With a long and healthy fishing and seafaring heritage, it will come as little surprise that you can enjoy some seriously good seafood on the island of Menorca. While the rich traditional lobster stew is the island’s signature go-to, there are numerous other sea-sourced dishes that are crying out to be tried. Here are the best restaurants on the island to do just that.
Restaurant, Seafood, Mediterranean, European, $$$
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Courtesy of Trébol Restaurant
Tables out front at Trébol make the perfect setting for lunch, with boats bobbing in the harbour right next to the restaurant’s terrace. The menu is extensive, with delicacies such as fried sea anemone for starters, and a huge selection of fresh grilled fish for mains. There is of course the traditional Menorcan lobster stew and paella (both of which need to be ordered in advance) plus an impressive seafood platter with local fish and prawns. Pair your choice with one of their excellent selection of wines and you’ve got the perfect meal.
Café Balear, Ciutadella de Menorca | Courtesy of Café Balear
Café Balear 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 1970s, and is unique in that the catch of the day comes from the restaurant’s own boat. A great place to enjoy a casual but delicious lunch or dinner on their waterside terrace.
Es Cranc is a seafood restaurant located in the beautiful fishing village of Fornells, in the north of the island. The catch of the day (fresh off local boats) is chalked on the board daily, and generally served grilled, but the house speciality is lobster, and the restaurant famously has a large lobster tank, so you know your meal is particularly fresh. Aside from the traditional caldereta de langosta (lobster stew) and the various other lobster dishes, we highly recommend you start with clams or mussels, and end with their much raved-about cheescake.
Perched on a clifftop overlooking Cala Sa Mesquida, Cap Roig features some fantastic sea views from a spacious alfresco 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.
Located in Mahón’s port and with a terrace overlooking the water, S’Espigó specialises in seafood. Much of their menu is geared around the catch of the day, and the traditional Menorcan dish of lobster stew, but the clams are also very good and the tuna steaks are excellent. The restaurant, and in particular its terrace, is small and very busy in high season, so be sure to reserve a spot in advance.
Jàgaro is a traditional restaurant in the harbour area of Mahon specialising in lobster and other seafood. Prices are fairly steep, but if you’re in the capital and want to try a Menorcan caldereta de langosta (lobster stew) then this is one of the best. The other classic lobster dish on their menu is fried lobster served on a bed of chips and fried eggs – sounds like an odd combination but delicious and well worth trying. Alternatively, you can try it covered in alioli and baked in the oven. If lobster is not your thing then there are plenty of other Menorcan specialities to try, from baked prawns to pork loin, or stuffed aubergines.
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, with the fish stew being a go-to for regulars. 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.