has long been under the radar compared to its more well-known Balearic cousins of Mallorca and Ibiza. But this small-but-stunning isle not only has a rich history and incredible beaches
, but some pretty fantastic food, too (not to mention it’s where mayonnaise was invented). From delicious local cheeses to its famous traditional lobster stew, here’s our rundown of the best places to tap into the island’s thriving dining scene and enjoy some of the island’s superb cuisine.
Cas Ferrer De Sa Font
Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Unassuming from the outside, Cas Ferrer De Sa Font
was once a blacksmiths, and was where the local farmers had their tools repaired and their farm animals shoed. It is now the place to go in Ciutadella for delicious and authentic Menorcan cuisine. All the food served is organic and locally grown or reared – the restaurant is committed to encouraging the reintroduction of indigenous livestock to local farms, and all the meat used comes from breeds native to the island (some from the same farms that the blacksmith used to serve). The atmosphere in the pretty courtyard and the low-beamed restaurant are relaxed and friendly, and the menu is a mix of creative and traditional, with classics like the octopus carpaccio really shining through.
Restaurant, Mediterranean, Seafood, $$$
Can Bernat in Es Grau is famed for its local seafood, and in particularly shellfish. The restaurant has its own fishing boat with the catch of the day written on the board outside the restaurant. Open year-round and pretty much always busy, it’s essential to book to ensure a table in this low-key but incredibly popular restaurant. The fish stew is a go-to for regulars, but they also serve some interesting veal dishes as well as a mighty fine steak.
Sa Parereta D’en Doro
Restaurant, Mediterranean, Spanish
The well-established restaurant of Sa Parereta D’en Doro
is just the right side of rustic and remote. Doro, the chef, has been cooking for most of his life, and the traditional Menorcan cuisine with modern Mediterranean influences not only tastes great but is beautifully presented. A lovely terrace also allows for some particularly pleasant alfresco dining.
Restaurant, Cafe, Seafood, $$$
is a relaxed and informal restaurant in the super picturesque town of Ciutadella. Famous for its seafood and in particular the Menorcan Caldereta de Langosta
(lobster stew), this bustling restaurant has been running since the ’70s, and is a great place to enjoy a casual but delicious lunch or dinner on their waterside terrace.
Perched on a clifftop overlooking Cala Sa Mesquida, not too far from the capital, Mahón, Cap Roig features some fantastic sea views from its spacious terrace. The menu is pretty much all seafood with a number of different Menorcan lobster specialities. Aside from the famous spiny lobster stew, the Galician octopus
is excellent, as is the fisherman’s style monkfish, and the local rice dishes are certainly worth a taste. Thanks to the views, sunset is a popular time at this restaurant, so if you’re hoping for front row seats it’s best to book ahead.
Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, Spanish, $$$
On the harbour in Mahón
with a large outdoor place and fantastic views, El Rais
is fantastic place to sit and eat while watching the boats come and go. The menu is expansive and creative, with a decent raw section of ceviches, carpaccios, steak tartare, and tuna tartare, and the various traditional rice options are excellent. If you just wanted to stop for a drink and a nibble while the sun goes down, they also do a variety of sharing plates.
Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
Running for nearly 80 years, Ca’n Aguadet is a firm favourite with the locals, and serves Menorcan food and wine at very reasonable prices. Its location in the centre of the island means it is away from the usual tourist traps and one of the island’s most enjoyably authentic place to eat. Traditional items such as snails, lamb, suckling pig, and shellfish or lobster stews feature heavily on the menu, and the often unusual-sounding desserts are worth trying.