An Insider's Guide to the Best Restaurants in Menorca, Spain

Menorca has developed a vibrant culinary scene in recent years
Menorca has developed a vibrant culinary scene in recent years | © Stu / Alamy Stock Photo

While some of Spain’s other Balearic islands might steal the limelight, once you’ve visited Menorca, you’ll be smitten. Whether you fancy gourmet tapas or a straightforward steak – with some pretty fine white wine – we’ve got the inside scoop on the best places to eat.

Café Balear

Cafe, Restaurant, Seafood, Spanish, $$$
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Cafe Balear in Menorca, Spain.
© Stuart Black / Alamy Stock Photo

Balear is a great place for an introduction to Menorcan food – it’s a local favourite in the old west-coast capital, Ciutadella. Book a couple of weeks ahead to score one of the handfuls of tables right on the waterfront, where you’ll tuck into lechona (roast suckling pig), lobster rice, croquetas and lemon-doused mussels. The owners have their own fishing boat so the seafood is hand-picked and super-fresh – and if you’re on a budget, the set menu lunch is great value, too.

Bar Okapi

Bar, Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Looking out at Playa De Fornells in Menorca, Spain.
© Richard Stemp / Alamy Stock Photo

In the upmarket north-coast development of Playa de Fornells, you’ll find this relaxed hillside restaurant. It’s close to virgin beaches, swanky beach clubs and other destination restaurants, with a great view of the coastline and sunset. Families and couples arrive for pre-dinner drinks, served in goblet-sized glasses with bright cocktail umbrellas and slices of pineapple. Dinner is a mix of great-value grilled meats and international European fare: burgers, steaks and prawns.

Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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You’ll need a hire car or taxi to seek out the little town of Torret in the far east of the island, but it’s worth it to experience this tiny fine-dining restaurant. Run by Daniel Mora – a chef from northern Spain – it’s a modern structure with romantic tables, low-lit in the evening. You’ll be brought all sorts of creations, from one-bite amuse bouches balanced on trays with gazpacho shots to pumpkin ravioli or skate with black butter – all paired with plenty of Balearic wines.

Cuk-Cuk

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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View over harbour and Ayuntamiento de Ciutadella at night, Ciutadella, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, Mediterranean, Europe
© Stuart Black / Alamy Stock Photo

Want to learn as you eat? At this pretty stone house in Ciutadella, you sizzle up your own dinner of meat paella with a glass of wine in hand, joined by hosts, Elena and Alejandro. It’s a great celebration for special occasions – as is the nine-course degustation menu the chefs cook in front of you, laying on creamy and nutty local cheeses, pickled mussels and fragrant seafood stew, among other Menorcan treats. No Cordon Bleu stiffness here – just a family-run feel with plenty of laughter.

Restaurante S’Amarador

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Spain, Balearic Islands, Menorca, Ciutadella, Historic Old Harbour and Old City centre
© Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

This white-tableclothed number on the Ciutadella waterfront is popular with well-heeled yachties and cruisers. Seafood takes top billing – the monkfish and clam casserole is a unique delicacy and references the town’s fishing heritage are all around the dining room. They don’t make reservations for the terrace, so come early to grab an outdoor table, where you’ll smell the salty waters and feel the port breeze in your hair as you devour the catch of the day.

Bodegas Binifadet

Restaurant, Wine Bar, Spanish
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Bodegas Binifadet.Sant Lluis. Menorca. Islas Baleares.Espana.
© Album / Alamy Stock Photo
This is a modern winery in a patch of idyllic countryside outside Mahón – a vine-shaded patio of white canvas chairs is your cue for a long lunch. Sharing plates of iberico ham, sobrasada (spiced sausage) pastries, tomato and caper salads and salmon marinated in local gin start proceedings. For mains – sliced beef tenderloin, covering a huge wooden board. Book a wander around the vines and a tasting before your feast to make this a full-on foodie, albeit tipsy day out.

Restaurante Smoix

Restaurant, Mediterranean, European, Spanish, $$$
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It’s small and understated, but this whitewashed patio restaurant does some of the finest dining on the island. Think crayfish ravioli drizzled in a creamy sauce; hunks of crackling-crispy pork slathered in pickled red onion on fresh flour tacos; islands of lemon custard topped with rosettes of meringue – all part of a much-awarded menu. It’s not cheap, but everyone goes away dazzled. The restaurant is part of a boutique chic hotel, so consider the dinner, bed and breakfast package.

Restaurante Cap Roig

Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, Spanish, Gluten-free, $$$
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Off the beaten track in east-coast Cala Sa Mesquida, this sea-view patio has been around for nearly 40 years. You’ll recognise the classic hot and cold tapas – gazpacho, anchovies, grilled sardines, garlic prawns – as well as vast pans of seafood rice for two. Steeped in tradition with stylish, understated service, this golden oldie is the place to settle in with a good bottle of wine – and admire how well the fresh seafood pairs with the sunkissed coastline views.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Mark Nayler.

These recommendations were updated on July 26, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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