully restored 17th century house with stunning courtyard. The Mediterranean cuisine is fresh, simple, and delicious, and the service is impeccable, making for a truly memorable evening. Traditional dishes like the slow cooked lamb are delicious and the seafood is sublime.
Es Moli de Sal
Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
Chi-chi but family friendly, this beachside bar and restaurant is the place to come if you want perfect sunset views with your pre-dinner drinks. Es Moli de Sal
is located in an old windmill right on the edge of the sea, and is apparently a favourite of the King of Spain, amongst other celebrities, which would explain the eye-watering prices. Drinks however are fairly reasonable, and if you are prepared to splash out on a nice meal, the extensive seafood menu is very good, and the homemade ice-cream is raved about. Yachty types can come to shore using the restaurant’s water-taxi service.